Monday, September 27, 2010

Capsule Review: “Bearers of the Black Staff”, by Terry Brooks (Orbit Books)

Reviewed by Shevaun Fergus


A new chapter in the Shannara chronicles

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…

First there was the Word and the Void, then there were Armageddon’s Children. The Great Wars are over, a small group of the Races, led by the boy Hawk, have been sheltered by magic in a hidden valley for five centuries, and the walls are coming down. Now the valley’s sheltered charges must face the outside world and all the dangerous creatures that have evolved in five hundred years of radiation and toxic waste. They must learn fast in order to survive.

Master storyteller Brooks returns to exceptional form with this latest instalment in his epic tale. Bearers of the Black Staff is the first in a new sequence, The Legends of Shannara.

The world we know from previous books in the series is gone, and this new chapter tells of the birth of the world we know as the world of The Sword of Shannara.  As can be expected from a Brooks novel, we get engaging plot twists and a host of interesting new characters and peoples to explore.  The characters are all too human, with real failings and strengths, unlike those in many fantasy novels, and you find yourself cheering them on their endeavours.


1 comment:

  1. Good words, been looking forward to reading this one. As of yet, I've just finished Angel Fire East and am moving on to Armageddon's it will be a little while before I'm starting in on Bearers.