Saturday, May 19, 2018

Another Dose of Shannara

Elfstones Cover.gif

The second entry of author Terry Brooks’ original Shannara trilogy takes place around two generations after its predecessor, opening with the Chosen, caretakers of the Ellcrys, a tree sealing away an ancient evil, entering the Gardens of Life where it’s located. Lauren (who is male) notices wilt on the tree, which signifies the end of the Forbidden sealing away the Demons, although his fellow chosen such as Jase are in denial about this. Meanwhile, one of the primary antagonists, the Dagda Mor, is happy Ellcrys is dying, holding the Staff of Power while joined by the Changeling, vowing to kill the Chosen.

Ander Elessedil, the second son of Eventine, King of the Elves, lives in a private residence outside the royal palace, with his elder brother Arion receiving the monarch’s attention. The youngest Elessedil son, Aine, has been dead for some time, with his daughter Amberle looking to Ander for support, causing a rift between Ander and Arion, with the girl ultimately abandoning her post as a Chosen. Lauren wishes to see the king, indicating that it has been over seven centuries since the tree last spoke, with the seed to replace it needing to be immersed in Bloodfire, though the flames’ location is unknown.

Ander believes when Lauren tells him that the Ellcrys is dying, and thus seeks Amberle, who is eventually the only one who can save the tree. Meanwhile, Wil Ohmsford lives in the tiny Gnome community of Storlock, the Village of the Healers, living long since he left Shady Vale and practicing the medicinal craft for two years. Adventure ultimately comes to him, and he leaves, with Amberle reluctant to return to her duties as a Chosen. A group of human wanderers known as the Rovers play part in the plotline, led by Cephelo, who has a daughter named Eretria.

Throughout the story, Wil questions his ability to use the titular Elfstones, meeting other characters such as Perk, who has an avian Roc named Genewen. The novel culminates in a series of epic battles towards the end, accounting for a satisfying story that isn’t quite as derivative as the Lord of the Rings series like its predecessors, although it’s certainly not perfect, and more description as to distinctive features of the main characters would have certainly been welcome. One, however, can read the first Shannara sequel as a standalone story, and it’s overall an enjoyable yarn. 

The Weapons Master's Choice by Terry Brooks 

In this short story by Terry Brooks set before the final main entry of the original Shannara trilogy, The Wishsong of Shannara, the titular Weapons Master, Garet Jax, is camped when a woman named Lyriana comes to his encampment, telling of the warlock Kronswiff who killed her people, wanting Garet to come to her home city of Tajarin. Soon after, mercenaries from Varfleet known as Het attack them, after which they set off, having a confrontation with the warlock and his cronies. The story ends satisfactorily with some twists, although some connection with the book that precedes it chronologically would have been welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment