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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   For five hundred years, the survivors of the Great Wars lived peacefully in a valley sanctuary shielded by powerful magic from the dangerous outside world. But the enchanted barriers have crumbled, and the threat of annihilation looms large once more. As he lay dying, Sider Ament, bearer of the last black staff and protector of the valley, gave NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   For five hundred years, the survivors of the Great Wars lived peacefully in a valley sanctuary shielded by powerful magic from the dangerous outside world. But the enchanted barriers have crumbled, and the threat of annihilation looms large once more. As he lay dying, Sider Ament, bearer of the last black staff and protector of the valley, gave stewardship of the powerful talisman to the young Tracker Panterra Qu. Now the newly anointed Knight of the Word must take up the battle against evil wherever it threatens: from without, where an army of bloodthirsty Trolls is massing for invasion; and from within, where the Elf king of Arborlon has been murdered, his daughter stands accused, and a heinous conspiracy is poised to subjugate the kingdom. But even these affairs will pale beside the most harrowing menace Panterra is destined to confront—a nameless, merciless agent of darkness on a relentless mission: to claim the last black staff . . . and the life of whoever wields it. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Terry Brooks's The Wards of Faerie.


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   For five hundred years, the survivors of the Great Wars lived peacefully in a valley sanctuary shielded by powerful magic from the dangerous outside world. But the enchanted barriers have crumbled, and the threat of annihilation looms large once more. As he lay dying, Sider Ament, bearer of the last black staff and protector of the valley, gave NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   For five hundred years, the survivors of the Great Wars lived peacefully in a valley sanctuary shielded by powerful magic from the dangerous outside world. But the enchanted barriers have crumbled, and the threat of annihilation looms large once more. As he lay dying, Sider Ament, bearer of the last black staff and protector of the valley, gave stewardship of the powerful talisman to the young Tracker Panterra Qu. Now the newly anointed Knight of the Word must take up the battle against evil wherever it threatens: from without, where an army of bloodthirsty Trolls is massing for invasion; and from within, where the Elf king of Arborlon has been murdered, his daughter stands accused, and a heinous conspiracy is poised to subjugate the kingdom. But even these affairs will pale beside the most harrowing menace Panterra is destined to confront—a nameless, merciless agent of darkness on a relentless mission: to claim the last black staff . . . and the life of whoever wields it. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Terry Brooks's The Wards of Faerie.

30 review for The Measure of the Magic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Lawler

    I have always been a big fan of Terry Brooks. The Shannara novels were amongst the first fantasy books that I read, and I have always turned up to the book store every August to purchase the latest offering from Brooks. There has been plenty of reason for optimism over the past 5 years – the new Landover novel and the Genesis of Shannara novels have been some of Brooks’ best work, and my expectations for concluding novel in The Legends of Shannara series were very high. Unfortunately The Measure I have always been a big fan of Terry Brooks. The Shannara novels were amongst the first fantasy books that I read, and I have always turned up to the book store every August to purchase the latest offering from Brooks. There has been plenty of reason for optimism over the past 5 years – the new Landover novel and the Genesis of Shannara novels have been some of Brooks’ best work, and my expectations for concluding novel in The Legends of Shannara series were very high. Unfortunately The Measure of Magic was a massive let down, a boring and uninspired conclusion to a series that failed to cash in on the superb foundations that had been laid previously. Sider Ament has been killed. The magical veil protecting the valley has fallen, trolls have amassed outside the valley waiting for a chance to strike, and the responsibility for leading the inhabitants of the valley back into the wider world has fallen to young tracker, and newly appointed Knight of the Word, Panterra Qu. While this premise has the makings of a very exciting story, we were promised by Brooks that this series would clearly define the transition from the world of the Word/Void to the world of Shannara. It was a very bold promise that was not adequately fulfilled, and having invested so much of my time into these five transitional Shannara books, I feel like the series was cheated out of the ending it deserved. Not only did we not get the story we wanted but the story we did get was well below par, something made more apparent given the quality Brooks has produced over the past five years. To put it a bit more bluntly I became very bored reading The Measure of Magic, which is quite concerning as I don’t think I have ever been bored reading a Brooks story. We get a generic coming of age story as Panterra Qu accepts the Knight of the Word mantle. We get a generic coming of age story as Prue Liss is called upon to make a personal sacrifice for the greater good. We get a generic coming of age story as Phryne Amarantyne accepts responsibility for the Elfstones. We get a generic coming of age story as Xac Wen strives to prove himself to his peers and his heroes. After playing with some heavy and controversial themes in the previous book, to see this book populated by such generic character arcs is a massive let down. The one redeeming feature of this book is it’s villain, the Ragpicker. He is a cold, calculating and vile demon who hunts down Knights of the Word just for fun. His scenes are by far the most interesting in the book – he exudes an air made up of equal parts malevolence, power, and competence, and it is fascinating to watch how easily he can manipulate entire villages just by playing on their hopes and fears. In just one book Brooks established the Ragpicker as one of the most capable villains in the Shannara universe and it would have been nice to see how he would have developed over the course of an entire series rather than just the one book. The writing here is pretty good, a style that has become well refined after twenty five years of Shannara. The world building is as strong as ever and the action scenes continue to be both vivid and exciting. The pacing is good, the story is easy to read, but it feels like there is far too much unnecessary prose here. This is a book that is twice as long as needed to be, which is a shame because there were so many sub-plots from the first book that were left untouched, and many more from this book that were left unresolved. The Measure of Magic an uncharacteristically mediocre attempt at a novel by Terry Brooks. While there are some great scenes with some epic action sequences, they are interspersed by boring character development and relationships that refuse to evolve. It’s not a bad read by any stretch of the imagination, and I have read much worse, but I expected more from Brooks on this outing. If you are looking for resolution of the various plot threads established over the past five years, you will end up feeling disappointed. However, if you can go into this story without expecting the overall genesis of Shannara to be resolved then I think you can glean quite a bit of enjoyment out of this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    I usually don't bother writing reviews for books. Normally I check reviews on books before I read them before I decide if I want to invest any time into them. That is, unless it's an author I have been reading for a long time. I've read pretty much every book Terry Brooks has written (and own most of them). This is the first time I've been disappointed, and was compelled to write about it. For some reason this book felt like a YA novel to me (I have nothing against YA novels, I read them from tim I usually don't bother writing reviews for books. Normally I check reviews on books before I read them before I decide if I want to invest any time into them. That is, unless it's an author I have been reading for a long time. I've read pretty much every book Terry Brooks has written (and own most of them). This is the first time I've been disappointed, and was compelled to write about it. For some reason this book felt like a YA novel to me (I have nothing against YA novels, I read them from time to time, but this just isn't what I was expecting). It's been at least a year since I read Bearers of the Black Staff, but I recall it being a lot more interesting. I've also read a lot of dark fantasy since Bearers, so maybe that's why the book felt like it was directed at younger readers. (view spoiler)[ Pan was supposed to have this ultimate destiny to fulfill, I thought for sure there would be another book about that, and maybe him confronting the demon at the end of the third book. The ending just fell flat for me. His 'ultimate destiny' or whatever lasted less than a chapter. The villains didn't really do it for me either. The demon was at least a little interesting, and his death left me feeling like "that's it?". (hide spoiler)] It almost seemed like he rushed to finish it, as though he was bored writing about these characters and just wanted to move onto his next book. It felt like this book and Bearers could have been one book because the ending was just...blah. All of the 'final confrontations' were incredibly boring, and lasted maybe a paragraph. It actually would have been better if it had spanned to a third book instead of the ending we got. According to Brooks' website this is the final book in a duology, so I'm not sure where people are getting this third book thing from. Maybe I was a little hard on this book...because I really do like Terry Brooks. I guess my expectations were just high after reading his books for the last twelve years, or maybe I am just outgrowing them. I still have every intention of buying his new books in the future just because I've been reading them for so long.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lighthearted

