Whit and Wisty Allgood have sacrificed everything to lead the resistance against the merciless totalitarian regime that governs their world. Its supreme leader, The One Who Is The One, has banned everything they hold dear: books, music, art, and imagination. But the growing strength of the siblings' magic hasn't been enough to stop the One's evil rampage, and now he's executed the only family they had left.
Wisty knows that the time has finally come for her to face The One. But her fight and her fire only channel more power to this already invincible being. How can she and Whit possibly prepare for their imminent showdown with the ruthless villain that devastated their world-before he can truly become all-powerful?
In this stunning third installment of the epic Witch & Wizard series, the stakes have never been higher—and the consequences will change everything.
Welcome to your worst nightmare, or maybe one you can't even imagine. A world where everything has changed. There are no books, no movies, no music, no free speech. Everyone under eighteen is distrusted. You and your family could be taken away and imprisoned at any time. Your very being is expendable, even unwanted. What world is this? Where could something like this have happened? That's hardly the point. The point is that it did happen. It's happening to us right now. And if you don't stop and pay attention, it could happen in your world next.
YOU WANT A FAIRY TALE, don't you? Well, I'm not sure I can give you that.
You can find adventure here, that much is true. There's magic, too, and murder and intrigue. And there is a man more wicked, more ruthless, than any monster or madman lurking in your grimmest childhood nightmares.
But there are no heroes. I can't be that for you—not anymore, not after everything that's happened.
It went like this.
There was a great orator, smart and charismatic. Crowds came from every corner of the overworld, hypnotized by his promises. They called him The One Who Is The One for a reason: he was the one who would change the world. It wasn't until he took everything away that the people even knew what they'd had.
First we watched our books burn, the gray tendrils of smoke choking out our protests. Then our art and our music disappeared, and the rest of our freedoms weren't far behind. Red banners stretched up over the tallest buildings, and ash rained down with bombs. Prisons overflowed with children, and when they were released, they were no longer just kids but dead-eyed warriors trained in torture.
It was for the greater good, The One said. The "New Order," he called it.
The Prophecies talk about two people who will alter the course of this history. A girl and a boy, a witch and a wizard. My sister and I, Wisty and Whit Allgood. It was as surprising to us as much as to anyone. Terrifying, even.
We tried to be your heroes, tried to live up to that destiny. With our newfound powers, we offered hope. We joined the Resistance movement and infiltrated the prisons. We protested the New Order and advocated for peace.
But after the last bombing, my sister and all of our freedom fighters were scattered like seeds in the wind, the entire Resistance crumbling. Even our parents went up in smoke. Their cries still echo in my ears.
So I had no one left. I thought I had nothing left to give. But then came the plague. It was my last chance to make a difference. I walked into homes that smelled of death and seethed with disease. I carried bleeding children into clinics and shelters. And in one of those clinics, I found my sister working as a nurse, helping as I had, hoping as I did for a better future.
But then Wisty got sick, too.
Now, The One Who Is The One's eyes, playful and cruel, look down mockingly at me from the billboards. I'd thought we could fight him. I'd thought we could win. I guess I was wrong. You see, without both Wisty and me, there is no history, no future, no hope.
And she's dying.
So here we are. This is the end. This is no fairy tale, and there is no "happily ever after." our world does not end when you close the book. Our world is real. Too real. It sounds like children shrieking in the darkness and soldiers' boots thundering through the streets. It smells of sewage and disease and defeat. It feels like the weight of my sister writhing in my arms.
It tastes of blood.
Copyright © 2011 by James Patterson
Read by Elijah Wood and Spencer Locke