Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Stiehl Assassin

The Stiehl Assassin (The Fall of Shannara #3)The Stiehl Assassin by Terry Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third and penultimate entry of Terry Brooks The Fall of Shannara series opens with Tavo Kaynin’s attempt at assassinating his sister Tarsha thwarted by Drisker Arc and his companions, with the woman who put Tavo up to the task, Clizia Porse, fleeing, and the would-be killer coming under Drisker’s surveillance in hopes he can recover from his trauma. Meanwhile, Rocan Arneas and the boy who calls himself Shea Ohmsford continue in their attempt to rescue Tindall from the Assidian Deep prison, with a machine within the facility briefly thwarting their plan, with Tindall having good knowledge of the weather machine called Annabelle.

Furthermore, Ajin’s father Cor d’Amphere, the king of the Skaar, dismisses his daughter from service, and she finds herself aboard what she believes to be her prison ship, although she ultimately finds herself accompanying Darcon Leah and Tarsha. Drisker goes to the shores of Hadeshorn and talks to shades of the long-deceased, including Grianne Ohmsford, who wishes to die outside the Forbidding and wants to be young again. Clizia Porse seeks to ally herself with the Skaar, with her former discharge Tavo improving under the care of Dar and company. The Prime Minister of the Federation, Ketter Vause, has skirmishes with the Skaar, seeking the help of the Dwarves.

Clizia Porse, with the blade Stiehl in tow, seeks the lives of the king of the Elves and that of Prime Minister Vause, with Drisker getting in her way and tagging her with magic so he can track her. Vause attempts to draw the Skaar outside their fortifications, with the Dwarves using weapons known as Reveals in their battles. A storm blows the airship Behemoth off course, landing Rocan and Shea on a distant island where they encounter a monster and raiders. The king of the Skaar expects the Federation Prime Minister to offer a truce, and believes his servant Kol’Dre wishes for his daughter’s hand in marriage. A confrontation with Clizia against Drisker Arc and the Kaynin siblings ends the third book.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this particular entry of Brooks’ final Shannara subseries, given its great fantastical action, occasional politics, and deaths that will likely prove critical when the author’s eponymous world “falls” in the final chapter of the franchise. It’s largely clear as to which races the dramatis personae belong, given the mention of Elves and Dwarves in addition to the human characters, although some concrete description and reminders as to their appearances would have been helpful in helping me better visualize the players in the plot. Regardless, I would very much recommend the third Fall of Shannara book to those who appreciated its precursors within and without the subseries.

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