Review: Dark Legacy of Shannara: Wards of Faerie – Terry Brooks

Hardcover: 384 pages
Del Rey; First Edition edition (August 21, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0345523474
ISBN-13: 978-0345523471
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Aphenglow Elessedil – Young female elf/druid.
Khyber Elessedil – Ard Rhys of the Druid Order
Arlingfant Elessedil – Chosen, Sister to Aphenglow


Aphenglow Elessedil was given the task of going through druid archives to discover missing magic. Through her endevors, the diary of a young girl is found. The diary details the young girls affair with a dark elf and how she had stolen from her protection all of the elfstones. A group of Druids, led by the re-awakened Ard Rhys take on the task of finding these missing Elfstones.


This had everything I’ve grown to love in a Terry Brooks book. There’s at times three different plots going on, and true Brooks fashion, by the end of the book, you are left with three cliffhangers. That can also be the one issue, because in most cases, it’s another year before the next installment comes out. However, this time readers are in for a bit of an easier time. The word is that each book is going to be released 6 months apart, which would put the next book in this series out in February.

I loved the characters, I love the familiar setting. Each time I read one I find myself feeling like I’m journeying back home in a sense. The sense of wonder is there about when specific characters or will appear such as Ohmsfords or Leahs, or how those appearances will manifest. Diving back into these books is indeed like going to a family reunion.

I found myself actually smiling when certain events occurred, or when I discovered what certain symbol meant such as the one on the front cover. The book was just really fun to read.

If there was one drawback, it would be in wondering whether Mr. Brooks has outused his bag of tricks. There are some events that occur in the book that seem to be a rehash, and perhaps it will be an example of the same story told differently. That is my hope.

I definitely recommend this book to his fans. If you are just wanting to Jump into Mr. Brooks books, you could do so with this entry, though a lot of history and storylines might be spoiled.

The audio book for this was provided to me by Random House. The speaker was a british woman with a very engaging accent. Listening to her read the book was a true delight, and the even attempted to alter her voice for the various character parts.

Whether you go for the audio, printed, or e-book version, I think if you love Fantasy, you’ll enjoy this story. Pick it up, and be sure to drop back by and let us know what you think.

About the Author

Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books, including the Dark Legacy of Shannara adventure Wards of Faerie; the Legends of Shannara novels Bearers of the Black Staff and The Measure of the Magic; the Genesis of Shannara trilogy: Armageddon’s Children, The Elves of Cintra, and The Gypsy Morph; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars:® Episode I The Phantom Menace.™

His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.


“I found my way to fantasy/adventure. When I got there, I knew I’d found a home,” said Terence Dean Brooks, creator of the blockbuster, New York Times bestselling Shannara, Landover, and Word & Void series. Not only is Brooks at home in the highly competitive realm of fantasy literature, many would call him the genre’s modern-day patriarch – Tolkien’s successor. While that title is debatable, Brooks is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most prolific and successful authors of otherworld (and our world) fantasy. Few writers in any genre can boast a more entertaining collection of work – and a more ravenous and loyal fan base — than can Terry Brooks.

The most rewarding aspect to writing for Brooks is “when someone who never read a book reads [one of mine] and says that the experience changed everything and got them reading.” Because of his very engaging, quick-flowing writing style, countless numbers of young people have been introduced to the wonderful world of reading through Brooks’s adventures. The miraculous thing, however, is that these same fans – whether they’re now 20, 30, or 40 years old – still devour each new release like a starving man would a steak dinner. Credit Brooks’s boundless imagination, endearing characters, fresh storylines and underlying complexities for keeping his older, more discerning audience hooked.

Brooks began writing when he was just ten years old, but he did not discover fantasy until much later. As a high school student he jumped from writing science fiction to westerns to adventure to nonfiction, unable to settle on one form. That changed when, at the age of 21, Brooks was introduced to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien provided Brooks with a forum “that would allow him to release onto paper his own ideas about life, love, and the wonder that fills his world,” according to his web site.

In 1977, after six trying years, Brooks published novel his first novel, The Sword of Shannara. And quickly it gave him – and his publisher (the newly created Ballantine imprint, Del Rey) – quite a thrill; the fantasy adventure featuring the young Halfling, Shea Ohmsford; the mysterious wizard Allanon; Flick, the trusty companion; and the demonic Warlock Lord, was not only well received — it was a smash, spending over five months on The New York Times bestseller list. In 1982 Brooks released the follow-up, The Elfstones of Shannara (which Brooks says may be his favorite), to equal success. He closed out the initial trilogy in 1985 with The Wishsong of Shannara, and has since completed two more Shannara sets, The Heritage of Shannara books and the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara books.

As fans of Brooks know, the man doesn’t like to stay put. “I lived in Illinois for the first 42 years of my life, and I told myself when I left in 1986 that I would never live any one place again,” Brooks said. He now spends his time between his homes in Seattle and Hawaii; he and his wife also spend a great deal of time on the road each year connecting with the fans. These same nomadic tendencies are also apparent in his writing. Instead of staying comfortably within his proven, bestselling Shannara series, Terry frequently takes chances, steps outside, and tries something new. His marvelous Landover and Word & Void series are the results. While both are vastly different from Shannara, they are equally compelling. Word & Void – a contemporary, dark urban fantasy series set in a fantasy-touched Illinois – is quite possibly Brooks’s most acclaimed series. The Rocky Mountain News called the series’ first two books (Running with the Demon and The Knight of the Word “two of the finest science fiction/fantasy novels of the 20th century.”

Good To Know

When The Sword of Shannara hit The New York Times bestseller list, Brooks became the first modern fantasy author to achieve that pinnacle.

The Sword of Shannara was also the first work of fiction to ever hit The New York Times trade paperback bestseller list. Thanks to a faithful and growing fan base, the books continue to reach the list.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was not Terry’s first novelization. He also novelized Steven Spielberg’s 1991 movie, Hook.

Brooks’s The Phantom Menace novelization is also not his only connection to George Lucas. Both The Sword of Shannara and the original Star Wars novel, A New Hope, were edited by Judy Lynn del Rey and published in the same year (1977) to blockbuster success.

The Sword of Shannara was initially turned down by DAW Books. Instead, DAW sent Terry to Lester del Rey, who recognized Terry’s blockbuster potential and bought it. And the rest, they say, is history.

Brooks’s influences include: J.R.R. Tolkien, Alexander Dumas, James Fenimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Mallory’s Morte d’Arthur.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Richard at Random House for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.