Seven years after the conclusion of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks at last revisits one of the most popular eras in the legendary epic fantasy series that has spellbound listeners for more than three decades.
When the world was young, and its name was Faerie, the power of magic ruled - and the Elfstones warded the race of Elves and their lands, keeping evil at bay. But when an Elven girl fell hopelessly in love with a Darkling boy of the Void, he carried away more than her heart.
Thousands of years later, tumultuous times are upon the world now known as the Four Lands. Users of magic are in conflict with proponents of science. Elves have distanced their society from the other races. The dwindling Druid order and its teachings are threatened with extinction. A sinister politician has used treachery and murder to rise as prime minister of the mighty Federation. Meanwhile, poring through a long-forgotten diary, the young Druid Aphenglow Elessedil has stumbled upon the secret account of an Elven girl's heartbreak and the shocking truth about the vanished Elfstones. But never has a little knowledge been so very dangerous - as Aphenglow quickly learns when she's set upon by assassins.
Yet there can be no turning back from the road to which fate has steered her. For whoever captures the Elfstones and their untold powers will surely hold the advantage in the devastating clash to come. But Aphenglow and her allies - Druids, Elves, and humans alike - remember the monstrous history of the Demon War, and they know that the Four Lands will never survive another reign of darkness. But whether they themselves can survive the attempt to stem that tide is another question entirely.
©2012 Terry Brooks (P)2012 Random House Audio
"[Terry Brooks is] the most important fantasy writer since J.R.R. Tolkien." (Rocky Mountain News)
The narrator was great but it was the story itself , this is undoubtedly Terry Brooks finest book since The First King Of Shannara.
This story had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Some parts of it were so thrilling i had to hold my breath
She did a great job of relating the emotions of the characters involved. I liked in particular the scene where the Khyber confronts the Ohmsford Twin's mother. The emotion was raw in that scene and she did a great job of portraying the mother's intense reaction to Khyber's request.
The Battle of Paranor was very thrilling, I didn't know what was going to happen from one moment to the next even though it was a mismatch going into it. The Federation had no chance to win the battle but the narrative and the story really made it seem like they were going to do it.
This is Terry's finest novel in a decade and i hope he continues the momentum throughout the rest of the decade.
Terry Brooks is one of those writers that's strongly influenced fantasy writing, and also our expectations for what such writing should bring to its readers and listeners.
Granted. We all can agree on that. We can all also agree that on occasion, certain of his works stand out from the others, while some step back into the shadows of his better works. Granted again. All in all, though, each one of the Shannara novels is a VERY enjoyable and rewarding read.
Now, here's where I rant, but not in a bad way. You see, believe it or not, the ENTIRE series, as a whole, could be considered complete. Oh, but no. Not according to Brooks, who has, over the past few years, written a whole series of prequels, then a series of PRE-prequels, as well as other lines of books that start along the Shannara timeline, and then branch out, combining both new and old characters, blending new and old magics, and both twisting and strengthening the story lines.
Now, this isn't a bad thing. Just don't get settled. Don't think it's over, because obviously, in Brooks' Shannara universe, you never really know. And guess what?
He's done it again.
In this first book in the Dark Legacy Series, his latest efforts in the highly popular Shannara realm, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks has decided return to one of the most exciting eras in that series, and in doing so, presents two of his very obvious traits, starting with page one.
First, this novel shows Brooks' well-known bent for setting up a glorious quest, which may seem a bit formulaic to many of his fans. Let's understand that Brooks tends to paint on a large canvas, one that requires much room to live up to the author's, and your, expectations. He does this in Wards Of Faerie with initially modest, then broad literary strokes. Now, when Brooks does this, you can count on the second obvious trait.
It's going to get good. Really, really, really really good. And it DOES.
One hundred years after Brooks' High Druid novel, Straken, which ended with a discovered diary possibly pointing the way to the lost elfstones, we are introduced to new generations of the major players in the Shannara series. We're also treated with the twisted plans and plots that are rife in both the elven kingdom, where magic is fading, and the human-led federation, where technology and science seem to be gaining a questionable foothold.
So, the obvious question: Is this one of Brooks' Shannara novels that stands apart, or hides a bit in the shadows?
This one definitely stands apart, and then some. Brooks' writing style is on the mark, and pulls us in immediately with engaging, descriptive emotional writing that is, at the same time, not too heavy-handed. It was a pleasure to both read, and then listen to this work, and as usual, Brooks surprised me along the way with shifting plots and surprising directions. I just used an Audible credit to get the second novel in the series. And loved it. Read my review for more details on that worthy second tome in the series.
As usual, I will NOT give hints, spoilers, plots, or anything else to take away from the wondrous literary ride this new series offers to you, Audible listener. No whining.
If you want some of Brooks' best writing in the Shannara series, look no further.
This is, simply put, a triumph.
The story is classic Brooks and left me wanting more. I especially enjoyed the narrator and hope she does more. Her ability to slip into different voices for different characters helped bring the story to life.
