Forest of the Pygmies by Isabel Allende Harper Perennial, $96 Witchdoctors, potions, spirits. All the ingredients Isabel Allende needs to concoct a heady brew of magical realism are in the final volume of her trilogy about Alexander and Nadia (aka Jaguar and Eagle, their totems). This time, the friends travel to Kenya with Alexander's grandmother, Kate, who has been commissioned by International Geographic to write about Africa's first elephant-led safaris. She faces a tougher assignment, however, when a Catholic missionary appears at their camp seeking help to find companions who have disappeared in an area of boggy forests a plane trip away. Thus begins the group's journey into the heart of darkness, where they encounter a madman who has enslaved a tribe of pygmies. Even if young readers - for whom the trilogy is intended - don't buy Allende's magical realism, they should appreciate her skill at dreaming up rich, beautiful worlds that seem foreign yet familiar. For the spell to really work, the first course should be City of the Beasts, followed by Kingdom of the Golden Dragon and then Forest of the Pygmies.