For fans of Brooks' Shannara series here comes a new trilogy expanding on the world and happenings. Set in a volatile period of Elven history, where science and technology is getting rediscovered by the races just as the magical power is slowly waning (the exception being the handful of druids still very much invested in it), it goes sufficiently far to be an intriguing volume drawing you into the new trilogy.
A quest for finding long lost elfstones is one of the main threads in the book, the other being the defence of the druid order as such. While there is a partial resolution to the one part, the book is more or less only a scene setter to the other one.
As the book is a scene setter for the rest of the trilogy, most of the characters are covered only vaguely - the exception being Aphenglow Elessedil, the female protagonist (elven druid). With her you get a reasonably well developed, rounded character.
The book finds a reasonable balance between scene setting, character development and action sequences, and while the high number of characters only allows some of them to be developed fully (and some disappear before getting there), it all remains intriguing enough to look forward to the second and third installments to the trilogy. While I have read other Shannara works by the author, doing so is not essential (even if somewhat helpful) for one's enjoyment of the book.
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