Brooks (A Princess of Landover, 2009, etc.) returns with the first book in a new fantasy duology set in the author’s Shannara universe.
Set 500 years after the events of Brooks’s recent Genesis of Shannara trilogy (The Gypsy Morph, 2008, etc.), this books tells the story of a large valley populated by Men, Elves and other races, surrounded by a magical wall to keep out hostile demons. When the magic staff–wielding Sider Ament (also known as the Gray Man) finds the wall is weakening, allowing terrible creatures through, he enlists the help of two Trackers, Panterra Qu and Prue Liss, who soon embark on a journey to inform the valley’s inhabitants of the demonic threat. It’s a fairly standard epic-fantasy plot, but it’s guided by a sure hand. Brooks has written more than 20 Shannara-related works by now, so a truly notable aspect of this novel is its accessibility. There’s enough back story provided that newcomers to the series won’t be lost, but not so much that the story bogs down. Indeed, it moves along nicely, the battle scenes are expertly handled and the ending will make readers look forward to the second book in the series.
A highly approachable continuation of the Shannara saga.