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Straken (High Druid of Shannara S) Paperback – 2 May 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (2 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743483960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743483964
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Brooks was a practising attorney for many years, but now writes full-time. His first novel, THE SWORD OF SHANNARA, remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 5 months, and this was followed by 13 consecutive bestselling novels.

Product Description


Praise for Terry Brooks "A great storyteller, Terry Brooks creates rich epics filled with mystery, magic, and memorable characters. If you haven't read Terry Brooks, you haven't read fantasy."-Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon "Terry's place is at the head of the fantasy world." -Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass "From the Hardcover edition."

About the Author

Terry Brooks first novel, THE SWORD OF SHANNARA, began the post-Tolkien huge boom in epic fantasy in 1977. It was a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller for five months. Since then he has written seven more SHANNARA novels, five MAGIC KINGDOM light fantasies and the KNIGHT OF THE WORD dark fantasies series. Terry Brooks divides his time between Seattle and Hawaii with his wife, Judine.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By stuart barr on 18 Sep 2005
Format: Hardcover
Words probably can't describe my disappointment with this book. A fan of Terry Brooks now for at least 15 years, i've followed the series with great interest, fron the best (Elfstones of Shannara) to now the worst. With the Jerle Shannara series, Brooks took the series somewhere different with new ideas and concepts and although flawed in places it was a story with heart and one that i really was sad to finish.
Sadly then, a great premise (the Druid order back to it's former glory and Grianne consigned to the Abyss by infighting druids) is turned into what can only be described as the most disappointing Brooks book i've ever read (i liked book one and even held up hope after book two that book three would finish up on a high). The ending is seriously rushed (i mean it all happens in about 30 pages whereas normally Brooks would take half a book to finish up!), nothing seems to get tied up (what happened to the Straken Lord?, Weka Dart just disappears). On top of this (Allanon would turn in his grave) the druid order is a joke. I mean they capture someone they escape, they capture someone they escape... repeat until finished. The Forbidding is about as scary as Shady Vale.... Brooks only need to look at his writing in Elf Queen of Shannara (Morrowindl) to construct a claustrophobic & scary environment. I mean where are all the demons anyway - there was 1000's upon 1000's in Elfstones now there only seems to be about 20! Bizarre explanations keep the plot moving along (i won't give them away but you will find yourself saying 'why don't they just do this' 'well that kinda makes sense in an illogical roundabout kinda way' ).
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on 13 Oct 2005
Format: Hardcover
And so, another Terry Brooks trilogy has come to an end. With Straken, Brooks has now ended his High Druid of Shannara series, and he does it on a pretty good note. This has certainly been his strongest series for quite a while now, but even so, the last book has some major faults that keep it from being wonderful. According to his web site, he is writing a "Pre-Shannara" trilogy next, which is supposedly about the fall of the civilization that led to the way the Four Lands are today. It seems different enough, and I hope that it stays that way, as Straken (not to mention this entire series) shows that he really needs a break from it. Maybe completely changing the focus will help.
When we last left our heroes, Grianne Ohmsford, the High Druid (or "Ard Rhys") had been captured in the Forbidding (an alternate plane where the druids had imprisoned all of the demons of the world) by a demon with ambitions beyond the Forbidding. In fact, they were plans to destroy it and unleash the imprisoned demonic hordes on Shannara itself. Grianne's rival druids had imprisoned her there, ostensibly because of her evil past, but mostly because they are hungry for the power she wields. But they don't know about the demon's plans, and they are unwittingly helping him. Meanwhile, Pen Ohmsford, Grianne's nephew, has sacrificed the woman he loves and a part of his body in order to forge the Darkwand, a way into the Forbidding so he can rescue his aunt. Pen's parents have been captured by the druids and must escape themselves, while Pen's friends fight desperately to come to his aid. But even if Pen succeeds in freeing his aunt, he finds he must still face the demon that has escaped the Forbidding, before it destroys the only thing that stands in the way of waves of demonic invaders.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Foxbatslayer89 on 19 May 2006
Format: Hardcover
Personally I didn't find the book as bad as some of the other reviewers but I can understand their many criticisms. I had expected more to the conclusion of the trilogy and by the time you get halfway through you do get the sense of the story being rushed to a conclusion. Pen possesses an incredible amount of luck and his trip into the forbidding is little more than a wlak in the park with his biggest obstacle being a dragon that is drawn to the darkwand.

The ending was predictable and I doubt that I will be rereading the book again any time soon and I was disapointed in the revelation that the Forbidding was little more than a mirror image of the world in general. Like others I had expected it to be wall to wall with blood hungry demons and yet most were strangely absent as was the Demon Lord who had such high plans for Grianne. The story had a lot of potential that I feel was not developed enough and like others I agree that it is perhaps time for Terry to move away from the Shannara series and concentrate on something else.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Mcintosh on 13 Sep 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ive been a massive fan of Terry Brooks ever since i was a teenager. The man creates legendary characters who i wont forget - Allanon, Quickening, The Leah's, The Ohmsfords, Ohmsford, Cogline and many more. He has also given us majestic battles such as that of the demon attack on Arborlon, and the troll/gnome invasion of Tyrsis. However the genius seems to have lost his momentum and now would appear as though he cannot really be bothered.
In Straken, the conclusion to the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, Brooks takes you through the demonic plane of the banished ones - sealed away within the Forbidden. A world I was at first excited to be getting the chance to explore. However for a world which (in the Elfstones of Shanara) was over ran with demons, they encounter very little and cross this horrific world pretty much unscathed. As does Pen when he gains entry to the Forbidding - he pretty much walks to find his sister - albeit with a few encounters. The island of Morrowindl was more dangerous than the Forbidding and its been around since the dawn of the Faerie - spawning demon after demon. I was a little dismayed at the lack of detail put into the denizens of the forbidding. It should not have been a place for a human to walk through with any great ease.
The Straken lord too barely gets a mention and in fact plays no part of this third book. Why? His grand scheme for Grianne is foiled and he just sits on his demon buttocks and lets them go? Indeed it would see that he really does not care about his scheme - just as the author seems not to either.
The druid council has also been transformed from a powerful, noble and wise circle of powerful men into a coven old fools.
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