Escaping Byzantium upon a couple of bronze horses come to life courtesy of the woman called Dyanna, Arak and Satyricus find it all quite amazing if truth be told, but it is answers that Arak wants when they finally come to a stop. Such as it is, she may not know everything that he wants answers for, but she presents him with a golden arrow, an item that will fetch him enough money that he might eventually find his way across the oceans towards his people. While Arak bargains for horses and supplies in town, he foolishly leaves Satyricus alone whom he finds missing when he returns, his friend possibly having gone off with a couple of local maidens. Having been previously warned by Dyanna about going into the forest, Arak can do nothing but and soon he comes to a copse of trees in a strange formation, trees which call to him and he can do naught but follow it. What follows is the introduction of a strange giant of a man who is the High Priest of Artemis, a battle to the death, the coming of the Amazons and a fate for Arak that he might not be able to escape. The second half of the book continues the adventures of Valda, dubbed the Iron Maiden, and it finds her musing again of a time when she was younger as she and Malagigi try to discover just who it is that murdered the young knight Creston. So it is that with a bit of magic, Malagigi discovers it was an old foe named Baledor who means to cause harm to the king and because of that, the wizard sneaks off in the middle of the night to take care of what he proclaims to be his problem. Carolus Magnus is a little angry that his mage will not be joining him for his latest campaign, but neither can Valdo go as she fears for her friend and sets off to find him, discovering only an ambush waiting for her. Written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Ron Randall, the entire book is highly entertaining, but it is the lead tale that takes the cake as they say, it being far more exciting with a bit of action to make it as such. It is also the more outlandish of the two, featuring a good dose of the mythical and magical while the second story featuring Valda has yet to hit its stride. Altogether though, a well-rounded package yet again.
4 out of 5