Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Last Druid

The Last Druid (The Fall of Shannara #4)The Last Druid by Terry Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fourth and final entry of author Terry Brooks’ The Fall of Shannara tetralogy, also the grand finale to his literary universe, continues where its precursor left off, with Tarsha Kaynin using magic to become corporeal again, with the fate of her brother Tavo settled. She reunites with Drisker Arc, converses with the shade of Parlindru, and returns to Emberen, seeking magic books. Drisker himself falls victim to a trap set up by the rogue Druid Clizia Porse, becoming entrapped in the Forbidding and fearing that she’ll bring out the long-lost Ilse Witch, Grianne Ohmsford herself being the key to escape from the world.

Drisker encounters an Ulk Bog named Weka Dart, with whom he shares a meal only to become sick as a result, with Weka Dart himself fearing a plot to overthrow his mistress Grianne, the Straken Queen. While sick, Drisker has a vision of the shade of the long-deceased Allanon, who wants him to ordain Tarsha as a Druid once he escapes the Forbidding. Grianne ultimately enters the scene and heals Drisker, and notes that an ancient artifact known as the darkwand holds the key to escaping the dark world, the staff itself allegedly within an old fortress in the void.

Meanwhile, the forest imp Flinc offers to show Tarsha magic books, with the fledgling Druid herself wishing to go to Paranor for further research, finding a drawing showing a way into the Keep, although Flinc himself would be unable to enter due to not being one. She encounters the Guardian of the Keep, which refrains from attacking her, and finds a secret chamber with the Druid Histories, becoming entrapped in said room for some time. In the meantime, Belladrin Rish, aide to Federation Prime Minister Ketter Vause, seeks negotiation with the Dwarves and wants the government to continue.

The Skaar princess Ajin also seeks reconciliation with her mother, with her father ostracizing her, and several important events including the weather machine Annabelle prove key in the final moments of the Shannara series, which overall ends on a good note, given many interesting, well-developed characters, decent action, and a few political overtones. However, there were some things I had a bit of trouble still visualizing such as the features of the various characters and nonhuman entities such as Weka Dart, but those who enjoyed the book's predecessors and prequel series will definitely find this a satisfying conclusion to the fantasy saga.

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