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Publisher's Summary

The High Druid of Shannara trilogy draws to a thrilling close as a young hero nears completion of his trial by fire, a banished ruler fights for her life in a wilderness of dread, and forces of darkness and light square off in a battle unto death for the right to absolute rule. Prepare to be spellbound by the masterly hand of best-selling legend weaver Terry Brooks, conjuring at the peak of his skills.

For reasons known only to himself, the King of the Silver River has charged young Penderrin Ohmsford, barely more than a boy, with the daunting task of rescuing his aunt, Grianne, Ard Rhys of the Druid order, from her forced exile in the terrifying dimension of all things damned: the Forbidding. With the noble dwarf Tagwen and the prodigal elven princess Khyber Elessedil by his side, and with the outcome of the bloody war between the Federation and the Free-born at stake, Pen has accepted his mission without question. But not without risk, or sacrifice.

Shadea a'Ru, the ruthless Druid responsible for imprisoning the true Ard Rhys and usurping leadership at Paranor, has sent her agents and assassins in relentless pursuit of Pen and his comrades. In securing the talisman he needs to breach the Forbidding, Pen has paid a devastating price. Now if the Free-born forces, already decimated by the Federation's death-dealing new weapon, should fall, Shadea's domination of the Four Lands will be assured. Nothing short of Pen's success can turn the tide.

But Pen's challenge grows greater when he learns that his parents, Bek Ohmsford and Rue Meridian, have fallen into Shadea's hands. He must try to help them, but once within the walls of Druid's Keep, where Shadea's minions and dark magic lurk at every turn, Pen's survival is far from assured. Yet it will all pale in comparison to the horrors that wait inside the Forbidding, horrors poised to break free upon the Four Lands when the time is right.

©2005 Terry Brooks (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A great storyteller, Terry Brooks creates rich epics filled with mystery, magic, and memorable characters. If you haven't read Terry Brooks, you haven't read fantasy." (Christopher Paolini)
"Terry's place is at the head of the fantasy world." (Philip Pullman)

What listeners say about Straken

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Finally!

Lately I've been listening mostly to the works of Robert Stanek (The Kingdoms and the Elves, his recent story collection) - books that reminded me how much I love the fantasy genre. I must say, and I could be the only one to not like where Terry has been going with the Shannara books, but I just didn't like Jarka Ruus, the first book of the High Druid trilogy. Tanequil was more of the same, and it suffered lots from "middle book syndrome", but unlike Morgawr, the last book from the previous trilogy which was disappointing to say the least, Terry catches stride, returns to form with Straken. Straken was thoroughly enjoyable, a cut above the norm.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

narrator, not so much.

The story was good. Good turns and twists. true to Terry Brooks style. good strong characters, even the evil ones.
The narrator butchered the pronunciation of characters' names, to the point of confusing the the tale.
I still give this book a 5 star, despite the narrators blunders. And if I recommend this book for Shannara fans.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Wrong narrator

Would you try another book from Terry Brooks and/or Paul Boehmer?

Love his books, but favor Scott Brick narration.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Probably Penn, preserverance against all odds.

What didn’t you like about Paul Boehmer’s performance?

His inability to match emotion with the scene he is reading or the voices of the characters.

Could you see Straken being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Maybe, if if the screen writer has vision

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Horrid Narrator

Terry Brooks story seems to follow much of the same plot as the rest of the Shannara series, which of itself is a little tiresome. What makes this particular series absolutely horrid is the narrator, and his lack of talent to pronounce words the same way throughout the story. He constantly alters the way he'll pronounce one name or refers to something in the story then pronounces it completely different a bit later. All male voices are the same...whiney and gruff when doing all characters that are not of the "human race". Scott Brick was the narrator in the first book of this series, and he was tolerable...Paul Boehmer has no talent for making the books enjoyable. I wish they wouldv'e paid an extra $50.00 dollars to get someone else...anyone else. Save your credits. *the narrator on the abriged version is much better, and does a wonderful job, however, it is also much shorter and doesn't delve into the story as deep.*

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best Narrator I've heard on Audible

I have listened to other narrators of The Shannara Series by Terry Brooks and other books by various authors. But Paul Boehmer gives High Druid Tanequil and Straken an emotional read to go along with the incredible adventurous words of Terry Brooks.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

not his best

Story isn't terrible. The performer/narrator nearly ruined it the rest of the way though. Review the canon and stick to a pronunciation.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good, but drifting a bit

I wish the narrator's would keep some consistency with pronunciation... and A-lonon? who says it that way? Story was intriguing, but not as immersive as the earlier stories

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Extremely Poor Narration; Okay Storyline

First, the narration by Paul Boehmer was TERRIBLE! He slaughtered pronunciations. Inflections were way off. Think Peter Jackson's Hobbit compared to the cartoon version from 1977. The attempt to give characters unique voices was all over the place, with those voices constantly changing - or worse, sounding so far outside of the Shannara world that I couldn't wait to stop listening to him. His female voices all came across as childish instead of as strong women - of which they all were. Maybe childish is the wrong word, but he really did no service to the female characters. In terms of overall Shannara story, this is the first trilogy of all the Terry Brooks books that I could have done without. Too many loose ends, and at the end it all wrapped up way too fast and conveniently. The climax of the trilogy was so quick and unrewarding. This book was "Straken" but there never was a single great Straken moment - for good or evil. Terry really missed out on a significant opportunity to bring some real heart and emotion into this one with the final treatment of Weka Dart. There were also come continuity problems with Ahren Elessedil from the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara books. The seer told him something that would happen that never did. Odd that the book is about the "High Druid" but never is there ever any strong druid presence like Bremem, Allanon or Walker Boh. Ahren Elessedil wcame closest, but there wasn't enough of him to make that happen. It was also a missed opportunity to bring a female character into that space, but that never happened. Please tell me that future Shannara books & trilogies don't miss the mark like this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great ending to the trilogy, well read thank you.

loved the book. in fact the whole trilogy, it kept me wanting to hear more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story. Reader.... okay

The reader was not my favorite. His attempts to give unique voices to different characters was not good and his mispronunciation of words and names (at least as far as other orations and my own pronunciation are concerned) caused me to focus on those points instead of the story. The story itself was as good as ever

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul Roberts
  • 11-02-20

not my favourite

simply not my favourite for some reason and a struggle to finish in the end

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BB
  • 04-20-20

Pronunciation

I wish all you narrators would all stick to pronouncing names in the same way. It is very annoying.