The Black Elfstone. Book Review

Orbit, h/b, 336pp, £20
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

Tigueron is an assassin and he always gets the job done for the price agreed. This particular job calls for a high price but there is something off about the man asking for the deed to be done; he seems unusually interested in the details, the method. Still, Tigueron agrees, for the exceptionally high price agreed, and there is no going back on it now, no matter who the intended victim.

Tarsha has the wishsong. Her brother, Tavo, does not, but they are still siblings and they are still as close as ever, for now. But when his magic finally does emerge, it is not the gentle, natural gift of Tarsha’s wishsong but something altogether darker.

Drisker Arc lives a quiet, solitary life of study. The former High Druid does not miss the politics and ambitions of Paranor but he still knows his colleagues are wrong to refuse scientific development and cling only to the power of their magic. He tried to warn them and in return they exiled him. Now the Fourth Druid Order is in danger from within.

With his twenty-ninth Shannara book, Terry Brooks begins The Fall of Shannara series with this fast-paced tale of how the Druids of Paranor begin to lose control and gives us a hard reminder that the wishsong can be a force of great evil and sorrow as well as good.

Writing a review of a Shannara book is always equally easy and frustratingly difficult – how can you reiterate the same positives again and again without repetition? All of the elements you would expect are here, packaged expertly, delivered in a well-timed, well-planned manner and with a good level of action and excitement in hand. They are always a pleasure to read and this brilliant start to a new series is no exception.