From New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks comes a thrilling stand-alone novel in his legendary Shannara series—the perfect place for new readers to begin.
After taking up his enchanted sword against the dark sorcerer Arcannen, Paxon Leah has become the sworn protector of the Druid order. Now a critical hour is at hand, as a beloved High Druid nears the end of her reign and prepares to pass from the mortal world to the one beyond. There is little time for Paxon to mourn his friend and benefactor before duty summons him. For in a distant corner of the Four Lands, the magic of the wishsong has been detected. Paxon must accompany a Druid emissary to find its source—and ensure the formidable power is not wielded by the wrong hands.
But danger is already afoot in the village of Portlow. Gentle traveling minstrel Reyn Frosch possesses the uncanny gift, and curse, of the wishsong. And now his coveted abilities have captured the malevolent interest of none other than Arcannen—whose quest for power is exceeded only by his thirst for vengeance. The lone survivor of a brutal assault on a notorious pirate city, the sorcerer is determined to retaliate against the Federation’s elite military guard—and use the devastating power of the wishsong as his ultimate weapon.
Praise for The Darkling Child
“Brimming with magic . . . a bubbling cauldron of fantasy and intrigue. This novel shines best through a full-bodied embrace of its most wildly imaginative magic and artifice, which is careful not to overshadow the story’s greater half, fueled by a complex but well-constructed manifold of motives. The intrigue, grounded in a world that strays just enough from a traditional fantasy universe to elicit delighted curiosity, guarantees a solid fantasy read, especially for those already drawn into Brooks’s vast world of Shannara.”—Booklist
“Brooks’s fans and those who prefer their fantasy on a smaller scale will appreciate the more personal but still high-stakes turn in this famous world.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Terry Brooks
“The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks’s cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy.”—Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!
“If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.”—Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear
“I can’t even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks’s books I’ve read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood.”—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind
“Terry Brooks is a master of the craft and a trailblazer who established fantasy as a viable genre. He is required reading.”—Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Angel Trilogy
“The Shannara books were among the first to really capture my imagination. My daydreams and therefore my stories will always owe a debt to Terry Brooks.”—Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Beyonders and Fablehaven series
The second book in the Defenders of Shannara segment of Brooks's legendary Shannara series (following The High Druid's Blade) continues telling a story in which failure could cascade into catastrophe, though the main arc is far less grandiose than Brooks's previous works. For five years, Paxon Leah has wielded his legendary ancestral blade, the Sword of Leah, as the defender of the Druids of Paranor defending their leader, Aphenglow Elessedil, in particular. But now Aphenglow is dying. The sorcerer Arcannen Rai, who once kidnapped and traumatized Paxon's sister to exploit her Wishsong magic, has survived an atrocity and vowed to take revenge by using the young singer Reyn Frosch's Wishsong. Paxon and a Druid, Avelene, investigate Reyn and confront Arcannen, knowing that the two together would be all but unstoppable. Brooks's fans and those who prefer their fantasy on a smaller scale will appreciate the more personal but still high-stakes turn in this famous world.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great classic fantasy
I received a free copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Years and years ago I read every book Brooks wrote that I could get my hands on. It has been so long that I could not begin to tell you what I read in those books, but I do remember how much I loved spending time in his world. That is something that I felt again upon reading this book.
The Darkling Child is great fantasy with a classic feel. I have seen this novel described as a great starting point into his already well established world and I would agree. Brooks does a good job of giving you all of the back info that you need for this book in the story itself.
I do think that if you are a long time reader of his, you will get more out of the story because I can see that there are a lot of tie-ins and well loved characters and themes being used throughout the story. Again though, I didn't feel lost at any point during the book, which is a big deal. A lot of times, when I jump into a series that has been going on for a long time, I feel like I am missing out on a lot of things, so hats off to the author for pulling that off successfully.
Looking forward to reading more of his Shannara novels, hopefully soon.
I would recommend this to any fan of fantasy, specifically those who like Jordan, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance and Lord of the Rings style fantasy.
Not a bad book.