Wednesday, 13 July 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: Legends of Shannara 1: Bearers of the Black Staff - Terry Brooks

Release Date: 14/07/11


Five hundred years have passed since the devastating demon-led war that almost exterminated humankind. Those who escaped the carnage were led to sanctuary by the boy saviour known as Hawk: the gypsy morph. But now, the unimaginable has come to pass: the cocoon of protective magic surrounding the valley has vanished. When Sider Ament, last surviving Knight of the Word, detects unknown predators stalking the valley, and Trackers from the human village of Glensk Wood, find two of their own gruesomely killed, there can be no doubt: the once safe haven of generations has been laid bare. Together, the young Trackers, the aging Knight, and a daring Elf princess race to spread word of the encroaching danger. But suspicion and hostility among their countrymen threaten to doom their efforts from within, while beyond the breached borders, a ruthless Troll army masses for invasion. Standing firm between the two, the last wielder of the black staff and its awesome magic must find a successor to carry on the fight against the cresting new wave of evil.


If you’re a fan of Terry Brooks then you really won’t need me to tell you about the newly released paperback of book one of his new series, Legends of Shannara. As usual with Terry’s writing style it’s one that either you love or hate and to be honest he’s one that whilst I tend to think of as acceptable if not mind blowing and is something that will generate a tale that many fantasy fans will love.

It has decent prose, a fairly slow pace, but as you’re probably already aware expected with the start of a new series as a lot of the groundwork has to be set to help the tale move along in subsequent titles. Add to this the usual type of characters who discover something new about themselves and it’s a story that helps to fill in some of the blanks in the murky history of the Shannara world.

Finally throw into the mix a whole new set of problems and whilst this is a prehistory its one that many fans of Terry’s writing will love to death making this a reasonable story and one that has scope for a hell of a lot to happen which, at the end of the day, is one reason why I keep reading him.

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