cover image The Talismans of Shannara

The Talismans of Shannara

Terry Brooks. Del Rey, $22 (453pp) ISBN 978-0-345-36300-8

Brooks brings his best-selling tetralogy, which began with The Scions of Shannara , to a resounding, action-filled conclusion. The three quests set by the Druid Allanon to save the Four Lands have been fulfilled, but the results are endangered or useless. One of the questers, Shannara scion Par Ohmsford, flees Federation soldiers and Shadowen Seekers with his love, Damson Rhee, only to be hunted by his brother Coll, made mad by the Shadowen leader Rimmer Dall. Par carries the powerful Sword of Shannara but cannot use it; the magic of his wishsong intensifies but becomes increasingly uncontrollable. Walker Boh, Allanon's heir, is trapped inside the restored Druid fortress of Paranor by four powerful Shadowen who have taken the form of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The third quester, Wren Elessedil, now queen of the elves, has brought her people back to the Four Lands, but they face extermination by the Federation. The three searchers must be tempered by disaster, conquer their self-doubts and discover within themselves the true nature of their quest and the means of salvation for their peoples. Cutting from one group to another, Brooks builds tension and suspense, weaving a rich and complex tale. 215,000 first printing. (Mar . )