Legends of Shannara, BEARERS OF THE BLACK STAFF, Terry Brooks, Del Rey, $27.00, 360 pages, ISBN: 9780345484178, an appreciation by Barry Hunter.
When I opened the package and pulled this volume out, it was like welcoming an old friend back home. I first ran across Terry Brooks in 1977 when I read THE SWORD OF SHANNARA, it became the first fantasy title on The New York Times best seller list, and from then on Terry has been on my must read list. It doesn’t matter how many times you revisit Shannara, or any other of the magical kingdoms he has created, you are rewarded with terrific writing, characters, and the knowledge that an old friend has returned and a great time is to be had.
I have seen Terry at a few conventions over the years, the last time was at DragonCon several years ago. He is a prince of a gentleman and very easy to get to know and talk with. That is the thing about a lot of science fiction writers – they are very approachable and friendly. Part of being successful as a writer is to mingle with your fans, but it has to be backed up by good writing and Terry is at the top of his form in both aspects.
It has been five hundred years since THE GYPSY MORPH led his followers into sanctuary and sealed their valley with a protective spell. Now, the spell has weakened, predators are attacking the valley, Trolls are preparing an invasion and a successor must be found to become the Bearer of the Black Staff.
There’s plenty of action and adventure here to satisfy every fantasy reader. This is another one of those books that makes you want the next one to be sitting on the shelf to read next. I’m glad Terry decided to write instead of remaining a lawyer, it is definitely a plus for the fantasy field.