Morgawr (Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Series #3)

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Overview

"Harrowing confrontations with the merciless Ilse Witch and the monstrous Antrax have already taken their toil on the intrepid heroes of the Four Lands. But their darkest adversary now snaps at their heels, in the form of the Morgawr - master of the Ilse Witch, feeder upon the souls of his enemies, and centuries-old sorcerer of unimaginable might." With a fleet of airships and a crew of walking dead men at his command, the Morgawr is in relentless pursuit of the Jerle Shannara and the crew that mans her. For the Morgawr, the goal is twofold: to
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Morgawr (Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Series #3)

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Overview

"Harrowing confrontations with the merciless Ilse Witch and the monstrous Antrax have already taken their toil on the intrepid heroes of the Four Lands. But their darkest adversary now snaps at their heels, in the form of the Morgawr - master of the Ilse Witch, feeder upon the souls of his enemies, and centuries-old sorcerer of unimaginable might." With a fleet of airships and a crew of walking dead men at his command, the Morgawr is in relentless pursuit of the Jerle Shannara and the crew that mans her. For the Morgawr, the goal is twofold: to find and control the fabled ancient books of magic and to destroy the dark disciple who betrayed him - the Ilse Witch. But the Ilse Witch is already a prisoner...of herself. Exposed to the awesome power of the Sword of Shannara, and forced to confront the truth of her horrifying deeds, she has fled deep into her own mind. Now at the mercy of those who seek vengeance against her, her only protector is her long-lost brother, Bek Ohmsford, who is determined to redeem his beloved sister...and deliver her to the destiny predicted for her by the Druid Walker Boh.

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.

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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)

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.
Publishers Weekly
This last installment of the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy, which chronicles the exploits of the remaining adventurers who set out in Ilse Witch (2000) and staggered through the tribulations of Antrax (2001), may not be up to the standard of bestseller Brooks's early work (Sword of Shannara, etc.), but it proves once again that he puts out books that sell because of their quality, not just because of his name on the cover. As newfound mage Bek Ohmsford and his cousin Quentin Leah rejoin the Free Rover crew of the Jerle Shannara after destroying Antrax, tensions mount, for the Ilse Witch the Rovers' mortal enemy has been revealed to be Bek's sister, Grianne, and is now under his protection as she struggles to break out of the catatonic state induced by her encounter with the Sword of Shannara. Worse, the Druid Walker Boh has died, leaving behind only cryptic instructions to those who followed him into Parkasia, and the Morgawr, who trained the Ilse Witch and now seeks her destruction, has captured elven prince Ahren Elessedil and Ryer Ord Star and is using Ryer's talents as a seer to track the Jerle Shannara and those who ride it. As usual, Brooks leaves at least as many loose ends as he ties up and drops in several surprises. Some references won't mean much to someone unfamiliar with this trilogy or the larger Shannara time line, but otherwise the book's neat and subtle exposition makes it quite accessible to new readers without alienating current fans. Neither groundbreaking nor recycled, this book is simply a good read. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The fiendish creature known as the Morgawr commands a fleet of airships crewed by mindless creatures who were once men. Her goal: to find and destroy the Ilse Witch and any who try to lend her aid. As the survivors of the Morgawr's attack flee aboard the Jerle Shannara, they realize that they must inevitably confront their foe once and for all. Brooks's conclusion to the "Jerle Shannara" trilogy features characters from previous Shannara series as well as compelling new individuals whose tales hint at more adventures to come. Libraries should expect patron demand for this well-constructed and engagingly written series. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/02.] Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Conclusion of the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy, and 12th in the entire Shannara series, with a new Shannara trilogy promised. Morgawr also marks the quarter-century anniversary of the bestselling Shannara epic. In Ilse Witch (2000), Walker Boh, the Last Druid, sets forth in the Jerle Shannara airship on a quest for the legendary lost magic that's stronger than any known in the Four Lands. First, though, he must find the keys that will unlock the magic when be finds it. (He is pursued by the beautiful Ilse Witch and her crew of Mwellrets in their own airship.) Antrax (2001) turns out to be surprisingly science-fiction-y, with Antrax an evil artificial intelligence and a discomforting addition to Brooks's fantasyland. However, Antrax has enslaved many old friends of Walker and his crew, turning them into robotic cyborgs. Antrax ended on a cliffhanger, with many of Walker's crew killed and Walker himself disappearing into the ruined city of Castledown. Throughout this series, iconic items from the earlier six-volume series, such as the Sword of Shannara and the magic of the wishsong, add to the stewy richness. The monstrous, half-human Morgawr, evil mentor of Ilse, makes Sen Dunsidan Prime Minister of the Coalition Council, gets two dozen airships from him and sets out after Ilse, who has betrayed him. What he plans is to get the lost magic himself, but he discovers that he's not meant to discover the magic of the Old World and, dying, instructs Bek Ohmsford to return Ilse to the Four Lands, for the Sword of Shannara has awakened Ilse, his sister, now bearing her childhood name Grianne, from the power of Morgawr. Even so, Grianne must eventually face down the Morgawr to complete herjourney homeward. Will the Druid Council then be reformed in the Four Lands? Kid stuff-but magic sells.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739301104
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/3/2002
  • Series: Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Series , #3
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs.
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 4.89 (h) x 0.94 (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.

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

The figure appeared out of the shadows of the alcove so quickly that Sen Dunsidan was almost on top of it before he realized it was there. The hallway leading to his sleeping chamber was dark with nightfall's shadows, and the light from the wall lamps cast only scattered halos of fuzzy brightness. The lamps gave no help in this instance, and the Minister of Defense was given no chance either to flee or defend himself.

"A word, if you please, Minister."

The intruder was cloaked and hooded, and although Sen Dunsidan was reminded at once of the Ilse Witch he knew without question that it was not she. This was a man, not a woman--too much size and bulk to be anything else, and the words were rough and masculine. The witch's small, slender form and cool, smooth voice were missing. She had come to him only a week earlier, before departing on her voyage aboard Black Moclips, tracking the Druid Walker and his company to an unknown destination. Now this intruder, cloaked and hooded in the same manner, had appeared in the same way--at night and unannounced. He wondered at once what the connection was between the two.

Masking his surprise and the hint of fear that clutched at his chest, Sen Dunsidan nodded. "Where would you like to share this word?"

"Your sleeping chamber will do."

A big man himself, still in the prime of his life, the Minister of Defense nevertheless felt dwarfed by the other. It was more than simply size; it was presence, as well. The intruder exuded strength and confidence not usually encountered in ordinary men. Sen Dunsidan did not ask how he had managed to gain entry to the closely guarded, walled compound. He did not ask how he had moved unchallenged to the upper floor of his quarters. Such questions were pointless. He simply accepted that the intruder was capable of this and much more. He did as he was bidden. He walked past with a deferential bow, opened his bedroom door, and beckoned the other inside.

The lights were lit here, as well, though no more brightly than in the hallway without, and the intruder moved at once into the shadows.

"Sit down, Minister, and I will tell you what I want."

Sen Dunsidan sat in a high-backed chair and crossed his legs comfortably. His fear and surprise had faded. If the other meant him harm, he would not have bothered to announce himself. He wanted something that a Minister of Defense of the Federation's Coalition Council could offer, so there was no particular cause for concern. Not yet, anyway. That could change if he could not supply the answers the other sought. But Sen Dunsidan was a master at telling others what they expected to hear.

"Some cold ale?" he asked.

"Pour some for yourself, Minister."

Sen Dunsidan hesitated, surprised by insistence in the other's voice. Then he rose and walked to the table at his bedside that held the ice bucket, ale pitcher nestled within it, and several glasses. He stood looking down at the ale as he poured, his long silver hair hanging loose about his shoulders save where it was braided above the ears, as was the current fashion. He did not like what he was feeling now, uncertainty come so swiftly on the heels of newfound confidence. He had better be careful of this man; step lightly.

He walked back to his chair and reseated himself, sipping at the ale. His strong face turned toward the other, a barely visible presence amid the shadows.

"I have something to ask of you," the intruder said softly. Sen Dunsidan nodded and made an expansive gesture with one hand.

The intruder shifted slightly. "Be warned, Minister. Do not think to placate me with promises you do not intend to keep. I am not here to waste my time on fools who think to dismiss me with empty words. If I sense you dissemble, I will simply kill you and have done with it. Do you understand?"

Sen Dunsidan took a deep breath to steady himself. "I understand."

The other said nothing further for a moment, then moved out from the deep shadows to the edges of the light. "I am called the Morgawr. I am mentor to the Ilse Witch."

"Ah." The Minister of Defense nodded. He had not been wrong about the similarities of appearance.

The cloaked form moved a little closer. "You and I are about to form a partnership, Minister. A new partnership, one to replace that which you shared with my pupil. She no longer has need of you. She will not come to see you again. But I will. Often."

"Does she know this?" Dunsidan asked softly.

"She knows nowhere near as much as she thinks." The other's voice was hard and low. "She has decided to betray me, and for her infidelity she will be punished. I will administer her punishment when I see her next. This does not concern you, save that you should know why you will not see her again. All these years, I have been the force behind her efforts. I have been the one who gave her the power to form alliances like the one she shared with you. But she breaches my trust and thus forfeits my protection. She is of no further use."

Sen Dunsidan took a long pull on his ale and set the glass aside. "You will forgive me, sir, if I voice a note of skepticism. I don't know you, but I do know her. I know what she can do. I know what happens to those who betray her, and I do not intend to become one of them."

"Perhaps you would do better to be afraid of me. I am the one who stands here in front of you."

"Perhaps. But the Dark Lady has a way of showing up when least expected. Show me her head, and I will be more than happy to discuss a new agreement."

The cloaked figure laughed softly. "Well spoken, Minister. You offer a politician's answer to a tough demand. But I think you must reconsider. Look at me."

He reached up for his hood and pulled it away to reveal his face. It was the face of the Ilse Witch, youthful and smooth and filled with danger. Sen Dunsidan started in spite of himself. Then the girl's face changed, almost as if it were a mirage, and became Sen Dunsidan's--hard planes and edges, piercing blue eyes, silvery hair worn long, and a half smile that seemed ready to promise anything.

"You and I are very much alike, Minister."

The face changed again. Another took its place, the face of a younger man, but it was no one Sen Dunsidan had ever seen. It was nondescript, bland to the point of being forgettable, devoid of interesting or memorable features.

"Is this who I really am, Minister? Do I reveal myself now?" He paused. "Or am I really like this?"

The face shimmered and changed into something monstrous, a reptilian visage with a blunt snout and slits for eyes. Rough, gray scales coated a weathered face, and a wide, serrated mouth opened to reveal rows of sharply pointed teeth. Gimlet eyes, hate-filled and poisonous, glimmered with green fire.

The intruder pulled the hood back into place, and his face disappeared into the resulting shadows. Sen Dunsidan sat motionless in his chair. He was all too aware of what he was being told. This man had the use of a very powerful magic. At the very least, he could shape-shift, and it was likely he could do much more than that. He was a man who enjoyed the excesses of power as much as the Minister of Defense did, and he would use that power in whatever way he felt he must to get what he wanted.

"I said we were alike, Minister," the intruder whispered. "We both appear as one thing when in truth we are another. I know you. I know you as I know myself. You would do anything to further your power in the hierarchy of the Federation. You indulge yourself in pleasures that are forbidden to other men. You covet what you cannot have and scheme to secure it. You smile and feign friendship when in truth you are the very serpent your enemies fear."

Sen Dunsidan kept his politician's smile in place. What was it this creature wanted of him?

"I tell you all this not to anger you, Minister, but to make certain you do not mistake my intent. I am here to help you further your ambitions in exchange for help you can in turn supply to me. I desire to pursue the witch on her voyage. I desire to be there when she does battle with the Druid, as I am certain she must. I desire to catch her with the magic she pursues, because I intend to take it from her and then to take her life. But to accomplish this, I will need a fleet of airships and the men to crew them."

Sen Dunsidan stared at him in disbelief. "What you ask is impossible."

"Nothing is impossible, Minister." The black robes shifted with a soft rustle as the intruder crossed the room. "Is what I ask any more impossible than what you seek?"

The Minister of Defense hesitated. "Which is what?"

"To be Prime Minister. To take control of the Coalition Council once and for all. To rule the Federation, and by doing so, the Four Lands."

A number of thoughts passed swiftly through Sen Dunsidan's mind, but all of them came down to one. The intruder was right. Sen Dunsidan would do anything to make himself Prime Minister and control the Coalition Council. Even the Ilse Witch had known of this ambition, though she had never voiced it in such a way as this, a way that suggested it might be within reach.

"Both seem impossible to me," he answered the other carefully.

"You fail to see what I am telling you," the intruder said. "I am telling you why I will prove a better ally than the little witch. Who stands between you and your goal? The Prime Minister, who is hardy and well? He will serve long years before he steps down. His chosen successor, the Minister of the Treasury, Jaren Arken? He is a man younger than you and equally powerful, equally ruthless. He aspires to be Minister of Defense, doesn't he? He seeks your position on the council."

A cold rage swept through Sen Dunsidan on hearing those words. It was true, of course--all of it. Arken was his worst enemy, a man slippery and elusive as a snake, cold-blooded and reptilian through and through. He wanted the man dead, but had not yet figured out a way to accomplish it. He had asked the Ilse Witch for help, but whatever other exchange of favors she was willing to accept, she had always refused to kill for him.

"What is your offer, Morgawr?" he asked bluntly, tiring of this game.

"Only this. By tomorrow night, the men who stand in your way will be no more. No blame or suspicion will attach to you. The position you covet will be yours for the taking. No one will oppose you. No one will question your right to lead. This is what I can do for you. In exchange, you must do what I ask--give me the ships and the men to sail them. A Minister of Defense can do this, especially when he stands to become Prime Minister."

The other's voice became a whisper. "Accept the partnership I am offering, so that not only may we help each other now, but we may help each other again when it becomes necessary."

Sen Dunsidan took a long moment to consider what was being asked. He badly wanted to be Prime Minister. He would do anything to secure the position. But he mistrusted this creature, this Morgawr, a thing not entirely human, a wielder of magic that could undo a man before he had time to realize what was happening. He was still unconvinced of the advisability of doing what he was being asked to do. He was afraid of the Ilse Witch; he could admit that to himself if to no one else. If he crossed her and she found out, he was a dead man; she would hunt him down and destroy him. On the other hand, if the Morgawr was to destroy her as he said he would, then Sen Dunsidan would do well to rethink his concerns.

A bird in the hand, it was commonly accepted, was worth two in the bush. If a path to the position of Prime Minister of the Coalition Council could be cleared, almost any risk was worth the taking.

"What sort of airships do you need?" he asked quietly. "How many?"

"Are we agreed on a partnership, Minister? Yes or no. Don't equivocate. Don't attach conditions. Yes or no."

Sen Dunsidan was still uncertain, but he could not pass up the chance to advance his own fortunes. Yet when he spoke the word that sealed his fate, he felt as if he were breathing fire. "Yes."

The Morgawr moved like liquid night, sliding along the edges of the shadows as he eased across the bedchamber. "So be it. I will be back after sunset tomorrow to let you know what your end of the bargain will be."

Then he was through the doorway and gone.

Sen Dunsidan slept poorly that night, plagued by dreams and wakefulness, burdened with the knowledge that he had sold himself at a price that had yet to be determined and might prove too costly to pay. Yet, while lying awake between bouts of fretful sleep, he pondered the enormity of what might take place, and he could not help but be excited. Surely no price was too great if it meant he would become Prime Minister. A handful of ships and a complement of men, neither of which he cared overmuch about--these were nothing to him. In truth, to gain control of the Federation, he would have obligated himself for much more. In truth, he would have paid any price.

