I’ve never read any of the other books in the Shannara series… in fact, I don’t think I’d previously read anything by Terry Brooks before this book. Completely ignoring the fact that this book is in part with other books, this book stood by itself extremely well.
The plot in this book was really intriguing. The story starts out with enough background information of the lands and history of the area to allow the reader to keep up, without having read any previous books in the series. While the beginning of the book is a little slow, mainly just setting the scene, the action quickly picks up with the kidnapping of Chrysallin, Paxon’s sister. From that point forward, the action doesn’t slow down, keeping the reader glued to the pages as they wonder what will happen with the Leah family and the Druid’s. While there were some parts where the action felt a little repetitive (come on Chrysallin, could you please stop getting kidnapped?), most of the plot still felt fresh and exciting. I didn’t find my attention waning as I read; the storyline kept me engaged throughout the book.
The characters in this book were really pleasant to read about. While I did find Paxon to act immature and rashly at times (to the point where it got on my nerves) I think that was just part of his character and who he was as a person. Despite Paxon (who is the main character), I felt that all of the other characters were extremely lifelike and enjoyable to read about. I thought that all of the characters interacted with each other and their surroundings in a reasonable and authentic manner.
The writing in this book was really delightful to read. While I would have liked a little bit more description of the natural surroundings, the author did a good job of describing the world without being overly descriptive and ruining the plot of the story. It’s obvious while reading that Brooks truly understands how to write a powerful story, weaving a unique world, characters, and believable dialogue into a fantastic tale. I truly enjoyed Brooks’ writing and will certainly be looking for other books that he’s written to read.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would highly recommend it, even to those who haven’t read any of the previous Shannara books. When the second book in The Defenders of Shannara series comes out, I will definitely be looking to read it.
I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.