Posted: May 20, 2017 in Book Reviews

Defenders of Shannara: The Darkling child

By Terry Brooks

300 pages of awesome

Paxon has spent his time since the events of the High Druids Blade living, learning and practicing his new found skills with the High Druids blade at Paranor. Their is a new Ard Rhys after the death of Aphenglow Elessesdil and a new Druid companion for Paxon named Avelene.

Isaturin has advance to position of Ard Rhys of the Druid order. Avelene has become Paxon’s new companion on their adventures seeking out magic and sorcerers around the world.

Reyn, our main character which this story revolves around,  is a man who has been on his own since he was a child. He has spent his time singing in taverns to make a living and survive. He has become quite famous as his music seems to entrance the listener and create in their minds worlds and emotions and stories that captivate his audience. Little does he know however that what he is doing is using the magic of the wish song. His singing and ignorant use of magic attracts the attention of this series primary villain, Arcannen.

Arcannen however has come along and has hired a woman named lariana to seduce Reyn and cause him to fall in love with her so he is all the more easily manipulated into doing what he wants. In this way he can take control of his powers and use them to achieve his vengeance for the destruction of his home, the notorious pirate city of Arbrox.

Reyn’s powers come to the attention of the Druids of Paranor after he uses them to protect him self in a explosive and un-controlled magical outburst. Isaturin dispatches Paxon and Avelene to seek out this boy and try to bring him back to Paranor. However by the time they find him he has already under the influence of the dreaded Arcannen who is using him on his bloodthirsty quest for vengeance.

Paxon seems to have problems, you see he keeps falling in love with the wrong people. First Leofur, Arcannen’s daughter, whom he missed his chance with in the first book. Avelene seems to be the girl of his choice in this book. Everyone he loves he loses and this has brought him to near breaking point. He has spent 5 years as the sworn protector of the Druids. He is now feeling lost and distraught at the course his life has taken. He agreed to serve the Druids because he felt that his life was going no where and they offered his family protection from Arcannen who has been hunting him for his magical sword.

This story, While focused around Reyn and his magical wish song, seems to be more about Paxon, from the first book through till what I expect will be the last book in this series. The last sentence of this book really sets up for the continuation of this story and also Leofur story to continue quite well. Reading it my first thought was don’t stop, I need to know what happens. But then I remembered that their is one more book which of course I need to read now.

With every large scale series of books like Shannara, currently sitting at over 30 books, Their is one element that must be present throughout all books to really tie them together as part of that world. With Shannara that element is not a thing, or even theme but rather it is a place. The Hades Horn is in the heart of the valley of shale.

This place is the where Druids go to die. It is deadly and poisonous to mortals. The valley is dark, rock strewn and lifeless. The Hades Horn is a Lake in the center of the valley that has a strange glass like surface, not solid and yet not quite liquid. It is still and silent and yet evident of energies lurking beneath the surface. It is here that the spirits of Druids long since dead reside for eternity.

When a druid go there to die they are greeted by the spirit of the first druid Allanon. It is when his spirit comes forth that the waters become violent and explosive as his soul, and energy break the surface to greet the Druid who comes, and takes their hand to lead them into eternity. Like a Pyschopomp guiding them across the barriers of mortality to the eternal realm.

Every time I read about the Hades Horn and the valley of shale I cannot help but envision this awe inspiring site that invokes both terror and reverences at the awesome power of the Druids of old.

Their is no way to describe Shannara or any book within this world as anything but amazing and awesome! I just love these books and cannot wait to read the Sorcerers Daughter, book 3 in this Defenders of Shannara series. Jut an incredible series and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! Easily 8/10 books worms. If you have not read it what are you waiting for? Get on it already.

Terry Brooks is truly a master of story telling and I will never hesitate to read anything by Terry Brooks. This book gets 8/10 book worms easily!



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