Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Reads: Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks

It pains me to write this.  It really does.  I've been a bit fan of Terry Brooks ever since I first read Sword of Shannara nearly 10 years ago (has it really been that long?)   I've come to expect and receive a certain quality of writing and storytelling from him.  This latest offering fell short of the mark.  So short, in fact...that I couldn't even bring myself to finish it! 


I tried.  I really did try.  I have spent weeks trying to get into the story and every page of the half of the book that I did read has been like dragging my body over hot coals - so painful.  Perhaps more alarming to me was how it didn't feel like it was written by Terry Brooks at all!  The style was completely different and it was all over the map.  It felt slow and repetitive.  The story didn't feel like it was actually developing.  I would expect any book to have advanced a bit by the time the halfway mark is reached and this one just didn't seem to.  Perhaps Brooks has fallen into the Trilogy Trap, where an author gets so used to writing trilogies that they frame the series as though it is a single book...but then discover they only really have enough content for one standalone book so try to make it longer.  THAT is what this felt like.

This is the first book in The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy. The premise of the story is set in the "future" - a time when people have grown distrustful of magic and the druids alone are trying to preserve it.  One of the druids has found a journal in the archives of the elves that hints where the magical elfstones may have gone. The Druid Order at Paranor embarks on a quest to find them.  When I left off - they had barely started the journey.

Perhaps I am being overly critical.  I am just not used to Brooks disappointing me with a story almost devoid of action.   Even the scenes which might have been terrifying in a book like the Elfstones of Shannara, felt overly set up and did not catch me like they might have in older books.  The writing did not flow like it normally does and the story stalled at every turn.

So, here I am posting not so much a review as an impression of my thoughts about this book.  I don't recommend it unless you really just want to be able to say you've read every Shannara book ever written.  I think I will wait until he goes back into the past a bit before I buy another one.

Now I'm off to read something a bit more engaging and am letting go of this one...


  1. What a disappointment :( I've just downloaded the newest Terry Pratchett onto my kindle - I hope it is up to the usual standard (which it might not as he suffers from a type if Altzheimers). Sounds like you'd recommend older Terry Brooks books though? Might have to try one...

    1. I do. His older books are fantastic. If you start with Sword of Shanarra, you will need to overlook the Tolkien similarities, but the books that follow are truly original and really good reads.


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