Bloodfire Quest: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
by Terry Brooks
Cover Artist: Stephen Youll
Review by Harriet Klausner
Del Rey Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345523501
Date: 12 March 2013 List Price $28.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
In Arborlon, Ellcrys, the sentient tree, is dying since the last Chosen Amberle Elessedil died. A new avatar must be Chosen. If the Chosen one accepts the honor she dies; if she rejects the honor the tree dies and the barrier that Ellcrys protects vanishes allowing the evil Forbidding demonic denizen to cross into the Four Lands.
Ellcrys selects Arlingfant Elessedil as the Chosen one. Shocked and filled with dread Arling tries to flee as she insists she cannot be the one as she is just a girl. Arling stops her sister Aphenglow before her sibling leaves on a trip to Westland with Cymrian to inform her fellow Druids of the Federation attack and the abandonment of Paranor. Aphen tells Arling she will be with her all the way, but is concerned that Ellcrys told her sister she is dying; the plan to search for the valuable missing elfstones in the Forbidding may prove futile. Still to succeed and insure her sacrifice is not in vain by saving the tree and consequently closing the tear, Arling must carry Ellcrys's seed to the Bloodfire but has no idea where this is located; neither does her sibling who insists on accompanying her on her journey to death.
Meanwhile as the sisters begin their Bloodfire Quest, Druid Ard Rhys leads an expedition into the Forbidding to find the elfstones that she believes will save the Four Lands unaware of what transpired in Arborlon. However, the mission turns ugly when the malevolent enemy captures the Ard Rhys. Those Druids left inside enemy territory expect to die in a desperate attempt to rescue their leader.
The key characters are all courageous individuals who risk their lives to save their race and their land. Arling cherishes life, but though she wants to refuse, faces her responsibility as the Chosen one who expects to sacrifice herself for her people. Her sister Aphen wishes Arling never received the suicidal honor. However, once her sibling accepts her role and says she must do the right thing; concealing her consternation Aphen joins her beloved sister on the quest as she always has Arling's back. Even the mysterious dying tree of life comes across as genuine especially after selecting Arling as the Chosen One and in turn the prime reason the two sisters go on their mission. The Ard Rhys is also an intrepid soul as she enters the Forbidden at great risk to save her world and remains brave even when imprisoned by her vile adversary. The demons also take risks in attempt to grab the great prize of overrunning the Four Lands.
The second The Dark Legacy of Shannara quest fantasy (see Wards of Faerie) is an exciting thriller that rotates between two strong related subplots involving closing the widening aperture before the demons cross over and destroy the Druid homeland. The fast-paced storyline grips the audience with plenty of action and terrific unexpected spins that make the Brooks realm feel real. With a fully developed cast and a taut storyline, series fans will enjoy the latest battle between the Druids and the demons.