Some ten years ago or so (that long already?), after finally reading The Lord of the Rings before the films came out, I was hooked on the fantasy genre. I needed more. Tolkien had written only so much. A friend recommended Terry Brooks‘s Shannara series and that, as they say, was all she wrote.
I began absorbing the books in sequence (which was about 10 at that time, over 20 now). The land of Shannara, much like Middle Earth or Narnia, draws you in and leaves you wanting for the next adventure.
After spending the last six years publishing the prequel Genesis of Shannara and Legends of Shannara books, Brooks has returned to the Four Lands proper with the The Dark Legacy trilogy.
Part 1, Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara finds a familar theme: A powerful magic was lost and dark forces want it, so it is up to the reluctant to band together and find it first. It is a story of druids, elves and men in a world once like our own, but where technology destroyed everything. Magic and faerie returned for centuries, but now certain races of men want to return to the old ways and conquer. Peace is crumbling.
While the themes may be familiar to fantasy fans, Brooks’ always puts a fresh face on it through his characters and many surprises. New fans will be able to start here, because like all the Shannara stories, Brooks’ leaves gaps of time between each set. This lets him build on what came before, but also start new. Many other fantasy worlds are nearly impossible to enter anywhere but at the beginning. Long-time fans will relish in the many references to past books. Dark Legacy builds mainly on the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, which is “only” a century before these in the timeline, but not so much that new readers will have to read them first. They certainly will go there next.
For nearly 40 years, Terry Brooks has been crafting an amazing alternate world. A different history for the course of man.
Will you dive into their Dark Legacy?