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Measure of the Magic(CD)Lib(Unabr.) [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Terry Brooks
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 30 2011 Legends of Shannara Duology (Book 2)
For five hundred years, the survivors of the Great Wars lived peacefully in a valley sanctuary shielded by powerful magic from the blighted and dangerous outside world. But the enchanted barriers have crumbled, the borders have been breached by predators, and the threat of annihilation looms large once more. Sider Ament, bearer of the last black staff and its profound power, devoted his life to protecting the valley and its inhabitants — and, in his final moments, gave stewardship of the black staff to the young Tracker Panterra Qu. Now the newly anointed Knight of the Word must take up the battle against evil wherever it threatens: from without, where an army of bloodthirsty Trolls is massing for invasion; and from within, where the Elf king of Arborlon has been murdered, his daughter, Princess Phryne Amarantyne, stands accused, and a heinous conspiracy is poised to subjugate the kingdom. But even these will pale beside the most harrowing menace Panterra is destined to confront — a nameless, merciless figure who wanders the devastated land on a relentless mission: to claim the last black staff . . . and the life of he who wields it.

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Terry's place is at the head of the fantasy world -- Philip Pullman, author of THE GOLDEN COMPASS If you haven't read Terry Brooks, you haven't read fantasy -- Christopher Paolini, author of ERAGON and BRISINGR --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Terry Brooks published his first novel, The Sword of Shannara, in 1977. It was a New York Times bestseller for more than six months. He has published twenty-five New York Times bestsellers since. Two of those--the novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word--were chosen by the Rocky Mountain News (Denver) as among the best fantasy novels of the twentieth century. A practicing lawyer until his third book was published, Brooks now writes full-time. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Judine.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read but not Terry's best July 4 2013
By Upjit
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like this book but it is definitely not amongst Terry Brooks' best works--without giving too much information away, I felt some of the characters could have developed a bit more. Granted, it was quoted in an interview that Terry views the characters' lives as finite...some live to tell the tale and some do not...having not enough time to fully develop in their own right within the story--that's why none of the elves are immortal in his books.

A definite must read for fans of the Shannara series as it explores the lives of the humans and other inhabitants as they fight for survival in the desolate world before the four lands came into being.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Effort and Predictable March 24 2012
By Amy W
I usually enjoy Terry Brook's books, and couldn't believe how disappointing I found this book. The characters were predictable and not very interesting. The plot was simplistic and it was difficult to engage with the story. The writing was repetitive and I felt that many of his scenarios were taken from other books and then tweaked. The characters that were the most interesting did not survive the series.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars legend of shannara measure of magic Nov. 9 2011
for anyone who like fanstastic and fiction i recommend this series by terry brooks. it is a good saga and very well written. a must read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  216 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An end to Brooks foray into the prequel era...for now Aug. 24 2011
By Guitarist of the Midwest - Published on
Terry Brooks's latest addition to the land of Shannara is both intriguing and saddening. Where part one deals with Sider, the final remaining Knight of the Word, this one deals with Panterra Qu, his designated heir. I'll keep this review short, but I'd like to say that while this isn't as amazing as something like 'Voyage', 'Wishsong', 'Genesis', or even the highest of his books 'Elfstones' this duology was certainly a decent addition to this universe. The end is anticlimactic but proves wrong the theory that he can't make himself write a bittersweet ending. He's received criticism for that in the past but he's shown here that he is more than capable. I recommend this.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite measure up Sept. 2 2011
By Jenna - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a long time fan of Terry Brooks and have read all of the Shannara as well as the Word series. Although this book was classic Shannara, it left me wanting more. I felt there were too many unanswered questions and wish there was another novel to this series. The conclusion seemed simplified and rushed. The fact that Terry now writes in cliff-hanger style and we have to wait an entire year to find out what happens to the characters makes me even more disappointed.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes me wish the series was more than a du logy Aug. 25 2011
By Jeffrey Miller - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is the second book in the Legends of Shannara duology which is another of the prequel series that takes place before the original Shannara trilogy.

