Life was not possible on that watery world except on the Hundred Islands. The Empire of Arelia ruled them all - all except one. Peldain was entirely covered with a forest so impenetrable and so deadly that all attempts to explore it were disastrous. Then a man came out of that jungle - a human - who told the Arelians that at the center of the island a secret kingdom flourished.
There was nothing for it but to organise an expedition. However deadly the alien forest might be, if one man could get out, an army could get in. So Lord Vorduthe landed and began the assault on the great green enemy.
Nobody could have foreseen the horrors with which the forest defended itself. Nobody could have foreseen the price that would be paid by Vorduthe's men. And only Vorduthe himself would learn the incredible secret of the island...if his mind could stand it.
Barrington J. Bayley (1937-2008) was born in Birmingham and began writing science fiction in his early teens. After serving in the RAF, he took up freelance writing on features, serials and picture strips, mostly in the juvenile field, before returning to straight SF. His work has been cited as an influence on authors including M. John Harrison and Bruce Sterling