Posted on September 1, 2008 by Flames
The Elves of Cintra. Book 2 of Genesis of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Book two of the series starts where the first one left off.
Hawk and his girlfriend Tessa had been pushed off the building for crimes against the compound. Only to disappear in a bright light.
Knight of the Word, Logan Tom has found they gypsy morph (Hawk), but he cannot get to him before he is pushed toward what could be his death. He is left with the Ghosts (the small street gang that Hawk led) and they begin a search to find the young man.
Meanwhile another Knight named Angel Perez with the help of a small magical creature named Ailie; go to find the elves in an attempt to help them find the Loden stone. An item that allow them to move their city to a safe haven.
The good. The strength of Terry Brooks is the fact that you do get invested in the story. You truly care about what is happening to the people in the book. That is not as easy as it seems, especially when you have multiple groups of characters to try to embrace.
The struggle of Logan Tom to find Hawk is a great example of that. He was told by the Lady of the Word that Hawk is alive and he and what is left of the Ghosts begin their search for Hawk. He struggles with the thought of whether he should be going on alone to find Hawk, and the need to protect the children that he somehow became entangled with. Logan is a very real character, that has to make hard choices and they weigh heavily on him. He has to fight a former Knight of the World. It was interesting because it shows him what he could become if he isn’t careful. It was a nice contrast and a glimpse of the dangers of giving up or allowing yourself to burnout.
The Ghosts are interesting as well. Brooks likes (at least in this novel) to do flashbacks to explain the background of most characters. You get little nuggets as to how they children end up in Seattle and eventually in the Ghosts. Panther is very interesting because at first glance he is an angry and impulsive young man. The more you read of him, you really see how much he cares for the rest of the Ghosts, but he tries really had to make sure that is hidden. There was a scene after one of The Weatherman died, that he said something unexpected in its tenderness.
Then you have Angel Perez and the elves. They are being watched by two different demons. One, a powerful creature that has followed them and attempted to kill Angel twice and one that has been hiding with the elves as a changeling. The second is much more dangerous because of its ability to plan and manipulate. The elves are Kirisin, Simralin (bother and sister), and Erisha (the king’s daughter). They are with Angel in their quest to find the Elfstones and Loden stone. She knows there are two demons hunting her. After finding the Elfstones, they then use the stones (they are stones of seeking) to find the Loden stone.
They have to fight thought murder and manipulation to finally confront the two demons to find the Loden stone. Along the way, the demons have killed some of their party, which weighs heavily on the survivors.
The writing style is very easy to read. This is a major improvement over his first novels (The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara, etc.). Which is normally the case with most writers. His early novels were very morose and wordy. But I have watched his novels improve over the years to be the wonderful novels they are today.
The setting is great, because it is a vision of what our world could be if we do not get smarter. The world is desolate after nuclear devastation and the war between humans and demons. Too much warfare and chemicals have changed people into creatures and there is hardly any clean water of food left. Crazy.
The bad. These are very minor complaints.
Kind of the same problem I had with the first book. I love the idea of a demon changeling, but it was done in The Elfstones of Shannara. To be fair, not everyone may have read that and it was his second novel written about twenty-five years ago. So, it isn’t like he did it just a few years ago. I would have liked to have had more of the changeling. More scenes where you know the demon is there, but not sure of whom it is. I like the mystery of that. The not knowing who the traitor is and trying to figure it out. J
Although I think it was important for Logan to face down the ex Knight of Word, it did seem a bit forced and out of sync with the rest of the book.
Not much about Hawk and Tessa. They are making their way (with refugees) to where they are going to try to find a safe haven. Although there was a cool scene of magic that Hawk does.
The ugly. This probably won’t bother too many people that read this type of novel. There was quite a bit of death in this one. I think that is important to have that in a fantasy novel so you understand the stakes involved. Not everyone else agrees with this though.
My rating. Pushing the cusp of greatness. 9.0 out of 10. A great second novel in a trilogy. The action was intensified and the stakes were raised. That is what you expect in the second novel. Things should be harder, and the difficulties should be worse. I am very excited about the third book (it only came out two days ago), and my review will be up as soon as I finish it.
Review by Stacey Chancellor
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