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Antrax (Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Series #2)

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Overview

A new novel by Terry Brooks is always a cause for celebration. For more than twenty years, the New York Times bestselling author of the classic Shannara epic has proven himself one of the modern masters of fantasy, winning the hearts and minds of devoted readers around the world. In his last acclaimed novel, Ilse Witch, a brave company of explorers led by the last Druid, Walker Boh, traveled across unknown seas in search of an elusive magic. Yet perhaps Boh and his team were ...
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Antrax (Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Series #2)

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Overview

A new novel by Terry Brooks is always a cause for celebration. For more than twenty years, the New York Times bestselling author of the classic Shannara epic has proven himself one of the modern masters of fantasy, winning the hearts and minds of devoted readers around the world. In his last acclaimed novel, Ilse Witch, a brave company of explorers led by the last Druid, Walker Boh, traveled across unknown seas in search of an elusive magic. Yet perhaps Boh and his team were lured there for sinister, unforeseen purposes . . .

Now in Antrax, as the crew aboard the airship Jerle Shannara is attacked by evil forces, the Druid’s protégé Bek Rowe and his companions are pursued by the mysterious Ilse Witch. Meanwhile, Boh is alone, caught in a dark maze beneath the ruined city of Castledown, stalked by a hungry, unseen enemy.

For there is something alive in Castledown. Something not human. Something old beyond reckoning that covets the magic of Druids, elves, even the Ilse Witch. Something that hunts men for its own designs: Antrax. It is a spirit that commands ancient technologies and mechanical monsters, feeds off enchantment, and traps the souls of men.

With the Jerle Shannara under siege and Antrax threatening the bold and unwary, the Ilse Witch finds herself face-to-face with a boy who claims to be the brother she last saw as an infant. Now a young man, Bek wields the magic of the wishsong and carries the Sword of Shannara upon his back. Unsure whether to trust Bek or to slay him, the Ilse Witch takes him prisoner. One has come pursuing truth, the other revenge. Yet both seek Walker Boh–with the fate of the Four Lands hanging in the balance.

Return to the world of beloved novelist Terry Brooks, where creatures drift up from the earth like mist, a hypnotic song can kill, a sword can cut through a veil of lies–and one man, the true heir of an ancient magic, must choose between betrayal and redemption.

From the Hardcover edition.

Return to the world of beloved novelist Terry Brooks, where creatures drift up from the earth like mist, a hypnotic song can kill, a sword can cut through a veil of lies–and one man, the true heir of an ancient magic, must choose between betrayal and redemption.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Terry Brooks -- whose first novel, The Sword of Shannara, became an instant bestseller upon its release in the late 1970s -- is the author of scads of popular fantasy novels. While the author's ongoing appeal is due to his quick-flowing prose, action-packed sequences, and colorful characters, he owes much of his success to his strict concordance with the "epic quest" model established by J.R.R. Tolkien 40 years earlier.

But give the man some credit -- Brooks writes a killer yarn. (He has millions of diehard fans to prove it.) And while his stories rely heavily on Tolkien-esque elements (such as arduous journeys, magic-wielding wizards, young protagonists who are always more than they appear, and, of course, the obligatory dark evil force), Brooks has a charm all his own, and he consistently keeps his readers guessing and wildly flipping the pages.

Brooks fans are certainly in for a treat with The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax, the follow-up to the series kickoff, Voyage of Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch. If you're unfamiliar with this particular story line, stop reading now and pick up Ilse Witch first -- it's a great deal of fun, even for those unfamiliar with Brooks's previous works. Antrax begins exactly where Ilse Witch lets off.

Some background: Ilse Witch tells of a potentially devastating magic that the forces of good and evil both desperately want to control. The good guys set off on an airship in an effort to find this magic; the bad guys are hot on their trail. At the conclusion of Ilse Witch, the young Bek Rowe learns that he is really Bek Ohmsford, a direct descendant to the fabled Elf King, Jerle Shannara. Because of his lineage, Bek possesses the powerful gift of the Wishsong and the sole ability to use the mythical Sword of Shannara. As if this weren't enough for the lad to digest, he also discovers that his team's deadly adversary, the Ilse Witch, is his sister.

