Select one of the keywords
Bearers of the Black Staff: Legends of Shannara    by Terry Brooks order for
Bearers of the Black Staff
by Terry Brooks
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Legends 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 once-men 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.

Hawk led his Ghost 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.

After 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.

Tasha 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!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews