(9th book for Once Upon a Time)
Jarka Ruus by Terry Brooks.
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (July 26, 2005)
With Jarka Ruus Terry Brooks embarks on yet another journey with the legendary Ohmsford family. Beginning 20 years after the conclusion of the The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, the High Druid of Paranor Grianne Ohmsford finds herself struggling to unite the druids amid political morass risen from her prior history as the dreaded Ilse Witch. Her enemies' schemes come to fruition quickly and she is banished behind the wall of the Forbidding, the anti-demon security feature that collapsed so spectacularly in the magnificent Elfstones of Shannara. Her fate falls in the lap of the youngest Ohmsford, Penderrin, who unlike his Aunt Grianne and his parents is without the gift of magic. Pen along with Khyber and her uncle, the Elven Prince Ahren Elessedil, learn they must jump through the usual Brooks' hoops to unlock the door of the Forbidding and free Grianne.
Brooks is right at home in this formulaic addition to the Shannara franchise. All the furniture is here: the Druid Keep of Paranor, dark creatures in pursuit of reluctant young heroes and, of course, the Elfstones. The good news is that Brooks remains a master of description and the book hums along with comfortable ease. Devout Shannara fans will find their favorite magical realm exactly as they left it and no doubt anticipate this cliffhanger's sequel
This is a series of books that I’ve gone back to time and again.
The first 4 Shannara books being my all time favorites of the series. After the original 4 came a second series of 4 called the Heritage of Shannara and then a trilogy called The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara. But as many books as there are one can stop after the first 4 and not read more. (if they so choose) This trilogy took me exceptionally long to get to and now that I’ve read the first book I am sorry I waited so long!
The first 80 pages or so I thought maybe I had “outgrown” the Shannara series.. and then low and behold, about page 100 the story grabbed me and I swear I could hear Terry Brooks evil laugh as once again I was back in his land with yet another Ohmsford relative!
Terry Brooks has a formula for the Shannara series and though at times I wondered if he wandered off he is back in form once again!
He begins with some background information and then once you meet the younger Pen Ohmsford things begin happening at lightening speed. First up to join the “company” is Tagwen, a dwarf both faithful and true. From there they recruit Ahren and his niece Khyber. No sooner does this small group of comrades decide to help Pen than the evil Dwarf from Paranor is descending on them. And from there the race is on!
Pen does not believe he will have the knowhow to help his aunt return from the Forbidding, yet at time passes his determination to safe her builds.
Even if the only books from Shannara that you may have read are the Sword of Shannara series this would be a good series to once again return into Terry Brooks imagination.
I totally enjoyed this book and am going to leave this post to begin book II, The Tanequil.