Sunday, February 14, 2021

Wards of Faerie


The first installment of author Terry Brooks’ Dark Legacy of Shannara series opens with protagonist Aphenglow Elessedil, or simply Aphen, finding a diary written by a young princess from the age of Faerie, Aleia, who meets a Darkling child of the Void. A search for the magical Elfstones initiates, and Khyber Elessedil, Ard Rhys of the Fourth Druid Order, wakes from her lengthy Druid Sleep as a result of the Elfstones calling out to her. As Aphen researches the diary, siblings Railing and Redding Ohmsford are up to mischief, with Mirai Leah visiting with her airship, the Quickening.

Khyber too comes to visit the Ohmsfords, although their mother Sarys is reluctant to have accept her into their lives. In the meantime, the Prime Minister of the Federation, Drust Chazhul, and his advisor Stoon, plot against the Druid Keep Paranor, and the main heroes find themselves visiting the Forbidden, where all sorts of dark creatures are imprisoned by the Ellcrys. Several battles conclude the first entry of the trilogy, with the cliffhanger of a voice calling out to one of the characters serving as a lead-in into the first sequel of the Shannara subseries.

All in all, this was an okay beginning to the Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy, with plenty links to prior subseries and a good deal of fantastical action, the occasional politicking thrown into the mix. However, one can definitely find it difficult to keep track as to what races the various characters belong to, and while there is an illustration depicting several of the dramatic personae after the primary text, there’s no indicator as to who is who, and better descriptions of the appearances of the characters would have been welcome as well. Regardless, I would still be interested in reading the rest of the subseries.

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