Jarka Ruus (High Druid of Shannara, Book 1)

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9780345435736: Jarka Ruus (High Druid of Shannara, Book 1)

More than a quarter of a century after The Sword of Shannara carved out its place in the pantheon of great epic fantasy, the magic of Terry Brooks’s New York Times bestselling saga burns as brightly as ever. Three complete series have chronicled the ever-unfolding history of Shannara. But more stories are still to be told—and new adventures have yet to be undertaken. Book One of High Druid of Shannara invites both the faithful longtime reader and the curious newcomer to take the first step on the next extraordinary quest.

Twenty years have passed since Grianne Ohmsford denounced her former life as the dreaded Ilse Witch—saved by the love of her brother, the magic of the Sword of Shannara, and the destruction of her evil mentor, the Morgawr. Now, fulfilling the destiny predicted for her, she has established the Third Druid Council, and dedicated herself to its goals of peace, harmony among the races, and defense of the Four Lands. But the political intrigue, secret treachery, and sinister deeds that have haunted Druid history for generations continue to thrive. And despite her devotion to the greater good as Ard Rhys—the High Druid of Paranor, Grianne still has bitter enemies.

Among the highest ranks of the Council she leads lurk those who cannot forget her reign of terror as the Ilse Witch, who covet her seat of power, and who will stop at nothing to see her deposed . . . or destroyed. Even Grianne’s few allies—chief among them her trusted servant Tagwen—know of the plots against her. But they could never anticipate the sudden, ominous disappearance of the Ard Rhys, in the dead of night and without a trace. Now, barely a step ahead of the dark forces bent on stopping him, Tagwen joins Grianne’s brave young nephew, Pen Ohmsford, and the wise, powerful elf Ahren Elessedil on a desperate and dangerous mission of search and rescue—to deliver the High Druid of Shannara from an unspeakable fate.

Expect no end of wonders, no shortage of adventure, exhilaration, suspense, and enchantment, as Terry Brooks demonstrates, once again, that there is no end to his magic of invention and mastery of storytelling.

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Review:

With Jarka Ruus Terry Brooks embarks on yet another journey with the legendary Ohmsford family. Beginning 20 years after the conclusion of the The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, the High Druid of Paranor Grianne Ohmsford finds herself struggling to unite the druids amid political morass risen from her prior history as the dreaded Ilse Witch. Her enemies' schemes come to fruition quickly and she is banished behind the wall of the Forbidding, the anti-demon security feature that collapsed so spectacularly in the magnificent Elfstones of Shannara. Her fate falls in the lap of the youngest Ohmsford, Penderrin, who unlike his Aunt Grianne and his parents is without the gift of magic. Pen along with Khyber and her uncle, the Elven Prince Ahren Elessedil, learn they must jump through the usual Brooks' hoops to unlock the door of the Forbidding and free Grianne.

Brooks is right at home in this formulaic addition to the Shannara franchise. All the furniture is here: the Druid Keep of Paranor, dark creatures in pursuit of reluctant young heroes and, of course, the Elfstones. The good news is that Brooks remains a master of description and the book hums along with comfortable ease. Devout Shannara fans will find their favorite magical realm exactly as they left it and no doubt anticipate this cliffhanger's sequel. --Jeremy Pugh

About the Author:

Terry Brooks is New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including The Sword of Shannara, The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr, and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas: Star Wars®: Episode I The Phantom Menace™. His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century.

The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

Visit us online at www.shannara.com.

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