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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Jarka Ruus, the first installment in an exciting new Shannara series, takes place 20 years after the events of the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy. Grianne Ohmsford, the former dreaded Ilse Witch, has devoted her new life to bringing peace to the Four Lands, but after so much time leading the Third Druid Council, she still has bitter enemies anxious to see her destroyed.
There are Druid members of the Council -- like Shadea a'Ru -- who openly despise Grianne and plot against her. When she mysteriously disappears, Shadea immediately points blame at Grianne's Rock Troll guards and "temporarily" takes over as Council leader while Grianne is missing.
As Grianne desperately tries to find a way out of the nightmare realm (the Forbidding) she is trapped in, family members and friends begins a quest to find her. The small company is made up of Penderrin Olmsford, Grianne's young nephew; the Dwarf Tagwen; the Elven prince Ahren Elessedil; and the prince's niece Khyber.
Grianne Ohmsford -- both as Ilse Witch and as spiritual leader of the Druid Council -- may be the most enigmatic and fascinating character in the entire Shannara sequence, but the strength of this story line is the new generation of characters. Penderrin, Khyber, and the blind airship navigator Cinnaminson Hatch inject much-needed energy and spirit into the series, and Brooks cultivates fertile new fields with the nightmare realm of the Forbidding. If you enjoy a fast-paced fantasy quest, look no further than Jarka Ruus. Paul Goat Allen