In Antrax, the race continues as Bek, the Druid Walker Boh, Bek's cousin Quentin, a few talented Rover flyers, the seer Ryd Ord Star, a score of Elf hunters, and the thoroughly intriguing shape-shifter Truls Rohk battle not only the Ilse Witch but also a relentless army of technological monsters. Brooks devotees will be happy (although not surprised) to hear that Antrax provides a punch of pure adrenaline. It's high-quality, rapid-paced entertainment. (Andrew LeCount)

From the Publisher
Praise for The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch

"If Harry Potter has given you a thirst for fantasy and you have not discovered the magic of Terry Brooks, you are in for a treat."
--Rocky Mountain News

"Even readers who haven't read a Terry Brooks title since his classic Sword of Shannara will welcome The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch . . . The action and creatures come fast and furious. . . . This latest volume finds Mr. Brooks' power ascending."
--The Dallas Morning News

"If you were delighted and entranced by Michael Ende's The Never Ending Story, you will definitely want to sample one of more of Terry Brooks's books."
--Santa Cruz Sentinel

"The myriad Shannara fans will relish the adventure, the mystery, the magic, and the well-developed characters . . . The ending is a gripping cliff-hanger."
--Booklist

"The Shannara mythology gains a new level of history and depth in a tale that should appeal to the series' legions of fans."
--Library Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

Dallas Morning News
Even readers who haven't read a Terry Brooks title since his classic Sword of Shannara will welcome The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch . . . The action and creatures come fast and furious. . . . This latest volume finds Mr. Brooks' power ascending.
Rocky Mountain News
"If Harry Potter has given you a thirst for fantasy and you have not discovered the magic of Terry Brooks, you are in for a treat.
Santa Cruz Sentinel
If you were delighted and entranced by Michael Ende's The Never Ending Story, you will definitely want to sample one of more of Terry Brooks's books.
Publishers Weekly
Continuing the saga begun in The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch (2000), bestseller Brooks opens this slick, lightweight fantasy with our band of heroes (Druids, elves, shape-shifters, Rovers, etc.) trapped on an island ruled by the evil artificial intelligence Antrax. Antrax has lured this disparate crew to its underground lair in order to use their assorted magics to expand its influence across the world of Shannara. The expedition's leader, the Druid Walker, wants to steal Antrax's ancient technology, but to gain it, he must engage in deadly combat with the machine. The treacherous seer, Ryer Ord Star, and the young, frightened elven prince, Ahren Elessedil, join the fight. Meanwhile, Bek Ohmsford, a prot?g? of Walker's who's been left mostly in the dark about his own magical potential, must try to convince his sister, the dangerous Ilse Witch, that his version of their shared past is true, as he struggles to keep her from killing him or his friends. Also complicating the plot are the battles of the Rovers to reclaim the group's airship the only means for the adventurers to return home. Some emotionally painful encounters occur with former friends who have been enslaved by Antrax, turned into cyborgs and forced to do the nasty AI's bidding. Brooks's fans are sure to be pleased with this action-packed yarn, which neatly weaves the many plots and characters into a coherent whole. Those readers looking for more depth or less predictability are unlikely to have started on this series in the first place. 12-city author tour. (Sept. 21) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Caught in a desperate race to discover a powerful form of ancient magic before it can fall into the hands of the Ilse Witch, Druid Walker Boh and his companions make their way to the city of Castledown. There, in the darkness below the city, Walker and the Ilse Witch meet in a confrontation that will change their world forever. Brooks continues his latest "Shannara" series in fine form, blending old and new characters and introducing a new element of eldritch magic to his tale of ordinary people gifted with the guardianship of their world. Libraries may wish to purchase multiple copies to meet patron demand. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/01.] Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Second in the Shannara Voyage subseries, still a swift and easy-swinging adventure fantasy. Volume I, The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch, kicked off this third Shannara sequence and brought Brooks back to the universe born in 1977's bestselling The Sword of Shannara, now into its tenth installment and longer than the Tolkien cycle from which it springs. This new chapter ends on a cliffhanger like a Saturday morning serial with the Jerle Shannara about to be shot to bits by an airborne enemy bearing no insignia. Is this series darkening? Will Harry Potter fans come aboard?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345397676
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/27/2002
  • Series: Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 166,132
  • Product dimensions: 4.15 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Brooks
A writer since high school, Terry Brooks published his first novel, The Sword of Shannara, in 1977. It was a New York Times bestseller for more than five months. He has published seventeen consecutive bestsellers since, including The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas: Star Wars®: Episode I The Phantom Menace™. His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were each selected by the Rocky Mountain News as one of the best science fiction/ fantasy novels of the twentieth century.

The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

Visit us online at www.shannara.com.

From the Hardcover edition.

Biography

"I found my way to fantasy/adventure. When I got there, I knew I'd found a home," said Terence Dean Brooks, creator of the blockbuster, New York Times bestselling Shannara, Landover, and Word & Void series. Not only is Brooks at home in the highly competitive realm of fantasy literature, many would call him the genre’s modern-day patriarch – Tolkien’s successor. While that title is debatable, Brooks is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most prolific and successful authors of otherworld (and our world) fantasy. Few writers in any genre can boast a more entertaining collection of work – and a more ravenous and loyal fan base -- than can Terry Brooks.

The most rewarding aspect to writing for Brooks is “when someone who never read a book reads [one of mine] and says that the experience changed everything and got them reading.” Because of his very engaging, quick-flowing writing style, countless numbers of young people have been introduced to the wonderful world of reading through Brooks’s adventures. The miraculous thing, however, is that these same fans – whether they’re now 20, 30, or 40 years old – still devour each new release like a starving man would a steak dinner. Credit Brooks’s boundless imagination, endearing characters, fresh storylines and underlying complexities for keeping his older, more discerning audience hooked.

Brooks began writing when he was just ten years old, but he did not discover fantasy until much later. As a high school student he jumped from writing science fiction to westerns to adventure to nonfiction, unable to settle on one form. That changed when, at the age of 21, Brooks was introduced to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien provided Brooks with a forum “that would allow him to release onto paper his own ideas about life, love, and the wonder that fills his world," according to his web site.

In 1977, after six trying years, Brooks published novel his first novel, The Sword of Shannara. And quickly it gave him – and his publisher (the newly created Ballantine imprint, Del Rey) – quite a thrill; the fantasy adventure featuring the young Halfling, Shea Ohmsford; the mysterious wizard Allanon; Flick, the trusty companion; and the demonic Warlock Lord, was not only well received -- it was a smash, spending over five months on The New York Times bestseller list. In 1982 Brooks released the follow-up, The Elfstones of Shannara (which Brooks says may be his favorite), to equal success. He closed out the initial trilogy in 1985 with The Wishsong of Shannara, and has since completed two more Shannara sets, The Heritage of Shannara books and the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara books.

As fans of Brooks know, the man doesn’t like to stay put. “I lived in Illinois for the first 42 years of my life, and I told myself when I left in 1986 that I would never live any one place again,” Brooks said. He now spends his time between his homes in Seattle and Hawaii; he and his wife also spend a great deal of time on the road each year connecting with the fans. These same nomadic tendencies are also apparent in his writing. Instead of staying comfortably within his proven, bestselling Shannara series, Terry frequently takes chances, steps outside, and tries something new. His marvelous Landover and Word & Void series are the results. While both are vastly different from Shannara, they are equally compelling. Word & Void – a contemporary, dark urban fantasy series set in a fantasy-touched Illinois – is quite possibly Brooks’s most acclaimed series. The Rocky Mountain News called the series’ first two books (Running with the Demon and The Knight of the Word “two of the finest science fiction/fantasy novels of the 20th century.”

