cover image The Skaar Invasion

The Skaar Invasion

Terry Brooks. Del Rey, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-0-553-39151-0

Although Brooks’s prose and characters remain unremarkable, he does a better job of juggling multiple story lines in this middle volume of his final Shannara epic fantasy trilogy than in its predecessor, The Black Elfstone. The prior volume ended dramatically: the Druids’ headquarters at Paranor had been sent into limbo, with its former leader, Drisker Arc, trapped inside. The order of magicians had been betrayed by one of their own, Clizia Porse, who aided the invaders known as the Skaar; they overwhelmed any opposition by using their ability to disappear. Dar Leah, who had been in charge of protecting Paranor, is desperate to rescue Drisker, and searches for Drisker’s gifted apprentice, Tarsha Kaynin, who is also being sought by Clizia and by Tarsha’s brother, Tavo, whose insanity has made his magic deadly. Meanwhile, the commander of the Skaar, Ajin d’Amphere, schemes to pit two of her opponents in the Four Lands against each other. Brooks keeps the narrative flowing briskly and makes it accessible to newcomers. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (June)