Events that began in Jarka Ruus, Book One of High Druid of Shannara, come swiftly to a head in this second thrilling volume. Alliances are made, trusts are betrayed, and prices are paid. Through it all, Terry Brooks orchestrates the action with the flawless hand of a master mythmaker- fashioning another exquisite link in his chain of bestselling epics.
Make a wish on an Elfstone and anything can happen, including a fresh second installment (after 2003's Jarka Russ) in Brooks's bestselling High Druid fantasy trilogy, part of the long-running Shannara series whose magic has been showing signs of wear. As the Free-born Federation war continues in the Four Lands, life is packed with peril for the Ohmsford family. While High Druid Grianne Ohmsford languishes in the Forbidding, a demon tracks her gifted nephew, Pen, with orders to kill him from the Druid responsible for her banishment, the evil Shadea a'Ru. Young Pen and his followers perky Elven Elfstone carrier Khyber, grumpy dwarf Tagwen, blind Rover girl Cinnaminson and helpful Rock Trolls seek the tanequil, a mysterious tree from which a "darkwand" must be formed that will aid Pen in rescuing his aunt from the Forbidding. Pen's parents, Bek and Rue, are also ensnared by Shadea, an uneasy ally of Sen Dunsidan, the Federation's prime minister. New readers may feel a little disoriented by unfamiliar references, but Brooks's efficient pacing, skillful characterizations and suspenseful plotting all bode well for the trilogy's conclusion. Anne Sibbald at Janklow & Nesbit. (Aug. 31) Forecast: Brooks has more than 21 million books in print. Expect another bestseller. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 30, 2004
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Excerpt from High Druid of Shannara: Tanequil by Terry Brooks
Sen Dunsidan, Prime Minister of the Federation, paused to look back over his shoulder as he reached his sleeping chambers.
There was no one there who shouldn't be. His personal guard at the bedroom doorway, the sentries on watch at both ends of the hallway-no one else. There never was. But that didn't stop him from checking every night. His eyes scanned the torchlit corridor carefully. It didn't hurt to make certain. It only made sense to be careful. He entered and closed the door softly behind him. The warm glow and sweet candle smells that greeted him were reassuring. He was the most powerful man in the Southland, but not the most popular. That hadn't bothered him before the coming of the Ilse Witch, but it hadn't stopped bothering him since. Even though she was finally gone, banished to a realm of dark madness and bloodlust from which no one had ever escaped, he did not feel safe.
He stood for a moment and regarded his reflection in the full-length mirror that was backed against the wall opposite his bed. The mirror had been placed there for other reasons: for a witnessing of satisfactions and indulgences that might as well have happened in another lifetime, so distant did they seem to him now. He could have them still, of course, but he knew they would give him no pleasure. Hardly anything pleasured him these days. His life had become an exercise conducted with equal measures of grim determination and iron will. Political practicalities and expediencies motivated everything he did. Every act, every word had ramifications that reached beyond the immediate. There was no time or place for anything else. In truth, there was no need.