    With the death of Sider Ament, Panterra Qu becomes the new Bearer of the Black Staff. Pan doesn’t know what power the Staff holds or how to call upon its magic but he has to trust that he will know what to do when the time comes. He has to because he must rescue Prue from the Trolls, he must protect the valley from invasion, and he must help Phryne . . . . While Pan searches for her, Prue Liss searches for him. She strikes a deal which will enhance her innate ability to sense danger but the cost With the death of Sider Ament, Panterra Qu becomes the new Bearer of the Black Staff. Pan doesn’t know what power the Staff holds or how to call upon its magic but he has to trust that he will know what to do when the time comes. He has to because he must rescue Prue from the Trolls, he must protect the valley from invasion, and he must help Phryne . . . . While Pan searches for her, Prue Liss searches for him. She strikes a deal which will enhance her innate ability to sense danger but the cost is steep. Meanwhile Phryne Amarantyne searches for the legendary Elfstones, a cunning demon leads the villagers of Glensk Wood astray, and invading armies march towards both Aphalion Pass and Declan Reach. Solid Shannara, if a bit slower-paced and maybe a tad simpler. There’s less development of the Shannara world; there’s more emphasis on character introspection and this tends to slow things down a bit. For the most part this was okay, but I felt it took the adrenaline away from some of the action scenes, particularly the scene with Pan and the demon. I also felt that the escape scenes in this volume were a bit easier than in previous Shannara titles but I may be misremembering. I loved the Sider Ament/Aislinne Kray/Pogue storyline and I loved the relationship between Pan & Prue. Arik Siq, Bonnaisant, Skeale Eile, and the Ragpicker are wonderfully creepy villains. I never warmed to Phryne’s character so the relationship between Phryne and Pan didn’t have nearly the impact on me that Sider and Aislinne’s did but that’s okay. If there are future Legends of Shannara books (and I hope there are!), I hope that we’re introduced to the beginning of the Druidic Order and the building of Paranor. And a Moor Cat companion!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tomer

    When you reach pass the edge of the charted known map, there be monsters. In this book the remnants of civilization as they thought of are forced to cross pass the veil into the unknown. Though I have my reservations and some recurring themes, some of the subtext about humanity compensated. Will the journey bring success or a slow demise into another extinction?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lavina anna

