Title: The Measure of Magic
Author: Terry Brooks
Publisher: Ballantine, 2011
Series: Legends of Shannara, Book 2
Synopsis: For five hundred years, the survivors of the Great Wars lived peacefully in a valley sanctuary shielded by powerful magic from the blighted and dangerous outside world. But the enchanted barriers have crumbled, the borders have been breached by predators, and the threat of annihilation looms large once more. Sider Ament, bearer of the last black staff and its profound power, devoted his life to protecting the valley and its inhabitants—and, in his final moments, gave stewardship of the black staff 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, Princess Phryne Amarantyne, stands accused, and a heinous conspiracy is poised to subjugate the kingdom. But even these will pale beside the most harrowing menace Panterra is destined to confront—a nameless, merciless figure who wanders the devastated land on a relentless mission: to claim the last black staff . . . and the life of he who wields it.
Review: I really liked this story. The characters were rich and compelling. The story was fast-paced and exciting. I don't have any more of this series to read right now, but I'll be looking forward to the next installment when I get my hands on it.
If you've never read this series, I suggest giving it a try. The author has a suggested reading order on his website and you should follow it. But, be warned, the first book isn't even half as good as the rest. I'd recommend skipping the first one (The Sword of Shannara) to be honest, but it does give some background that proves helpful later. If you decide to start with book one, be prepared to work through that one so you can enjoy the wonder of the rest!
Rating: 9 / 10