Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks
Bearers of the Black Staff is the first book in Terry Brooks' Legends of Shannara series, published by Del Rey in August 2010. This book follows on from the Genesis of Shannara series and continues to explore the post-apocalyptic evolution of our world, connecting the events from the Word/Void series with the fantasy world of Shannara. While this book can be read and enjoyed without any prior knowledge of Word/Void and Shannara, this is the 22nd novel to explore this universe and as such, avid readers will find and be enriched by the many references and connections to previous books.
At the end of the Genesis of Shannara series the young boy Hawk lead the remnants of Humans, Elves, Lizards and Spiders into an isolated valley, casting over them the protective magic of the Gypsy Morph while the rest of the world was devastated by the launch of all nuclear weapons. Bearers of the Black Staff picks up the story 500 years later, inside the valley where the people have developed their own culture full of political and religious intrigue, based on the belief that their valley will be protected forever.
The story follows Sider Ament, the last remaining Knight of the Word, who is tracking two demonic creatures that have breached the boundary. Two young trackers, Panterra Qu and Prue Liss, stumble upon these creatures while investigating the brutal killing of two of their colleagues and with the help of Ament they are able to escape. After confirming that the boundary has come down, it falls upon the two young trackers to spread the word among the rest of the valley while Sider Ament explores the outside world in an attempt to determine the sorts of dangers that may be lurking nearby.
I really enjoyed this book, much more than I thought I would. While the basic characters, setting, and plot all seem very familiar, as is usually the case with a Shannara novel, what makes this book more than just another Shannara novel is all the moving parts working in operation outside of the main storyline. Some quick examples; there is Panterra and Prue trying to convince people that the boundary has come down invalidating the religous beliefs of the majority of valley inhabitants which has unpredictable and far reaching ramifications, there are religious and governing organisations who are more concerned with trying to make the most of the situation in a play for power and control, and there is still the fracticious relationship between all the races that has a large influence over the decisions made by those in power.
This is a well written novel designed to be easy to read and hard to put down. Being easy to read means that there is not a lot of complexity in the writing and this did have a slightly detrimental affect when exploring the complex nature of the religous and political scenarios mentioned above. There are some pacing issues early on and you do get the feeling that you are reading a lot of pages and learning a lot about the world without much actually happening to progress the story. These are relatively small issues and they do not take anything away from what is the strongest piece of work produced by Terry Brooks in some time.
This Bearers of the Black Staff book review was written by Ryan Lawler
All reviews for: Legends of Shannara
Bearers of the Black Staff
Legends of Shannara: Book 1
Five hundred years have passed since the devastating demon-led war that almost exterminated humankind. Those who escaped the carnage were led to sanctuary by the boy saviou...
The Measure of Magic
Legends of Shannara: Book 2
For five hundred years, the survivors of the Great Wars lived peacefully in a valley sanctuary shielded by powerful magic from the blighted and dangerous outside world. But...
Have you read Bearers of the Black Staff?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Bearers of the Black Staff reader reviews
Bob from US
I think this is just being a little too generous myself giving it 4 out of five stars but I put this because I love the plot of all of the Terry Brooks books but some of it doesn't even make sense. Like how does radiation transform humans into these Trolls or Spiders or Lizards or... well you get the point. I truly love Terry Brooks' books but the logic is not always there
Timothy from Murica
This was the worst book I have ever read in my life. Would not recommended to anybody.
Cameron from Australia
From other fantasy books that I have read this seems to be quite enjoyable but sadly barely comes close to the Dwarves series by Markus Heitz. I did enjoy the rich lore that I was introduced to and found some parts quite funny at how it was portrayed. It showed young love in a small essence, meaning nobody actually knows if they are in love with the other until two chapters or something later. As for describing some of the creatures portrayed in the novel, I found them sorely lacking. I could barely imagine them and the only idea for the lizard army from what the book had told was Argonians from Skyrim with Thunderwolves from Warhammer 40,000. All-round not a bad read, was quite entertaining and occasionally very funny.
Tom from Withernsea
9.2/10 is laughably generous. Admittedly, the book is enjoyable, but it demonstrates all too often how repetitive Brooks can be as creator of characters and narrative situations. Anyone who has read previous Shannara books will be able to see how formulaic and self-derivative The Bearers of the Black Staff is. As a necessary part of a larger chronology it is adequate and regularly entertaining, within the context of the fantasy genre it is far from remarkable. Brooks relies excessively upon character archetypes who are not only aged and tediously familiar but also inadequately and sometimes unsuitably portrayed within their respective circumstances. The book is interesting as a part of the Shannara pre-history, however there is nothing to be found with regards to originality even with a view to Brooks's own work, regardless of the whole genre.
Joshua from Slough
I find it hard to read books because I'm not really a big fan of it but I have completly fallen in love with it, absolutely brilliant The. best book that I have ever read.
6.7/10 from 6 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Lord of the Rings
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power - the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ri...
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with ru...
Wheel of Time
Life in Emond's Field has been pretty boring for Rand Al'Thor and his friends until a strange young woman arrives in their village. Moraine is an Aes Sedai, a magic...
The Dark Elf Trilogy
Drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, first introduced in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, quickly became one of the fantasy genre’s standout characters. But Homeland first rev...
Deep Into The Heart of a Rose
On a crisp autumn morning, in his cottage in the idyllic land of the Vale, Mr. Edward T. Cozzlebottom composed the following letter for his secret love, the graceful and lo...
Crown of Stars
The Kingdom of Wendar is in turmoil. King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella, and there are many eager to flock to her...
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Set 'In Britain's land beyond the seas' during the Age of Chivalry, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun tells of a childless Breton Lord and Lady (the 'Aotrou'...
Blood Of Elves
For more than a hundred years humans, dwarves, gnomes and elves lived together in relative peace. But times have changes, and now the races once again fight each other - an...
Monster Blood Tattoo
Rossamund has always dreamed of a career in the Navy, fighting tentacled monsters and rescuing damsels from hook-handed pirates. But fate has chosen him for a different pat...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: