Jack Sawyer, twelve years old, is about to begin a most fantastic journey, an exalting, terrifying quest for the Talisman--for only the Talisman can save Jack's dying mother and defeat the enemy who is out to destroy them both. But to reach his goal, Jack must make his way not only across the breadth of the United States but through the wondrous and menacing Territories as well.The Territories lie as firmly in the immagination as Atlantis or Oz; they are as real as every listener's own vision of that parallel world evoked in the mind's mysterious eye. In the Territories Jack finds a world little removed from the earth's own Dark Ages: though the air is so sweet and clear a man can smell a radish being pulled from the ground a mile away, a life can be snuffed out instantly in the continuing struggle between good and evil. And Jack discovers "Twinners," reflections of the people he knows on earth--most notably the dying Queen Laura, the "Twinner" of Jack's own imperiled mother. But only a few can flip from one world to the other; Jack's late father could, the malevolent Morgan Sloat can, and so will Jack himself.As Jack makes his way westward toward the redemptive Talisman, a dual array of heart-stopping encounters challenges him at every step--from a terrifying period when he's held captive in an Indiana home for wayward boys that is run by a sadistic religious fanatic, to sudden and murderous attacks by enemies of Queen Laura in the Territories.Stephen King and Peter Straub have combined their talents to create an unforgettable epic of fantasy, adventure, and resounding triumph.