Saturday, December 12, 2020


The second entry of author Terry Brooks’ High Druid of Shannara series opens with Sen Dunsidan, Prime Minister of the Federation, meeting with engineer Etan Orek, whom he has develop a deadly weapon to use against the Federation’s enemies. Shadea a’Ru still rules as the Ard Rhys of the Druid order, getting a note of a character’s death and doubting Bek Ohmsford as a threat. Meanwhile, a shadowy creature infests the airship Skatelow, with the Elfstones and tar pondered as possible counters, and Khyber ultimately confronting the entity. Pen and his companions also travel to the Trolls’ homeland in search of Kermadec.

Pen and his companions also battle mutens, Troll-like creatures, when the reach Rock Troll country, although battle forces them through perilous mountains. In the meantime, Grianne still finds herself trapped in the shadow world known as the Forbidden, awaiting her salvation and interacting with the Straken Lord. Pied Sanderline, Captain of the Elven Home Guard, also follows his ancestors’ legacy of defending an Elven royal family. Pen ultimately reaches the tree from which he can procure the eponymous tanequil necessary to construct the darkwand needed to free Grianne, although it comes with some sacrifices.

The second book ends with Pen at a ravine with Druids finally reaching him, and is generally an enjoyable romp through the post-doomsday world of Shannara, with plenty of fantastical action and occasional politics. The constant alternation between the perspectives of characters will undoubtedly throw some off, along with some explicit violence later on in the story, and some additional description as to the appearances of specific characters would have been welcome. Regardless, I definitely enjoyed the novel, given its importance in the Shannara mythos, and very much look forward to reading the conclusion to the trilogy. 

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