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Bearers of the Black Staff: Legends of Shannara [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Terry Brooks
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 24 2010 Legends of Shannara (Unnumbered)
For more than three decades, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks has ruled the epic fantasy realm with his legendary Shannara series. With each new novel the mythos has deepened, ever more fascinating characters have arisen, and increasingly breathtaking vistas of magical adventure have emerged. Now the evolution of one of imaginative fiction’s most beloved worlds continues in the first book of the new series Legends of Shannara: Bearers of the Black Staff.

Five hundred years have passed since the devastating demon-led war that tore apart the United States, leaving nothing but scorched and poisoned ruins, and nearly exterminating humankind. Those who escaped the carnage and blight were led to sanctuary by the boy savior known as the Hawk—the gypsy morph. In an idyllic valley, its borders warded by powerful magic against the horrors beyond, humans, elves, and mutants alike found a place they believed would be their home forever.

But after five centuries, the unimaginable has come to pass: The cocoon of protective magic surrounding the valley has vanished. When Sider Ament, the only surviving descendant of the Knights of the Word, detects unknown predators stalking the valley, he fears the worst. And when Panterra Qu and Prue Liss, expert Trackers from the human village of Glensk Wood, find two of their own gruesomely killed, there can be no doubt: The once safe haven of generations has been laid bare and made vulnerable to whatever still lurks in the wasteland of the outside world.
   
Together, Ament, the two young Trackers, and a daring Elf princess race to spread word of the encroaching danger—and spearhead plans to defend their ancestral home. But suspicion and hostility among their countrymen threaten to doom their efforts from within—while beyond the breached borders, a ruthless Troll army masses for invasion. And in the thick of it all, the last wielder of the black staff and its awesome magic must find a successor to carry on the fight against the cresting new wave of evil.

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"Terry Brooks displays the sure hand of a master. Bearers of the Black Staff is filled with iconic characters and heroes not diminished but made human by their flaws. A finely-wrought tale of sacrifice, adventure, betrayal, magic, loss, and a world on the precipice."--Brent Weeks, author of The Way of Shadows

About the Author

Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the Genesis of Shannara novels Armageddon’s Children and The Elves of Cintra; 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.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy April 27 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have almost all the rest of the series so I am very happy to get this one. Look forward to reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Reading Jan. 29 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
My husband enjoyed reading this book.
He has read many books that Terry Brooks has written, and he enjoys them all the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Bart Breen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Terry Brooks and Shannara have been around since the 1970s. I remember stumbling across Brooks after reading all of Tolkien's works and wondering if there was anyone else out there who could write and create a world like Tolkien. I didn't realize at the time, how tall an order that was. I read a lot of imitators and wannabes and was about to give up, but thanks to Brooks and a few others I was pleasantly surprised that there was some fantasy literature out there worth reading.

Over time though, I began to feel that Terry was dragging things out just a little and some of the plots and stories were wearing a little thin. It was with this background and sense of wonder as to where Terry would go with a Shannara related book so many years later, that I picked this book out and I have to say, I wasn't disappointed.

It's been a long time since I read the original Shannara books and I wondered if I was going to be able to come back so many years later and remember enough for the book to make sense. As it turned out, there was no reason to worry. This book stands well by itself and while it certainly has some ties to previous works, I didn't find myself confused or needing to recall characters or plots from the past to make sense of what was going on here.

Brooks' writes smoothly (as I remember well) and strikes a good balance between character development, plot progression with surprises along the way that keep the reader from getting too comfortable. Tied into this series as well is a good tie to our good old "mundane" world with some speculation as to what things might be in the aftermath of, oh I don't know .... how about a nuclear holocaust? It does it however without the tempting social commentary that another writer might have indulged in.
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