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Friday, June 15, 2012

The Bearers of the Black Staff, a review by Cullen

Title:  The Bearers of the Black Staff: Legends of Shannara Book 1)
Author:  Terry Brooks
Format:  Hardcover
Price: $7.99

Summary: The magical barrier that has protected the valley for over 500 years is eroding.  Evil creatures from the world outside have entered the valley, but there is still disbelief that the barrier is gone.  Sider Ament is the bearer of a magic as old as the barrier, the Black Staff, and he knows the valley won't be safe for long.  Panterra Qu and Prue Liss have grown up together and have become expert trackers.  They believe that Ament is correct and the barrier won't hold for long.  Panterra and Prue are tasked by Sider to gather support from the Elves so they can defend the passages into the valley.  Panterra and Prue cross the barrier and go into the world beyond.  Unwillingly, they cause an army of Trolls to take an interest in the valley.

Panterra and Prue escape the Trolls and go to tell Sider what happened.  The Elves and humans race to defend the passes.  As the Troll army approaches, the defenders see that the Trolls are vastly superior to their inexperienced warriors.  The only advantage is Sider Ament and his Black Staff.

Sider Ament is a solitary man who has very little contact with civilization as he helps protect the valley.  He is torn up over the loss of teacher and the loss of his love.

Panterra Qu has heightened senses that help him as a Tracker.  He is driven by feeling like he left Prue behind.

Prue Liss can sense danger before it happens.

Theme: One theme of this novel could be that all good things come to an end.  The People of the valley are shocked when the barrier fails.  They don't expect it to end, but it did, and they weren't prepared.  If they knew this lesson, they would have been prepared.

My Thoughts: Overall, this was a very strong book and I enjoyed reading it.  I think Terry Brooks is a good writer, having read most of his other books.  I enjoyed this one the most.

I didn't really like the ending, but I guess it had to happen in order to set up the second book.  I enjoy reading this genre and reading other books by this author.

Rating: 4 out of 5 chocolate bars
Cover Thoughts: I like the cover.  I thought it helps you visualize the setting as well as Sider Ament.
Appropriateness:  There is some violence in the book but nothing really that graphic.

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