The past is always with us, but sometimes we fail to recognise it for what it is.'These were Jair Ohmsford's final thoughts as he walked away from the carnage at Dun Fee Aran, having destroyed at last the book of dark magic known as the Ildatch. Following this great event, told in The Wishsong of Shannara, Jair discovers that he can draw on a form of magic that allows him to transform into other living creatures, both human and non-human. The magic is both powerful and seductive, for Jair can feel himself wanting to remain in each new form that he tries.Jair sets out for the family home of Shady Vale, seeking peace from the temptations of his unwanted gift. But fate has other plans for the heir to the elven magics of Shannara, and the shade of the Druid Allanon sets him, and his sister Brin, on a new path. The way is perilous, but Jair can provide protection with his new magical ability. Of course, that may be the most dangerous path of all . . .