Arak, Valda, Satyricus, Malagigi and Alsind are finally on their way, embarking on a trip across the ocean that they hope will be uneventful, though there is a part of them that knows that something of some sort will happen. Their captain whose name means lucky believes that everything will be fine as he has made the trip numerous times and so it is that they set off, their minds somewhat at ease. After weeks at sea, that something wrong that readers knew would happen arrives in the form of a giant cloud-like snake that attacks the ship in the form of a storm of sorts and Valda gets washed overboard, presumed dead. That one act by Roy Thomas and artist Tony DeZuniga almost breaks Arak, not to mention the sadness felt by his companions but Arak knows that Valda is still alive, the connection he shares with her telling him so. Eventually, the ship comes upon a land where there should be none and it bewilders Captain Lucky not to mention the rest of the crew and Arak decides to go ashore with Satyricus in order to secure water and fruit and perhaps discover if Valda somehow made it to the island. Coming upon a mysterious city all but abandoned, they discover that everyone has gathered at a temple of sorts and it is there that Arak finds what he knew to be true – Valda alive yet in mortal danger as she faces off against a gigantic bull. Though the book looks great, it is this battle scene where DeZuniga really lets loose and gives readers some truly exceptional pages of Arak and Valda in action against a creature enhanced by magic over the years. Two things happen to close out the book that leaves readers with both a smile and a bit of a surprise as Satyricus ends up being a hero and Angelica the White Witch makes a return. What this means for Arak and his friends cannot be any good, but readers have to know that it will make for incredible reading given the creative team and what they have accomplished thus far.
4 out of 5