    Fantastic book!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Markus

    The Measure of the Magic begins exactly where Bearers of the Black Staff ended, which is basically where everything fell to pieces. The last descendant of the Knights of the Word lies dead, fallen to the poison of a treacherous troll. Phryne Amarantyne has been imprisoned in Arborlon, framed for the murder of her own father. And the Drouj army stands on the doorstep of the valley, threatening to invade and conquer it all. As it that was not enough, the first few chapters of the second book add a The Measure of the Magic begins exactly where Bearers of the Black Staff ended, which is basically where everything fell to pieces. The last descendant of the Knights of the Word lies dead, fallen to the poison of a treacherous troll. Phryne Amarantyne has been imprisoned in Arborlon, framed for the murder of her own father. And the Drouj army stands on the doorstep of the valley, threatening to invade and conquer it all. As it that was not enough, the first few chapters of the second book add a whole new set of factors to the excitement. The dragon returns, hunting for magic. Prue Liss suddenly disappears in a flash of light. And most important of all, an mysterious old man collecting rags appears outside the valley, seeking to enter. All in all, this was another good Brooks novel. At some points it might feel a bit boring, but mostly it's a real pageturner. I think the Legends duology really stands out in the Shannara universe, as none of the earlier additions have been so fast-paced nor so filled with intrigue and deception as these two. That does not necessarily add to the quality, and I still haven't read anything from Brooks that surpasses the original Shannara trilogy, but it does contribute to making this book all the more interesting and exciting. Also, it has a beautiful Elven princess and her magical stones riding the last of the dragons into battle. That alone made it worth reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    The Measure of the Magic is book 5 chronologically in the Shannara series. 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. This one wasn’t as good as I remembered but it was still a very solid and exciting story. We get the King of the Silver River, and even a dragon 🐉 in this story! To my knowledge, I don’t think a dragon makes another appearance in the rest of the series. Maybe they all got shoved off in the Forbidding? 🤔. Anyway, this was an enjoyable read. The Blue Elfstones are given to a character we don’t expe The Measure of the Magic is book 5 chronologically in the Shannara series. 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. This one wasn’t as good as I remembered but it was still a very solid and exciting story. We get the King of the Silver River, and even a dragon 🐉 in this story! To my knowledge, I don’t think a dragon makes another appearance in the rest of the series. Maybe they all got shoved off in the Forbidding? 🤔. Anyway, this was an enjoyable read. The Blue Elfstones are given to a character we don’t expect, and as a reader, I wonder what was done with them because they definitely pop up later in the series. One quick related note, last Saturday, Ivana Baquero, who played Eretria in the Shannara Chronicles, hosted an IG live on Saturday reminiscing about the show. I watched and it kind of gave me some more motivation on my re-read of the Shannara book series. If you’re interested, here is a link to her YouTube: https://youtu.be/VJWkfFPkluQ . The show flopped for many reasons, but the actors definitely had a passion for what they were doing on the show, and that shined through on this IG reunion. On to The First King of Shannara...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    It took me a month to get through this book! I fell in love with Terry Brooks in his urban fantasy books (The Word & Void novels and Genesis of Shannara), but the books that followed return to his more classic fantasy roots. In "The Measure of the Magic" there was entirely too much inner dialogue by characters either reiterating events that just happened or pining of their feelings. I'm amazed anyone in the book survived to the end as much time as they spent examining their feelings instead of f It took me a month to get through this book! I fell in love with Terry Brooks in his urban fantasy books (The Word & Void novels and Genesis of Shannara), but the books that followed return to his more classic fantasy roots. In "The Measure of the Magic" there was entirely too much inner dialogue by characters either reiterating events that just happened or pining of their feelings. I'm amazed anyone in the book survived to the end as much time as they spent examining their feelings instead of fighting foes. The relationships presenting in this novel fell flat for me, and the only interesting relationship that seemed to bud was given two sentences. That said, there were a few cool moments in the book that were totally awesome and kept the pages turning. Unfortunately they were after the 300-page mark. I persevered to the end just to add this stupid book to my Reading Challenge for the year. Not sure if I'll read the next book of the series until a friend has read it and deemed it interesting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Squire

    #8/29 in my Epic Shannara Quest. The final volume in Brooks Legends of Shannara series is a meatier story than the previous book. While not as complex as the previous two pre-Shannara series (Word and the Void and Genesis of Shannara), it takes the fantasy tropes Brooks has lapsed into (his ripoffs of his own works were out of the picture for the most part) and tweaks them just enough while adding layers to established characterizations. All of this added up to a four-star experience for me. Until #8/29 in my Epic Shannara Quest. The final volume in Brooks Legends of Shannara series is a meatier story than the previous book. While not as complex as the previous two pre-Shannara series (Word and the Void and Genesis of Shannara), it takes the fantasy tropes Brooks has lapsed into (his ripoffs of his own works were out of the picture for the most part) and tweaks them just enough while adding layers to established characterizations. All of this added up to a four-star experience for me. Until I hit Chapter Twenty Nine. The unexpected nature of the action and exuberance of Brooks' writing in this chapter won me over completely and turned a good reading experience into a great one. And with these sort of books, it's all about the experience and this one (I got to chapter 29 during halftime of the Superbowl--Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé? Wake me up when they reunite Molly Hatchet for a halftime show) was a real winner in the end.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wayland Smith

    Part two, and possibly the conclusion, of the Legends of Shannara series, The Measure of the Magic tells the tale of Panterra (I keep thinking of the 90's band), the new bearer of the Black Staff, and the forerunner of what would eventually be the Druids in the later books. The story also reveals the fates of Prue Liss, Pan's partner and fellow Tracker, Elven Princess Phayne, Aislinne, and the nameless demon called the ragpicker. This sort of serves as a bridge between Brooks' Knight of the Word Part two, and possibly the conclusion, of the Legends of Shannara series, The Measure of the Magic tells the tale of Panterra (I keep thinking of the 90's band), the new bearer of the Black Staff, and the forerunner of what would eventually be the Druids in the later books. The story also reveals the fates of Prue Liss, Pan's partner and fellow Tracker, Elven Princess Phayne, Aislinne, and the nameless demon called the ragpicker. This sort of serves as a bridge between Brooks' Knight of the Word series and the later-set Shannara books, showing how Man and some Elves survived the apocalypse that almost ended the world and how they set out to tame what was left. There's combat, magic, excitement, and loss. From his first hit book, The Sword of Shannara, Brooks has been hard on his cast (long before Game of Thrones), and many supporting characters, and at least one major one, don't make it through the book. I don't know if there's a third book coming for the series. It could easily end here, or he could add another showing Pan's further adventures. Brooks was one of the first big names in fantasy after Tolkien and CS Lewis, and his Shannara world has been chronicled in many different eras. This is a good addition to that list.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sam Jones