Good To Know

When The Sword of Shannara hit The New York Times bestseller list, Brooks became the first modern fantasy author to achieve that pinnacle.

The Sword of Shannara was also the first work of fiction to ever hit The New York Times trade paperback bestseller list. Thanks to a faithful and growing fan base, the books continue to reach the list.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was not Terry's first novelization. He also novelized Steven Spielberg's 1991 movie, Hook.

Brooks’s The Phantom Menace novelization is also not his only connection to George Lucas. Both The Sword of Shannara and the original Star Wars novel, A New Hope, were edited by Judy Lynn del Rey and published in the same year (1977) to blockbuster success.

The Sword of Shannara was initially turned down by DAW Books. Instead, DAW sent Terry to Lester del Rey, who recognized Terry’s blockbuster potential and bought it. And the rest, they say, is history.

Brooks’s influences include: J.R.R. Tolkien, Alexander Dumas, James Fenimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Mallory's Morte d'Arthur.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence Dean Brooks (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Pacific Northwest and Hawaii
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 8, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sterling, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Hamilton College, 1966; J.D., Washington and Lee University
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

One

Grianne Ohmsford was six years old on the last day of her childhood. She was small for her age and lacked unusual strength of body or extraordinary life experience and was not therefore particularly well prepared for growing up all at once. She had lived the whole of her life on the eastern fringes of the Rabb Plains, a sheltered child in a sheltered home, the eldest of two born to Araden and Biornlief Ohmsford, he a scribe and teacher, she a housewife. People came and went from their home as if it were an inn, students of her father, clients drawing on the benefit of his skills, travelers from all over the Four Lands. But she herself had never been anywhere and was only just beginning to understand how much of the world she knew nothing about when everything she did know was taken from her.

While she was unremarkable in appearance and there was nothing about her on the surface of things that would suggest she could survive any sort of life-altering trauma, the truth of the matter was that she was strong and able in unexpected ways. Some of this showed in her startling blue eyes, which pinned you with their directness and pierced you through to your soul. Strangers who made the mistake of staring into them found themselves glancing quickly away. She did not speak to these men and women or seem to take anything away from her encounters, but she left them with a sense of having given something up anyway. Wandering her home and yard, long dark hair hanging loose, a waif seemingly at a loss for something to do or somewhere to go, or just sitting alone in a corner while the adults talked among themselves, she claimed her own space and kept it inviolate.

She was tough-minded, as well, a stubborn and intractable child who once her mind was set on something refused to let it be changed. For a time her parents could do so by virtue of their re- lationship and the usual threats and enticements, but eventually they found themselves incapable of influencing her. She seemed to find her identity in making a stand on matters, by holding forth in challenge and accepting whatever came her way as a result. Frequently it was a stern lecture and banishment to her room, but often it was simply denial of something others thought would benefit her. Whatever the case, she did not seem to mind the consequences and was more apt to be bothered by capitulation to their wishes.

But at the core of everything was her heritage, which manifested itself in ways that hadn’t been apparent for generations. She knew early on that she was not like her parents or their friends or anyone else she knew. She was a throwback to the most famous members of her family—to Brin and Jair and Par and Coll Ohmsford, to whom she could directly trace her ancestry. Her parents explained it to her early on, almost as soon as her talent revealed itself. She was born with the magic of the wishsong, a latent power that surfaced in the Ohmsford family bloodline only once in every four or five generations. Wish for it, sing for it, and it would come to pass. Anything was possible. The wishsong hadn’t been present in an Ohmsford in her parents’ lifetimes, and so neither of them had any firsthand experience with how it worked. But they knew the stories, had been told them repeatedly by their own parents, the tales of the magic carried down from the time of the great Queen Wren, another of their ancestors. So they knew enough to recognize what it meant when their child could bend the stalks of flowers and turn aside an angry dog simply by singing.

