Monday, March 1, 2021

Bloodfire Quest


The second entry of Terry Brooks’ Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy opens with Arlingfant Elessedil, or simply Arling, hearing the voice of the dying tree Ellcrys, which says she is the chosen, although Arling doesn’t want to become its successor, and converses with her sister Aphenglow, Aphen for short, about the matter. Aphen researches the history of the Ellcrys, discovering that her ancestor Amberle Elessedil was the last Chosen to become the tree, the history she reads up on having significant gaps. Aphen informs her sister of her discovery, further mentioning the Bloodfire, whose magic can quicken the cultivation of a new Ellcrys.

The human-dominated Federation has since abandoned their occupation of the Druid Keep Paranor, and in the meantime, the Ard Rhys and her party traverse the hostile country of the Forbidding, where they fend off attacks from umbral beasts, also encountering some Jarka Ruus, those imprisoned by the Forbidding. Within the Federation, the assassin Stoon meets the new Prime Minister a woman named Edinja Orle, with plenty politicking occurring, and the new PM allegedly being pro-magic. Aphen and Arling deal with a hostile mother when they visit her, and find clues in a trunk holding old texts.

The second entry ends with Aphen finding her sister missing, naturally serving as a cliffhanger to the trilogy’s concluding entry, and overall being a competent but generic fantasy novel, with a map depicting the Four Lands that had once been the Pacific Northwest of Old Earth. Bloodfire Quest also somewhat distinguishes itself from other fantasy stories by depicting races such as Trolls as being good, although as with other entries of the franchise new and old, there is frequent lack of clarification as to which races the various characters belong to, and occasional long gaps between names and pronouns. Regardless, those who truly enjoyed the first book will get the most out of the second.

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