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by Terry Brooks

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-345-48408-8
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Sequel to Brooks’s Word and Void contemporary fantasy trilogy (Angel Fire East, 1999, etc.) wherein, despite all the scuffling between the Void (demons) and Knights of the Word, the bad guys won.

Now, a century later, the world lies in ruins. In ghastly slave camps, adults undergo unimaginable tortures while their children are transformed into demons. Dwindling human communities hold out by hunkering down in fortress-like enclaves, awaiting the day when they’ll be besieged by armies of zombie once-men, and eerie gangs of street children scavenge in the rubble of cities, where, thanks to climate change, it hardly ever rains, even in Seattle. For Findo Gask, the ancient demon of the previous trilogy, one task remains before his triumph is complete: to find and destroy the gypsy morph. This 100-year-old child, the son of Nest Freemark and the last hope of humanity, knows nothing of the past or its pedigree. Only two white-hat Knights of the Word survive, and both must protect the gypsy morph against the demons. Logan Tom approaches from the west; Angel Perez, meanwhile, runs ahead of a huge, vengeful demon. Young Hawk, leader of the Seattle Ghosts, struggles to preserve his strange, talented gang members despite threats from other gangs, mutants, giant arthropods and other horrors. Meanwhile—in a subplot that may strike readers as one complication too many—the Elves have problems, too. They kept the demons at bay, but lost their magic; now their tree of life, the Ellcrys, must be moved, and to do that they need the magical Loden Elfstone.

Like the prequel trilogy: steady, absorbing storytelling, if, typically, lacking narrative tension. And don’t expect any sort of ending: In anticipation of sequels, the book just ceases.