SpeculativeFiction


A Knight of the Word

A Knight of the Word is the second book in Terry Brooks' loose trilogy The Word and the Void. This book focuses on John Ross and his crisis of faith, with Nest (from Running with the Demon) trying to save him from himself. In my description of the first book in this series, I felt it was important to note that it wasn't one of Brooks' Shannara titles. The same applies here, but there's also some stylistic differences from the first book in the trilogy as well. A more adult perspective, more grounded in reality and also more grounded in magic.

Ross has a definite sense of identity. The problem is, that identity is that of a pained, broken, nearly crippled man.

Categories Terry Brooks

Thu Aug 02 13:31:10 CDT 2018 by Matthew. Comments

The Elfstones of Shannara

The Elfstones of Shannara (The Sword of Shannara) is, in my opinion, the best of the Shannara books. Terry Brooks has exorcised the need to imitate Tolkein, and is now free to explore a somewhat different -- and more original -- story. While he does not succeed in creating a classic that will ring down through the ages, he does manage a reasonably enjoyable fantasy novel.

Unfortunately, reasonably enjoyable is still pretty flawed. The main issue in the story is whether the main character can access and use the power of the Elfstones. The answer is generally no, or at least not yet; eventually the threat grows to the point where their power can be accessed to smash the opposition and the quest continues. Once the reader has figured out the pattern, there's not really much sense of threat. The quest is pretty much a standard "take the McGuffin to Mount Doom", conveniently handed out by a Druid with very little backstory.

All that said, this is probably the best of the Shannara series, and a good place to start with Brooks to see if you will like him as an author. There is very little connection with the first book in the series (The Sword of Shannara) and the writing is better than The Wishsong of Shannara. All three have basically the same plot with different McGuffins.

Categories Shannara Terry Brooks

Thu May 08 13:52:21 CDT 2014 by Matthew. Comments



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