    Loved this book. The series just seems to get better and better. Legends of Shannara consists of two books which is a bit sad because I loved the characters and I doubt we'll hear anymore from them in future series. This last book was action packed and held a few surprises. If you only want a taste of Terry Brooks Shannara series then pick this one. Loved this book. The series just seems to get better and better. Legends of Shannara consists of two books which is a bit sad because I loved the characters and I doubt we'll hear anymore from them in future series. This last book was action packed and held a few surprises. If you only want a taste of Terry Brooks Shannara series then pick this one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Well, things make a little more sense now, since discoverying this is the 2nd of 3 books. I was under the impression this was a two-book set-up, so as I'm running out of pages and wondering how this is going to get all neatly resolved in a short amount of time, I did a little recon and found out there's still one more book to go. Which is good. I flew through this pretty quickly, as I'd wanted to do over the long weekend. One of the things Terry does well that I really appreciate is write strong Well, things make a little more sense now, since discoverying this is the 2nd of 3 books. I was under the impression this was a two-book set-up, so as I'm running out of pages and wondering how this is going to get all neatly resolved in a short amount of time, I did a little recon and found out there's still one more book to go. Which is good. I flew through this pretty quickly, as I'd wanted to do over the long weekend. One of the things Terry does well that I really appreciate is write strong female characters. None of this running through a dark forest in 4 inch heels running from The Bad hoping to be rescued. His female characters Kick Keister. They are strong and vulnerable, never weak. It's nice to follow heroines that take charge, but not at the cost of what makes them who they are. No doormats here! It's a good middle book story, tho I did think it got a little angsty at a few points. Then again, considering the main characters are in their mid to late teens, I guess that is acceptable, as angst is a chunky part of that age. Or at least, it was when I was there! Looking forward to the resolve of the final installment. Terry remains my fave fantasy author for consistently top notch writing - strong characters, solid story development and good flow that keeps the pages flying.

  13. 5 out of 5

    J.

    Shannara is franchise fiction from Terry Brooks. Shannara readers go to that world for a familiar set of powers, beings, elements, etc. You are not reading this for literary value, you are reading it for fun. This book was not fun. 75% of what I read before I gave up, was internal monologue by characters stating obvious things. There is a really bad use of the deus ex machina with the King of the Silver River that is 100% a corner being written out of (same reason I stopped reading Hunger Games b Shannara is franchise fiction from Terry Brooks. Shannara readers go to that world for a familiar set of powers, beings, elements, etc. You are not reading this for literary value, you are reading it for fun. This book was not fun. 75% of what I read before I gave up, was internal monologue by characters stating obvious things. There is a really bad use of the deus ex machina with the King of the Silver River that is 100% a corner being written out of (same reason I stopped reading Hunger Games book 1 btw). The characters, act stupidly, and are thus hard to empathize with. I thought Brooks made a mistake trying to merge his worlds of the "Demon" series and "Shannara" together as both would be diminished. Hopefully he is done writing through this mix of faerie and judeo-christianesque "knight of the word" hybrid crapulence.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

    Sorry, been away from Goodreads for a little bit. :) 3.5 stars. I finished this some time ago, and, though definitely readable, I found that the "Legends of Shannara" series just didn't do it for me overall. (I found the "Word and Void" series, and the "Genesis of Shannara" series kept me entertained enough to keep page-turning late into the evenings. But this duology didn't grab me in quite the same way, though learning about the "Pre-History" of Shannara saves this from being a total drag.) Sorry, been away from Goodreads for a little bit. :) 3.5 stars. I finished this some time ago, and, though definitely readable, I found that the "Legends of Shannara" series just didn't do it for me overall. (I found the "Word and Void" series, and the "Genesis of Shannara" series kept me entertained enough to keep page-turning late into the evenings. But this duology didn't grab me in quite the same way, though learning about the "Pre-History" of Shannara saves this from being a total drag.)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Max

    I can't really give an objective review for a Terry Brooks book. Since I have read all the books, enjoyed almost all of them, I am obviously a fan. I love to submerge myself in mr. Brooks's world so this did not disappoint. This is a little more Young Adult than some of the books in the series though, so if you're not into that you could skip the Legends of Shannara. But since you're here, reading my review, you've probably already read quite a few by Terry Brooks and know by now that you will no I can't really give an objective review for a Terry Brooks book. Since I have read all the books, enjoyed almost all of them, I am obviously a fan. I love to submerge myself in mr. Brooks's world so this did not disappoint. This is a little more Young Adult than some of the books in the series though, so if you're not into that you could skip the Legends of Shannara. But since you're here, reading my review, you've probably already read quite a few by Terry Brooks and know by now that you will not skip this one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Hunter

    Perhaps my least favorite of Brooks’ pre-Shannara novels. Up to now, I’ve enjoyed for the most part the inner dialogues of characters great and small. With The Measure of the Magic, the constant self-analysis felt excessive. Brooks could’ve accomplished the same amount of plot development in a novella. Panterra Qu bothered me. After following the adventures of hard-boiled Knights of the Word/Bearers of the Black Staff like John Ross, Logan Tom, Angel Perez, even Sider Ament, the coming-of-age nar Perhaps my least favorite of Brooks’ pre-Shannara novels. Up to now, I’ve enjoyed for the most part the inner dialogues of characters great and small. With The Measure of the Magic, the constant self-analysis felt excessive. Brooks could’ve accomplished the same amount of plot development in a novella. Panterra Qu bothered me. After following the adventures of hard-boiled Knights of the Word/Bearers of the Black Staff like John Ross, Logan Tom, Angel Perez, even Sider Ament, the coming-of-age narrative connected to Pan lacked, well, everything. On the positive side of the ledger, the Phryne-with-dragon scenes were awesome, as were those starring the demon called “the ragpicker”. But overall? I’m unsatisfied! There’s only one more prequel—First King of Shannara—until the original trilogy. Will Brooks quench my thirst for more meaningful historical context for Shea Ohmsford’s Shady Vale in the Southland of Shannara? I need it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeff H

