This was the first book that I ever read by Terry Brooks, and I think it is the best of the "Dark Legacy of Shannara" series. The story is engaging and superbly imaginative, with intriguing characters that are surprisingly multi-dimensional. Take for example, the "witch" who is forced to leave her sanctuary where she has been able to put the past behind her but when leaving to aid Shannara in their battle gets pulled back into the evil and despair of her past. She finds herself changing as her hate and desire for vengeance returns to take over her mind. And then there is Arlingfant, the young Elvin sister who finally, after going through stages of denial, tears and false hope, resigns herself with dignity to the sacrifice she must make to help save Shennara. A young girl gives up her life and a chance at love by becoming the next Elcryss tree. Although this one’s the best, I highly recommend reading all three books of this trilogy.
I want to start off by saying I enjoyed reading this trilogy. However, it wasn't without some flaws. I thought the characters were ok, but in my opinion they were a little flat. I just didn't care about them as much as I could have. These could have been really beloved characters, but for me were just mediocre examples of the species commonly found in most high fantasy novels. Another thing that really hurt this story was the ending. If felt rushed, and made the story feel unfinished. I would like to have seen a follow-up to all of the characters, not just the Ohmsford brothers. It would have been nice to know where the other characters were and how they were doing. In simple terms the ending was just disappointing! However, the previously mentioned flaws have not discouraged me from reading other books written by Mr. Brooks. I fully intend to read more of his books, and I hope that I find them a little more satisfying!
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