Booklist Reviews

Brooks returns to the world of Shannara with this story, touted as the beginning of the conclusion to the world's epic history. There is a mysterious army devastating a remote region; a young woman named Tarsha seeks an exiled druid to teach her to control her magic; her brother, abandoned by their parents, sinks ever deeper into madness brought on by uncontrollable powers; Drisker Arc, the exiled druid leader, sees the beginnings of something terrible on the horizon. There is, all the while, conspiracy brewing in the druid stronghold, Paranor. Drisker Arc and Tarsha, on the trail of the man who hired assassins to kill him, find themselves taking on the entire guild. Ultimately, this triggers a cascade of events leading back to Paranor. Fans of the world will be pleased with this opportunity to revisit it; it might rely too heavily on the preexisting lore of the world to fully satisfy newcomers to the series. The characters are, while broadly drawn, still engaging, and the story flows at a pleasing pace, which leaves the reader anticipating further installments. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

This year, The Sword of Shannara, which launched the mammoth "Shannara" series, celebrates the 40th anniversary of its publication. The first of four final novels that will draw the epic to a close, this book opens as strangers with awesome powers invade the Four Lands and meet with equally awesome resistance from a motley crew of Four Landers.

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Library Journal Reviews

After launching one of the most popular fantasy series 40 years ago with The Sword of Shannara, Brooks concludes the "Shannara" books with this first installment of a final quartet. After generations of peace, mysterious invaders attack the Four Lands.—MM

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

PW Annex Reviews

The first volume of Brooks's quartet, which will bring this decades-old Shannara epic fantasy saga to a close, works best for readers at opposite poles: series devotees who are conversant with the lengthy backstory, and newcomers who can focus on the three major plot threads. Two of the three are mysteries: Who is the stranger who seeks out master assassin Tigueron to contract for the murder of Drisker Arc, a skilled druid who left his order? And who are the powerful scarlet-robed forces that can make themselves invisible, massacre an army of mighty trolls, and follow that shocking event with more devastation? But it's the third, less familiar, story line that works best, and is most emotionally engaging: a teenage girl, Tarsha Kaynin, must deal with her older brother's violent use of magic and balance her own safety, and that of others, with her feelings for her sibling. The conclusion will have most readers eager for the sequel. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (June)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly Annex.