Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara #2
Published by Del Ray on March 12, 2013
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Long ago, many dangerous creatures were locked behind a magical barrier, bringing peace and prosperity to the land. But now those barriers are eroding, and generations of embittered prisoners are about to escape. War seems inevitable . . . unless a few brave souls can stem the tide. While some venture into the forbidden lands, others must undertake a perilous quest—a quest whose success will mean the death of a young girl who has barely even begun to live, but whose failure will have unimaginable consequences. From riveting start to cliffhanger ending, this is an epic for the ages!
I’ve mentioned before that Terry Brooks was one of my first introductions to fantasy novels. And I’m sure I mentioned what a huge fan I am. But this book makes all of that seem minor.
Bloodfire Quest picks up right where we left off at the end of Wards of Faerie. Arlingfan has been chosen by the Ellcrys to be the one to bear the seed to the Bloodfire and become the new Ellcrys. Half the Druid party is lost in the Forbidding, and the rest are scattered on their own individual paths.
When I started reading this book I was terrified that it would be similar to the original journey taken to restore the Ellcrys, but it wasn’t. Like many of Brooks’ later works, this isn’t a story that can be resolved in just one book. Instead there are a few different stories all happening concurrently. So while one Ohmsford struggles in the Forbidding another tries to find a way to save his brother, and Aphen and Arling are on their own quest to restore the Ellcrys.
Brooks’ is a master at the subtle hint, the foreshadowing of what’s to come and normally I catch on pretty quick. It didn’t take long in the last book for me to figure out that Arling would be chosen, that the Ellcrys was failing, and like many readers who catch those subtle hints I let that cockiness get to me. This book, however, had a few twists and turns that I honestly wasn’t expecting. And frankly, I liked that. While I love feeling that cocky “I figured this one out” rush, I much prefer when the author can surprise me, and Brooks did that a few times here.
The story was fast paced and I didn’t want to put the book down for anything. I’m sure that it made for an entertaining sight as I attempted to shuffle my book with cooking supper, but I managed and finished the book to one of the largest twists that I wasn’t expecting. And while I love the twists, I worry that Brooks is setting himself up for the next book to fail in much the same way that I thought Rowling’s Deathly Hallows failed. There’s too many loose ends to wrap up in one book, and I worry that there will be too much of a rush to finish that off.
On the other hand, I’ve thought the same things before of Brooks’ novels and he has never failed to satisfy me. Here’s hoping that Book Three is just as satisfying as the rest have been.