Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara #1
Published by Del Ray on August 21, 2012
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Seven years after the conclusion of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks at last revisits one of the most popular eras in the legendary epic fantasy series that has spellbound readers 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.
I’ve been having an affair with Terry Brooks since I was eleven years old. Oh, not the dirty kind, just a simple love affair with his writing. I know, eleven seems so young, but I’ve always been one of those kinds of readers. I went through all the books I could get my hands on for my own age and then started “borrowing” my mom’s books. She didn’t knows about it for a while, and still doesn’t know that I borrowed her first edition hard covers.
I’d love to say that Tolkien was my first introduction to high fantasy, but it wasn’t. It was The Sword of Shannara that drew me in, and I was hooked. (I also wrote Shannara fanfiction when I was much younger and didn’t even know that what I was writing had a name, but that’s another story.)
Ever since falling in love with the Ohmsfords I’ve been a fan of Terry Brooks. Whenever there is a new book I have to get my hands on a copy and read it. I love the world that Brooks created and the characters that live there, the way all of his series merged into one. And most series can stand alone, which makes it even better for new readers.
Wards of Faerie is the first of Brooks’ latest series “The Dark Legacy of Shannara”. Like many of the previous books there is a large cast of characters and intricate sub-plots for them. What can start off as a minor character can have a large plot by the end of the book, while other characters can seem to fade to the background. I’ve always loved the way we can live vicariously so many different characters and this book is no different.
I was thrilled to see the wishsong again, and the elfstones, and all the hints at magic lost in a long ago time. I think the balancing act between technology and magic was very well executed. Sometimes authors focus too much on one to the detriment of the other, but I loved how the focus was divvied. There was enough of the science and technology to keep the reader aware that this is an advanced world that has technology, and enough magic to stay firmly in the world of fantasy. This is a world where technology is fighting to overtake magic, but the magic users are determined to retain their powers, and both sides are strongly shown with the Druids and the prime minister.
It took me several days to read this book due to Christmas and some projects I’d left for the last minute, but every word was a treat. I have a hard time being unbiased when it comes to Terry Brooks, but in all honesty, the only complaint I had was that at some of the major plot points I found myself crowing because I’d known that was what was happening. Especially at the end. I wondered a bit about wether that was because I’ve read so many of his novels that I could anticipate the twists and turns or what, but they weren’t obvious enough that I was disappointed by guessing the ending.
The second book, Bloodfire Quest is due out in March 2013 with the third book to follow later in the year and I can say honestly that I am looking forward to reading them.