Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Elf Queen of Shannara by Terry Brooks - Review

Title: The Elf Queen of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara #3)
Author: Terry Brooks
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: January 23, 1993
Source: Self-Purchased
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

"Find the Elves and return them to the world of Men!" the shade of the Druid Allanon had ordered Wren.

It was clearly an impossible task. The Elves had been gone from the Westland for more than a hundred years. There was not even a trace of their former city of Arborlon left to mark their passing. No one in the Esterland knew of them -- except, finally, the Addershag.

The blind old woman had given instructions to find a place on the coast of the Blue Divide, build a fire, and keep it burning for three days. "One will come for you."

Tiger Ty, the Wing Rider, had come on his giant Roc to carry Wren and her friend Garth to the only clear landing site on the island of Morrowindl, where, he said, the Elves might still exist, somewhere in the demon-haunted jungle.

Now she stood within that jungle, remembering the warning of the Addershag: "Beward, Elf-girl. I see danger ahead for you . . . and evil beyond imagining." It had proved all too true.

Wren stood with her single weapon of magic, listening as demons evil beyond all imagining gathered for attack. How long could she resist?

And if, by some miracle, she reached the Elves and could convince them to return, how could they possibly retrace her perilous path to reach the one safe place on the coast?

I've been looking forward to Wren's story for awhile now. I love her character and I love elves - so it was a great combo. Her quest to find the long lost elves takes quite a few twists and turns until she finds her lucky break - the hag that finally has many of the answers she's looking for, but it only gets more dangerous and exciting from there.

When she finds the island the elves have retreated to, it isn't anything she expected. Taken over by demons, she is forced to discover some very hard truths to find her way there safely. She meets some really great creatures along the way and I loved learning about them and what they were and how they came about being there. Each has it's only very important part to play in her quest - even if their parts aren't entirely clear at first.

The elves themselves have quite a few secrets to hide - none of which are good. As Wren discovers the truth of why they left and what they have done since, she's faced with a crisis of conscience about helping them return to their old world. Brilliantly written, I was on the edge of my seat as it all unfolded.

There's a lot of great epic moments of heroism from just about every person in the story. Terry Brooks isn't afraid to let Wren's friends steal the spotlight for their moment in the sun and a chance to save the day. There were some sad moments and a few of the characters I've grown to love do not make it through the book - but that only made me love those characters even more.

Again, the only downfall was that I wish I could see what the other main characters from the previous books were up to while Wren was on her quest. We get bits and pieces, but I feel like their stories could have been merged a bit more so they weren't "forgotten" when their story wasn't being told.

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