I read this latest book after just finishing "Bearers of the Black Staff" the first book in this short series. I quite enjoyed the first book which in many ways was standard Fantasy fare but written capably. Brooks is very good at creating solid characters that you care about and want to find out what happens next. "The Measure of the Magic" does add quite a lot of escalation to the first novel. The first book ends with a very serious situation of an invasion coming into the valley that had been protected for 500 years. A new danger enters onto the scene that is much more serious and a greater threat to the new holder of the Black Staff and his friend and companion. This really adds to the story and makes it something more than just the end of the duo logy wrapping up previous plot points.

I really liked the character development and the sacrifices some of the characters made and the book is more bitter-sweet than the other novels in the series. Other plot elements and new characters round up the story. Considering the young age of the main characters this novel though does feel more like a transitional novel than the end of the duology. The characters were certainly strong enough for a continuation of the story and I certainly liked it enough to have wanted this to be more than a duology, but there always has to be a cutting of point when working with young heroes such as the Harry Potter series.

If you like Terry Brooks style I am confident you will enjoy this addition. I had forgotten how much I liked his writings and need to go back and read the other series again in the Shannara world.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-Written Tale of Prue Liss and Panterra Qu Nov. 30 2011
By Lonnie E. Holder - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
It has been a while since I read a Terry Brooks novel. I loved the original Shannara books, but stopped reading them at some point. I decided it was time to reacquaint myself with Terry Brooks as an author and to see what was happening in the world of Shannara with this book, though this story is actually part of a prequel to the Shannara stories, "Legends of Shannara," and a sequel to "Bearers of the Black Staff." I enjoyed this story and I would read it again.

The story opens with the Ragpicker. We quickly learn that the Ragpicker is a demon and he is on the hunt for the bearer of the black staff. The Ragpicker is also after Prue Liss. Indeed, the Ragpicker would have caught Prue Liss had there not been timely assistance from an unexpected source. At the same time, Panterra Qu finds himself the new bearer of the black staff. Pan struggles with his new role and alternates between overconfidence and doubt. Fortunately, once Prue Liss joins Pan the pair is much more than the sum of their parts.

Of course, if this story was only about Pan and Prue Liss, it might be interesting but relatively unimportant. Pan and Prue live in a valley long hidden from the world. The valley did have protection from those who would be quite happy to eliminate the inhabitants of the valley, to enslave them, or worse. Unfortunately, the protection is gone and the trolls know how to find the valley. Pan and Prue are working against the inevitability of discovery to try to get defenders for the valley.

Complicating matters is that princess Phryne Amarantyne's stepmother has imprisoned Phryne (where have we heard this one before?), accusing Phryne of killing her father, the king. Phryne's stepmother has a completely separate agenda from protecting the valley or even the Elf city. Since the Elves are the only credible force capable of stopping the inevitable troll invasion, Pan and Prue have to gain the help of the Elves, which may mean rescuing Phryne.

The story wends its way through the valley from Pan and Prue's home to the Elf city and then outside the valley as the story threatens to become epic, but falls just short. I was unable to stop reading this story. Author Brooks used a cliffhanger style and I had to keep reading to pick the story up again. Brooks used this style effectively from beginning to end, which made the story quick for me. I must admit that the elements of this novel reminded me of another author's novels, that being Stephen King. The Ragpicker had points where he reminded me of Randall Flagg from "The Stand." The way old technology entered the story reminded me of places in "The Dark Tower" series. Of course, this story is completely different from King's stories; I just kept having feelings of déjà vu.

