Title: Wards of Faerie
Author: Terry Brooks
Publication Date: August 2012
Publisher: Del Rey
Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Source: Amazon Vine
Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audio CD
Available for PreOrder: Paperback
After taking time away from the pure stories of Shannara to write the stories of how Shannara was created out of the ashes of our own time, Brooks returns to the world of magic. Conflict is again building between the Federation, the Elves, and the dwindling Druid order. Magic and science are at odds and the atmosphere is tense. As Aphenglow Elessedil searches the Eleven histories, she comes upon the diary of a young girl. This diary could change everything about the way the past is viewed and it certainly shapes the future path for Aphenglow and others. A new quest is undertaken to locate the missing Elfstones and shift the balance of power in the Four Lands.
Wards of Faerie is the first book in the latest trilogy from Terry Brooks. While the characters are new, long time readers will recognize the family names as each main character is descended from important characters in past Shannara books. This connection is important because it indicates to the reader exactly how that character may be important to the story. Brooks is able to pass along gifts and characteristics without having to do in depth character building in each book.
The essential quest format of the book is familiar as well. Brooks introduces the main players, gives them a choice about undertaking a journey, and off they go into danger. Although it might seem that knowing the plot outline ahead of time would render each book too similar to the last, Brooks keeps the reader's attention through the personalities of the characters and the details of the world and action.
My only complaint about this book is that it felt incomplete. It seemed as if the quest had truly just begun when I reached the end of the book. I am very glad that this trilogy will be released in rapid fire fashion with the books coming out every six months so I won't have to wait too long for the next portion of the story. This release schedule also means that I don't have to wait almost a year for the paperback version to come out.
As a longtime fan of Shannara, I am glad to see Brooks adding more stories to the most current timeline again. The jump from the Shannara pre-history (Word & Void series, Genesis of Shannara series, and Legends of Shannara series) was a bit jarring and I had to take some time to reorient myself in the timeline. Overall though I think Wards of Faerie will be a hit with Shannara fans.
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