Friday, December 6, 2019



The second entry of author Terry Brooks’ Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy opens with backstory focusing on Grianne Ohmsford being skilled in use of the wishsong, with her childhood symbolically ending when she was six, given her “rescue” from the Dark Uncle, or Walker Boh, after which she becomes the Ilse Witch. In the book’s present time, her brother Bek calls out to her, although she still thinks her sibling is dead, and wants vengeance against the Druid Walker. Meanwhile, the shapeshifter Truls Rohl carries Bek away from the Ilse Witch, the two discussing treasure in ruins Walker Seeks.

Furthermore, the airship Jerle Shannara is adrift and derelict, with Redden Alt Mer and his sister Rue Meridian talking about their companion Hawk’s sacrifice, aiming to go to the coast for repairs. As they do so, Quentin Leah and the dwarf Panax explore ruins, yearning for a chance to find Ard Patrinell and their other allies. Furthermore, the Elven Prince Ahren Elessedil is in an abandoned warehouse and finds Ryer Ord Star, with the two hiding from creepers that seek them. In the meantime, the book’s titular Antrax, a mechanical homunculus known as a wronk, traverses the depths of Castledown, programmed to believe nothing is more important than its survival.

The truth about the wronk is found out, with Ahren evading its trap and making use of an artifact known as a phoenix stone. Another truth about Ryer Ord Star the book reveals, with Walker seeking knowledge from the Old World in the wronk’s lair. A battle with Antrax occurs over several chapters, and Walker confronts the Ilse Witch, with Bek Ohmsford awaiting deliverance aboard the enemy airship Black Moclips. Quentin and Tamis join the fight against the wronk, and a search for the fabled Elfstones concludes the events of the story.

Overall, Antrax is another enjoyable entry of the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy, with plenty of well-written action and mythos, with greater connection and reference to the Old World before Shannara’s genesis than many of its precursors, given the appearance of technology from back in that particular era, along with some good twists. Granted, the second installment does do a bit of jumping back and forth between various sets of characters, and the cliché of a relative turned evil does play part as it does in franchises such as Star Wars, but I would gladly read the trilogy’s conclusion.

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