Customer Reviews for

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

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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

10 out of 14 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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  • 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.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 25, 2012

    A good read but not one of his best.

    Let me first say that Mr. Brooks has brought me great enjoyment over the years and I own ALL of his books. This particular series seems a little uninspired comparativly speeking to the rest of the Shannara series. Not much character development. Story line a little tired. It is still a good read but you may be a dissapointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Left hanging

    Love the book and all his work but dislike how it ends at climax hope the next book atleast ends at a ending point

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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.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable but frustrating

    I enjoyed the book but one event didn't feel believable and pissed me off. It was near the end so I overcame it and finished the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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