My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am a fan of Terry Brooks, so I have been with the Shannara books for a very long time. I am a few books behind in reading, but I am still enjoying them. I thought I would get that out of the way first!
This is the second book of the Dark Legacy trilogy, and it picks up pretty much where Wards of Faerie left off. The Druids are scattered or dead, Paranor has fallen, and Aphenglow Elessidil has retreated to Arborlon with her group. The Ard Rhys, Kyber Elessedil, is still in the Forbidding with the Ohmsford brothers looking for the lost Elfstones. In Arborlon, Aphen’s sister, Arling, discovers that the Ellcrys is once again dying. Amberle Elessidil’s spirit is fading, and she has chosen Arling as her successor. Arling rebels against the sacrifice required in taking the seed of the Ellcrys to the Bloodfire and then returning to become the new Ellcrys and keep the magic wall between the Four Lands and the Forbidding in place and holding the demons trapped there from invading. The Ohmsford brothers are split, with Railing still trapped in the Forbidding with Kyber, and Redden searching for the former Ard Rhys, Grianne Ohmsford, missing for a hundred years.
A lot to deal with, right? But that’s typical of Brooks’ newer books. The plots twist and turn and intertwine in a sometimes complex dance. This trilogy is also different from some of the earlier ones in that the overall story is told across all three books, instead of being three mostly separate stories.
Brooks’ writing has developed over the course of the series, as it should. Characters are more complex, the world building is being fleshed out in subtle ways, and the plots are, while similar in many ways, starting to point in a specific direction. In the early books, particularly the first trilogy, Brooks was compared, sometimes with derision, to Tolkien. Those influences have become less and less obvious as he has found his own way to tell the stories. Of course, they are, at heart, high fantasy quest tales, and so could be compared to many others in the same vein. The trick is to give yours a voice of its own, and Brooks has done that in many of these later books.
He’s also taken a bit of a darker turn, which, while not always fun (especially when a favorite character is at the receiving end of that darkness), is a sign of the growth of the series as a whole.
The actual trip to immerse the seed of the Ellcrys in the Bloodfire, while implied in the title, is really only a small part of the greater tale. After all, we did ride along on that quest when Amberle took her journey to do the same. Here, we have what are essentially three quests: to find the Elfstones, to quicken the Ellcrys seed, and to find the former Ilse Witch.
Again, this is one larger story told over three volumes so it remains to be seen how it all comes together in the next book, but so far, it’s been harrowing, quick paced action that is at times frightening, sad, amusing, and full of danger.
♥Don’t forget– all my books will be either free or half price at Smashwords during the month of July. Take a look below and pick your favorite (or two or three!) and go to Smashwords starting July 1 to take advantage of the sale!
After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here
A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.
A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.
In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here
Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?
Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here
Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.
Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.