Customer Reviews for

Bearers of the Black Staff (Legends of Shannara Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 405 )
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(197)

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(52)

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(22)

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(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Brooks is at his best with this tale as his myriad of fans will look forward to the conclusion

Five centuries ago the demonic Great War left humanity on the brink of extinction. Young Hawk the Gypsy Morph led a few battered human, elven and mutant souls into a sanctuary protected by a magical barrier (see The Gypsy Morph). Those inside knows that outside hell r...
Five centuries ago the demonic Great War left humanity on the brink of extinction. Young Hawk the Gypsy Morph led a few battered human, elven and mutant souls into a sanctuary protected by a magical barrier (see The Gypsy Morph). Those inside knows that outside hell reigns.

However, when he led the march to safety, Hawk never expected what has occurred recently; the barrier has collapsed allowing the demonic horde to invade. The last surviving Knight of the Word Sider Ament knows the people need new young heroes like the Bearers of the Black Staff he possesses that once was held by Hawk when he led them to safety. He rescues teen Trackers Panterra Qu and Prue Liss and tells them to warn the Hawk's descendents. However, the council complacent after hundreds of years of peace rejects Sider's belief the demons are coming while the Knight goes out to the external world to learn what has happened there and most likely in the valley. The two Trackers believe the Knight's word and seek allies.

Terry Brooks continues his prehistorical saga the Legends of Shannara with the first of a twp part fantasy thriller with the story line occurring five hundred years since the events of The Gypsy Morph. Inside the once safe valley is a fascinating look at a peaceful life on the verge of pandemic collapse with leaders mostly unable to accept the demonic tsunami is coming. As enjoyable as that subplot is, fans of Shannara will especially appreciate the other segue as Sider escorts the audience in a venture outside the valley, which enables fans to see what happened after Hawk saved the band. Mr. Brooks is at his best with this tale as his myriad of fans will look forward to the conclusion.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on July 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Good book but not for everyone.

Let me begin by saying that I have never read any of Terry Brooks' books nor am I a huge fan of high fantasy. I only picked this book while trying to take a break from historical novels. So let me be the first one to admit that this review will be a little biased but I ...
Let me begin by saying that I have never read any of Terry Brooks' books nor am I a huge fan of high fantasy. I only picked this book while trying to take a break from historical novels. So let me be the first one to admit that this review will be a little biased but I will do my best to be objective.

** PLOT **
The synopsis on the overview tab summarizes the plot well enough so I wouldn't even bother with that. But without spoiling too much, this book ends very abruptly with several cliffhangers. If I knew the whole thing was just a setup for a much more epic story, I would've waited for the other books to come out before I started reading. The plot is engaging enough but nothing is really resolved at the end so the reader is left to create their own conclusions. At least until the next book comes out.

** CHARACTERS **
The characters are very likeable and readers of every age will find someone they can identify with. Their actions and motivations are believable enough and I just love how crafty the real villains are. I do find one character, Skeal Eile, a little too one-dimensional but that's just nitpicking on my part. Also, some characters may be related to people from Brooks' previous novels; but having read none of them, I really can't be sure. Definitely something for the real fans though.

** WRITING STYLE **
Not a huge fan. Very long narratives punctuated by brief dialouges. The dialouges doesn't really pick up until the final chapters and even then, they're very dry.

** ORIGINALITY **
The Shannara universe, from what I picked up from this book, is a post-apocalyptic world populated by the typical creatures from Tolkienian high fantasy novels. And it works surprisingly well. If you have always wondered who can win in a fight between Mad Max and the orcs from Lord of the Rings, then this book is for you.

Well, I guess if you're a Terry Brooks fan, then picking up this book is a no-brainer. But for everyone else, I suggest you avoid it, at least until the whole series is released. As for me, I would definitely follow the series closely, not for admiration but out of sheer curiosity.

posted by Cinnamonbuns on September 4, 2010

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Page 1 of 21
  • Posted September 4, 2010

    Good book but not for everyone.

    Let me begin by saying that I have never read any of Terry Brooks' books nor am I a huge fan of high fantasy. I only picked this book while trying to take a break from historical novels. So let me be the first one to admit that this review will be a little biased but I will do my best to be objective.

