March 3, 2011

Tanequil by Terry Brooks

Title:  Tanequil
Author:  Terry Brooks
Format:  PB
Pages:  395
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Del Rey, 2005
ISBN-13:  978-0345499110
Series:  Shannara, Book 16

Favorite Quote:  -Fear for yourself has no place in what you would do.  Your fear must be for your aunt if you are to save her.  A darkwand is born of fear for another's safety.  A darkwand responds to selfless need.  Do you wish to save your aunt?-

Synopsis (Amazon):  Dark magic has opened a gateway to the Forbidding and trapped within it Grianne Ohmsford, rightful High Druid of Shannara. Rescuing Grianne will be merely the beginning of the effort to return the Four Lands to some semblance of peace. Only her young nephew, Penderrin, has any hope of returning her to power. But to breach the Forbidding and bring Grianne back to the natural world, Pen must find the fabled Tanequil . . . and the talisman it alone can provide. That means journeying into the Inkrim–a dreaded region thick with shadows and haunted by harrowing legends. And there, Pen will strike a bargain more dire than he could ever imagine.

Review:  The Tanequil, the ancient, sentient tree that Pen must retrieve a darkwand from, is absolutely a great addition to this story.  Neither dark nor light, but something transcending and encompassing both, the Tanequil is scary, amazing and magical.

Weka Dart, the demon keeping company with Grianne within the Forbidding, is the most likable demon I've had the pleasure of meeting.  He's wily and cunning, dishonest and disgusting....and completely fun.  I enjoyed reading more about the Rock Trolls, especially their leader Kermadec.  Finding out more about the Forbidding and its strange darkened-mirror image of the Four Lands was captivating.

Some great characters were lost along the way, but I've come to expect that in this series.  No character, no matter how seemingly important to the story, is safe, which really is a lot like real life.  Taken as a whole, this story was fast paced and kept my interest....and it left me in a cliffhanger.  So, of course, I've already begun the next book to see how it all turns out.

Rating:  4 / 5

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