This novel is hardly ground breaking. Indeed, many of the story elements are familiar from countless other stories. However, Author Brooks wrote the story well and I enjoyed most of the story from beginning to end. I wished Brooks had time to expand some of the details, but that is a minor quibble. The real point of this story is the journey, and the journey was fun for me. The only other thing I found slightly annoying was the internal conflicts of the characters. Strangely, had the internal conflicts not been there, some people would have complained that the author spent insufficient time in character development. Sadly, an author can never satisfy everyone.

As I noted earlier, it has been a while since I read a Terry Brooks novel. I can see that I have a lot of catching up to do. Brooks has expanding Shannara's world significantly since the days of "The Sword of Shannara." Shannara's world has a prehistory and lots of development. I need to fill in the holes and read all the books to see how it all ties together. This novel has given me the enthusiasm to do just that.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Such a disappointment given how good Book 1 was April 1 2012
By Ryan - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have always been a big fan of Terry Brooks. The Shannara novels were amongst the first fantasy books that I read, and I have always turned up to the book store every August to purchase the latest offering from Brooks. There has been plenty of reason for optimism over the past 5 years - the new Landover novel and the Genesis of Shannara novels have been some of Brooks' best work, and my expectations for concluding novel in The Legends of Shannara series were very high. Unfortunately The Measure of Magic was a massive let down, a boring and uninspired conclusion to a series that failed to cash in on the superb foundations that had been laid previously.

Sider Ament has been killed. The magical veil protecting the valley has fallen, trolls have amassed outside the valley waiting for a chance to strike, and the responsibility for leading the inhabitants of the valley back into the wider world has fallen to young tracker, and newly appointed Knight of the Word, Panterra Qu. While this premise has the makings of a very exciting story, we were promised by Brooks that this series would clearly define the transition from the world of the Word/Void to the world of Shannara. It was a very bold promise that was not adequately fulfilled, and having invested so much of my time into these five transitional Shannara books, I feel like the series was cheated out of the ending it deserved.

Not only did we not get the story we wanted but the story we did get was well below par, something made more apparent given the quality Brooks has produced over the past five years. To put it a bit more bluntly I became very bored reading The Measure of Magic, which is quite concerning as I don't think I have ever been bored reading a Brooks story. We get a generic coming of age story as Panterra Qu accepts the Knight of the Word mantle. We get a generic coming of age story as Prue Liss is called upon to make a personal sacrifice for the greater good. We get a generic coming of age story as Phryne Amarantyne accepts responsibility for the Elfstones. We get a generic coming of age story as Xac Wen strives to prove himself to his peers and his heroes. After playing with some heavy and controversial themes in the previous book, to see this book populated by such generic character arcs is a massive let down. The one redeeming feature of this book is it's villain, the Ragpicker. He is a cold, calculating and vile demon who hunts down Knights of the Word just for fun. His scenes are by far the most interesting in the book - he exudes an air made up of equal parts malevolence, power, and competence, and it is fascinating to watch how easily he can manipulate entire villages just by playing on their hopes and fears. In just one book Brooks established the Ragpicker as one of the most capable villains in the Shannara universe and it would have been nice to see how he would have developed over the course of an entire series rather than just the one book.

The writing here is pretty good, a style that has become well refined after twenty five years of Shannara. The world building is as strong as ever and the action scenes continue to be both vivid and exciting. The pacing is good, the story is easy to read, but it feels like there is far too much unnecessary prose here. This is a book that is twice as long as needed to be, which is a shame because there were so many sub-plots from the first book that were left untouched, and many more from this book that were left unresolved.

The Measure of Magic an uncharacteristically mediocre attempt at a novel by Terry Brooks. While there are some great scenes with some epic action sequences, they are interspersed by boring character development and relationships that refuse to evolve. It's not a bad read by any stretch of the imagination, and I have read much worse, but I expected more from Brooks on this outing. If you are looking for resolution of the various plot threads established over the past five years, you will end up feeling disappointed. However, if you can go into this story without expecting the overall genesis of Shannara to be resolved then I think you can glean quite a bit of enjoyment out of this book.
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