The High Druid's Blade: The Defenders of Shannara [NOOK Book]

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Running his family’s modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet ...
See more details below
The High Druid's Blade: The Defenders of Shannara

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.84
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$13.99 List Price

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Running his family’s modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet life—until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny.
 
When his brash young sister is abducted by a menacing stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. And in a harrowing duel, he is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him—and within his ancestors’ ancient blade. But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands, and Paxon must master it quickly because his nearly fatal clash with the dark sorcerer Arcannen won’t be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the fabled Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector.
 
But treachery is afoot deep in the Druids’ ranks. And the blackest of sorcery is twisting a helpless innocent into a murderous agent of evil. To halt an insidious plot that threatens not only the Druid order but all the Four Lands, Paxon Leah must summon the profound magic in his blood and the legendary mettle of his elders in the battle fate has chosen him to fight.

Praise for The High Druid’s Blade
 
“High adventure, lots of action, and appealing [characters] . . . a good place for new readers to jump into the author's world.”Library Journal

“Terry Brooks is a grandmaster of the fantasy genre, and his latest will both captivate and surprise readers. . . . It’s truly magical.”—Associated Press
 
“Brooks once again gifts readers with a breathless adventure in this new Shannara trilogy, the Defenders of Shannara. The action begins in the first chapter and doesn’t end until the last page.”RT Book Reviews
 
“A great place to introduce yourself to all of Brooks’s novels . . . [The High Druid’s Blade] is a great stand-alone book and will definitely throw you headfirst into the world of Shannara.”—Whedonopolis
 
The High Druid's Blade is an intriguing, action-filled novel that you are sure to love.”—Faire’s Fair Book Reviews
 
“Readers both new [and old] will enjoy reading The High Druid’s Blade.”—The Arched Doorway
 
“An enjoyable read . . . I will definitely be picking up the next book when it comes out.”—Jessie Reads Everything
 
Praise for Terry Brooks
 
The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks’s cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy.”—Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!
 
“If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.”—Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear
 
“I can’t even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks’s books I’ve read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood.”—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind


From the Hardcover edition.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/11/2013
Hundreds of years after the war against demonkind in the Dark Legacy of Shannara series, Paxon Leah and his sister, Chrysallin, are the last living descendants of the magical Ohmsford family, and they apparently possess no magic themselves. This lack doesn’t stop the sorcerer Arcannen from kidnapping Chrys. When Paxon, wielding the ancient Sword of Leah, accidentally manifests powerful magic while rescuing her, he attracts the attention of the High Druid, the aged Aphenglow Elessedil, who offers him a place as a knight-errant serving the Druids. After vast world-spanning epics filled with quests and armies, Brooks tries his hand at a more personal story, first with Paxon’s training and then his rushing off when the ambitious Arcannen takes Chrys a second time. The intriguing premise veers into old and familiar patterns, though, such as Arcannen’s desire to conquer or destroy the Druid order, and includes a thin mystery about the disappearance of Druid artifacts. Brooks fans will find this an especially diluted series opener after the powerful Dark Legacy trilogy. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Praise for The High Druid’s Blade
 
“High adventure, lots of action, and appealing [characters] . . . a good place for new readers to jump into the author's world.”Library Journal

“Terry Brooks is a grandmaster of the fantasy genre, and his latest will both captivate and surprise readers. . . . It’s truly magical.”—Associated Press
 
“Brooks once again gifts readers with a breathless adventure in this new Shannara trilogy, the Defenders of Shannara. The action begins in the first chapter and doesn’t end until the last page.”RT Book Reviews
 
“A great place to introduce yourself to all of Brooks’s novels . . . [The High Druid’s Blade] is a great stand-alone book and will definitely throw you headfirst into the world of Shannara.”—Whedonopolis
 
The High Druid's Blade is an intriguing, action-filled novel that you are sure to love.”—Faire’s Fair Book Reviews
 
“Readers both new [and old] will enjoy reading The High Druid’s Blade.”—The Arched Doorway
 
“An enjoyable read . . . I will definitely be picking up the next book when it comes out.”—Jessie Reads Everything

Praise for Terry Brooks
 
The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks’s cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy.”—Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!
 
“If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.”—Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear
 
“I can’t even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks’s books I’ve read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood.”—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind
 
“Terry Brooks is a master of the craft and a trailblazer who established fantasy as a viable genre. He is required reading.”—Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Angel Trilogy
 
“The Shannara books were among the first to really capture my imagination. My daydreams and therefore my stories will always owe a debt to Terry Brooks.”—Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Beyonders and Fablehaven series

Library Journal
01/01/2014
Paxon Leah comes from a long line of kings and warriors, but his family now lives quietly, the only relic of their past a black sword that hangs above the fire. When an evil sorcerer named Arcannen kidnaps Paxon's headstrong young sister, Chrys, Paxon runs to the rescue, taking only the family sword. To his surprise, the sword is enchanted, which allows Paxon to hold off Arcannen's forces long enough for the two to escape. Thinking his sister now safe, Paxon seeks help from the Druids to learn how to use his magic blade, but Arcannen is not done with the Leah siblings. VERDICT High adventure, lots of action, and appealing (if stock) characters make this a comfortable traditional fantasy that will appeal to the many fans of Brooks's Shannara books. The added bonus is that this is a good place for new readers to jump into the author's world, as it includes plenty of nods to earlier books while remaining a stand-alone story.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-02
Brooks (Witch Wraith, 2013, etc.) returns with a stand-alone Shannara novel starring Paxon Leah. The book is replete with sorcerers, druids, magical weapons and other familiar signifiers of the fantasy genre, but true wonder is in disappointingly short supply. The presence of mechanically powered airships and gunlike weapons distinguish the story somewhat from its obvious forebears, but at heart, Brooks' story sits squarely--perhaps too squarely--in the tradition of Tolkien and his cohort. The narrative concerns the travails of one Paxon Leah, scion of a once-significant magical family, as he attempts to rescue his sister from an evil wizard bent on retrieving the Leahs' magical sword. Paxon is aided in his efforts by the Druids, an order of magic users tasked with policing the use of arcane arts, who are locked in political struggle with the technology-favoring Federation; Arcannen, the sinister mage who kidnapped Paxon's sister, plays both sides with the Leahs acting as his unwitting pawns. That's about all there is to it: The bland characters are broadly drawn, afforded a basic characteristic or two (Paxon is noble and resolute, Arcannen is wicked and devious, etc.), the prose is risibly clunky, exposition is baldly delivered, often repeatedly, as if Brooks had forgotten he had already explained various plot points, and the depictions of magic and other fantastic elements of Paxon's world are generic and feel secondhand. Brooks delivers some mild pleasures: The story does move briskly, and there are enjoyable bits of business involving battles with werewolves and scenes of supernatural combat, and the familiar stations of Paxon's "hero's journey" are comforting in their familiarity. Square, sturdy, straight-down-the-middle fantasy entertainment, enjoyable for the Shannara faithful.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345540713
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/8/2014
  • Series: Defenders of Shannara
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 922
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books, including the Dark Legacy of Shannara adventures Wards of Faerie, Bloodfire Quest, and Witch Wraith; the Legends of Shannara novels Bearers of the Black Staff and The Measure of the Magic; the Genesis of Shannara trilogy: Armageddon’s Children, The Elves of Cintra, and The Gypsy Morph; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars:® Episode I The Phantom Menace.™ His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.

Biography

"I found my way to fantasy/adventure. When I got there, I knew I'd found a home," said Terence Dean Brooks, creator of the blockbuster, New York Times bestselling Shannara, Landover, and Word & Void series. Not only is Brooks at home in the highly competitive realm of fantasy literature, many would call him the genre’s modern-day patriarch – Tolkien’s successor. While that title is debatable, Brooks is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most prolific and successful authors of otherworld (and our world) fantasy. Few writers in any genre can boast a more entertaining collection of work – and a more ravenous and loyal fan base -- than can Terry Brooks.

