Posted on August 26, 2008 by Flames
This review of an author that is one of my favorites. Terry Brooks. I first read The Sword of Shannara when I was fourteen and although it had many (and I say many) similarities to the Lord of the Rings, I still liked it enough to read more by him.
The story is this. It is the near future, civilization has fallen into chaos. Nuclear war has left the land barren of food and water and people struggle to survive anyway they know how. Demons are pushing the world farther into oblivion, and there are only a few that stand up to them. Knights of the Word. Logan Tom and Angel Perez are those knights and it is there job to take the remnants of humanity to find a safe haven for their survival.
To start, I am a fantasy geek. I love the heroic struggle of good vs. evil. I love that people band together to fight a common enemy. We are stronger together than we are alone. It is a lesson in life that sometimes we forget.
Now to the book.
The good. The characters have a tone of depth. Logan Tom is a Knight of the Word, and has been fighting (and killing) demons and half men for years. It is taking its toll and he is starting to lose himself. His life is one long conflict. The same can be said for Angel Perez. I really like that Brooks made one of the Knights female. She grew up in the streets of Los Angeles and had to make difficult decisions to get where she was. Both of them are taking different paths. Logan Tom is to find and protect the Gypsy Morph that is supposed to save mankind, and Angel Perez is to find an elfstone.
Then there is Hawk. He is a teenager that is the leader of a street gang in Seattle called the Ghosts. It is an interesting group. Owl is a mother girl of eighteen in a wheelchair. Panther is an angry youth that follows Hawk only so far. Bear is their other protector, but he is quiet. Candle is a young girl that is an empath that has visions. You get the idea. There are more, but I don’t want to go into everyone. Hawk also has a relationship with Tessa, a girl from the compound. The compounds have shut themselves off and do not want any contact with others in the city. They have forbid her relationship with Hawk and them being together is very risky for her.
The flashbacks are a good thing when handled properly. They give a reason for why Angel and Logan are the way they are. He handles it very well. The fights are very interesting as well. The Knights have power from their staffs and they combat demons that have superior strength and speed.
The setting is very believable the way our world is going. The world is dying and anger seems to be everywhere. Nuclear war has ruined the world and people have to forage even to survive. Bottled water and canned goods are about the only thing that has survived. It is a very tough and unforgiving world. That doesn’t mean there isn’t beauty, and that is kind of the point in the story. No matter how bad things are. No matter how bleak things are. No matter how dark the world is. There is hope. Hope changes everything. Hope fills us with something that makes us more than we are.
The bad. Having read so much of his work, he does tend to use the same plot lines from time to time. The whole world has to be reborn was done to an extent in The Elfstones of Shannara. This isn’t a horrible thing, just something to note.
The ugly. Other than a look at what human kind could do to the planet (which is ugly), not much else.
My rating. Pushing the cusp of greatness. 9.0 out of 10. As usual I am hooked by Brook’s story. He never fails to deliver characters I care about. The story is nice and is a great start to a trilogy.
Review by Stacey Chancellor