"You mere device," he gnarled. "You platitude! Your Gollux ex machina!"
The cold castle where the clocks have stopped and the Duke has killed time and wiped the blood off his sword. The only Golux in the world and not a mere device -- never mind what the Duke said, I just told you that he killed time, you can't trust him. He admits himself that we all have our faults and his is being wicked.
And a prince whose name does and does not begin with X. And Hagga whose tears are jewels, and those of sorrow last forever and those of laughter for a fortnight.
Worth the price of admission for the delightful language alone. Very little word-play, but full of delightful bits. Like the Gollux's mother. She was a witch, and she kept trying to turn women into fish, but ended up turning them into mermaids.
And we have the Duke and his spies and the curse on him which may complicate his evil plot, and how the prince and the Gollux try to foil him and what they end up doing instead.
It's a good book.