Sunday, May 27, 2018

Shannara Triple Threat

The final entry of author Terry Brooks’ original Shannara trilogy occurs about a score after its predecessor Elfstones, with autumn having come in the Four Lands, and Brin Ohmsford, sister to brother Jair, taking in the sights, being the daughter of Eretria and Wil Ohmsford. Jair and Brin’s parents are readying for an annual fall pilgrimage to the outlying communities south of Shady Vale, with the siblings having the friendship of Rone Leah, great-grandson of Menion Leah who sought the Sword of Shannara, Rone having his own weapon, the Sword of Leah.

Allanon visits them, having need of Brin’s titular wishsong powers, with Mord Wraiths, conjured by a book known as the Ildatch, threatening the Four Lands, their stronghold deep in the Eastland high in the Ravenshorn mountains, called Graymark. Jair and Brin ultimately separate on their quest, with the former making the acquaintance of a Gnome named Slanter, whose chieftain, Spilk, having some sort of psychotic issues making him dangerous. The Weapons Master Garet Jax eventually comes and rescues Jair from his initial captivity with the Gnomes.

Various battles occur throughout the book’s remainder, with other characters coming into play such as Kimber Boh, who has a moor cat named Whisper, alongside her grandfather, Cogline. The conclusion to the initial Shannara trio is generally enjoyable, although some reminders as to the appearances of the various characters would have certainly been welcome, and one can easily forget which Races to which each character belongs. Even so, those that enjoyed other entries of the franchise will very likely enjoy the third installment.

Note: The following two reviews contain potential spoilers for Wishsong.

This short story occurs a few years after author Terry Brooks’ The Wishsong of Shannara, with Jair Ohmsford again a protagonist, dealing with his sister Brin’s warning not to use a special kind of magic, and dreaming regularly about Garet Jax. The two siblings have since lived in separate arrangements, Brin living in the Highlands with her husband Rone Leah. The news that a page of the Ildatch escaped incineration comes to fruition, with Kimber’s grandfather Cogline tasking Jair with the quest to destroy it, further providing a critical detail about his past.

Jair has dreams of visitation by the Druid Allanon, which Cogline interprets as proof a shade still lives, with Jair ultimately going to the Mwellret stronghold of Dun Fee Aran to find and destroy the remaining Ildatch page. Overall, this is a short and sweet short story that fans of the Shannara series are sure to enjoy, although those who are new to the franchise probably won’t make much of it, given its deep connection to Wishsong, and it’s only after reading that particular entry of the original Shannara trilogy that readers will come to appreciate this novella more.

This is the first and only graphic novel based on author Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, with a prologue catching new readers up to speed on the original trilogy, the first main chapter focusing on the latter events of “Indomitable.” Throughout the story, Jair is regularly tempted to make use of his power and assume the abilities of his protégé Garet Jax, with potential evidence that the Druid Keep of Paranor might still exist. It was nice seeing visual references for the characters in Wishsong, and aside from occasional grammar errors in the text bubbles, this is a worthy read.

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