    An excellent two book story. A lot of action, twists and turns. The ending left room for a hopefully sequel book. Picking up the characters where this book ended. Sadly I appear to have reached the end of the Shannara series. I've read over 30 of the books and have not found anything new I haven't read yet. It was a fun journey. Time to search for a new series of science fiction/fantasy. A new world to explore. An excellent two book story. A lot of action, twists and turns. The ending left room for a hopefully sequel book. Picking up the characters where this book ended. Sadly I appear to have reached the end of the Shannara series. I've read over 30 of the books and have not found anything new I haven't read yet. It was a fun journey. Time to search for a new series of science fiction/fantasy. A new world to explore.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barry Mulvany

    A pretty disappointing book in all honesty. As the last book ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger we start this one immediately after. I was hoping for something more original as the last book had a few nice touches but this was almost a copy of Genesis of Shannara books again. Demons are back. A chosen one to lead the people to safety. Sound familiar? We had a few new POV's in this book in addition to the ones from the last book. We have Prue, Panterra's friend and Aislinne from the last book. Pru A pretty disappointing book in all honesty. As the last book ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger we start this one immediately after. I was hoping for something more original as the last book had a few nice touches but this was almost a copy of Genesis of Shannara books again. Demons are back. A chosen one to lead the people to safety. Sound familiar? We had a few new POV's in this book in addition to the ones from the last book. We have Prue, Panterra's friend and Aislinne from the last book. Prue is almost a copy of Panterra and both are unmemorable. Aislinne just seemed shoehorned in to get a perspective from the town. We also have a decent portion of the book from the demon's perspective and his is the most interesting. At first it seemed Brooks might take him to a new direction but then unfortunately he reverted to a total evil typecast. There were a few good scenes but overall it was fairly boring and that is just too much of a flaw in any medium that's telling a story. The main reason for reading these is seeing how our world becomes the world of Shannara. I was expecting these books to move it much further on but apart a few things this did not happen at all and things aren't much different than at the end of the Genesis books. Overall I would not recommend these books apart from the most diehard of Shannara fans.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dusty Craine

    If you’ve read any of Terry Brooks’ books then you know what to expect. Great characters. Great adventures. There will be some humans, some elves. Elfstones or a Bearer of the Black Staff. And mainly that is my problem with the series at this point. It feels like there is very little fresh to discover. This book had a dragon in it, which I believe is a first for Brooks. How that dragon plays into the story is fascinating but otherwise I felt like I knew what to expect. Despite the some of the vi If you’ve read any of Terry Brooks’ books then you know what to expect. Great characters. Great adventures. There will be some humans, some elves. Elfstones or a Bearer of the Black Staff. And mainly that is my problem with the series at this point. It feels like there is very little fresh to discover. This book had a dragon in it, which I believe is a first for Brooks. How that dragon plays into the story is fascinating but otherwise I felt like I knew what to expect. Despite the some of the violence in this book it never felt over the top or graphic, which is good for young readers. The book’s lone love scene was a single paragraph where nothing more than a hand touching bare skin was revealed. Compared to some of the books I’m used to reading these days it feels like I’m reading a Young Adult book as opposed to an adult piece of fantasy. And really my issue is just that it all feels a little stale. At this point I’d like to discover a new elven magic, or a forgotten race, something. It just feels like no effort is put into developing twists. And despite the fact that there is a lot of death in this book, none of it has any impact. I never cared enough for any character to be punched in the gut by their loss. Most of the characters felt paper thin and unexplored. I never felt like I was invested in the story. In fact toward the end I found myself going thread A will be resolved like this, thread B will be resolved like this, and then the last few paragraphs will probably amount to this. And unfortunately I was right. Another thing worth mention is this is book two in a duology. It continues where Bearers of the Black Staff left off. And I mean it picks right up. No reminders of what’s going on. No reminders of who’s who. It just picks up like you closed book one and picked up book two. I would prefer a “Previously in Bearers of the Black Staff” introduction. All of my griping aside, it isn’t a bad book. It’s just that I’ve read everything Shannara related that Brooks has to offer and I feel like I’m getting the same meal fed to me. It’s not a bad meal. It’s satisfying. It just doesn’t wow me like it used to. If you’re a fan of Shannara then you’ll likely enjoy this book too but I don’t think he’s going to win any new hearts with it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Albert Riehle