Yet it still might all come to nothing. It might prove nothing more than a fantasy given to test his willingness to abandon the witch as an ally.

But when he woke and while he was dressing to go to the Council chambers, word reached him that the Prime Minister was dead. The man had gone to sleep and never woken; his heart stopped while he lay in his bed. It was odd, given his good health and relatively young age, but life was filled with surprises.

Sen Dunsidan felt a surge of pleasure and expectation at the news. He allowed himself to believe that the unthinkable might actually be within reach, that the Morgawr's word might be better than he had dared to hope. Prime Minister Dunsidan, he whispered to himself, deep inside, where his darkest secrets lay hidden.

He arrived at the Coalition Council chambers before he learned that Jaren Arken was dead, as well. The Minister of the Treasury, responding to the news of the Prime Minister's sudden passing, had rushed from his home in response, the prospect of filling the leadership void no doubt foremost in his thoughts, and had fallen on the steps leading down to the street. He had struck his head on the stone carvings at the bottom. By the time his servants had reached him, he was gone.

Sen Dunsidan took the news in stride, no longer surprised, only pleased and excited. He put on his mourner's face, and he offered his politician's responses to all those who approached--and there were many now, because he was the one the Council members were already turning to. He spent the day arranging funerals and tributes, speaking to one and all of his own sorrow and disappointment, all the while consolidating his power. Two such important and effective leaders dead at a single stroke; a strong man must be found to fill the void left by their passing. He offered himself and promised to do the best job he could on behalf of those who supported him.

By nightfall, the talk was no longer of the dead men; the talk was all of him.

He sat waiting in his chambers for a long time after sunset, speculating on what would happen when the Morgawr returned. That he would, to claim his end of the bargain, was a given. What exactly he would ask was less certain. He would not threaten, but the threat was there nevertheless: if he could so easily dispose of a Prime Minister and a Minister of the Treasury, how much harder could it be to dispose of a recalcitrant Minister of Defense? Sen Dunsidan was in this business now all the way up to his neck. There could be no talk of backing away. The best he could hope for was to mitigate the payment the Morgawr would seek to exact.

It was almost midnight before the other appeared, slipping soundlessly through the doorway of the bedchamber, all black robes and menace. By then, Sen Dunsidan had consumed several glasses of ale and was regretting it.

"Impatient, Minister?" the Morgawr asked softly, moving at once into the shadows. "Did you think I wasn't coming?"

"I knew you would come. What do you want?"

"So abrupt? Not even time for a thank you? I've made you Prime Minister. All that is required is a vote by the Coalition Council, a matter of procedure only. When will that occur?"

"A day or two. All right, you've kept your end of the bargain. What is mine to be?"

"Ships of the line, Minister. Ships that can withstand a long journey and a battle at its end. Ships that can transport men and equipment to secure what is needed. Ships that can carry back the treasures I expect to find."

Sen Dunsidan shook his head doubtfully. "Such ships are hard to come by. All we have are committed to the Prekkendorran. If I were to pull out, say, a dozen--"

"Two dozen would be closer to what I had in mind," the other interrupted smoothly.

Two dozen? The Minister of Defense exhaled slowly. "Two dozen, then. But that many ships missing from the line would be noticed and questioned. How will I explain it?"

"You are about to become Prime Minister. You don't have to explain." There was a hint of impatience in the rough voice. "Take them from the Rovers, if your own are in short supply."

Dunsidan took a quick sip of the ale he shouldn't be drinking. "The Rovers are neutral in this struggle. Mercenaries, but neutral. If I confiscate their ships, they will refuse to build more."

"I said nothing of confiscation. Steal them, then lay the blame elsewhere."

"And the men to crew them? What sort of men do you require? Must I steal them, as well?"

"Take them from the prisons. Men who have sailed and fought aboard airships. Elves, Bordermen, Rovers, whatever. Give me enough of these to make my crews. But do not expect me to give them back again. When I have used them up, I intend to throw them away. They will not be fit for anything else."

The hair stood on the back of Sen Dunsidan's neck. Two hundred men, tossed away like old shoes. Damaged, ruined, unfit for wear. What did that mean? He had a sudden urge to flee the room, to run and keep running until he was so far away he couldn't remember where he had come from.

"I'll need time to arrange this, a week perhaps." He tried to keep his voice steady. "Two dozen ships missing from anywhere will be talked about. Men from the prisons will be missed. I have to think about how this can be done. Must you have so many of each to undertake your pursuit?"

The Morgawr went still. "You seem incapable of doing anything I ask of you without questioning it. Why is that? Did I ask you how to go about removing those men who would keep you from being Prime Minister?"

Sen Dunsidan realized suddenly that he had gone too far. "No, no, of course not. It was just that I--"

"Give me the men tonight," the other interrupted.

"But I need time."

"You have them in your prisons, here in the city. Arrange for their release now."

"There are rules about releasing prisoners."

"Break them."

Sen Dunsidan felt as if he were standing in quicksand and sinking fast. But he couldn't seem to find a way to save himself.

"Give me my crews tonight, Minister," the other hissed softly. "You, personally. A show of trust to persuade me that my efforts at removing the men who stood in your path were justified. Let's be certain your commitment to our new partnership is more than just words."

"But I--"

The other man moved swiftly out of the shadows and snatched hold of the front of the Minister's shirt. "I think you require a demonstration. An example of what happens to those who question me." The fingers tightened in the fabric, iron rods that lifted Sen Dunsidan to the tips of his boots. "You're shaking, Minister. Can it be that I have your full attention at last?"

Sen Dunsidan nodded wordlessly, so frightened he did not trust himself to speak.

"Good. Now come with me."

Sen Dunsidan exhaled sharply as the other released his grip and stepped away. "Where?"

The Morgawr moved past him, opened the bedchamber door, and looked back out of the shadows of his hood. "To the prisons, Minister, to get my men."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 60 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2003

    LEFT ME WANTING MORE

    I HAVE READ EVERY NOVEL IN THE SERIES AND I FEAL THIS IS JUST ANOTHER OUTSTANDING JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD TERRY BROOKS HAS CREATED. IT MAY SOUND SELFISH BUT I NEED MORE. I AM IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY AND AM OVER SEAS. AND READING IS ONE OF THE FEW WAYS I HAVE TO GET AWAY FROM EVERYTHING GOING ON IN THE WORLD. LEAVING MY OWN WORLD AND ENTERING THE ONE CREATED BY TERRY BROOKS IS A GREAT STRESS RELIEVER FOR ME. I CAN'T WAIT TILL THE NEXT JOURNEY I CAN TAKE INTO THE FOUR LANDS.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2003

    Enjoyed it...

    I've always enjoyed reading Terry Brooks. Morgawr is pretty good. I give a strong 4-star vote. Why? It was as good as Keeper Martin's Tale the last book I read; it is the continuation of a great series. Unlike another reviewer I thought the length of the book was perfect! I look books that are closely edited and dont run on forever.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Morgawr brings the Voyage series to a satisfying close, while se

    Morgawr brings the Voyage series to a satisfying close, while setting the scene for Brooks' next series, The High Druid of Shannara, which I will definatly be reading now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2006

    A fitting end to an amazing series!

    This book is an utterly fantastic read!!! It not only succeeds in setting the stage perfectly for the High Druid trilogy, but it wraps the Jerle Shannara trilogy up in amazing fashion. While two of the characters I liked the most died(I won't say who) it still succeeded in making me one of Brooks' biggest fans. The storyline and plot twists are some of the best I've read in a while, and if you want to find out what happens to the other brave members of the voyage.....YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!!!! Will Grianne find herself at last? Will Rue Meridian survive? What of Truls Rohk? Will Bek live to see his friends again??? Read this outstanding book to find out!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2005

    Terry Brooks, how do you keep amazing me?

    The voyage of the airship known as the Jerle Shannara finally makes its way back home to the Four Lands in this epic finale that will leave you screaming for more. Unfortunatlly this is the last of the trilogy, but wait! Look, it's a bird, it's a plane, no it's Jarka Ruus the first book in yet another Shannara trilogy. Can't Wait! Be on the look out for my review of that book, just give me a few days to read it. In the mean time read Morgawr, it is another masterpiece!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2004

    Like I said, they get better and better

    Well, this was a great finale to the Jerle Shannara series. I loved the landscapes, characters, plotline, etc. I just wish it could've gone longer as in never finishing. Just kidding. Anyways, this book overall was like a 94 and the whole Voyage of the Jerle Shannara was about a 90. Only a bit better than Heritage and the original Shannara series in my opinion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2004

    Good Story....

    I was very pleased to read this book. Once I picked it up I was unable to stop reading it. Good characters, vivid landscape description and a plot that taunts you along wanting more. My only critique would be the dismissal of one of the main characters at the end of the book...it made me feel a bit robbed. All in all, highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2003

    Terry Brooks; The next Tolkien?

    I have read nearly every book Terry Brooks has written and find each book a truly fascinating experience and unique adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2003

    Antrax

    An enjoyable read that captures your attention right from the start.much like its predecessors in the Shannara series it weaves an intricate plot and suprises you in the end, making you want to read the next installment even more

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2002

    Anticipation is Terry's Signature

    I just finished this book the other day and I must say that it stands up to all my expectations; of which I had many. The drama was so good at times I couldn't put it down. However, as great as this book is I must say that the ending leaves you drooling in anticipation for the next book. (Which I hear takes place 20yrs after Morgawr) I never been good at waiting a year to find out what happens in a story, I've always wanted to eat it up all in one bite. But despite that fact or maybe because of it this book is a must read for all Brooks' fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2002

    Long Live the Ohmsfords !!!!!!!!!!

    Excellent reading, couldn't put it down. Plot was a little predictable, but still kept me enthralled!!! Can't wait for the next novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2002

    Shannana fan? You will love it!!

    A very good Shannara book. It was everything I hoped for. You may not be surprised by everything that goes on, but you will love all of it. I can't thank Terri Brooks enough for starting up the series again, and I hope that it will go onward. "the last book makes it seem so" READ THEM ALL!! It's worth it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    A little too short

    The first two books in this series left us hanging by a thread, and counting the days until the last book - Morgawr. I do not think that this book lives up to the previous two, or the others in the Shannara series. To me, there just wasn't enought of it, nor was I pleased with the ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2002

    I am hooked again!!

    This series lives up to the rest of the Shannara series. I haunted my local library waiting for the next installment. I put off reading with my busy life but once again I was brought back to the fantasy world I had loved as a teenager!! If you have never heard Mr.Brooks read from one of his books,you should catch a book signing-it is amazing. I thank him for keeping my renewed interest in reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2002

    Another great story by Brooks

    Terry Brooks is a master of creating a fantasy world and making it real for the reader. His expansion of the Four Lands out over sea is perfect. The conclusion of his newest trilogy is wonderful, like all of his books are.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2002

    well done again

    Brooks is one of my favorite authors. Although this ending does not compare to others in the shannara series, it is still a page turner. Through out the book I wanted more. It is sad to see the series end so quickly but the upcoming trilogy looks promising.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2002

    Don't miss it!

    I can't wait to read Morgawr. With out fail I know Terry Brooks will Wow us all with his vivid imagination,and a grand reunion with all the well loved caracters I long to be reunited with. I can feel my excitment rising in antisipation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2002

    Can't wait...

    Terry Brooks twists and turns with the plot and takes you on a ride across far away lands. I have been waiting for the end of the series since I finished Antrax.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2002

    Can't Wait to See What HAppens Next!

    What will he do next? That is the question I have been asking myself since I finished his last book. I love the way that Terry Brooks forces the reader to use his/her imagination and actually transports the reader to the wonderful world of Shannara. This book is a must reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2002

    WHY DONT YOU READ THE BOOK FIRST!!!!!!!

    WHY DONT YOU FOOLS READ THE BOOK FIRST BEFORE REVIEWING IT.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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