The Scions of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Published by Orbit Books in 1990
The first book of the Heritage of Shannara series is an enjoyable epic fantasy novel. The Four Lands has become a place where all magic is forbidden, as the Federation is now in control of the Southlands. The dwarves are enslaved, the elves have vanished and the druid order is no more. A new threat has emerged in the absence of magic, so once again the descendants of Shannara must once again undergo an epic quest to restore balance to the Four Lands.
I found this book easy and interesting to read. The characters feel more fleshed out in this book compared to previous Shannara novels, because the story is split into four books, this book being the first. Par and Coll Ohmsford have a brilliant chemistry a brothers, who support each other and are also very light hearted. I also found it very engaging to read the thought of each individual character when difficult decisions had to be made.
The Four Lands feels even more a sinister world, with enough darkness to make it a very believable world. The world in the Shannara novels is our world thousands of years after the great war, where magic has replaced technology and the elves have come out of hiding. The elves feature a lot in the previous books, but they are missing in The Scions of Shannara. Plenty of intrigue and mystery makes this novel an interesting read that you really want to savour rather than speed through.
My main criticism of this book, is that it feels a little like a retelling of previous Shannara novels. The Ohmsford once again have to recover the sword of Shannara and Par has the power of the Wishsong. However, I am hopeful that the next three books stray away from the plots used in the original Shannara trilogy to create an epic fantasy story.
The other problem with this novel is that the story is too predictable. The dangerous quests that the Ohmsfords have to go on in this book are all geared towards success with few twists and turns. The only plot twist in this book occurs and that end of the novel, which I will not give away or there would no point reading this novel.
To summarise, the Scions of Shannara, is a good fantasy novel, with a more fleshed out story than previous Shannara novels. The relationship between Coll and Par Ohmsford is fun and engaging to read. Aspects of this novel are similar to previous Shannara novels that I have read, including the quest to find the Sword of Shannara. Moreover, the book was a little bit too predictable for me. A must read for fans of fantasy, especially those who are fans of either YA fantasy or anything similar to Lord of the Rings
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
If you enjoy fantasy and want to read another review, then check my review of The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson by clicking the link below.