    An uncharacteristically weak ending to this set of books. That may say more about where Brooks has set his own bar than this book though. The Measure of the Magic had some great characters and scenes that will have fans clapping, but overall it failed to measure up. The hasty, fortuitous conclusion was the worst part. A great villain got a weak death, the protagonists seemed more lucky than anything else and their journeys taught them nothing that helped them in the end. I'm pretty disappointed An uncharacteristically weak ending to this set of books. That may say more about where Brooks has set his own bar than this book though. The Measure of the Magic had some great characters and scenes that will have fans clapping, but overall it failed to measure up. The hasty, fortuitous conclusion was the worst part. A great villain got a weak death, the protagonists seemed more lucky than anything else and their journeys taught them nothing that helped them in the end. I'm pretty disappointed and feel like this set of books accomplished very little in the overall storyline. Some great characters, ideas and scenes are there to be enjoyed along the way but for me it just wasn't enough. Especially since I've invested two years and two books to this particular storyline. Maybe these "cliffhanger series" that he's been writing are easier? Maybe they guarantee more sales? I don't know. But when you flop after bringing the reader on that long ride the disappointment is certainly intensified. It was so here and I still contend that Brooks does his best work in the stand alone book form. Apparently that's not what's most important though. This book left me feeling empty. I think I'll reread Elfstones and Wishsong to help remember what magic feels like and to remember why Brooks is and always will be one of my favorite writers. When he's on there is no one better.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    It kills me to give this only two stars, but I can only give it that many because I managed to finish it. I heart Terry Brooks, but this book. This book. Pale characters that border on generic. Confrontations that had massive lead ups last less than a paragraph. And Phryne. (view spoiler)[Especially, ESPECIALLY Phryne and the dragon, which sadly is probably the most awkward, pointless and almost stupid thing I've ever read from Mr. Brooks. That part actually made me cringe, and it may have even i It kills me to give this only two stars, but I can only give it that many because I managed to finish it. I heart Terry Brooks, but this book. This book. Pale characters that border on generic. Confrontations that had massive lead ups last less than a paragraph. And Phryne. (view spoiler)[Especially, ESPECIALLY Phryne and the dragon, which sadly is probably the most awkward, pointless and almost stupid thing I've ever read from Mr. Brooks. That part actually made me cringe, and it may have even if I didn't already have a serious dislike for Phryne and her one-night-stands and I don't want to die a virgin mindset and her complete uselessness as a character. She didn't deserve the stones. (hide spoiler)] . I love Terry Brooks. I love his world, but I'm going to have to step back from it for a minute. Two stars, barely. :(

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stefan

    It took me awhile to finish this book. I would read a few chapters, then pick something else up, and then the book would be due back at the library, a few months would go by and I would check it out again and repeat the process. I had a hard time staying engaged in the story, it is not that it was not good, it is just that the "hook" never felt like it really set. I do wish this were a trilogy and not a duology. I feel like there is much more left for Panterra and Prue, and I would really like t It took me awhile to finish this book. I would read a few chapters, then pick something else up, and then the book would be due back at the library, a few months would go by and I would check it out again and repeat the process. I had a hard time staying engaged in the story, it is not that it was not good, it is just that the "hook" never felt like it really set. I do wish this were a trilogy and not a duology. I feel like there is much more left for Panterra and Prue, and I would really like to here more of their story. In any event, this was a good series and a good back story for the Shannara series. I have only read "Te Sword of Shannara" but have always wanted to read the entire series. I will definitely be adding the other books to my reading list.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Colvert

    Terry Brooks has a way about his style with the magic he infuses into his epic fantasy books, no doubt about it. I have just finished reading the Measure of the Magic: Legends of Shannara that I won as an ARC here on Goodreads. Fantastic story! It is the book after the Bearers of the Black Staff. Now I must go retreive his other series! No questions asked. I love human, elves. fae, trolls, etc. different races some coming together in time of need, others selfish only concerned with what they can Terry Brooks has a way about his style with the magic he infuses into his epic fantasy books, no doubt about it. I have just finished reading the Measure of the Magic: Legends of Shannara that I won as an ARC here on Goodreads. Fantastic story! It is the book after the Bearers of the Black Staff. Now I must go retreive his other series! No questions asked. I love human, elves. fae, trolls, etc. different races some coming together in time of need, others selfish only concerned with what they can get, and who to trample over to get it. I would highly recommend this fantasy story to everyone who loves this type of reading.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    It was a good ending with just enough closure to wrap things up.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Crazy Uncle Ryan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This one took me a bit longer to read than the previous books. I will blame that on the fact that my company decided it was time for me to start working at the office again so I had a little less time to read. Anyway, another great book. I wish there were another book or two betwixt this one and First King of Shannara. This one had a good ending but I would like to see a bit more of the history that shows how the world of this series becoming the Four Lands we see fully established in the later b This one took me a bit longer to read than the previous books. I will blame that on the fact that my company decided it was time for me to start working at the office again so I had a little less time to read. Anyway, another great book. I wish there were another book or two betwixt this one and First King of Shannara. This one had a good ending but I would like to see a bit more of the history that shows how the world of this series becoming the Four Lands we see fully established in the later books. I'm surprised that there is nothing about the origins of the dwarves or gnomes. But, I guess you can't have it all. Now, I have been wanting to address something that has been bothering me about this story ever since I first started reading Bearers of the Black Staff. There is a major plot hole in the Legends of Shannara duology. At the end of the Genesis of Shannara trilogy we have a group of humans who are led to a valley where they are sealed in and protected by a magical shield. Nothing can come in; nothing can get out. The rest of humanity has been left outside to survive the nuclear holocaust as best they can. At the start of this series 500 years have passed and the protective magic begins to fail. As a result, people from the valley and those from outside of it come together for the first time. Here's the problem: There is no way that these two groups of people would be able to speak to each other. Let me explain. All human languages are in a constant state of change. Vocabulary, pronunciation, usage, phrase structure and grammar are always evolving and changing. That is why when an English speaker of today reads Shakespeare it can be a bit hard to follow. True, it is the same language, but it is a version of the language that is a bit different than the English we speak today. When people who all speak the same language separate into groups, migrate away and become isolated from each other, this is how new languages come about. The two (or more) groups start off speaking the same language but, over time, the natural process of language change will take those groups in different directions. This is what happened with Latin. People who spoke Latin ended up spreading throughout Europe and the Latin they spoke gradually changed until it became Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, etc. That is, of course, a gross oversimplification but it is enough to illustrate that when societies split their languages eventually split as well. In Bearers of The Black Staff, Sider Ament leaves the valley and encounters Deladion Inch. And, somehow, they are able to speak to each other with no difficulty. This makes no sense. Even if everyone in the valley and everyone outside the valley started off speaking English, after 500 years of complete isolation from each other the languages spoken by the two groups would have diverged to a point that they would not be mutually intelligible. Other factors such as cultural differences and the influence of other languages that may have been spoken by people in both groups would have further caused the languages of the two groups to diverge from each other. Then, you have the trolls. The trolls in this story are actually humans that, due to the radiation and chemicals from The Great Wars had mutated. As such, they started out speaking English as well. However, in their case their language changed so drastically that by this point in the story it no longer bears any resemblance to English. So, for one group there is a complete lack of language change but for the other there is extreme language change. Of course, this is hardly the only story to overlook the realities of language change. In fact, these issues appear in a lot of stories. The fact of the matter is many fantasy and science fiction stories would be very hard to tell without fudging a bit on the rules that govern language. Star Trek would be unable to have much in the way of adventures without the universal translator. You cannot tell these types of stories very well if nobody could understand one another. So, I should probably just chalk it up to necessary artistic license and shut up about it. Enough of that. On to the next book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Josh Rapp

