The second book in this trilogy, Antrax is the being that wards the ancient city of Castledown. Castledown is the final destination of the Jerle Shannara, where the most powerful magic is supposed to be hidden. It becomes apparent to the druid that there is no real treasure, but that the odyssey has been a well concocted trap to lure magic wielders to the city where Antrax awaits to drain their magic and convert it to his power. Antrax sounds a lot like a modern day computer like what we have now. The labyrinth he resides in is made of metal and is protected by sensors which trigger laser like “fires” and robotic creations. The confrontation between the Ilse Witch and the Druid is not yet revealed in this book though, that is to be continued in the next book, Morgawr. Several things came to light in this book, like the fact that Bek is not a mere cousin to the wielder of the sword of Leah, but he is actually the Ilse Witche’s long lost baby brother whom she assumed dead. Bek also discovers that he possesses the same magic of the wishsong as the Ilse Witch. Several of the characters get killed off though, like the captain of the guards Ard Patrinell who is captured by Antrax and is turned to a part human, part killing machine, not unlike the Borg collective. It is also revealed in this book that the seer, Ryer Ord Star is the spy for the witch, and she falls in love with the Druid. She ends up saving his life and the voyage through her emphatic powers. The book ends as the Druid is dying from his battle with Antrax and the Ilse Witch finds him. He talks her into using the Sword of Shannara with him, which is supposed to reveal what is true. That journey will be in the next book. Time for me to trek down to the bookstore and find the third book. They didn’t have it at Barne’s and Noble last weekend, so I guess I’ll try Walden Books this weekend.