The most rewarding aspect to writing for Brooks is “when someone who never read a book reads [one of mine] and says that the experience changed everything and got them reading.” Because of his very engaging, quick-flowing writing style, countless numbers of young people have been introduced to the wonderful world of reading through Brooks’s adventures. The miraculous thing, however, is that these same fans – whether they’re now 20, 30, or 40 years old – still devour each new release like a starving man would a steak dinner. Credit Brooks’s boundless imagination, endearing characters, fresh storylines and underlying complexities for keeping his older, more discerning audience hooked.

Brooks began writing when he was just ten years old, but he did not discover fantasy until much later. As a high school student he jumped from writing science fiction to westerns to adventure to nonfiction, unable to settle on one form. That changed when, at the age of 21, Brooks was introduced to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien provided Brooks with a forum “that would allow him to release onto paper his own ideas about life, love, and the wonder that fills his world," according to his web site.

In 1977, after six trying years, Brooks published novel his first novel, The Sword of Shannara. And quickly it gave him – and his publisher (the newly created Ballantine imprint, Del Rey) – quite a thrill; the fantasy adventure featuring the young Halfling, Shea Ohmsford; the mysterious wizard Allanon; Flick, the trusty companion; and the demonic Warlock Lord, was not only well received -- it was a smash, spending over five months on The New York Times bestseller list. In 1982 Brooks released the follow-up, The Elfstones of Shannara (which Brooks says may be his favorite), to equal success. He closed out the initial trilogy in 1985 with The Wishsong of Shannara, and has since completed two more Shannara sets, The Heritage of Shannara books and the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara books.

As fans of Brooks know, the man doesn’t like to stay put. “I lived in Illinois for the first 42 years of my life, and I told myself when I left in 1986 that I would never live any one place again,” Brooks said. He now spends his time between his homes in Seattle and Hawaii; he and his wife also spend a great deal of time on the road each year connecting with the fans. These same nomadic tendencies are also apparent in his writing. Instead of staying comfortably within his proven, bestselling Shannara series, Terry frequently takes chances, steps outside, and tries something new. His marvelous Landover and Word & Void series are the results. While both are vastly different from Shannara, they are equally compelling. Word & Void – a contemporary, dark urban fantasy series set in a fantasy-touched Illinois – is quite possibly Brooks’s most acclaimed series. The Rocky Mountain News called the series’ first two books (Running with the Demon and The Knight of the Word “two of the finest science fiction/fantasy novels of the 20th century.”

Good To Know

When The Sword of Shannara hit The New York Times bestseller list, Brooks became the first modern fantasy author to achieve that pinnacle.

The Sword of Shannara was also the first work of fiction to ever hit The New York Times trade paperback bestseller list. Thanks to a faithful and growing fan base, the books continue to reach the list.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was not Terry's first novelization. He also novelized Steven Spielberg's 1991 movie, Hook.

Brooks’s The Phantom Menace novelization is also not his only connection to George Lucas. Both The Sword of Shannara and the original Star Wars novel, A New Hope, were edited by Judy Lynn del Rey and published in the same year (1977) to blockbuster success.

The Sword of Shannara was initially turned down by DAW Books. Instead, DAW sent Terry to Lester del Rey, who recognized Terry’s blockbuster potential and bought it. And the rest, they say, is history.

Brooks’s influences include: J.R.R. Tolkien, Alexander Dumas, James Fenimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Mallory's Morte d'Arthur.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Terence Dean Brooks (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Pacific Northwest and Hawaii
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 8, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sterling, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Hamilton College, 1966; J.D., Washington and Lee University
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

One

Paxon Leah paused in the midst of chopping wood to gaze out across the misty Highlands surrounding the city of Leah. The Highlands were called Leah, too, and the confusion sometimes caused outlanders to wonder if the inhabitants were limited to a single name for everything. It was worse in his case, since his surname was Leah, as well, passed down through countless generations from the rulers of old, for whom the city and the Highlands had been named when the Leahs were their Kings and Queens.

But all that was long ago and far away, and it had little to do with him. He might be the descendant of those Kings and Queens, but that and a few coins would buy you a tankard of ale at the Two Roosters tavern. There hadn’t been a monarchy in Leah for generations; the last members of the royal family had walked away from the responsibility not long after Menion Leah had helped dispatch the Warlock Lord by finding and employing the fabled Sword of Shannara. Vague history, long forgotten by many, it was a legacy he carried lightly and with little regard.

