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The Measure of the Magic: Legends of Shannara    by Terry Brooks order for
Measure of the Magic
by Terry Brooks
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Measure of the Magic follows Bearers of the Black Staff as a continuation (five centuries later) of Terry Brooks' Genesis of Shannara trilogy.

The latter unveiled for readers the post-apocalyptic future predicted in the Knight of the Word series. Demon-led armies systematically exterminated remnants of humanity. In opposition were two Knights of the Word and Hawk, mankind's last hope. He finally led humans, Elves, Lizards and others to a hidden valley, which he shielded with powerful magic against the devastation unleashed from a missile command complex.

That refuge was breached in Bearers of the Black Staff. Monster kills were discovered by talented Trackers Panterra Qu and Prue Liss, as well as by the last Knight of the Word, Sider Ament. But politics and ambition delayed the valley's defense and sent Pan and Prue in flight to Tasha and Tenerife Orullian of the Arborlon Elves. Along with Elven Princess Phryne Amarantyne, they planned a survey of the passes that led to great danger - and great sacrifice.

As The Measure of the Magic opens, a shapeshifting demon in the form of a ragpicker has become aware of the survival of a Knight of the Word and is tracking him. Pan now bears the black staff. Prue, rescued by mercenary Deladion Inch from Trolls outside the valley, struggles to return there. She has an encounter with the King of the Silver River that leaves her changed. Phryne, who witnessed her father's murder on her stepmother's orders, has been accused of the foul deed and is under guard in Arborlon.

The Measure of the Magic tells their stories - Prue's coming to terms with her new condition and further loss, while struggling to help Pan survive the demon; Phryne's escape from Arborlon, quest to win the Elfstones from the dead, and entanglement with a dragon; Pan's growing, but unrequited, love for Phryne; and a decisive battle between valley folk and Trolls. As always in a Terry Brooks fantasy, there are betrayals and sacrifice, leavened by love and hope. Don't miss Legends of Shannara.

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