In the conclusion to the Shannara trilogy, Walker Boh's druid schemes are coming to fruition, but at a high price. With the magic of the Sword of Shannara, the Isle Witch is forcibly given back the truths of her past. Feeling her withdrawal, Morgawr runs after his pupil, suborning a prime minister and feeding off the souls of the airship crews he's commandeered.

Bek finds his sister catatonic from the Sword's magic, and as she slowly recovers from the horrors she's inflicted on the innocent, he discovers his wish for a normal family life might never happen. The Rover girl Rue Meridian is his only solace as he practices the Wishsong in case of trouble.

This was hard to get into at first, as the storyline assumes previous reading of other books in the trilogy. However, the magic of the Shannara legend, with its complex characters and textured plot, builds to an exhilarating climax. (Sep., 416 pp., $27.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper