Witch Wraith by Terry Brooks

Witch WraithBook Review:  Witch Wraith by Terry Brooks

Centuries ago, the Elves used magic to banish demons and their like to a harsh land called The Forbidding.  The health of the Ellcrys tree maintains a wall between the Forbidding and the Four Lands.  While the Ellcrys, a product of magic herself, is long-lived, unfortunately she is not immortal.  The demons resent their banishment and are constantly testing her defenses — and there’s evidence everywhere that the Ellcyrs is weakening.

As much as I love Terry Brooks, I have to admit, I was disappointed this time.  A diehard Shannara-fan, I stayed up until 2 am to finish this book.  I had hoped that more details from the darkling boy/elven girl storyline would be revealed as the quest reached its resolution.  The letter didn’t work for me — by itself, it felt too convenient.  I had wondered if Tael Riverine might be the darkling boy or a relative of the darkling boy — that could have been interesting and we could have learned something directly from him.  Or maybe, a little more storytelling from Tesla Dart would have fleshed the story out a bit — she knew about the stones, it’s reasonable to think she’d know something about the boy.  Something.  The romance between the darkling boy and the elven girl and the questions it raised about profiling was something new to the Shannara world and I’d hoped to see it explored.  Brooks hinted at the whole “is any race wholly good or evil?” question again as Redden considered Tesla and what life had been like for the Jarka Ruus, but again it was just a blip.  And by the way, how did other creatures like the Grimpond get to remain in the Four Lands?  If the elves were intent on locking away all evil creatures of Faerie, they certainly missed a few.  How does the magic of the Ellcrys snatch away Tesla but leave the Grimpond?

And the elfstones . . . grrr!  I expect a future book will reveal more but I feel cheated.  Now if the letter had been some sort of elvish list of precautions, that might have worked for me.  Maybe.  With a quest series, I expect more than a glimpse of the item sought.

I hated the resolution of the Redden/Railing/Mirai storyline — it was too easy.  I suppose it doesn’t help that I wasn’t all that fond of either Redden or Railing.

I also hated the Grianne storyline but in a good way.  It did take things up a notch.  It made sense in that even heroes make mistakes, sometimes tragic ones.  It definitely leads to another spinoff series, and a potentially intriguing one at that.  I just felt for her and I really disliked Railing.  And can’t someone vow to go after poor Tesla???  Railing still has few threads on his ring . . . .

What else?  Edinja  — eh.  I felt like she kind of fell flat towards the end.

Despite my disappointment with this installment, I do love the world of Shannara and I’m already looking forward to the next journey.  At 25+ titles, however, I’d like to see a few new twists introduced to the series.  I’m okay with the fact that we can always look forward to a quest involving the Ohmsfords, the Leahs, and the Ellesedils.  I’d just like to see new quests, or new complications.  Okay, we did have Arling — she KNEW what she would have to give up and that was definitely a new and interesting complication.  And Grianne’s new role is definitely an interesting complication.  It’s just that much of the rest of the journey was a little too familiar.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Julia said,

    I just finished the 3 and I feel cheated too! Is this really the end of the story? Tesla Dart doesn’t somehow get saved?They don’t address the “race” issues anymore?

  2. 2

    James said,

    I just finished this years after some of you and the way Tesla Dart was yanked away was simply heart breaking. I so wanted a happy ending for her. I am so wanting another book that some how saves her from the forbidding. Maybe she might become a druid?

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