New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks returns to the fantasy that launched his career--the fantasy that remains closest to his heart, and to the hearts of millions of fans around the world. More than twenty years have passed since Brooks set the new standard for the genre with his astonishing first novel, The Sword of Shannara, the now-classic commencement of a centuries-spanning epic of good and evil. Now Brooks embarks on what promises to be his masterpiece--Ilse Witch: Book One of The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara.
When the mutilated body of a half-drowned elf is found floating in the seas of the Blue Divide, an old mystery resurfaces. Thirty years ago, the elven prince Kael Elessedil--brother to the current king--led an expedition in search of a legendary magic said to be more ancient, more powerful, than any in the world. Of all those who set out on that ill-fated voyage, not one has ever returned . . .
Until now. For the rescued elf carries a map covered with mysterious symbols only one man has the skill to decipher. That man is Walker Boh, the last of the Druids. But someone else understands the map's significance, someone dark and ruthless: the Ilse Witch, a beautiful but twisted young woman who wields a magic as potent as his own. She will stop at nothing to possess the map--and the magic it leads to. To stop her, Walker must find the magic first.
So begins the voyage of the Jerle Shannara. Aboard the sleek, swift airship are an elven prince; a Rover girl; a monstrous creature part man, part enigma; and a young man named Bek Rowe, who may unknowingly hold the key to the success of the mission--or to its cataclysmic failure. Now, as old secrets come to light, sowing seeds of mistrust and suspicion among the crew, the Jerle Shannara flies into the face of unknown terrors, while the Ilse Witch and her dark allies follow, waiting to strike . . .
Hunter Predd was patrolling the waters of the Blue Divide north of the island of Mesca Rho, a Wing Hove outpost at the western edge of Elven territorial waters, when he saw the man clinging to the spar. The man was draped over the length of wood as if a cloth doll, his head laid on the spar so that his face was barely out of the water, one arm wrapped loosely about his narrow float to keep him from sliding away. His skin was burned and ravaged from sun, wind, and weather, and his clothing was in tatters. He was so still it was impossible to tell if he was alive. It was the odd rolling movement of his body within the gentle swells, in fact, that first caught Hunter Predd's eye.
Obsidian was already banking smoothly toward the castaway, not needing the touch of his master's hands and knees to know what to do. His eyes sharper than those of the Elf, he had spotted the man in the water before Hunter and shifted course to effect a rescue. It was a large part of ...
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