|Publisher||Del Rey Books|
|Media type||Hardcover, Paperback|
|Preceded by||Demon Lord of Karanda|
|Followed by||Seeress of Kell|
The party continues their pursuit of Zandramas into the Melcene Empire, where they discover that the Sardion, the polar opposite of the Orb of Aldur, was once kept in an undersea cove where traces of its power still resonates in the walls.
Upon reaching the University at Melcena, Belgarath finds the unmutilated copy of the Ashabine Oracles, which he has sought, and figures out that the party must go to Kell to learn of the location of "The Place That Is No More". Garion, in the same book, sees that in his sole moment of sanity, Torak specifically addressed Belgarion at the back of the Ashabine Oracles, demanding that if need be he should destroy the world, even kill his own son, rather than let Zandramas complete her plans. This reflects a similar warning made by Cyradis in Guardians of the West. Garion is stricken by the pain of Torak's request and ultimately must forgive himself for the latter's death. Having achieved this knowledge, the group return to Mallorea and travel overland. At some point thereafter, a suggestion is made that Torak's existence was an aberration and that another God shall appear to take his place.
The party is recaptured by Zakath, who threatens to take Garion back to Mal Zeth with his companions as collateral. At Beldin's request, Cyradis appears and persuades him to release the party, offering herself as a hostage; Zakath does so and joins them on their quest. Shortly thereafter, Poledra appears in the guise of a wolf, bringing with her an orphaned cub, and joins the travelling party. Her identity is concealed from both characters and reader until the next book.Urvon's Karand army under Nahaz and Zandramas' Darshivan army eventually engage each other in battle, as do Urvon's Demon Lord ally Nahaz and Zandramas' Demon Lord ally Mordja. The demons go after Garion's group, sensing the Orb's presence, but Aldur steps in and infuses Durnik with his own powers, increasing his size. His sledgehammer at this point is implied to partake of the power of the Orb, much like the sword of Riva Iron-grip carried by Garion. The awesome power of the three defeats Nahaz and Mordja, banishing them back to Hell, and causing Nahaz's final act on earth to drag Urvon into Hell with him. Aldur, before leaving, informs Belgarath, Beldin, and Polgara that Durnik is "also my beloved Disciple, as he was the best suited of ye". An amulet (the only one made by Aldur without the aid of Belgarath) is then bestowed upon the smith.