Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks — book review

Legends of Shannara: Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks. Orbit, ‘7.99

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

The protective wards, that have kept the lands safe for 500 years since the demon-led war are failing. When the bearer of the black staff, the mysterious Gray Man, Sider Ament, discovers this it is up to him to warn the valley dwellers of the coming evil and to prepare for battle. Throw in a set of twins, an elven princess, trolls, killer hounds, some impressive firearms, friends with special powers and a magic staff, and you have a classic recipe for a fantasy story.

Part one of the Legends of Shannara duology, Bearers of the Black Staff tells of the momentous burden that is the black staff: a magical artefact with great and untold powers. For those new to Terry Brooks, this is a perfect introduction to his style, and existing fans will recognise the author’s hallmarks.

At the start of the book, the pace is fantastic, and characters are introduced with ease as unexpected events swiftly disrupt the course of daily life in the once-safe valley haven. Towards the end it did taper off a little and there is rather a lot that will need to be taken up in the next instalment of the series, The Measure of the Magic; so I now await the conclusion.

Legends of Shannara: Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks. Orbit, ‘7.99

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

The protective wards, that have kept the lands safe for 500 years since the demon-led war are failing. When the bearer of the black staff, the mysterious Gray Man, Sider Ament, discovers this it is up to him to warn the valley dwellers of the coming evil and to prepare for battle. Throw in a set of twins, an elven princess, trolls, killer hounds, some impressive firearms, friends with special powers and a magic staff, and you have a classic recipe for a fantasy story.

Part one of the Legends of Shannara duology, Bearers of the Black Staff tells of the momentous burden that is the black staff: a magical artefact with great and untold powers. For those new to Terry Brooks, this is a perfect introduction to his style, and existing fans will recognise the author’s hallmarks.

At the start of the book, the pace is fantastic, and characters are introduced with ease as unexpected events swiftly disrupt the course of daily life in the once-safe valley haven. Towards the end it did taper off a little and there is rather a lot that will need to be taken up in the next instalment of the series, The Measure of the Magic; so I now await the conclusion.