He chopped another dozen pieces of firewood for the winter stash before pausing again. The Leahs were commoners now, no different from anyone else. They hadn’t even served on the Highlands Council, the current governing body, for many years. His parents had inherited the shipping business that had been in the family for half a dozen generations—a once-thriving but now marginal source of income and sustenance, operated by his mother and himself, but mostly by himself. He ran shipments on the average of twice a month, making just enough money to feed and clothe the family—the family consisting of himself, his mother, and his little sister, Chrysallin. His father had been gone since he was ten, killed in an airship accident while flying freight into the Eastland.

He finished cutting up the firewood, stacking it by the storage shed next to their cottage, still pausing now and then to take in the view and dream of better times to come. Not that things were bad. He had time to hunt and fish, and he didn’t work all that hard—though he would have preferred the harder work if the business would improve. At twenty, he was tall and lean and broad-shouldered, his hair red in the tradition of his ancestors. There had been hundreds of redheaded Leahs over the years; he was just the latest. And he imagined there would be hundreds more before the line was played out.

With the wood neatly stacked, he carried his tools into the shed, cleaned and oiled the saws and ax heads, and went into the house to wash up. It was a small cottage with a kitchen, a central living space, and bedrooms for his mother, his sister, and himself. There was a fireplace, with windows to the west-facing front and to the south so there was always plenty of light—important in a climate where the days were frequently gray and hazy.

He glanced at the old sword his sister had hung over the mantel above the hearth, its metal blade, leather pommel, and strap-on sheath all as black as night. Chrys had found it in the attic and proclaimed it hers. The markings on the weapon indicated that the pommel leather and sheath had been replaced more than once, but the metal blade was the original. She said it had belonged to those Leahs of old who had gone on quests with the Ohmsfords and the Druids, all the way back to Menion Leah and forward to their great-grandmother Mirai. Paxon supposed it was so; he had been told the stories often enough as a boy by both his father and his mother. Even some of their friends knew the tales, which had taken on the trappings of legend over the years.

He washed his hands and face in the kitchen sink, pumping water from their well, dried himself, and walked back into the living area to stand before the fireplace. The tales about that black sword were cautionary, whispering of dark magic and great power. It was said the blade had been tempered in the waters of the Hadeshorn once, long ago, and thereby made strong enough that it could cut through magic. A handful of Leahs were said to have carried it into battle with the Druids. A handful were said to have evoked its power.

He had tried to join their ranks more than once when he was much smaller, intent on discovering if the stories were true. Apparently, they weren’t. All of his efforts to make the magic appear—to make the sword do anything, for that matter—had failed. There might have been more to the process, but the blade didn’t come with instructions, and so after numerous attempts he had given up. What need did he have of magic, in any case? It wasn’t as if he were going on a quest with Druids and Ohmsfords.

If there even were any Ohmsfords these days.

There was some doubt about this. All of the Ohmsfords had left Patch Run—their traditional home for hundreds of years—when his great-grandmother had married Railing Ohmsford and brought him to the Highlands to live. His brother, Redden, had come with them, and for a time had shared their home. But eventually he had found a girl to fall in love with and had married her and moved out. Both Redden and Railing had stayed in the Highlands until they died, twins closer than brothers to the end. Redden’s boys had moved away and no more had been heard of them. Railing’s granddaughter, always closer to her grandmother’s side of the family, had taken back the Leah name when she married and had eventually passed it down to her children.

Since then, there had been no Ohmsfords in the Highlands, only Leahs, and Paxon couldn’t say if there were Ohmsfords to be found anywhere in the Four Lands these days. Certainly, he hadn’t heard mention of any. Which was sad, considering that the families had been friends over many, many years, and the relationships had been close and personal, including most recently the marriage of his great-grandmother to Railing.

But everything comes to an end, even friendships, and families die out or move on, so you couldn’t expect that nothing would ever change.