    SPOILERS AHEAD: OK I actually bought and read this book after really disliking the first one because Terry Brooks has been very good in the past. The experience of reading this book was overshadowed by how much I hated Phryne Amarantyne. She continues to make stupid decisions that hurt her friends and herself and is then framed as a hero that we should feel sorry for. First, she refuses to accept the eflstones because her father "deserves" to have them while at the same time she makes it very cle SPOILERS AHEAD: OK I actually bought and read this book after really disliking the first one because Terry Brooks has been very good in the past. The experience of reading this book was overshadowed by how much I hated Phryne Amarantyne. She continues to make stupid decisions that hurt her friends and herself and is then framed as a hero that we should feel sorry for. First, she refuses to accept the eflstones because her father "deserves" to have them while at the same time she makes it very clear that she doesn't respect her father at all because he only makes decisions based on his penis. Not accepting the elfstones, which she has no reason for, gets her Grandmother killed. She then has to recover them from her Grandmother's grave which destroys her Grandmother's spirit in the process. Keep in mind, she had no real reason not to just accept them in the first place. Somehow, through her stupid decisions and power hungry nature she has manipulated Panterra into falling in love with her. I honestly think the only reason we're supposed to buy into this love story is just that Phryne is attractive. This isn't explicitly stated but it's hinted at and it's the only thing that makes any sense which makes the whole thing feel even more shallow. Panterra is a likeable character so you're constantly hoping that he will come to his senses and see Phryne as the villain she is. Alas, she figures out how to manipulate him into sleeping with her, which honestly feels a bit like rape, just before she flies off on a dragon. Her motivation for forcing sex onto Panterra seems to be that she was curious and didn't want to die a virgin. At no point do you believe that she's in love with him only that he's a convenient male specimen that can sate her intrigue. These things all inexplicably come together for her to go save the day by forcing the dragon to roast a bunch of trolls which she didn't earn or deserve to be able to do. She is then thankfully killed in the action which is the only part of the book I actually enjoyed. I think there are some fun moments in the book but they're so completely overshadowed by the loathing I had the entire time for Phryne, that I don't really remember anything else. I need a break from Terry Brooks at this point and I may never come back.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Koan

