Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks
Publisher: Del Rey
Overall: I don’t think that this is Terry Brook’s best work. The language and writing is expertly done but both the plot and characters feel like they were lazily done. I had so much trouble reading this book because it felt that all the author’s energy was on world-building and everything else was lacking. There is no romance in this book (and I mean none). If you want to read a bestseller novel by Terry Brooks, this is not the book to read.
Characters: There is such a huge cast of characters that it is hard to really connect to any of them. There wasn’t any emphasis on individual character development or growth. Basically, the characters that you meet in the beginning will behave the same exact way at the end. Aphenglow and Bombax are supposedly in love with each other but I’ve never seen less chemistry between two characters in a novel. Not only does it not feel like they love each other, they don’t even seem to have any care or worry for the other. Drustan Chazhul is the villain and he is about as developed as a bucket of rocks. He hates magic. Wants to destroy everyone who uses magic. His bark is much scarier than his bite – it feels like his 2nd in commander is actually the one pulling the strings and Drustan is merely there just to be there.
Plot: The story begins with Aphenglow discovering an old diary that hints at the missing elfstones. Aphenglow tells the Druid leader (Ard Rhys) and the Druids go on a mission to retrieve them – without her. Meanwhile, Aphenglow’s family is very upset that she is a Druid and this weights heavily on her mind while she is put in charge of protecting Paranor in Ard Rhys’s absence. This is the main plot of the story but it is hidden beneath chapters and chapters of introducing minor characters and sub-plots, none of which get resolved by the end. There are “twists” but none of them are hard to figure out. There are a lot of coincidences and you never really feel like the danger is real.
Ending: Cliffhanger. Still have zero clue about the elfstones. I won’t be checkout out future books in this series.
Seven years after the conclusion of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks at last revisits one of the most popular eras in the legendary epic fantasy series that has spellbound readers for more than three decades.
When the world was young, and its name was Faerie, the power of magic ruled—and the Elfstones warded the race of Elves and their lands, keeping evil at bay. But when an Elven girl fell hopelessly in love with a Darkling boy of the Void, he carried away more than her heart.
Thousands of years later, tumultuous times are upon the world now known as the Four Lands. Users of magic are in conflict with proponents of science. Elves have distanced their society from the other races. The dwindling Druid order and its teachings are threatened with extinction. A sinister politician has used treachery and murder to rise as prime minister of the mighty Federation. Meanwhile, poring through a long-forgotten diary, the young Druid Aphenglow Elessedil has stumbled upon the secret account of an Elven girl’s heartbreak and the shocking truth about the vanished Elfstones. But never has a little knowledge been so very dangerous—as Aphenglow quickly learns when she’s set upon by assassins.
Yet there can be no turning back from the road to which fate has steered her. For whoever captures the Elfstones and their untold powers will surely hold the advantage in the devastating clash to come. But Aphenglow and her allies—Druids, Elves, and humans alike—remember the monstrous history of the Demon War, and they know that the Four Lands will never survive another reign of darkness. But whether they themselves can survive the attempt to stem that tide is another question entirely.
If you already like Terry Brooks, might as well read this. If you haven’t checked Terry Brooks out, find another book by him.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
(Picture and bio information borrowed from author’s website)
Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944, where he spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same park that would eventually become the setting for his bestselling Word & Void trilogy. He went to college and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and he received his graduate degree from the School of Law at Washington & Lee University.
A writer since high school, he wrote many stories within the genres of science fiction, western, fiction, and non-fiction, until one semester early in his college years he was given The Lord of the Rings to read. That moment changed Terry’s life forever, because in Tolkien’s great work he found all the elements needed to fully explore his writing combined in one genre.
He then wrote The Sword of Shannara, the seven year grand result retaining sanity while studying at Washington & Lee University and practicing law. It became the first work of fiction ever to appear on the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list, where it remained for over five months