From Publishers Weekly
The horrors of a war-ravaged world again invade a hard-won peace in Brooks's intense follow-up to 2008's The Gypsy Morph. Five hundred years have passed since Hawk led a tattered band of survivors into a valley protected by a magical barrier. Now the wall has been breached by demons. The last known Knight of the Word, Sider Ament, wields a powerful black staff that he hopes to pass to a new leader. After rescuing talented teen Trackers Panterra Qu and Prue Liss, Sider asks them to warn the Children of Hawk. Unfortunately, their council leaders don't share Sider's certainty of an impending invasion. While Sider explores the other side of the barrier, the young Trackers find help from Arborlon Elves in this superlative Tolkien-style fantasy tweaked with a contemporary vibe.
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This first volume of Legends of Shannara opens five centuries after the worldwide holocaust that ended the Genesis of Shannara trilogy. Elves, humans, and other races are slowly restoring a modest civilization in a mountain valley protected by their combined magic. Now this sanctuary is threatened by the assault of monstrous creatures that seem to be either magic wielders or creations of magic greater than the valley’s and of mysterious origin. Another stalwart band of heroes, the title characters, is drawn from all the races to fight—although this time they are not marching out on a quest but fighting in the last ditch. The forthcoming sequel, The Measure of the Magic, will, as it were, measure their degree of success—for the time being. The author’s success needs no measuring anymore—it is enormous, thanks to a growing gift for characterization, pacing, and world building, not to mention magic that may not be supremely original in conception but manages to be increasingly enthralling to literally millions of readers over what is approaching two generations. --Roland Green