The Druid of Shannara by Terry Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Maybe I'm just getting a little burnt-out on the Shannara books, 'cause I've been reading so many of them now that the show's come out (and I'm still praying that MTV renews it for a second season, 'cause it's a hell of about time they have something worth watching other than Teen Wolf.) But I feel like every Shannara book I read now ends up being a bit more of the same. Case in point with this book, which repeats a storytelling tactic that showed up in one of the earlier Shannara books - not exactly in the same way, but the circumstances were pretty similar. Not to mention similarly tragic. It didn't have quite the same impact on me as did the previous major tragedy, though, for some reason. I can't quite put my finger on it...
But what I can put my finger on is the fact that, let's face it, this book just got ridiculous with the names for some of its characters. Pe Ell, for instance, is bad enough (it sounds like "Peele" in my head, so why not just call him that? After all, unlike most Tolkien-esque high fantasies, this series at least sticks to names that are A) pronounced pretty much the way they look, and B) look normal enough that they could possibly pass muster in the real world in some cases). But then you get a character who shares her name with the subtitle of one of the Highlander movies, unless I miss my guess (I think it was the one that made the fans cry, "There should've been only one!"), and every time Quickening's name is invoked, it's just instant Narm for me.
For all its flaws, though, Druids still serves up enough of the classic Shannara elements (Creeper horror, strange magic, and Elfstones, Elfstones, Elfstones) to keep me interested even through the less magical parts of the book.
Let's face it, I'm not much of a high fantasy reader. I barely managed to get through LOTR the first time around (it took me a second read to appreciate it more.) I'll keep reading these books, but I'm not sure how much longer I can last with these. At least I've now officially stuck to it longer than I did with the Emberverse, so that's saying something...
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