In the fantasy style of Piers Anthony, Brant takes us to a place where the modern human world meets the world of faeries, dwarves, centaurs, and other mystical creatures, a place where time does not exist. For the world of Em, the Gatekeeper is a figure from prophecy and one of immense importance. For the young man destined to be the Gatekeeper, the duties and consequences of his destiny will change his life – in both beneficial and injurious ways.
Ben of the human world represents much that is wrong with the modern human world. He is depressed and withdrawn, symptoms of his constant physical and emotional abuse by the man who is neither his father nor his mother’s husband, but a man to which his mother attached to when he was a successful football player and she needed a place to raise her illegitimate child. Ben has no friends, nor does he seek friendship knowing it will only bring down a wrath upon him and his mother. He is protective and wishes to help someone, yet he is nearly helpless to do so being young and inexperienced.
Creole of Em is a half-human and half-faerie, the daughter of the previous human Gatekeeper, and the one destined to be the mate of the Last Gatekeeper. With an abrasively teenage personality, she is the opposite of Ben and opposes him at many turns throughout the book. From her, Ben learns the value of opening up to friendship.