    ** PLOT **
    The synopsis on the overview tab summarizes the plot well enough so I wouldn't even bother with that. But without spoiling too much, this book ends very abruptly with several cliffhangers. If I knew the whole thing was just a setup for a much more epic story, I would've waited for the other books to come out before I started reading. The plot is engaging enough but nothing is really resolved at the end so the reader is left to create their own conclusions. At least until the next book comes out.

    ** CHARACTERS **
    The characters are very likeable and readers of every age will find someone they can identify with. Their actions and motivations are believable enough and I just love how crafty the real villains are. I do find one character, Skeal Eile, a little too one-dimensional but that's just nitpicking on my part. Also, some characters may be related to people from Brooks' previous novels; but having read none of them, I really can't be sure. Definitely something for the real fans though.

    ** WRITING STYLE **
    Not a huge fan. Very long narratives punctuated by brief dialouges. The dialouges doesn't really pick up until the final chapters and even then, they're very dry.

    ** ORIGINALITY **
    The Shannara universe, from what I picked up from this book, is a post-apocalyptic world populated by the typical creatures from Tolkienian high fantasy novels. And it works surprisingly well. If you have always wondered who can win in a fight between Mad Max and the orcs from Lord of the Rings, then this book is for you.

    Well, I guess if you're a Terry Brooks fan, then picking up this book is a no-brainer. But for everyone else, I suggest you avoid it, at least until the whole series is released. As for me, I would definitely follow the series closely, not for admiration but out of sheer curiosity.

    11 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Mr. Brooks is at his best with this tale as his myriad of fans will look forward to the conclusion

    Five centuries ago the demonic Great War left humanity on the brink of extinction. Young Hawk the Gypsy Morph led a few battered human, elven and mutant souls into a sanctuary protected by a magical barrier (see The Gypsy Morph). Those inside knows that outside hell reigns.

    However, when he led the march to safety, Hawk never expected what has occurred recently; the barrier has collapsed allowing the demonic horde to invade. The last surviving Knight of the Word Sider Ament knows the people need new young heroes like the Bearers of the Black Staff he possesses that once was held by Hawk when he led them to safety. He rescues teen Trackers Panterra Qu and Prue Liss and tells them to warn the Hawk's descendents. However, the council complacent after hundreds of years of peace rejects Sider's belief the demons are coming while the Knight goes out to the external world to learn what has happened there and most likely in the valley. The two Trackers believe the Knight's word and seek allies.

    Terry Brooks continues his prehistorical saga the Legends of Shannara with the first of a twp part fantasy thriller with the story line occurring five hundred years since the events of The Gypsy Morph. Inside the once safe valley is a fascinating look at a peaceful life on the verge of pandemic collapse with leaders mostly unable to accept the demonic tsunami is coming. As enjoyable as that subplot is, fans of Shannara will especially appreciate the other segue as Sider escorts the audience in a venture outside the valley, which enables fans to see what happened after Hawk saved the band. Mr. Brooks is at his best with this tale as his myriad of fans will look forward to the conclusion.

    Harriet Klausner

    11 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2010

    Classic Terry Brooks!

    This is the continuation of the Shannara series, and brings us forward 500 years after the Gypsy Moth brought them to safety. It is the logical conclusion of the last series and the beginning of a new trilogy. Story was very well developed, plot line is logical, suspenseful and the character development is also very well done. The ending was abrupt and left me very unsatisfied, kind of like an essay written by a middle school English student when they reach their word quota, "The End."

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Brooks is best!

    I haven't read anything by Terry Brooks that I didn't love. This book is no exception. Even if you haven't read any of the other Shannara books, you won't be lost trying to figure out who's who and what's what. I highly recommend this book and the author as well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2012

    good reading

    I have read most the the Shannara series. Including the pre shannara and the genesis of shannara. All the books have a good plot and are interesting steady reading. The only this I wish is that the Author wood of put what series was first and the book titles all the way to the end. I don't like jumping around in the different series. However I did find all the series good reading. I would recommend this books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Another great Shanarra adventure

    Great adventure in the Shanarra tradition. good character development. Four stars though due to excessive preaching by the author regarding social, religious and environmental themes. Just a little heavy handed. Other than that though I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2011

    Good continance of a series.

    This book is a good continance of the Shannara series. It takes place 500 years after the Hawk and his ragtag band of humans, elves, and others have entered the valley. the only draw back is that it doesn't cover much of the proceeding years. Other than that it is a good starting to the bridge between the old world and the new.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    Terry Brooks fans need to get this one!

