Monday, August 8, 2011

The Wishsong of Shannara

The Wishsong of Shannara

- Terry Brooks -

Ah, what could be better than curling up with a nice cool glass of wine, on a hot humid night, with an action packed Fantasy epic...not much! Ok, ok, if that is not your ideal situation, but, for some reason you find yourself in that exact scenario The Wishsong of Shannara is the book to have in your hand.

This is the third book in the original Shannara series, following the mega hits The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara. If you like the Sword & the Elfstones you'll like the Wishsong - they follow pretty much the same story line (even characters for the most part). Personally, I loved the other books which I believe led me to love this book.

The story starts off with the Olmsfords (the same family from the previous books) being paid a visit by the mysterious all-knowing Allanon. Now, you know when Allanon shows up at your doorstep the world is on the brink of ending. As with the other stories, the Olmsfords have special gifts, magic or is just in their blood; they are destined to be the only people in the world who can defeat whatever evil is threatening world domination. This time it is a young girl named Brin. She has the Wishsong. When she sings magic things happen, she can manipulate behaviours of anything. Allanon needs her to open a passageway to the evil pit of death & evil on the other side of the world, and only her magic song can do it. There starts the journey.

What I like about these books is they have a goal. The goal is always to get somewhere, or find something, that will defeat the evil. So, at least you know where the book is headed. Now, it's the journey that makes it so much fun.

This book is set up like the others, as in there is two story lines that sway far apart...but, will eventually meet up. First, Brin & Allanon head for the evil pit. Next, Brin's brother (who was supposed to stay at home) gets caught up in the adventure as well. Both stories have that eventual goal/finish line they are headed for, but, constant interruptions cause them to veer off track. This leads to lots of adventure filled mini-climax moments, and the introduction of many interesting characters. The sidetracking and meeting of sometimes strange people/characters leads us, the reader, to never know what is coming around that next bend. It really does make you want to keep turning the pages.

I've read books before where a hockey-sock full of characters makes the book hard to follow, but, somehow Brooks keeps everything in order. I think it is because even though there are lots of different characters they all have their purposes for moving the story along - they are not just added for useless dialogue.

There was a funny author's note in the book, or at least the version I had from the library. Terry mentions this is the first book he wrote on a computer. This is also the book that takes him from lawyer and part time author to full time writer and retired lawyer.

Rating - READ

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