Bearers of the Black Staff: Legends of Shannara
Del Rey, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
egends of Shannara: Bearers of the Black Staff
takes place centuries after the action of
The Gypsy Morph
, the conclusion to Terry Brooks' brilliant
Genesis of Shannara
trilogy. It's set in the post-apocalyptic future predicted in the
Knight of the Word
series, in which the early Knights' worst nightmares have come to fruition. Armies of
led by demons systematically exterminated sparse enclaves of humanity. They were opposed by two surviving
Knights of the Word
and by Hawk, born of magic to provide mankind's last hope.
awk led his
street gang - along with Elves, Lizards and others - to a hidden valley, which he used his magic to shield against monsters and the devastation unleashed on the world by madness in a missile command complex. Now, five hundred years later, the unthinkable has happened. That hidden refuge, which is watched over by the last Knight of the Word, Sider Ament, has been breached. Monsters' kills are discovered by talented young Trackers Panterra Qu (whose knack for deciphering trails is uncanny) and Prue Liss (whose instincts warn her of impending danger), and then by Sider.
fter rescuing the youngsters from the trap the creatures set for them, Sider sends them to warn the Glensk Wood council of the danger. He scouts outside the valley on his own, encountering mercenary Deladion Inch, who saves his life and warns him of the many dangers in this outside world. Inside the valley, politics and personal ambitions get in the way of doing the right thing. Skeal Eile, leader of the Children of the Hawk, sends assassins after Pan and Prue to prevent them from spreading their warning. They flee to friends, Tasha and Tenerife Orullian, amongst the Arborlon Elves.
asha and Tenerife, Pan and Pru, and reckless Elven Princess Phryne Amarantyne plan a quick survey of the passes, but then leave the valley. Phryne's actions lead to Pru's capture by Trolls (the outside Lizards' new name). A troll army marches upon the valley. Betrayals abound, involving humans, elves and trolls. There are battles and sacrifices, and both blue Elfstones and the Black Staff itself are handed on to a new generation.
Bearers of the Black Staff
ends on a cliffhanger, all its key characters in peril. I can't wait for this enthralling story's conclusion in
The Measure of the Magic
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