Her use of the wishsong was rudimentary and undisciplined at first, and she did not understand that it was special. In her child’s mind, it seemed reasonable that everyone would possess it. Her parents worked to help her realize its worth, to harness its power, and to learn to keep it secret from others. Grianne was a smart girl, and she understood quickly what it meant to have something others would covet or fear if they knew she possessed it. She listened to her parents about this, although she paid less attention to their warnings about the ways it should be used and the purposes to which it should be put. She knew enough to show them what they expected of her and to hide from them what they did not.

So on the last day of her childhood she had already come to terms with having use of the magic. She had constructed defenses to its demands and subterfuges to her parents’ refusals to let her fully test its limits. Wrapped in the armor of her strong-minded determination and stubborn insistence, she had built a fortress in which she wielded the wishsong with a sense of impunity. Her child’s world was already more complex and devious than that of many adults, and she was learning the importance of never giving away everything of who and what she was. It was her gift of magic and her understanding of its workings that saved her.

At the same time, and through no fault of her own, it was what doomed her parents and younger brother.

She knew there was something wrong with her child’s world some weeks before that last day. It manifested itself in small ways, things that her parents and others could not readily detect. There were oddities in the air—smells and tastes and sounds that whispered of a hidden presence and dark emotions. She caught glimpses of shadows on the vibrations of her voice that returned to her when she used the magic of her song. She felt changes in heat and cold that came only when she was threatened, except that always before she could trace their source and this time she could not. Once or twice, she sensed the closeness of dark-cloaked forms, perhaps the shape-shifters she had found out on several occasions before, always hidden and out of reach, but there nevertheless.

She said nothing to her parents of these things because she had no solid evidence of them and only suspicion on which to buttress her complaints. Even so, she kept close watch. Her home was at the edge of a grove of maple trees and looked out across the flat, green threshold of the Rabb all the way to the foothills of the Dragon’s Teeth. While nothing could approach out of the west without being visible from a long way off, forests and hills shielded the other three quadrants. She scouted them from time to time, a precaution undertaken to give her a sense of security. But whatever watched was careful, and she never found it out. It hid from her, avoided her, moved away when she approached, and always returned. She could feel its eyes on her even as she looked for it. It was clever and skilled; it was accustomed to staying hidden when others would find it out.

She should have been afraid, but she had not been raised with fear and had no reason to appreciate its uses. For her, fear was an annoyance she sought to banish and did not heed. She asked her father finally if there was anyone who would wish to hurt her, or him, or her mother or brother, but he only smiled and said they had nothing anyone would want that would provide reason for harm. He said it in a calm, assured way, a teacher imparting knowledge to a student, and she did not believe he could be wrong.

When the black-cloaked figures finally came, they did so just before dawn, when the light was so pale and thin that it barely etched the edges of the shadows. They killed the dog, old Bark, when he wandered out for a look, an act that demonstrated unmistakably the nature of their dark intent. She was awake by then, alerted by some inner voice tied to her magic, hurrying through the rooms of her home on cat’s paws, searching for the danger that was already at the door. Her family was alone that morning, all of the travelers either come and gone or still on their way, and there was no one to stand with them in the face of their peril.

Grianne never hesitated when she caught sight of the shadowy forms sliding past the windows. She sensed the presence of danger all around, a circle of iron blades closing with inexorable purpose. She yelled for her father and ran back to her bedroom, where her brother lay sleeping. She snatched him up without a word, hugging him to her. Soft and warm, he was barely two years old. She carried him from the room and down into the earthen cellar where perishable foodstuffs were kept. Above, her parents sought to cover her flight. The sounds of breaking glass and splintering wood erupted, and she could hear her father’s angry shouts and oaths. He was a brave man, and he would stand and fight. But it would not be enough; she sensed that much already. She released a catch and pulled back the shelving section that hid the entrance to the cramped storm shelter they had never used. She placed her sleeping brother on a pallet inside. She stared down at him for a moment, at his tiny face and balled fists, at his sleeping form, hearing the shouts and oaths overhead turn to screams of pain and anguish, aware of tears flooding her eyes.

