Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara #3
Published by Del Ray on July 17, 2013
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For centuries the Four Lands enjoyed freedom from its demon-haunted past, protected by magic-enhanced borders from the dark dimension known as the Forbidding and the profound evil imprisoned there. But now the unthinkable is happening: The ancient wards securing the barrier between order and mayhem have begun to erode—and generations of bloodthirsty, monstrous creatures, fueled by a rage thousands of years in the making, are poised to spill forth, seeking revenge for what was done to them.
Young Elf Arling Elessedil possesses the enchanted means to close the breach and once more seal the denizens of the Forbidding in their prison. But when she falls into the hands of the powerful Federation’s diabolical Prime Minister, her efforts may be doomed. Only her determined sister, Aphen, who bears the Elfstones and commands their magic, has any hope of saving Arling from the hideous fate her captor has in store.
Meanwhile, Railing Ohmsford—desperate to save his imprisoned brother—seeks to discover if his famed but ill-fated ancestor Grianne is still alive and willing to help him save the world . . . no matter the odds or the consequences.
Witch Wraith brings the Dark Legacy of Shannara to a close, and there is a lot happening all at once in this book. Arling Elessedil is on a journey to the Bloodfire to trap the demons back into the forbidding–or she was the last time we saw her, only there’s been a slight detour and she’s fallen into the hands of the Federation’s Prime Minister. Aphen and her companion are the only ones she can save her.
Meanwhile, Railing Ohmsford is on a journey to save his brother by finding Grianne and returning her to the world. Redden, meanwhile, is actually set on being rescued while still in the forbidding. And while he’s there he may as well bring back the Elf Stones, right?
The thing is, I’m a huge Terry Brooks fan so I was excited to read this book. And it was an entertaining read, and still very good. My problem was how easy everything seemed to be for the characters. With the new technology there wasn’t a huge struggle for Arling to make it to the Bloodfire, instead it was a simple flight over there and done. Yeah, there was a battle after, but still. Railing was able to make it to Grianne and rescue her with very little effort. Redding had the extra powerful Elf Stones and a guide through the Forbidding so he made it out without Railing’s help.
The thing is that in a fantasy novel the journey is the story. This is where and how the characters grow and when everything is simply handed to them it becomes too easy and I can’t truly see these characters maturing. So while I really did enjoy this book, it was also a massive letdown at the same time. I’m curious to see what kind of impact this book will have on future books set in Shannara, though, so I’m certainly looking forward to whatever Terry Brooks comes up with next!