cover image Witch Wraith

Witch Wraith

Terry Brooks. Del Rey, $28 (432p) ISBN 978-0-345-52353-2

Thirty-six years after the publication of The Sword of Shannara, valiant elves and druids are still swiping away at evil creatures threatening to burst out of the Forbidden to threaten the Four Lands. Brooks concludes his nigh-interminable latest Shannara trilogy with a protracted quest to regenerate the Ellcrys, the magic tree that sustains the lands and contains the monsters in the Forbidden. Along the conventionally tortuous way strewn with unpronounceable fiends, Dark Lords and sorceresses, talking lizards, and well-intentioned callow youths, Brooks sprinkles a doomed love story featuring Aphenglow Elessedil, while Aphen’s sister, Arlingfant, must confront the high price demanded by the Ellcrys. Diehard Shannara fans may savor these inflated chronicles, but others will find themselves helplessly stranded in watered-down-Tolkien country. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (July)