The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Second book in The Original Shannara Trilogy
Publisher: Del Rey; First Thus edition (December 12, 1983), Language: English, Paperback: 576 pages, ISBN-10: 0345285549, ISBN-13: 978-0345285546

The ancient, magical tree known as the Ellcrys is dying and it is the only thing standing between the Elves and the Demons.  It is the magical barrier that was erected thousands of years ago to isolate the evil creatures of faerie in a different, dead world. The only hope is to take the Ellcrys seed and emerge it in the bloodfire so it can sprout and replace the existing tree. This is a quest, where the protagonists face many trials, including demons, human greediness and their own self doubts.

Currently there are 23 books in the Shannara world.  These comprise 6 different series, a couple of standalone books, a short story and a graphic book.  Book number 24 is going to be released in August 2011 and a new trilogy is going to be released over time from 2012 to 2014.  Terry Brooks has also written 6 books in the Landover series, which is totally unrelated to Shannnara.  Please see my review of these books at:  The Elfstones of Shannara is the second book in the Original  Shannara Trilogy. This book is in the high fantasy genre, taking place in a non-technological age with reference to a world that was previously highly technological, but due to the primordial great wars has now once again reverted to simpler times. The story is told in the third person narrative from the various character’s point of view as the tale unfolds. The main protagonists are Prince Ander Elessedil, Wil Ohmsford, Amberle Elessedil and the Druid Allanon.

This story continues several generations after the first book in the trilogy.  It is with different characters who are the descendants of the original characters. It is up to Amberle Elessedil, the forsaken Elf and Wil Ohmsford, the healer to find the bloodfire and quicken the seed.  They find some unexpected help along the way.  On the home front, protecting the Elves is the Elven prince Ander Elessedil and the last of the Druids Allanon.

The book was written using plenty of imagination, the story and visual descriptions are well thought out and paint a clear picture of their journey.  The plot builds well and shows growth within all the characters, although I found the self-doubting characters to be a bit annoying at times, especially Amberle.  Her whining becomes tiresome so she makes an unlikeable heroine. Although she grows on you by the end of the book and the reader comes to understand her and her reluctance, especially considering what she has to go through. There are numerous exciting fight sequences.  The ending of the story is somewhat sad yet entirely satisfying.

This is a standalone story that can be read without reading any of the other Shannara books and still be completely enjoyable. However it is best to read the books in the order they were written so you can know the full back story. I recommend this book as a good entertaining read.  If you enjoy reading high fantasy books then you will enjoy reading The Elfstones of Shannara.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.