I have been a fan of Terry Brooks since I first picked up The Sword of Shannara at the age of 17, so he had a huge part in me falling in love with fantasy.
The High Druid’s Blade is the first book in a new trilogy placed in Brook’s universe of Shannara. It takes place 100 years after the last book, Witch Wraith, and it follows Paxon Leah, a young descendant of both the Ohmsford and Leah line. He works within the airship business with his younger sister, the brash Chrysaline, and they live with their mother in the Highlands of Leah. When his sister is kidnapped, after she has made a bad bet with a stranger, he heads to the town of Wayford to rescue her. With he takes the old sword hanging over the fire place. As he rescues his sister, he discovers the old sword is in fact the legendary Sword of Leah. This leads to him being discovered by the rebuilt Order of Druids at Paranor. He is offered to train with them and serve as their protector. It is the start of his great adventure.
The book is well written and I do like the fact that Brooks has written it less as a quest and more as character driven book. There are of course the usual Federation versus Druids conflict, but this time their are more fringe characters outside of the Federation that are important to the development of Paxon. The characters are less driven by pure evil and the influence of the demons seem now to be completely gone, which I really like. The fact that the absence of a pure evil gives the story far more realism, if in fact a book with magic can be realistic, but I like that. That certain families have magical abilities in their genes, is far more believable than someone being chosen by some god.
I do recommend this book, if you’re a fan of Terry Brooks, and if you’re not, then start reading The Word and The Void trilogy and continue on to become one.