The Ohmsfords had possessed real magic, inherited over the years as a part of their makeup—a power born of Elven magic that had come to be known as the wishsong. Redden and Railing Ohmsford had both had use of it—though it had skipped other generations previously, and every generation since Railing’s marriage to Mirai Leah. None of the offspring from that union and for the three generations following had possessed the wishsong magic, so for them—as for him—it was another slice of history that was interesting to talk about, but of little practical consequence.

Besides, he wasn’t so certain that having use of such magic wouldn’t be more of a burden than a gift. He had heard the stories of what using it had done to the twins, particularly Redden, who had been rendered catatonic after employing it in the terrible struggle against the creatures of the Forbidding. He had recovered, but his brother and Mirai had feared he wouldn’t. All magic was dangerous, and any use involved a certain amount of risk. It didn’t matter if it was something you were born with or not—it still posed a threat.

Which was in large part why magic was outlawed all through the Southland—everywhere the Federation was in control, which these days included everything south of the Rainbow Lake, including Leah. The northern territories didn’t feel the Federation presence as heavily as did the major Southland cities, and in truth Leah and the villages of the Duln were still disputed territories, with the Borderlands laying claim to them as well. But no one wanted to risk bringing the Federation authorities down on their heads by testing out their tolerance for those using magic in deliberate defiance of the edict—especially when the prevailing view in the Highlands was that magic was a source of power best left to the Druids, or left alone entirely.

Paxon studied the sword and scabbard a moment longer, then turned away. A relic, an artifact, or his sister’s momentary infatuation—what difference did it make? It was nothing to him.

He went back outside and glanced at the sky. A few clouds were moving in, but nothing threatening. Still time to work on those radian draws he had been mending for the transport. He had a run to make the following week, and he wanted the airship to be fully operational well before then. He was thinking Chrys should go with him. It was time she began taking an active interest in the business. Still only fifteen, she was wild and impetuous, just beginning to recognize her lack of interest in authority and fully engaged in finding out how much trouble she could get into. At least, that was what he perceived. His mother was more tolerant, seeing Chrys as a young girl growing up and still finding herself, while Paxon saw her as trouble on the prowl.

Like the time she found a way to haul the Radanians’ tractor onto their barn roof. Or the time she put twenty live pigs in the butcher’s bedroom. Or the time she and three others went down to a council meeting to protest involvement with an irrigation plan that potentially would have dammed up the Borgine River and killed thousands of fish, dumping vats full of dead fish on the chamber floor to emphasize their point.

Or all the times she stayed out all night with boys. Or the times she came home from the Two Roosters walking sideways and singing bawdy Highland drinking songs.

His sister needed something to focus on besides finding new and creative ways to entertain herself, and it was time she began contributing more than housecleaning and dishwashing to the family effort. She already knew a sufficient amount about flying airships to help him on his runs, and eventually she would be old enough and might become sufficiently dependable to make runs on her own. In the meantime, she could learn to fly the transport and lend a hand with crewing.

Maybe that would help keep her out of the Two Roosters and similar drinking holes, where she already spent far too much time.

He walked back into the kitchen and began looking through the cold box and pantry. His mother had gone to her sister’s house for a few days, helping with the new baby. So it would be up to him to make dinner for himself and Chrys—assuming his sister put in an appearance. These days, it was no sure thing. He worried for her, and it frustrated him that she paid him so little attention.

You aren’t my parent, she would say. You can’t tell me what to do. Aggravating.

Sometimes, he wished their father were still there. Chrys had grown up too fast and too independent without him there to help rein her in. Maybe he could have exercised better control over her than Paxon.

He shook his head doubtfully. As if anyone could control Chrysallin.

He left the kitchen with a glass of ale and went out to sit on the porch rocker. Maybe he would have to go looking for her, bring her back to share dinner. He didn’t like eating alone. He didn’t like eating while worrying about her. It was bad enough that he had to do everything when their mother was away. Chrys didn’t seem to think she had any responsibilities at all. She acted like she could do what she wanted and that ought to be the way of things.

She acted like a child, he thought, fuming. She acted like no one mattered but her.

But she was a child, of course. She was fifteen—and when you were a fifteen-year-old girl, no one else mattered but yourself.

She had a good heart; he would concede that. She was kind to others, especially to those in need of kindness and less fortunate than she was. She was quick to lend out or even give away what she had to those who didn’t. She could be your friend in a heartbeat, if she saw you wished it. She stood up for what she believed in. She would not back down or be intimidated. His memories of her growing up softened his momentary frustration. She would get back to who she had been; he was sure of it. She would be all right in the end.

He finished off the ale and took the empty tankard back into the kitchen. He should go down to the airfield and work on mending those radian draws, he thought for the second time in the last few minutes. He should forget about Chrys and dinner until the day was a little farther along. Worrying about the future seldom did anything to help improve it. If you wanted to do something about the future, you had to put some effort into it. That usually involved working on something that would make the future you sought more attainable.

As he was going out the door, he glanced once more at the ancient sword above the fireplace. It’d be nice if you could make things better just by using magic. If you could skip the work part. Even if you could only do it once.

Staring at the sword, he wondered suddenly if his life was going in the right direction. He was flying freight on airships because his father had. He was running the family business because he was the oldest, and if he didn’t do it no one would and his mother would have to sell. But was this what he really wanted to do? Or was he just marking time, doing what was easiest, taking on the familiar and not risking anything?

The front door flew open.

“Paxon!”

He turned around to find Jayet, one of the serving girls at the Two Roosters, standing in the entryway, looking distraught. “What’s wrong?” he asked quickly.

“Your sister!” she snapped. “That’s what’s wrong. You’d better come right away!”

Chrys. Of course it would be Chrys.

He didn’t argue with Jayet. He just did what she asked and went out the door behind her, working hard at keeping up because she was striding ahead so quickly.

“What’s she done now?”

“Gotten herself in trouble. What do you think?”

Jayet was small and tough, physically compact, emotionally cool, and a bulldog at everything she did, which made her perfect for working at the tavern. She was Chrys’s friend—or as much of a friend as anyone could be to his sister—always there when it mattered, ready to keep Chrys from getting in too deep with whatever mad scheme or stunt she had taken it into her head to try out.

Her mop of spiky white-blond hair bounced as she glanced over her shoulder at Paxon. “She got into a dice game. There were five of them, all locals except for this one man, who claims to have flown in on business from the Southland cities. Doesn’t look like a businessman, but who knows? Anyway, I’m not paying much attention to them. No one’s causing any trouble—Chrys included—when all of a sudden she leaps up and starts screaming at him. Just screaming like she can’t stand to be in the same room with him.”

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    I'm sure the book is great, read the first chapter in the store.

    I'm sure the book is great, read the first chapter in the store. I bought it on my nook and the file was blank, B+N refunded it. Don't buy for nook until the publisher corrects the error, B+N has no problem selling corrupt files.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 27, 2014

    Very disappointing

    As a long time fan of Brooks, I found this novel to be the most disappointing novel that Brooks has written. I repeatedly found myself frustrated with this book. It was too short, a lot of the character development was rushed and left incomplete, and the whole story itself was rushed. In particular, the incomplete and rushed character development left each character feeling empty and hollow. I wonder if Brooks is trying to follow the trend of writing 250-300 page novels now, novels of that size simply do not fit Brooks storytelling style.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 20, 2014

    Torture of a 15yrs old girl Not Cool

    I have always enjoyed Terry Brooks as an author until this book. It seemed forced and graphically detailed the torture of a naked 15yrs old girl. Since when in our culture is it ok to do this? Very disappointing that this potentially amazing book took this turn.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome fantasy author

    Part of the Shannara series of books and tales. I've read them all. And, then, I've read all of Terry Brooks' books. There is no better writer in my opinion. A few have copies from him, but Brooks has the knack and market for this series. Other than capturing my imagination, I feel as though I am in the story as a main. Haracter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Paxon Leah runs an airfreight business. He makes  enough to supp

    Paxon Leah runs an airfreight business. He makes  enough to support his family but feels unsatisfied with his life and wonders if there isn’t more out there for him in the world. He constantly worries about his reckless and wild younger sister Chrys, and his fears come to life when she is kidnapped by the sorcerer Arcannen, who seeks to use her as a bargaining chip, as Paxon has something that he wants.




    The plot is fairly typical for a fantasy adventure novel. To save his sister, Paxon discovers powers that he did not know he had, receives training from the magical Druids, and confronts the dark sorcerer. Despite this, I enjoyed the book and found it very well written. One aspect I found particularly interesting was how the point of view changed between characters, even showing those of the villains. This gives a lot of insight into the various characters and thus the plot.




    As opposed to most fantasy villains, Arcannen is not unrealistically powerful compared to everyone else. In fact, he is not even significantly more powerful than an experienced Druid. He relies more on strategy and wits and readily flees from combat if he feels he cannot win, which I found really cool. I also found Paxon to be a likeable protagonist. He is kindhearted and does not like to put his friends in danger. He does act recklessly at times and without much thought at some points, which does consequently puts his friends in danger and even indirectly leads to a death. However, his behavior is understandable, as he's a young man, and most of his reckless acts are efforts to save his sister.




    While I have not personally read any other books in Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, I did not feel lost at all while reading this book. The High Druid's Blade does a good job portraying the parts of the world in the Shannara series that are applicable to it. Still, if you have any interest in reading more Shannara books, I would recommend reading them to get a better understanding of the world. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 28, 2014

    After reading the reviews below, I felt book deserved more than

    After reading the reviews below, I felt book deserved more than two star average. Yes it is shorter than most of Books' books, however, it still held my interest throughout the story.
    This book did leave me wanting more and look forward to the next story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2014

    Can't wait for the next book

    Theyjust keep getting better

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2014

    Read it

    I have read every book he has available on Nook.

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

    Posted July 22, 2014

    Uncharacteristic

    Very unlike all the other Shannara books, more violent with cruelity and sexuality. I don't recommend it at all.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2014

    This book seems cliche.... from the synopsis to the excerpt.

    This book seems cliche.... from the synopsis to the excerpt.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Great Return to  Shannara I would like to thank NetGalley and

    Great Return to  Shannara


    I would like to thank NetGalley and Del Rey for the opportunity to read this story. Although I received the e-ARC for free, that in no way impacts my review. Personally I give this book 4.5 stars, but as I am constrained by the rating system on this site, I ended up giving the book 4 stars.


    Goodreads Blurb:
    <blockquote>Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Running his family’s modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet life—until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny.

    When his brash young sister is abducted by a menacing stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. And in a harrowing duel, he is stunnced to discover powerful magic unleashed within him—and within his ancestors’ ancient blade. But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands, and Paxon must master it quickly because his nearly fatal clash with the dark sorcerer Arcannen won’t be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the fabled Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector.

    But treachery is afoot deep in the Druids’ ranks. And the blackest of sorcery is twisting a helpless innocent into a murderous agent of evil. To halt an insidious plot that threatens not only the Druid order but all the Four Lands, Paxon Leah must summon the profound magic in his blood and the legendary mettle of his elders in the battle fate has chosen him to fight.</blockquote>



    In the tradition of all wonderful epic adventures Mr. Brooks once again hit the nail on the head. The arc of his story is perfectly paced, his characters draw you in from the very first meeting, and he balances action and personal growth like Lady Liberty's scales.

    Paxon is like most young men stuck in boring jobs, he dreams of something larger for himself. But he would never abandon his mother and sister, and there's no one else to run the business - not that he doesn't have hopes for training his wayward sister Chrysallin in the family business. Not only would it help him with the work, but hopefully it would help her curb her wild side. Not that she ever gets into anything really bad, but he worries about her nonetheless. It doesn't help that he has grown up hearing stories of his famed ancestors for as long as he can remember, and though he thinks they are mostly just tall tales, they still spark his interest.