I am a fan of Terry Brooks and have read everything he has written for publication. This story has believeable characters that I came to care about and want to know more about. I'm anxious for the sequel.
This the first time that I've heard her narrate a book.
The story drew me in and I couldn't "put the book down".
I have not listened to this reader before but feel she did a very good job. I didn't have difficulty following the story, who was talking, etc... due to her change of voice and identification of person.
The book did make me laugh though I did not cry.
Top ten for sure
It's difficult to compare Brooks to other authors. But it lines up perfectly with some of his earlier work.
Terry brooks is my favorite author and I can not pick just one. I love all the Shannara books.
I love how they all play off each other.Just when I start to like one the story shifts and I find another!
It ended too soon!
I love to read and since 2011 I have been mostly listening to audiobooks because oftentimes there is nothing like a good narrator.
The Druids. There aren't any real Druids in this book. They are child pretenders and not real Druids. Grianne Ohmsford was a real Druid and so was Allanon and even Walker Boh. Can you imagine what Bremen would say about a Druid that would confront dozens of armed soldiers and the only thing she can do is "fling" 3 of them back a little bit and then send a tripping magic at a few?Also, Paranor has fallen to treachery in the past and they know it. Now soldiers are at the gates and they know for a fact that a traitor is in the Druid Keep. Do they think to....Oh I don't know....maybe CHECK THE DOORS???? They know the soldiers can't get into the keep unless someone opens a door for them and they know there is a traitor, and even have it narrowed down to two people, and the next morning a few hundred soldiers amass in front of the keep. The Druids know they can't attack or if they do attack, they will be destroyed. So, do they check the doors? No. They stand on the wall and stare at the soldiers saying that "hmm, we have a traitor" but do nothing about it.Once the Keep takes down the airships and kills all those men, maybe 400 are left? 500 at the most? That ends up being enough to take the Keep and only the old magic, from the pit below the keep, is enough to save it? It has to take the keep and lock it away the way Allanon did years before. Those Driuids were pathetic.
Think about the Druids a little more.
Yes although I hope its not as whisper quiet as this one.
Yes but it's not his best work, not by far.
Yes, when the elfling Druid defended herself in Arborlon she had to kill a man. His body disappeared and no one ever mentioned it again, not even the Druid.
1. The author's depiction of a non gender-biased society, people are valued for their skills and not their gender. Inherent sexism is given no space in this book.
2. Dialogue, when it's developed. In fact, the dialogue, when it heralded originality, i.e. wasn't overtly borrowing from other authors, was the very best part.
3. Direct connections between the fallibility of the character's judgements and the outcomes of their futures. Everyone makes errors in judgement. As a reader, this allowed me to better identify with the character development. Killing off characters due to their own ego indulgence or faulty judgement was strangely validating, especially in comparison to other stories that refuse to allow characters to experience the consequences of faulty/immoral decisions.
1. Liberal borrowing of concepts/passages from other book series was thinly veiled: e.g. The Hobbit... Blend of faerie species on quest to dark land, led by powerful magic person, to recover stolen powerful magic treasure that will save the land; Star Trek/Dune/Harry Potter...think Volcan mind meld ala BeniJeserat mind probe ala Dumbledor memory threads; Star Wars... undisciplined, young son(s) with extraordinary skills and passion for flying machines, desperate to assist widowed mother, possessing special magical skills -wishsong aka "the Force"; King Killer Chronicles... Tempi warrior; Clan of the Cave Bear..."the Mogur used to have a name, long since forgotten, now he is just called The Mogur" and in this story, "the Speakman used to have a name, long since forgotten, now he is just called the Speakman;" Darkover... forbidden crystals that power flying machines skimming over the land (also StarTrek dilithium crystals, and more), Harry Potter/Darkover... Order of magic, prejudice against species and attempt to annihilate/genocide, etc., etc, etc,...
2. Rush to character development: too much telling/description, too little showing/dialogue. As a reader, it's always more enriching for me to assess the characters through dialogue so I can draw my own conclusions, rather than be told what to think about the character, especially without supporting evidence.
3. The chaotic, undeveloped entrance of myriad new characters. Plot twists and complexity are one thing, ADD plot twists are another.
4. Abruptness. Everywhere.
Yes. Despite the liberal borrowing, there was enough reconfiguration of used ideas and sprinkles of originality that I feel the need to finish the series.
No. I've seen all those movies. Give me something entirely new.
The narrator's vocal abilities were fun. Nice job.
Yes, I like Terry's older stuff.
Flat, was surprised it ended where it did.
Really good job!!
I love discovering new stories while driving or working in the barn, reading voraciously since I could walk. There is no genre, just magic
Great story line and feel to this book. Really loved it and as soon as I finished it bought the next book. Tried it because if the narrator who I loved in my Julie garwood books. Fascinating and am just a little upset to find oly three books in the series but happy book 3 was just released.
She is amazing and the reason I tried a new author.
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