Tag Archives: Terry Brooks

Book Review: Witch Wraith by Terry Brooks

imageWitch Wraith by Terry Brooks is the latest in the Shannara series, started many years ago with the Sword of Shannara. This is the third and final book in the “Dark Legacy of Shannara” trilogy and continues the adventures of the Ohmsfords, Druids, residents of the Four Lands, and the Demons in their battles.

The story opens with Railing Ohmsford searching for his long lost relative Grianne Ohmsford, formerly head of the Druid order and prior to that the Ilse Witch. The problem now is that Railing has been warned not to search for Grianne as it will not end the way anyone expects.

The quest to heal the Ellcrys and drive back the demons continues with Arlingfant and Aphenglow Elessedil elves of the royal family. They fight against all sorts of enemies trying to stop them, demon and human. If the tree is not reborn, the demons will come out of the Forbidding and destroy everything.

Finally Railing’s brother Redden is trying to find his way home from inside the Forbidding and do whatever it takes to put a stop to the impending demon invasion. He has unlikely allies including some minor demons inside the forbidding.

As with many of Terry Brooks’ Shannara books, we are kept on edge throughout the trilogy wondering how, or even if, the heroes will come through to the end. We’re reasonably sure that the Ellcrys will be reborn, but never quite sure how. Who will survive until the end? How will the demons be defeated? All I can say is that the ending is not quite what you’d expect if you’ve ever read Terry’s Shannara books in the past.


My Take: I’m a big fan of Terry’s Shannara books. There’s something refreshing in knowing that good will win out in the end and joining in the journey as the heroes grow, realize their strengths, and triumph over evil. That being said, this trilogy is appropriately named the “Dark Legacy”. The stories have definitely taken a darker turn with more deaths of main characters, tragic turnings, and human failings. I’ll spoil this a little bit saying that good still wins in the end, but with an ending that is sad for long-time readers.

I liked the book, as I do all of this series, but I hope to see less darkness in future Shannara novels. I look forward to what happens next in the Four Lands, and really hope that some form of peace or growth could come in future stories. If you’ve read any of Terry’s books you don’t need my review to know that you want to read this one. If you’ve never read any of his books, this is not the one with which to start. Go back to The Sword of Shannara and read them in publication order until you get here. You’ll appreciate it all the more.


Disclaimer: I was provided with this book by the publisher with no expectations on their part. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by anyone else.

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Book Review: Bloodfire Quest by Terry Brooks

Bloodfire Quest is the 2nd of three books in the Dark Legacy of Shannara series by Terry Brooks. We take up the adventures of Redden and Railing Ohmsford and their companions as they try to rescue their friends and stop the Forbidding from crumbling. Some of their friends are trapped inside the Forbidding along with the demons and their army. If the Forbidding should come down, the demons will sweep over the Four Lands and decimate everything in their path. The Ellcrys, the magical tree that powers the Forbidding, is dying and only young Arlingfant Elessedil can carry her seed to the Bloodfire so the Ellcrys can continue. She reluctantly leaves on this quest with her sister, the druid Aphenglow.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Shannara story without opposition and help from unexpected sources. Arling and Aphen are aided by Cymrian, a strong elf who has a crush on Aphen. They are also given use of the Elfstones to help them seek out the Bloodfire before it’s too late. They are stalked by forces from the human-led Federation who want to know what they are doing and possibly stop them.

Redden and Railing command the magic of the Wishsong and are trying to find each other. Redden is trapped in the Forbidding with the Ard Rhys Khyber Elessedil, leader of the Druids. They encounter creatures of Faerie – goblins, dragons, and far worse – all creatures bent on destruction. Railing is hurt and under attack in the Four Lands, barely able to help defend himself and the party with him and unable to follow after his brother.

The story progresses as the characters try to accomplish their various tasks and are hindered by creatures, monsters, or magic. At times, they are left wondering what to do next. Many hints are dropped that Grianne Ohmsford, the Ard Rhys from 100 years before who has been missing for a century, must be found in order to set things right. The King of the Silver River appears to say that this might not be the case and provides some assistance that we’ll likely see revealed in the 3rd book when it is published. The heroes seem to meet with trials and we’re left wondering how they will emerge victorious as the odds keep stacking against them.

My Thoughts: Fans of Terry Brooks will likely feel as if they’re treading somewhat familiar territory. We’ve been inside the Forbidding before, been on a quest to the Bloodfire, and faced overwhelming odds with seemingly little hope of emerging victorious. At the same time, the situations are different and we see the darkness that Allanon’s shade hinted at in the first book. In earlier stories we had some hints about how the characters might survive and overcome evil, but here we’re left with the idea that we’re not seeing the bigger picture and that the ending will be very different from what we expect. This is definitely a middle book in the series and I wouldn’t read this by itself. I’d recommend reading this after being familiar with the Shannara world because there are many references to past events, people, and magic. That being said, the story works to move us toward the conclusion in the next book and I look forward to seeing how the characters fare and the changes that will come to the Four Lands as a result.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a preview copy of this book, with no expectations on my part. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way by others.

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Book Review: Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks

Wards of Faerie (The Dark Legacy of Shannara, #1)Another start to an adventure in the Four Lands by Terry Brooks. This builds on the previous Shannara stories as hints are uncovered to where the lost Elfstones may be found. Once again, the Ohmsfords are called on to help the Druids find the lost magic. This first book in the series introduces us to the new generation of Druids, Ohmsfords, and Leahs as well as setting the stage for new intrigue in the human-run Federation and the Elven Kingdom.

I hate to say that this is formulaic, but it does follow a standard Shannara story for the most part. Unknown magic, unknown peril, power-hungry politicians, science vs. magic, and a journey into unknown dangers. That doesn’t detract from this being an entertaining story. Terry sets up an interesting quest and leaves us right at the edge wondering how our protagonists will proceed and what the next move of their enemies will be. Of course, the biggest downfall to this is waiting for the next volume to be released so we can continue the story.

I really liked the book even though it pretty much follows the normal Shannara pattern. To me, there’s a reason that pattern works and why I keep reading the series. I enjoy the characters, the magic, the quest, the conflict, and the internal struggles of the players. I like learning more about this world with its mix of science, magic, and hints of the past. I would definitely recommend this if you’ve read Terry’s work before, though probably not as a starting place to jump into this world.

You can pick up a copy of Wards of Faerie at Amazon.

Disclosure: I was given an advance copy of the ebook by the publisher with no expectations on their part. The reviews written here are my own and were not influenced in any way by the publisher.

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