James Patterson brings the fifth and final book in the bestselling Witch & Wizard saga to a head by exposing the nature of power—and what it means for the heroes that have it.
Whit and Wisty Allgood have fought and defeated their world's most pernicious threats: the evil dictator, The One Who Is The One, as well as his wicked father and son. But just as the heroic witch and wizard start to settle into their new roles in governance, a deadly crime wave grips their city, with all signs pointing to a magical mastermind every bit as powerful and heartless as The One. Now the siblings find themselves persecuted as the city turns against all those who possess magic. They're questioning everything, including each other and their abilities. Can they confront the citizens' growing hostility and their own doubts in time to face the new enemy barreling toward their gates?
Book One | DEMON, BEGONE
I’M BLEEDING out of my ears? That might explain the agonizing pain in my head, like something’s inside my brain and chopping at it with an axe.
“More time,” I gasp. My hands are sticky with gore and the spells are gone. Pearl and I are racing together to the gates of Shadowland.
Then Wisty’s grabbing at my shirt, pulling me away. She’s screaming my name. No! I want to shout. I can’t leave Pearl now. Not ever. But Wisty’s using magic now, too—on me. She yanks me back against the wall.
Pearl’s eyes fly open, silver and unseeing. They roll back in her head. Then her body shudders—and goes still.
Wisty wraps her arms around me. “It’s over,” she whispers. “We lost her.”
I slide out of Wisty’s embrace and sink to the floor. “Exsanguination”: bleeding to death. A terrible word for an even more terrible fate. “No, I lost her,” I moan.
Wisty crouches down by my side. “It was too late,” she says gently. “No one could have saved her. Not even you.” Tears glitter in her eyes and she tries to blink them away. Behind her, I can see Mama May and Hewitt holding each other, rocking back and forth in their grief. I’m too wrecked to cry.
“Don’t listen to them,” Wisty urges.
I don’t know what she’s talking about. I’m numb. “Don’t listen to who?” I say flatly.
That’s when I start to hear them: all the nurses and doctors who watched the battle I lost to Death.
“Freak,” one of them says.
“No one should have such unholy powers,” says another.
And I realize they’re talking about me.
Janine’s voice cuts through the noise, pleading. “Please,” she says. “Be reasonable—he’s saved so many lives—”
But no one’s listening to her. The angry clamor builds until I want to cover my ears.
“He’s a monster.”
“He might have helped kill that little girl.”
I clench my fists until my nails cut gashes into my palms. Those people have no idea how much Pearl gave to me, to my family. How much she suffered, too.
“He needs to submit,” says a tall, sour-faced doctor.
Wisty stiffens and her cheeks flush red. “Don’t even say that word around me,” she yells.
The doctor’s face contorts into a cruel grimace. “Submit,” he says again. “Give up your dark magic. Both of you.”
He doesn’t care that Wisty and I stopped General Matthias Bloom from surrendering our City to the wicked Mountain King. Or that we defeated The One Who Is The One and ended his totalitarian reign of terror. No: all that matters to this man is how much he hates our powers.
Our powers—the phrase taunts me. How could I save an entire City but not one little girl’s life?
“Abomination,” says a nurse.
“Speak for yourself,” Wisty says defiantly. “I didn’t see any of you saving Pearl’s life.” Then she reaches out and grabs my bloodstained hands. “Get up, Whit. You need to show me you’re okay.”
I hear the fear in her voice, and I struggle to stand. As Wisty hurries me away, Janine catches my eye. But Mama May and Hewitt don’t look at me as they clutch each other in their overwhelming grief. I will never be able to make up for this loss.
When we get outside, the sunlight feels like a slap in the face. Pearl is dead, and everyone in the hospital thinks I’m a demon. Maybe even the Needermans do, too.
The sobs come now in a wretched-sounding torrent. “How could the Family do that to a little girl?” I croak.
Wisty’s face goes dark. “Actually,” she says, and then stops and shakes her head.
“The Family didn’t kill Pearl, Whit.” She swallows. “She was a member of the Family.”
I don’t think I heard Wisty right. I shake my head. “No. That’s impossible.”
“You know there was a robbery this morning,” Wisty goes on. She takes a deep breath. “And now you need to know that Pearl wasn’t the victim of the crime. She was the one committing it.”
I’m too stunned to speak.
“She robbed that store with a gang of kids. But unlike the rest of them, she didn’t get away.”
Pearl, a knife-wielding outlaw? My brain just can’t comprehend it. And then, whether it’s exhaustion or grief or shock, I don’t know—everything goes dark.
Copyright © 2014 by James Patterson
Read by Spencer Locke and John Glouchevitch