Black smoke was seeping through the floorboards when she slipped from the shelter and sealed the entry behind her. She heard the crackle of flames consuming wood. Her parents gone, the intruders would come for her, but she would be quicker and more clever than they expected. She would escape them, and once she was safely away, outside in the pale dawn light, she would run the five miles to the next closest home and return with help for her brother.

She heard the black-cloaked forms searching for her as she hurried along a short passageway to a cellar door that led directly outside. Outside, the door was concealed by bushes and seldom used; it was not likely they would think to find her there. If they did, they would be sorry. She already knew the sort of damage the wishsong could cause. She was a child, but she was not helpless. She blinked away her tears and set her jaw. They would find that out one day. They would find that out when she hurt them the same way they were hurting her.

Then she was through the door and outside in the brightening dawn light, crouched in the bushes. Smoke swirled about her in dark clouds, and she felt the heat of the fire as it climbed the walls of her home. Everything was being taken from her, she thought in despair. Everything that mattered.

A sudden movement to one side drew her attention. When she turned to look, a hand wrapped in a foul-smelling cloth closed over her face and sent her spiraling downward into blackness.

When she awoke, she was bound, gagged, and blindfolded, and she could not tell where she was or who held her captive or even if it was day or night. She was carried over a thick shoulder like a sack of wheat, but her captors did not speak. There were more than one; she could hear their footsteps, heavy and certain. She could hear their breathing. She thought about her home and parents. She thought about her brother. The tears came anew, and she began to sob. She had failed them all.

She was carried for a long time, then laid upon the ground and left alone. She squirmed in an effort to free herself, but the bonds were too tightly knotted. She was hungry and thirsty, and a cold desperation was creeping through her. There could be only one reason she had been taken captive, one reason she was needed when her parents and brother were not. Her wishsong. She was alive and they were dead because of her legacy. She was the one with the magic. She was the one who was special. Special enough that her family was killed so that she could be stolen away. Special enough to cause everything she loved and cared for to be taken from her.

There was a commotion not long after that, sudden and unexpected, filled with new sounds of battle and angry cries. They seemed to be coming from all around her. Then she was snatched from the ground and carried off, leaving the sounds behind. The one who carried her now cradled her while running, holding her close, as if to soothe her fear and desperation. She curled into her rescuer’s arms, burrowed as if stricken, for such was the depth of her need.

When they were alone in a silent place, the bonds and gag and blindfold were removed. She sat up and found herself facing a big man wrapped in black robes, a man who was not entirely human, his face scaly and mottled like a snake’s, his fingers ending in claws, and his eyes lidless slits. She caught her breath and shrank from him, but he did not move away in response.

“You are safe now, little one,” he whispered. “Safe from those who would harm you, from the Dark Uncle and his kind.”

She did not know whom he was talking about. She looked around guardedly. They were crouched in a forest, the trees stark sentinels on all sides, their branches confining amid a sea of sunshine that dappled the woodland earth like gold dust. There was no one else around, and nothing of what she saw looked familiar.

“There is no reason to be afraid of me,” the other said. “Are you frightened by how I look?”

She nodded warily, swallowing against the dryness in her throat.

He handed her a water skin, and she drank gratefully. “Do not be afraid. I am of mixed breed, both Man and Mwellret, little one. I look scary, but I am your friend. I was the one who saved you from those others. From the Dark Uncle and his shape-shifters.”

That was twice he had mentioned the Dark Uncle. “Who is he?” she asked. “Is he the one who hurt us?”

