Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Coming of Age in Shannara

The High Druid's Blade (The Defenders of Shannara #1)The High Druid's Blade by Terry Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though this entry feels slightly YA, I think this will be an interesting series to go on with, and certainly important for the annals of Shannara. It might be a good entry point into the series entire, especially for a young person not familiar with it.

Mainly a coming of age story, High Druid’s Blade follows Paxon Leah, a young man living 150 years after the Forbidding, a descendant of both the Leah and Ohmsford clans. The Federation seemingly rules ever more territory and has banned magic. Paxon runs the family air transport business for his family and pushes away any sense of wonder. A blackened sword, seemingly bereft of magic, hangs on his wall. He watches over his adolescent sister, who drinks and gambles and fights and who knows what all—until one day she gets in the ultimate trouble and is abducted by a dark stranger. Paxon, of course, goes after her, and thus begins his journey to become the High Druid’s Blade—I believe this will be the story of the making of a paladin, perhaps? That’s what will make me pick up the next book. That and what will happen to sister Chrysallin, who was abducted twice, tortured with magic, exhibited power (you can guess which one), and has seemingly forgotten everything?

Cons: slow going, especially the first half. Torture scenes, way too many pages.  Predictable.
Pros: Mr. Brooks is a master, even when not writing a masterpiece (read Running with the Demon, Knight of the Word, Genesis of Shannara stories for that).

Thanks to lovely Random House and Netgalley for the EARC to read for review!

Recommended for fans, certainly library purchase. Possibly for new YA readers as well.

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