The world of Shannara is brimming with untold stories and unexplored territory. Now bestselling author Terry Brooks breaks new ground with a standalone adventure that’s sure to thrill veteran readers and recent converts alike.
The mysterious, magic-wielding Druid order has existed for long ages, battling any evil that threatens the Four Lands—and struggling to be understood and accepted by outsiders. But their hopes of building goodwill are dashed when a demon’s murderous rampage at a peace summit leaves their political opponents dead—casting new suspicions upon the Druids and forcing them to flee from enemies both mortal and monstrous.
Paxon Leah, the order’s appointed protector, knows that blame lies with Arcannen Rai, the vile sorcerer he has battled and defeated before. But there’s no time to hunt his nemesis, if he is to lead the wrongfully accused Druids to their sanctuary. It is a quest fraught with danger, as a furious government agent and his army snap at their heels, and lethal predators stalk them in the depths of the untamed wilderness.
But Arcannen is playing a deeper game than Paxon realizes. Paxon’s sister possesses a powerful magic that the sorcerer longs to control—but Arcannen has not reckoned with the determination of his own estranged daughter, Leofur, who is also Paxon’s devoted lifemate. Leofur sets out on a perilous quest to thwart her father’s desires—while the vengeful Arcannen conjures his blackest magical skills, determined to destroy them all . . . and claim the most powerful of magics for his own.
Lazy writing and unremarkable characters and situations will leave readers disappointed in Brooks's third Defenders of Shannara epic fantasy (after The Darkling Child) and 28th overall Shannara novel. At a high-level summit to be held in the city of Arishaig, leaders of the Druids and the Federation are to hold wide-ranging discussions with the ambitious goal of ending conflict among all races and governments. Paxon Leah is responsible for ensuring the safety of the event. Before the talks can advance, the meeting chamber is invaded by a ferocious creature that slaughters only the Federation attendees. Paxon and his party flee for their lives and must then try to prove they had nothing to do with the massacre. Meanwhile, Paxon's sister, Chrysallin, has been abducted, and Leofur Rai, Paxon's love interest and the titular sorcerer's daughter, embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her. The relative lack of backstory, perhaps intended to make the novel accessible to first-timers, instead makes the significance of the characters and situations obscure.