“He is a Druid. Walker is his name. He is the one who attacked your home and killed your parents and your brother.” The reptilian eyes fixed on her. “Think back. You will remember seeing his face.”

To her surprise, she did. She saw it clearly, a glimpse of it as it passed a window in the thin dawn light, dusky skin and black beard, eyes so piercing they stripped you bare, dark brow creased with frown lines. She saw him, knew him for her enemy, and felt a rage of such intensity she thought she might burn from the inside out.

Then she was crying, thinking of her parents and her brother, of her home and her lost world. The man across from her drew her gently into his arms and held her close.

“You cannot go back,” he told her. “They will be searching for you. They will never give up while they think you are alive.”

She nodded into his shoulder. “I hate them,” she said in a thin, sharp wail.

“Yes, I know,” he whispered. “You are right to hate them.” His rough, guttural voice tightened. “But listen to me, little one. I am the Morgawr. I am your father and mother now. I am your family. I will help you to find a way to gain revenge for what has been taken from you. I will teach you to ward yourself against everything that might hurt you. I will teach you to be strong.”

He whisked her away, lifting her as if she weighed nothing, and carried her deeper into the woods to where a giant bird waited. He called the bird a Shrike, and she flew on its back with him to another part of the Four Lands, one dark and solitary and empty of sound and life. He cared for her as he said he would, trained her in mind and body, and kept her safe. He told her more of the Druid Walker, of his scheming and his hunger for power, of his long-sought goal of dominance over all the Races in all the lands. He showed her images of the Druid and his black-cloaked servants, and he kept her anger fired and alive within her child’s breast.

“Never forget what he has stolen from you,” he would repeat. “Never forget what you are owed for his betrayal.”

After a time he began to teach her to use the wishsong as a weapon against which no one could stand—not once she had mastered it and brought it under her control, not once she had made it so much a part of her that its use seemed second nature. He taught her that even a slight change in pitch or tone could alter health to sickness and life to death. A Druid had such power, he told her. The Druid Walker in particular. She must learn to be a match for him. She must learn to use her magic to overcome his.

After a while she thought no longer of her parents and her brother, whom she knew to be dead and lost to her forever; they were no more than bones buried in the earth, a part of a past forever lost, of a childhood erased in a single day. She gave herself over to her new life and to her mentor, her teacher, and her friend. The Morgawr was all those while she grew through adolescence, all those and much more. He was the shaper of her thinking and the navigator of her life. He was the inspiration for her magic’s purpose and the keeper of her dreams of righting the wrongs she had suffered.

He called her his little Ilse Witch, and she took the name for her own. She buried her given name with her past, and she never used it again.

From the Hardcover edition.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 65 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2001

    Mr. Brooks Continues to out do himself

    Mr Brooks has always shown a startling insight into human Being,yet thi time has shown he is a master of conveing such profound ideas as compassion and understanding.Very insightfull Mr.Brooks:please keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    One of Brook's best! Antrax picks up where Isle Witch left off a

    One of Brook's best! Antrax picks up where Isle Witch left off and pushes the characters even further. Probably the best book in the Voyage series

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    Not as descriptive unless you have read the previous book 1.

    Good explanation and buildup of the main character, leaves a lot to the imaginationh like a good fantasy book should. More buildup of the main characters without introducing more and complicating the story line. Nice book 2. Looking forward to reading book 3.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2006

    Whoa! Total overkill on the machines

    Look, its one thing to write a book about a mystical world which came after ours. Its another to have a few machine-like monsters. Its a whole other to make them in a future-like realm. I mean jeez, is this a fantasy novel or what. An arificial intelligence, an elf cyborg, and machines with buttons and flashing lights. This stuff is cool, but not in fantasy. I do love Terry Brooks's other works, however.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2006

    INCREDIBLE!!!