    There is a reason duologies are rare in literature, and that is beause they are incredibly difficult to pull off. There are a few exceptions....and this series is NOT one of them. A lot of the problems I had with the first book, including the relationships and the plotting, were in this book, only amplified. Brooks promised so much in the first book that just doesn't happen and delivers things in this book that weren't earned. First of all, the first book made it seem that there are many magical There is a reason duologies are rare in literature, and that is beause they are incredibly difficult to pull off. There are a few exceptions....and this series is NOT one of them. A lot of the problems I had with the first book, including the relationships and the plotting, were in this book, only amplified. Brooks promised so much in the first book that just doesn't happen and delivers things in this book that weren't earned. First of all, the first book made it seem that there are many magical creatures are waiting just outside the bubble to eradicate the Elves and Humans and Trolls inside. Rather than include that, Brooks leaves it out, completely, and makes the conflict an internal trolls vs humans/elves. This would have been fine if this were the middle book of a trilogy, and the final book had the epic battle with the forces outside...but there is no final book. THIS is the final book, so that plotline is gone. A big problem I have with this book is it's pacing and POVs. Rather than jump back and forth like most epic fantasy authors, Brooks stays with one character for 50 pages then jumps to another for 50 and back again, and it feels disjointed and, quite honestly, boring. Brooks made it seem like the humans and elves would have to abandon the bubble and find a place outside, but that never happens. Brooks simply decides to make this book a close copy of Elfstones. Phryne is Amberle, Panterra is Wil, and Prue is Eritria. Except here, none of it feels earned, and I don't have sympathy, because Phryne starts acting very selfish. I completely disagree with the worldview Brooks was pushing here, and I've never felt this disappointed in his writing. Also, where did the Dragon come from? From all of the previous Shannara novels, there are no dragons and Brooks only uses them in his "Magic Kingdom" series. It feels like a cop-out and a poor one at that. I will throw in one good thing about this book was the inclusion of the King of the Silver River. His cameos are always great and I always enjoy reading portions of books where he is present. Overall, I am very frustrated at this book. THIS is why you don't write duologies. They just don't work. Ugh. Rant over. I still love Brooks and his writing style, but this book is by far his weakest one and I'm very disappointed. 3.5 out of 10.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    **4.5 out of 5 stars** Again Terry Brooks delivers a fantastic sequel in the Shannara series, a book that had so much to live up to and so many questions to answer from the first book. I loved every minute of this book and completely devoured every single page. The story continues from The Bearer of the Black Staff, following Panterra Qu, Prue Lith and Phyrne Amarante after their world has been threatened by a troll invasion and the Elven King has been killed by his own wife Isoeld, who has taken **4.5 out of 5 stars** Again Terry Brooks delivers a fantastic sequel in the Shannara series, a book that had so much to live up to and so many questions to answer from the first book. I loved every minute of this book and completely devoured every single page. The story continues from The Bearer of the Black Staff, following Panterra Qu, Prue Lith and Phyrne Amarante after their world has been threatened by a troll invasion and the Elven King has been killed by his own wife Isoeld, who has taken the throne for herself and had Phyrne locked away. However, there is a new threat, the ragpicker, a disguised daemon that manipulates the elders of Glensk Wood to convince the villagers that the Hawk has returned to lead them out of the forest. I liked the world building in this book, there was so much expansion in many regards. The scale of the world and the understanding of the geography of this fantasy land was amazing. The depth of the magic system which I had slightly criticised in the first book was developed even further. I loved our further insight into the Elfstones and the understanding of the magic of the black staff. I enjoyed the greater development of the characters in their new circumstances, my stand-out character has to be Prue and just how much she changed from being centred around Pan to being her own independent character with such a significant role to play. The plot and the pace of the story was interesting, there was so much going on in such a short space of time and so many different perspectives and stories that all magically inter-linked. I found this so clever and the complexity of the story perfect, even if it can be considered confusing. However, the highlight of this novel for me was the interaction with magical creatures throughout the novel. I loved the daemon, whilst a truly horrid character, and understanding older creatures. The return of the dragon topped everything off for me. Brooks always creates good fantasy novels and this one was no exception!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Michael Gallen

    In the second and final entry of author Terry Brooks’ Legends of Shannara duology, an individual known as the ragpicker wanders, while Prue Liss’ life is saved by the sacrifice of another, Prue rescued from Taureq Siq and his Trolls as a favor to Sider Ament. The ragpicker serves as something as an observer during subsections of many chapters, and there’s more to him than meets the eye. Panterra Qu in the meantime goes after Arik Siq and keeps him as a reluctant prisoner, hoping to see the Serap In the second and final entry of author Terry Brooks’ Legends of Shannara duology, an individual known as the ragpicker wanders, while Prue Liss’ life is saved by the sacrifice of another, Prue rescued from Taureq Siq and his Trolls as a favor to Sider Ament. The ragpicker serves as something as an observer during subsections of many chapters, and there’s more to him than meets the eye. Panterra Qu in the meantime goes after Arik Siq and keeps him as a reluctant prisoner, hoping to see the Seraphic, although the holder of that title, Skeal Eile, wants his servant Bonnasaint to off Pan. Prue meets the King of the Silver River and learns that she is to be a helper in maintaining the balance between the Word and the Void, and soon finds herself colorblind except for a wandering scarlet dove. Princess Phryne Amarantyne is under house arrest due to her alleged hand in her father the King’s murder, and gets a note promising her emancipation, with many believing that she, and not her stepmother Isoeld Severine, should be the next Elven monarch. Both Pan and Phryne eventually find themselves in a void where a long-deceased Queen communicates with them. Some twists about involving the ragpicker and the Seraphic that culminate in the climax of the novel, which ultimately ends satisfactorily, although a dictionary defining the various terms native to the Shannara franchise would have definitely been welcome. One can also find it difficult at times as to remember the particular races of certain characters, with regular reminders within the text being welcome, although this fantasy tale is definitely more than readable, and recommended to those who enjoyed its predecessor.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gareth Otton

    I mentioned in my review for the last book how surprisingly good it was after I barely remembered anything about this series. For some reason, I thought of these two books as being part of Terry Brooks's downturn as an author. So I was surprised at the quality of the first book and how much I enjoyed it. However, with this book, I remember why I didn't rate this series of highly. In short, it just didn't live up to the quality of the novel proceeding it nor the other novels in the Shannara series I mentioned in my review for the last book how surprisingly good it was after I barely remembered anything about this series. For some reason, I thought of these two books as being part of Terry Brooks's downturn as an author. So I was surprised at the quality of the first book and how much I enjoyed it. However, with this book, I remember why I didn't rate this series of highly. In short, it just didn't live up to the quality of the novel proceeding it nor the other novels in the Shannara series. A lot of the storylines didn't seem to go anywhere or just kind of fizzled out, and this book lacked any kind of impact even as the story came to a close. I think the majority of this is simply unfulfilled promises. I won't go into too much detail to avoid spoilers, but there are expectations set up at the end of the first novel that I didn't think were realised in this one. On both a large-scale and on a character level it almost felt like the author didn't know what to write and simply brought the storylines to a close early. It's enjoyable enough to pass the time but doesn't really advance the law of this series in the way it could. Armageddon's children was the start of the bridge between the old world and the new, and this book was supposed to be the end of that bridge. One series dealt with taking us out of the old world and this book was supposed to deal with taking us into the New World. However, I don't feel like we ever stepped foot in the New World and that is why this book gets three stars and the series is quite forgettable as a whole.

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