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Bearers of the Black Staff: Legends of Shannara (Pre-Shannara: Legends of Shannara) Mass Market Paperback – July 26, 2011
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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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I noticed that when the world was destroyed because of the machinations of man and the remnants escaped to be protected until it was safer, they still didn't learn. You can see several places where greed and selfishness are causing the same types of problems as before and how no one seems to have learned from their mistakes.
You get to see what has become of the Knights of the Word, as well. Also, while it's never clearly stated that I can see, it seems to me like a lot of their power is a precursor to druidic magic. I noticed that in the prequels, though it had more impact in these books that had a setting more closely resembling the Shannara world. The Knights of the Word shoot blue fire out of their staves and devote their lives to helping people. That sounds to me an awful lot like the basic tenant and the more powerful abilities of the druids, though some practice it more than others. The KotW are pretty badd*$$, but I can totally see Allanon as a KotW who is so awesome he doesn't need a staff.
You also learn about the origins of the trolls and other creatures throughout the four lands. It's definitely worth the read and I recommend fans of the series jump on it. Assuming you've read the (6) prequel novels.
Trolls are introduced in this story and should keep things interesting along with the elves and the Knight of the Word. Great book.
This is not a terrible book, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't a hard core Terry Brooks fan. Even then it's far from I'm used to from this author. I thought The Word & The Void trilogy was incredible, and the Genesis of Shannara trilogy was really good, too... This one was just kinda, "Meh!"
Not surprisingly this book was inappropriately titled, Bearers Of The Black Staff. (This seems to be a recurring issue with Brooks.) This story had very little to do with the Knights of the Word. In fact, there was only one known remaining bearer of the black staff, and he was hardly a traditional Knight of the Word.
Anyway, this story picks up about 500 years after Hawk turned himself into a magic force-field to protect and preserve the humans and elves who were to survive the end of the world. Now what? I couldn't really tell you. This book was not very engaging and even less memorable. Character development was meager at best. I found myself not caring very much about any of the heroes or villains within. Honestly, I felt that all the main characters in this one were pretty pathetic.
I suppose one could argue that this (along with PART 2: The Measure of Magic) served to bridge the gap between the end of the old world and the world of Shannara. It doesn't make it a 'good book' JUST because it serves a purpose. I think a much better story could have been told.
Finally, as expected, this book ended with a cliffhanger that would ensure that most readers would buy the next book once it was released the following year. This irritates me to no end, so I waited until both books from this series were available in Mass Market Paperback before reading. In all fairness, I will say that this cliffhanger was much more reasonable than the one at the end of Armageddon's Children.
This book, one of three in the series, is the glue that binds the Old World to the World of Shannara. Brooks has captured the essence of of the struggle for survival in a magical and post-apocalyptic world. The book flows as well as his first book, "The Sword of Shannara" and continues to surprise me just as he has done since 1977.
High highly recommend this book and the series.
If you are new to the World of Shannara or Terry Brooks then I would recommend also purchasing his other books as well.
As for the cost of the book for Kindle, I was actually surprised at the low cost. Keep in mind that not all of his books are the same cost.
I had zero issues on the download and there has been no glitches or missing data.
This is a great book in Hardcover, Paperback and Digital. I guarantee you will be satisfied should you choose to buy this book.