Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Dark Legacy of Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks

Last September I reviewed the first book in The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy, Wards of Faerie, by Terry Brooks. After waiting for the next book, Bloodfire Quest, to be released I realized I was going to want to read the books back to back as each moves directly into the next. When I was offered an advance copy of the final book, Witch Wraith, through the Amazon Vine program I accepted it and returned to the beginning of the series. This was definitely the way to read this trilogy as I felt like I was reading one complete story rather than three separate books.

I enjoyed Wards of Faerie as it was a great beginning to a trilogy. It offered hope of a new story for Shannara and I wondered how the characters would undertake the quest placed before them. My only complaint was the abrupt ending and this was why I chose to re-start the series when the final book came out. Read my complete review of Wards of Faerie.

I did not write a separate review for Bloodfire Quest because I knew I would be following it immediately with Witch Wraith and I wanted to see if my initial reaction to the book would change at all once I finished the series. Unfortunately, it did not. Bloodfire Quest is truly the middle of the story when all the characters are scattered on their separate quests and face their own challenges. While the book took the characters to the places they needed to be both physically and emotionally to conclude the story in Witch Wraith it seemed that nothing was resolved in this book. While I fully expected the main story lines to weave through the trilogy, Brooks usually has some smaller side story that can be completed within each book. In fact the initial quest from Wards of Faerie has been completely abandoned by this book.

Witch Wraith (releasing July 16, 2013) provides the conclusion to the trilogy and all of the quests undertaken by the various characters. Although groups separated in Bloodfire Quest, the main characters (well, the ones still alive) come back together for the final battle. I enjoyed the majority of this book as Brooks pushes the characters to their breaking points and gives them difficult choices to make. The action and danger are non-stop as characters proceed with stubborn determination down paths that they are warned against. Witch Wraith was fantastic until I hit the final three chapters. It is difficult to review this book without giving away the ending so I will simply say that I found it frustrating and I am unsure how events from these chapters will influence future Shannara books.

While there were parts of The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy that I enjoyed, this is certainly not my favorite set of Shannara books. Although Brooks was able to provide some twists, many of the quest elements felt familiar from previous stories and I personally felt unsatisfied with the ending to the trilogy as a whole.

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Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion.
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