    The whole story was great and i found that it was detailed and i loved it the whole way through. I ended up finishing the book and i was so captivated by what was happening at that time(trying not to give anything away here) that I was practicly forcing my parents to take me to our bookstore to i could read Morgawr(which i also loved!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2004

    Good book

    i thought this book was a good story, but not as good as many of his other works. the first book i ever read by him was the tangle box and this is a definete improvement on that book. i thought that characters were kinda flat, and the plot seemed alot like that of earlier book. overall this was a good book and i recommended it to anyone who enjoys terry brookes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2003

    Brooks continues to mesmerize and entertain

    Terry Brooks has invented and chronicled a mystical world populated by everyday people with hidden magical powers who are unwittingly thrust into roles of heros. In 'Antrax', he provides an entertaining look into the origins of his world. The story itself is well-crafted, with just enough twists and turns to keep you reading into the night. The morning after I finished Antrax, I found myself searching the internet to find out when 'Morgawr' would be available. A highly recommended book for all Fantasy fans and for Terry Brooks fans in particular.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2003

    Terry Brooks is GREAT!!!!!

    I have read all of his Shannara books and Antrax is just flat out awesome. I couldn't put it down. I am ready for the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    Just as AWESOME as the first!!

    This is such a great book! Couldn't put it down! Action-packed and full of adventure, it is a GREAT book. Terry Brooks is a great author

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2002

    Spell Binding and Pure Magic

    Bringing to life the magic, beauty, and greed of distant lands and characters, Terry Brooks has capture my attention! You just seem to fall into the cast and feel thier pain, fear, and joys as they do.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2002

    Brenden Eden, shannara fan writes

    I am only thirteen, but I still think this is an awsome book. You could get lost in the words as Terry Brooks casts his spell on you in his new book, Antrax. Like the first book in this series, this books ending will make you want read the third book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2002

    WOW

    I have read an own most of terry brooks work an i find this book to be the best so far...lets hope the next one is better still

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2002

    great book

    Antrax picks up right where Ilse Witch left off with s much action and so many characters you care about! I thought the book had unexpected twists and was absolutely fabulous. Can't wait for the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2002

    You've outdone yourself, Mr. Brooks!

    I could not put this book down and neither will you! I read the last 200 pages without leaving my bed, and when I was called away with 20 pages left, I could not wait to rush home to finish it. I've read every single one of the Shannara books, and this I think was one of the best since the original three. Exciting and riveting, this is a page-turner that keeps you thirsting for more. Well done, Mr. Brooks - well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2002

    Brooking brilliant!

    A 'can't put down' read. If only there were more writers like Terry Brooks. His characters are a delight and the world he creates indulges all of your fantasies and brings the book to life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2002

    Terry Brooks Rocks!

    This is Terry at his best! I haven't liked a book this much since Keeper Martin's Tale. Thank you Terry!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2002

    This book ROCKS!

    I haven't been this delighted about a book since reading Keeper Martin's Tale and Elf Queen's Quest. Thank you TB for finally delivering a book I knew you could. This is such a wonderful book! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2002

    Renewed Passion for Fantasy!!!

    I began reading Terry Brooks when I was 11 and fell in love with his original Shannara series and The Heritage of Shannara. This latest book shows his great improvements and mauturation as a writer and returns to his greatest asset: great storytelling. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2002

    Wonderful!

    After a bit of a dry spell for Brooks, I was delighted to find the Voyage of Jerle Shannara so well done. This book is simply awesome and if you've been reading the Shannara books, I don't see how you couldn't read this one. Fans of Robert Stanek's works (Keeper Martin's Tale, Elf Queen's Quest, Return from Exile) will be delighted by this as well!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2001

    Let's go for another ride

    This book is continuing where the last let off and it does not slow down. From beginning to end there are fights, flights, intrigue, and plot twists. You can always tell a writer is confident in his own story when he allows a major character to die. Brooks is very confident. I'd recommend this book to anyone either familiar with the Shannara series or looking for a nice 3 book set to pick up and pass some quality time. My review: Eye-opening-yes. Disappointments-none. Delectible-as always. Read it

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