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
THERE’S BLOOD EVERYWHERE. Bright red pools of it on the gurney, and still there’s more gushing out, running in rivulets to the floor. It seems impossible that there could be a single drop left inside the little girl. Her face is obscured by a tangle of dark hair, but the skin I can see has gone gray and her breath comes in harsh, wet gasps.
I rush to her side as the rookie attendant who brought her in retches in the corner. “Stabbed,” he heaves, barely getting out the words. “Multiple times.”
“Who—” I begin.
“The Family,” he spits.
I rip away the girl’s shirt to reveal the worst of the damage as Janine, a newly trained trauma nurse at City Hospital, presses her fingers to the thin little wrist.
“There’s no peripheral pulse,” Janine barks. “We’ve got to hurry.”
“Tell me something I don’t know,” I growl. I put my hands on the girl’s punctured abdomen and begin to recite a healing spell.
Unfortunately I’m getting used to this kind of work. And I owe it to the Family, a secretive, savage cult that’s been terrifying the City for weeks. Every day there’s a new robbery or assault, a new reason to fear. I’m no stranger to the criminal element—hell, I was a wanted criminal under the New Order—but members of the Family make the average robber look like a puppy swiping a treat. They live to steal, and they don’t care who they hurt. Even if it’s a little kid.
The girl gives a weak cough. My fingers tingle as I feel my powers beginning to build. I picture being inside her body, following the paths of her blood, searching out the wounds and binding them back together with magic.
Janine brushes the girl’s black hair away from her face, and that’s when I nearly fall backward in shock. This isn’t some random street kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It’s Pearl Marie Neederman.
Lying near death on a cold metal table is the girl who once snatched my sister and me away from The One’s zombie wolves. The kid who helped nurse Wisty back from the brink of death from the Blood Plague. The fierce little survivor who now looked more dead than alive. I let out a strangled cry. “Pearl!”
Janine gasps. “Oh, Whit,” she cries. “Can we save her?”
It’s not looking good. “I don’t know,” I say.
My fingers flex as they aim their healing magic, and Pearl’s breath steadies. But then suddenly the electricity of the M starts to feel weird. Unbalanced. Instead of a tingle, it’s a prickle, then a sting. An intense ache begins spreading from my fingertips, radiating up my arms and into my head.
“Something’s wrong,” Janine yells.
I don’t understand what’s happening, but it’s bad. I close my eyes and try to beat back the surging pain.
A nurse appears at my elbow, screaming. “What do you think you’re doing?” she yells. She tries to shove me aside so she can pack Pearl’s wounds with gauze.
“Voodoo,” snarls another. “The girl needs donor blood, not spells.”
She’s wrong. Even through my rising panic, I’m sure of it. I’ve been working at the hospital ever since we formed the new Council, and I’ve seen enough to know that magic is Pearl’s only hope.
But Janine is the only one on my side. The only person in the entire room who believes in me, that what I’m doing is right.
The door bursts open and the Neederman family rushes in. Hewitt’s shirt is on inside out and the look on his wife’s face nearly tears my heart out.
“Oh, my baby,” Mama May cries. “My little baby—”
“Those barbarians!” Hewitt spits out vehemently.
I’m giving it every ounce of strength I’ve got, but I’m feeling exactly what Pearl’s feeling: my heart spasming, my lungs filling with blood, choking off my oxygen. My brain shooting off electric charges of terror.
I’m capable of thinking two things. The first: I faced down the evil Mountain King to rescue this kid, and I am not going to give up now.
And the second: how awful it is to die.
“Her blood’s going acidic—” Janine calls.
My eyes fly open and I see Wisty blaze in and skid to a stop, her eyes sparking in fear.
“Whit,” she cries. “You’re bleeding!” She stumbles toward me and a nurse grabs her, holding her back. Wisty pushes her off, but another nurse snatches her other arm, and now they’ve got her pinned.
“Let her go,” I gasp through intense throbbing, trying to keep focus on Pearl. I can’t let this little girl die. She’s like another sister to me.
The staff is no match for a determined Wisty, who shakes them off like gnats. Then she’s at my side, yelling.
“Whit, you have to stop. It’s killing you—”
Her voice sounds like it’s a million miles away. When she hits me, hard, on the arm, I can barely feel it.
“Blood!” Wisty screams. “Blood is pouring out of your ears!”
Copyright © 2014 by James Patterson
Read by Spencer Locke, Justin Long,
and Cassandra Morris