Review of THE MEASURE OF THE MAGIC by Terry Brooks
LEGENDS OF SHANNARA
Del Rey, August 2011
For centuries, walls of mist have separated the valley from the depleted earth. Now, those walls have vanished and in the process, the holder of the black staff has fallen. As he died, Sider Ament gave the staff to Panterra Qu, but the young man knows nothing of magic, nothing of the working of the staff, and he doesn't have much time. Not only are troll armies massing along the passes leading to the valley, a new force, something that once was human but is now purely demon, has entered the valley and is desperately seeking the power that the staff represents.
If the valley pulled together, it might be able to withstand at least the military attacks but the elf-queen has murdered her husband, illegally seizing the crown, and religious zealots among the humans cling to their belief that the change can only mean that their savior is coming agan... and that anything they do to prevent his return is sinfull. Panterra has only his oldest friend, fellow tracker Prue, and the princess of the elves as dependable allies and the princess is jailed while Prue, too, is hunted by the demon. Even together, the three seem far from capable of defending the valley, let alone leading its inhabitants back into the real world.
Author Terry Brooks (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy by Brooks) continues his Shanarra fantasy series with a follow-up to BEARERS OF THE BLACK STAFF. Mixing magic interesting and emotionally compelling characters, and a magical future world based on a breakdown in today's technological society, Brooks bridges the gap between science fiction and fantasy in an intriguing story. THE MEASURE OF MAGIC also serves to demonstrate Brooks's view of our current world through the lens of fantasy. As in our world, many of Brooks's characters worry about their social standing, choose to interpret their faith in ways destructive to themselves and others, and ignore the environmental consequences of their actions. Fans of the Shannara fantasy line (which Brooks has faithfully depicted in a series stretching over decades) will enjoy this latest addition.
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