The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Book Two
Reviewed by Gail Jamieson, 2003
At the end of Book One, The Ilse Witch, the
Druid Walker is trapped in the maze beneath the ruined city of Castledown.
Something lives in the maze and controls it. It is hungry for the magic that
Walker and some of the other voyagers control. Walker is deceived into
believing that he is fighting off enemies, using his magic to do so, but in
reality the magical power he is generating is being siphoned off to
Outside, the Ilse Witch finds Bek, who claims to be her brother whom she
last saw as an infant and whom she had thought killed by Walker at the same
time as her parents were murdered. He tries to convince her that she is indeed
his sister, Grianne and that she has been under an illusion all her life. She
will not countenance this and uses her magic to silence him and leaves him on
the "Black Moclips", then returns to seek out the secret knowledge
hidden under Castledown and also to find and kill Walker.
Ahren Elessedil has seen his companions hacked to death by the
"creepers" mechanical killing machines used by Antrax. He is
bitterly ashamed of his fearful reaction to them. He is found by the seer Ryer
Odr Star who desperately needs to find Walker to atone for what she feels
she has done to him by spying on him for the Ilse Witch.
Bek's cousin Quentin Leah and Tamis, the tracker, with the aid of the dwarf
Pannax as well as some of the dwarf-like Rinde, who live in the forest,
attempt to get into the maze around Castledown, but are repulsed by a cyborg,
partly created out of one of their companions, Aard Patrinell. They realise
that they have to put an end to his anguish but have to contend with his
mechanical strength and stamina.
Lastly, Red Meridian, still recovering from her wounds, sustained in
regaining the Jerle Shannara from the control of the minions of the Ilse Witch,
persuades her brother, Redden Alt Mer, to let her reconnoitre with the Wing
Rider, Hunter Predd and his Roc, Obsidian. The come across the "Black
Moclips" just as the shape shifter Truls Rohk has managed to free Bek and
in the confusion she manages to lock up the crew and steal the airship.
She now has to struggle to try and fly it alone.
All of these threads are woven together to make a fascinating story. Many
of the protagonists are being deceived by one or more of the others, each
of whom thinks his or her agenda is the truth.
As usual Terry Brooks writes fluently and with real feeling and I look
forward to the conclusion of the story in Book Three.