Wards of Faerie is the first book in the Dark Legacy of Shannara series.  There’s no question that Terry Brooks has a formula that he follows in all of these series.  Some great talisman must be found (in this case missing Elfstones).  A group of characters must be gathered and this group always involves druids, elves, at least one member of the Ohmsford family, a member of the Leah family, and an assortment of others.  They have to travel a long distance to achieve this goal and there are both human (the Federation) and non-human groups opposing them.

 

Although this is formulaic to be sure, it is also comforting.  I know that when I read Terry Brooks, I’m going to get a well written epic fantasy novel.  There’s going to be danger, good characters, a journey, and many of the elements that I like in my fantasy.  This novel is no different.  The first novel sets the stage, but to really judge it, you have to read the entire trilogy, and then see how it compares to the other trilogies.

 

What I like so far is the use of airships for travel.  It’s not the first time they are being used, but I think they are a cool addition.  I also like that the series is coming full circle now that science is coming back again to the world.  After the world went into an apocalypse where science (in the form of nuclear annihilation) led to the end of the world and the rise of magic, science is now making a come back and threatening the supremacy of magic. The tone is overall a little darker than in some of the other books in this series.

 

Thus far, it’s a solid first book.  It’s not spectacular but good.  As I mentioned before, it’s difficult to judge this by itself but only in the context of how good the overall series will be, which is still too early to tell.