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The Gypsy Morph: Genesis of Shannara    by Terry Brooks order for
Gypsy Morph
by Terry Brooks
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Gypsy Morph follows Armageddon's Children and The Elves of Cintra in Terry Brook's superb Genesis of Shannara trilogy. It's set in a post-apocalyptic future, in which armies of once-men led by demons systematically exterminate enclaves of humanity. Logan Tom and Angel Perez, the last living Knights of the Word, are assigned by a mysterious, magical Lady to protect humanity and fight the evil of the Void.

In the first book, Logan Tom sought a gypsy morph, 'a creature formed of the Word's magic' and born as a human boy to provide mankind's last hope. In the second episode, the Knight led a street gang named the Ghosts (initially led by Hawk who loves Tess) from a Seattle engulfed by monsters towards the banks of the Columbia. In parallel, Angel Perez sent children north to the river from a dying LA, under the care of her friend Helen Rice, while she herself sought out the Cintra Elves. Young Elf Kirisin Belloruus (tasked by the sacred tree, the Ellcrys, with finding the Loden Elfstone and saving his people), his Tracker sister Simralin, and Angel then embarked on a perilous quest, which they barely survived.

As The Gypsy Morph opens, Kirisin and Simralin gather their forces, take a desperately wounded Angel to refuge, and return to find their people beset by a demonic army. After yet another in a long string of betrayals, Kirisin fulfills part of his destiny by magically enclosing the Elven home city in the Loden Elfstone and flees, closely guarded by his sister and other Trackers. Given Angel's injuries, Logan Tom is sent by the Lady (guided by owl Trim) to their aid, while the Ghosts (rejoined by Hawk and Tess after separate adventures) struggle on in a race against time to find the promised land that will offer refuge to humans, Elves and other races, from the monsters pursuing them and 'the end of the world'.

This final thrilling episode in the brilliant trilogy that bridges Brooks' Word and the Void trilogy and extensive Shannara series is book-ended by an account of a 'last man standing' slowly succumbing to madness in a missile command complex 'deep in the bowels of the earth'. Logan Tom - who has fought for so long with great courage, great endurance and great sacrifice - finds unexpected love, while engaged in 'the most important struggle of his life'. And Hawk, a future Moses born of magic, gives his all to protect those under his charge from ultimate evil. Genesis of Shannara is the best of all that Terry Brooks has written, and an absolute must read for any fantasy fan.

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