Top positive review
Short but sweet.... a great addition to the Shannara series!
on 21 November 2014
As with the previous novella in the Paladin's Of Shannara series, Allanon's Quest this is a tiny novella of less than 40 pages but it's full of lush imagery and re-introduces us to one of the more intriguing characters (in my opinion) from the world of Shannara and that is weapons master extraordinaire Garet Jax.
We find Jax at the beginning of this novella in the woods minding his own business. It is there that a strange woman stumbles upon him, a strange yet very attractive woman named Lyriana who is in desperate need of help. Her people are under attack by a 'dracul', a magical being that can literally suck the life force out of person, leaving behind nothing but a dry husk. After some considerable thought Jax agrees to help her and travel to her home but, unknown to Jax, her people are not what they initially seem but he helps them nonetheless.
This is a brilliant story about the simple prejudices we, as people, carry about with us on a daily business and about how you should never, ever judge a book by it's cover.... a lesson that Jax is forced to learn firsthand. This story fits firmly and neatly into the Shannara series and gives us further insight into Garet Jax and shows him to be much deeper personality that I previously thought. This is a tale of doing the right thing for the benefit of other without prejudice or fear, it shows that everyone is still just a human being at the end of the day regardless of their circumstances, a lesson we should all learn from!
The Weapons Master's Choice is a superb addition to the Shannara timeline and while it had no firm basis anchoring it into the series like Allanon's Quest does that doesn't mean that it doesn't have it's place as it does, it just means that this novella can sit as a standalone by itself if needed.
Brooks has written a lovely lush and rich novella, he doesn't skimp on the detail even in a piece as short as this is and that shows a deft hand at writing to the extreme to cram so much into such a small space. Fans of Shannara will love this but hopefully those who want to take their first steps into Shannara without having to face the heavier tomes in the series can use this novella as a springboard into one of the best and one of the most expansive fantasy series out there. Worth a go at least don't you think?