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    Review of THE VOYAGE OF THE JERLE SHANNARA: MORGAWR, by Terry Brooks (see his website)

    Del Rey, September 2002

    The crew of the Jerle Shannara has been whittled down by the Isle Witch, by ancient magic, and by time; Walker Boh, the last Druid, lies mortally wounded and his quest--the books of ancient magic--is completely lost. All that remains is for the remnants of teh Jerle Shannara crew to pull together and return to the Four Lands with the Elf Stones and little else to show for their journey. With the Isle Witch sunk into a catatonic trance, this shouldn't be too difficult--except a new enemy, one even more powerful than the Witch herself, decides to intervene. Morgawr, the Witch's mentor, has decided that the Witch's treachery must be punished and that he must have the books of magic for himself. With a huge fleet of airships and his own magical powers, Morgawr seems unstoppable. Especially since the most experienced and powerful of the Jerle Shannara's crew are now dead.

    Somehow, highlanders Bek Ohmsford and Quentin Leah, rovers Redden Alt Mer and Rue Meridian, and the elf prince Ahren Elessedil--all in all, the youngest and least experienced of the crew--must not only survive a six month journey home, they must do so in the face of terrible magical opposition--all the while carrying the catatonic Witch with them.

    Author Terry Brooks (see all reviews of novels by this author) pulls out the stops to deliver a compelling close to his VOYAGE OF THE JERLE SHANNARA trilogy. Characters that were young annoyances in the earlier novels now come to their own, discovering depths of strength and emotional wholeness within themselves now that they can no longer lean on the druid's power. Bek's determination to save his sister no matter how unlikely this seems gives him a heroic cast. In contrast, Alt Mer's reaction to the Graak humanizes a man who seemed the fearless heroic barbarian until that moment. The Witch's self-torture adds a realistic poignancy for readers who have seen exactly how amoral she could be.

    MORGAWR can best be read in conjunction with the VOYAGE series as it relies heavily on character growth from levels set in the earlier novels. Fantasy fans will find this series well worth the reading.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 9/06/02

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