Dark Wraith of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Science has become an outmoded concept, in its place magic is born as a power source in the world of Shannara where Elves, Gnomes, Trolls and Dwarves, even men have tried using it to bring order to that world. In Terry Brooks' tale The Sword of Shannara, Brona a druid was lured by a dark and evil power known as Ildatch wanting to overthrow the other races and make them his slaves, but the druid Allanon had other ideas for enlisting the help of Shea Ohmsford, of the Shannara Elves to recover the great sword of truth and defeat the warlock lord.

In the following tale The Elfstones of Shannara it was Shea's grandsone Will he enlisted to protect Amberle when she went on her quest to the Bloodfire, preventing the demons from tearing the land apart, and Will used the Elfstones eventually but to that end he also changed his genetic make-up. More politicaly the Ohmsford family now have magic in their bloodline, bringing into their family members Wil's daughter, Brin and son Jair, both had the Wishsong power in them and in 'The Wishsong of Shannara' it is up to Jair and Brin to carry on the name by helping prevent the warlock lord of old's Ildatch book taking over the mortals, saving the world again, and though they did manage to prevent the world's end, ridding evil, they had not totally banished evil ones from their land.

This is where 'The Dark Wraith of Shannara' begins. The Ildatch book it seems was not totally destroyed, a part of it remains under the watch of its dark followers, cowled lords hide their faces not expectin a visitor to their lair, an intruder who seeks to destroy the final part of the book forever. More is mentioned of the arcane book, its dark magic is only a small aspect of what it is. It was created in a time before all things existed, before dwarves and elves were in the world. The Ildatch is a text that has always had its fare share of followers who seek power over others as it contains secrets that mortals should never read let alone find.

Another secret to how it has lasted through timeless ages is its survival instinct. The book has a mind and life of its own even as just a page shredded and seemingly lifeless it still has sentience, and even though it has been partially destroyed the parchment will live on. The cowled Mwellrets guard it and worship it dauntlessly know someone is disturbing their reverence. Jair has terrible nightmares that affect his waking life, eating up his mind and when he tells all to his sister she tells him he must give up on using the wishsong as the negative effect could consume him for good.

From the story it seems that the two siblings were in fierce competition as far as their powers were concerned. Brin could always sing and change things, remaking them as she wanted, leaves from green to red, a tree branch into a snake until later when Jair managed to do it himself. She warned him against using his power again as he could lose himself and never regain his normal human form. He promises he will never use the magic he sought for so long, but the question remains will he make good on that promise?

Drifting into sleep Jair sees the vision of the mage Allanon who tells him the Mwellrets are still craving for power to rule all, and have found a dark agent called the Croton Witch a mistress of the dark arts who takes lives for a steep price and he is using her to find Kimber and Cogline, friends of Jain's and the Mwellrets desire that which is inside Cogline's mind, Paranor's location to open the gates of the resting place of Paranor's Druid's Keep. It will take all of Jair's will and risk of hardship to stop them and vanquish the evil of the Mwellrats once again.

The story is as interesting as the original fantasy idea and it being made into a full graphic novel is such a novel thing indeed as in illustrating it creates more potential for bringing the story to life, and gives the characters a more three-dimensional appeal. Edwin David has read the books thoroughly and understood how the characters interacted in words using the literature to bring out the characters appearance, the action and their brilliance.

7/10 The illustrations bring the story to life, giving the characters a three-dimensional appeal.

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