Top positive review
Fantastic Addition To The Shannara World
on 27 November 2014
For the final books in Terry Brook's Paladins Of Shannara series of novella we have a catch up with Shea Ohmsford, the legendary last heir of Jerle Shannara and have an all new adventure with him.
It's been a year since the events in the Skull Kingdom but all is not right with Shea Ohmsford, the half elven heir of Shannara. He's home back in Shady Vale but he's not sleeping, tortured by horrific nightmares of his battle with the enemy. His brother Flick is getting increasingly more and more worried about Shea, to the point that he visits a woodswoman in a bid to ease Shea's suffering. She gives him a potion to give to Shea and Flick in turn gives Shea the potion, hoping and praying that it will help his ailing brother., to a degree it does begin to work until Shea and Flick's old friend Panamon Creel appears in the Vale. Creel had helped Shea during his mission to defeat the Warlock Lord and his assistance proved to be invaluable. Now Creel has a mission of his own and needs Shea's help in retrieving a personal and invaluable artifact but is there more to this mission than meets the eye.
This is a novella is a bit of an oddity as it's the third book in the Paladins series but actually fits into the timeline before the second and just after TSOS. In this case I really think that you need to read this in conjunction with The Sword Of Shannara so that you have a good basic knowledge of the mission Shea and Flick undertake in that book with Creel's help to give you a better understanding of what Creel is asking of them in The Black Irix.
As with the other books in the Paladins of Shannara series, this is another rich and detailed novella of just 40 pages. In this book we delve into the meaning of friendship, loyalty and duty to your friends and we see how these values effect your friendships in a more long term sense as we see Creel begging for Shea's assistance as payback for help he'd given them in the past and how Shea feel obliged to help regardless of whether he really wants to help or not.
The imagery is as epic as usual with Brooks and Shannara and once again I'm amazed at how much detail Brooks can squeeze into such a small novella, it's truly impressive work BUT I do think that this books may be the weaker effort of the three as it feels a little disjointed to me, almost like two stories in one 40 page package, you get Flick trying to help Shea and then Shea trying to help Creel but they don't really merge together is a satisfactory manner for me personally. It's good but not quite as good as the previous two novellas.
Definitely NOT a standalone novella this time around, you need The Sword Of Shannara to give you the background needed to read and understand this novella properly.