    This book is a continuation of the story set after the destruction of the known world of Terry Brooks' creation. It is fascinating and I look forward to the next one to see what happens next in this drama.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Loved it!!!

    I am new to fantacy scifi, and i loved it. My eyes are open to new worlds.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Super! I Really Loved It!

    Terry Brooks continues to write really great fantasy that many readers crave, and each and every book Shannara or Landover is overflowing with emotion, adventure, danger, and at times life altering fantasy not like any other.
    'Bearers of the Black Staff' brings us 500 years after Hawk shielded his convoy in the mountain valley. Now the magical barrier is gone, the survivors are forced to face the unknown world outside. In a way, it takes me back to 'Running With the Demon', because it reacquaints us with what being a Knight of the Word is all about and the tremendous responsibility, burden, and sacrifice that come with being a Bearer of the Black Staff.
    This, the first book in the Legends of Shannara series was what I consider to be toned down quite a bit for Terry Brooks, and a bit slow in a few spots. I expect bigger and better things from 'The Measure of the Magic', which I'm sure he'll not disappoint. Overall, this is a must read for any fantasy lover and especially any Shannara fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Super! I Really Loved It!

    Terry Brooks continues to write really great fantasy that many readers crave, and each and every book Shannara or Landover is overflowing with emotion, adventure, danger, and at times life altering fantasy not like any other. 'Bearers of the Black Staff' brings us 500 years after Hawk shielded his convoy in the mountain valley. Now the magical barrier is gone, the survivors are forced to face the unknown world outside. In a way, it takes me back to 'Running With the Demon', because it reacquaints us with what being a Knight of the Word is all about and the tremendous responsibility, burden, and sacrifice that come with being a Bearer of the Black Staff. This, the first book in the Legends of Shannara series was what I consider to be toned down quite a bit for Terry Brooks, and a bit slow in a few spots. I expect bigger and better things from 'The Measure of the Magic', which I'm sure he'll not disappoint. Overall, this is a must read for any fantasy lover and especially any Shannara fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 3, 2011

    The shanara series lives on anf doing great

    Cant wait to read more

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    Typical(ly good) Terry Brooks

    Bearers is right in keeping with the same high standards as the rest of the Shannara series, which I've been reading since day one. As is typical with his books you see things developing in a captivating fashion and still don't know what to expect right to the end. He's a master of making things continue to evolve.

    It's been a fantastic transition from the far flung future of the series to watching the future evolve here our own future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Never know the next twist...

    Brooks does it again in the continuation of the Shannara world. This book is a promising beginning to the new series that seems to be off to the same action packed and complex story line of the rest of the books. I highly recommend this book to Shannara lovers and even those new to the Shannara world!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2014

    Bearers of the Black Staff Review

    Bearers of the black staff is an extremely good book. It moves at a good pace and the story line is a can't put it down, must find out what happens next. I highly recommend this book. I have already bought the sequel and am currently reading it. Really good stuff.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    It's a Decent Read

    This isn't my normal type of story, but Mr. Brooks is an excellent writer, and he writes an interesting tale! If you are into the "what if" you'll enjoy Shannara and the concept of the Black Staff!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 23, 2014

    Only for Shannara fans. The feeling I get is this series is just

    Only for Shannara fans.
    The feeling I get is this series is just to fill the gap between the entry into the valley and the exit.  Plot twists and logic seem to be contrived just for the story.
    SPOILER ALERTS:
    1)  Like most fantasy books, the author doesn't bother with scale.  Imagine the magic that protected the whole huge valley.  It is so powerful that it can stop monsters for 500 years, including flying monsters.  Who has such magic, and forgets it and doesn't have lesser be still powerful magics?
    2)  The 2 main trackers are supposed to be the best, with magical senses, but can't even detect the trolls & their beasts coming up to them, or even nearby.  3)  Without any believable preludes, the elves buy the plot of elf princess killing father!  As a fan I read this series because I've read all the other books, but it was very hard to turn the first few pages, but I struggled through and managed to finish the books.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2012

    I really enjoyed this

    I don't write many reviews, but this series is worth noting. If you like Terry Brooks other works, you will probably like this series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Creampaw

    Im on.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Love all the Shannara Books

    But this one was a bit disappointing. It's a good book but lacks the solidity of storyline like most of Brooks endeavors. This was a very short book also. 343 pages total on my Nook for iPad reader. The next book in the series is much the same. Still love Terry Brooks just wanted more.

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