The High Druid’s Blade by Terry Brooks

The High Druid's Blade (The Defenders of Shannara, #1)

Rating: 3.5/5 

Release date: July 8th 2014

I am really torn with this book. The story line was very good, interesting and entertaining, and yet I wasn’t captivated.

I have always wanted to read a Terry Brooks book, so when I saw that this was a stand alone novel, and I wouldn’t have to read his previous 25+ books to understand it, I jumped at the opportunity to receive a copy from NetGallery.

The High Druid’s Blade is the story of Paxon Leah, a descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But no kings or queens have ruled the land for centuries, leaving Paxon running his family’s modest shipping business. But Paxon is uncertain if his chosen path is the correct one. Fortunately, this is quickly resolved as his sister is kidnapped after losing a bet with a sorcerer. Paxon grabs the only weapon on hand – the legendary Sword of Leah – and chases behind. This results with Paxon coming to the attention of the Fourth Druid Order, who decide to recruit and train Paxon as a protector for three years. However, the issue with the sorcerer that kidnapped his sister still isn’t resolved.

Despite the overall plot following the same old fantasy pattern of simple boy discovers he has powers he did not know about, receives training, and goes on to greater things, I enjoyed it. But I was really torn as there were many elements of the plot that I really enjoyed, especially his sister getting kidnapped. But for the most part I found it an okay read, not boring, not spectacular.

My only big quibble with it was the speech. Brooks use very elaborate vocabulary, which was apparent in his speech, but it was not always necessary. For example, his mother, who runs a moderate shipping company and you assume is mildly educated says
” I don’t sense any duplicity in this young man. On the contrary, I find him honourable. He intends you no harm. You will be fine, and so will we.”
No one talks like that! I could understand if it was Ard Rhys who spoke like that. But the language didn’t fit the character, and for me it was an unnecessary show of vocabulary.

A slow start, with a few lulls, but overall an interesting story.

With thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Del Rey Spectra on Netgallery for providing an ARC digital e-copy in exchange for an honest review.