Posted: May 14, 2017 in Book Reviews

The Defenders of Shannara: The High Druids Blade

By Terry Brooks

305 pages

Shannara is one of my all time favorite fantasy worlds. I have read all of the Shannara books previous to this one by Terry Brooks and he has become one of my all time favorite authors.

The world of Shannara for those that may have never read any Shannara books, is a unique world because it takes place in our world, rather than some fantasy world created by the Author. This world is in the far distant future after mankind of has destroyed the world as we know it via war and environmental destruction. The society of man has been scattered and destroy and loosely brought back together. The world of Elves, Dwarves, Trolls etc.. has come out of hiding to protect what is left of the world from demons and even mankind itself. When the world of technology was destroyed and the world suffered under nuclear holocaust in the far distant future the world of magic slowly but surely began to emerge once again. Man kind has re-organized into what is called the federation and is ruled over by The Prime minister. Humanity has outlawed Magic.

Despite this not all of mankind’s tech had been destroyed. There are Airships, smokeless torches, flash rips. While not conventional names I imagine them to be similar to Blimps or large helicopters, flashlights, and guns. There are Air fields or Airports as we might think of them. Cars no longer exist as infrastructure between cities is non-existent so transportation is essentially flying everywhere when travelling between cities.

Paxon Leah Owns a small part-time shipping business which is just enough to cover his families needs but he is not content with this life and feels that their must be something more out there for him.

His younger sister Chrys is 15 yrs old, impulsive and constantly getting into trouble. She makes a bet with Arcannan, a cunning sorcerer who wins a bet and kidnaps her. On the surface it seems that she is just kidnapped to pay off a gambling debt but that is not what Arcannan is really after.

Naturally Paxon goes after his sister and rescues her. He brings a family heirloom with him. This family heirloom is a sword that has been passed down for generations that seems to be nothing but an old sword. Paxon learns soon enough in his confrontation with Arcannan that it is in fact possessed of great magical powers which for the first time comes alive when Paxon finds himself fighting for his and his sister’s life. To his credit he escapes but not without catching the notice fo the Ard Rhys, head of the 4th Druid order.

Shortly after returning home Paxon is summoned to Paranor to meet personally with Aphenglow Elessedil, the Ard Rhys, regarding his sword and magic. He is apprenticed at Paranor to become a protector and defender of druids as they quest to find missing magical artifacts and investigate magical activities throughout the world. Soon enough the plot to subvert the Druid order and take control of all magical power in the world is un veiled with Paxon’s sister Chrys being held captive and tortured at the heart of it.

Each of the individual events and confrontations in this book happens and resolve fairly quickly within a few chapters. Starks, A druid is paired up with Paxon as they fly around the world in an almost mulder and scully type fashion investigating magical events and trying to collect magical artifacts. While each adventure is seemingly unconnected, It is soon revealed that they are connected and linked at the end to reveal all the threads tying them all together.

This style actually had the result of making this a fun read. Its one of the things I like about Terry Brooks. He can put a lot of story into a 300 page book without the reader feeling like anything has been left out.

The overall story arc and ongoing story that does not get resolved till the end is the story of Chryss’s kidnappers and captors and their series of tortures and following rescue – re capture and rescue again. While I tend to believe that I can get too emotionally involved in the stories as I read my heart cried out for her and I even found myself feeling helpless along with her as she was tortured and mutilated.  is this good writing or forgetting it’s not real? maybe both? It was good reading regardless.

Terry Brooks is just an amazing author. I have never been disappointed reading one of his books and this one is no different. I highly recommend anything in the Shannara universe, perhaps starting with the Eflstones of Shannarra, while not the first book in this world, A good place to start none the less.

This series references many of the events in the history of shannara which you can read about in previous books and series so don’t miss out and read them all!!!

I give this book 8/10 book worms If you love fantasy this one won’t let you down. I Promise you that.

Up next The Darkling Child.

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