    But Paxon's days of being in the shipping business are to be much shorter than he ever imagined. One day his sister gets caught in a card game, bet far more than she had, and lost. The nefarious wizard Arcannen just happens to be the winner, though at this point Paxon doesn't yet know much of anything about Arcannen, except he refuses to let him take his sister to work off her debt on her back. At fifteen Chrysallin looks older than she is. However she still retains enough coltish grace that it is clear she is young - and Arcannen likes his girls young. Paxon tries to keep Arcannen from sailing off with his little sister, but instead gets a fierce beating for his troubles. Oddly Arcannen tells him where he can find his sister should he want to try again, but he suggests next time he bring a weapon, just before rubbing salt in the wound by telling him that a weapon probably won't do him any good anyway. The length if pipe he'd tried to use certainly did him no favors, so what chance would he have with a real weapon?

    Of course Paxon takes full advantage of Arcannen's directions on where to go to retrieve his sister. First he stops at home to grab the old family heirloom sword that has always hung above the fireplace. It is supposed to be magical, but Paxon isn't buying it. Not until he rescues his sister and the sword saves his life with magic, much to his surprise and Arcannen's disgust. But Arcannen isn't the type to just give up, which Paxon suspects.

    It is at this point that Paxon is invited to Paranor to train with the Druids. It is a huge honor, which his mother is thrilled about as she feels he is finally getting the recognition he deserves. The head of the Druids, the Ard Rhys, tells Paxon that they will pay his family's living expenses if he comes to train with them and then spend three years as a knight protector. After that he will be free to do as he pleases. His mother and sister situated, with a Druid keeping an eye on his sister in case Arcannen should try again, Paxon is off for Paranor and a new life.

    Once in Paranor Paxon spend his afternoons in grueling sword-fighting training with Oost Mondara, and his mornings with the Ard Rhys' personal assistant Sebec. Sebec teaches Paxon magical theory so that he may eventually learn to do magic. He even goes on a few small missions with the Druid Starks, getting practical experience as a knight protector. However there is ever so much more going on in this book. This only covers about the first fifty pages, and still leaves a whole lot of information out.

    Like any epic adventure our protagonist must overcome some daunting challenges if he is to succeed. The largest challenge may be that Chrysallin has disappeared again, and the Druid set to keep an eye on her is found dead. Everyone knows it must be Arcannen's work, but why? Luckily for Paxon he makes some very useful friends, each with their own talents and surprises.

    Will Paxon get to his sister in time? Why does Arcannen want his sister - revenge for him rescuing her before, to try and trade her for his sword, or is there something else going on? And how can one barely trained young man foil a deadly plot against the Druids and save the Four Lands? Maybe, with the help of his friends. But then again, maybe his friends aren't what they seem to be. . . Who can Paxon trust in this life or death game he's been thrust into?

    This was an incredibly fast read, a real page-turner. I loved the good guys and hated the villains. But I'm dying to know if my opinion will change as their stories unfold in future installments of this excellent series!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2014

    Ok, guys, what gives? I am not able to read the sample of this

    Ok, guys, what gives? I am not able to read the sample of this book. After what I see below I am not going to buy what I am not able to see a sample of.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The High Druid's Blade is the telling of Paxon Leah's story. I f

    The High Druid's Blade is the telling of Paxon Leah's story. I found this to be a pretty easy and enjoyable fantasy read. Terry Brooks seems to have taken a break from his complex plots, giving us two main characters and a few smaller players in this storyline. This view point isn't bad, just different...giving you a more in depth/personal view point of the Leah family. I did find that at least the first 1/2 of this book was more story building with the remaining 1/3 of the book where most of the action took place. The villain is quite vicious and maniacal giving me the need to see the story through to his demise. As well as a wonderfully strong finish, keeping me invested in the outcome. If that doesn't grab you... The High Druid's Blade takes place about 150 years after The Dark Legacy Series, you can't help but be drawn in by the nostalgia of your past Brooks' reads.

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

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Can't review what I can't read. The book is blank. Preordered it

    Can't review what I can't read. The book is blank. Preordered it when it first became available (I've read everything by Terry Brooks. Anxiously awaited it's release, even after the release was delayed for months. Now I can't read it at all until the issue is fixed. 

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

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Blank book for me as well

    Told to wait 24 hours so they can fix the problem. We will see

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

    Posted March 22, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)