February 20, 2011

Ilse Witch by Terry Brooks

Title:  Ilse Witch
Author:  Terry Brooks
Format:  PB
Pages:  456
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Del Rey, 2001
ISBN-13:  978-0345396556
Series:  Shannara, Book 12

Favorite Quote:  Time and cunning, and the power of the magic she was born to, would yield her a world.

Synopsis (Amazon):  When a half-drowned elf is found floating in the seas of the Blue Divide, an old mystery resurfaces. Thirty years ago, an elven prince led an expedition in search of a legendary magic said to be more powerful than any in the world. Of all those who set out on that ill-fated voyage, not one has ever returned. Until now. The rescued elf carries a map covered with mysterious symbols–and Walker Boh, the last of the Druids, has the skill to decipher them. But someone else understands the map’s significance: the Ilse Witch, a ruthless young woman who wields a magic as potent as his own. She will stop at nothing to possess the map–and the magic it leads to.

Review:  I've gone back to the future.  This book is set far in the future from any of the others I've read so far.  It is a good enough story, with some new characters I'm fond of.  However, unfortunately, most of the characters seem all too familiar.  Bek, the main hero in the story, could be any of the Ohmsfords from previous novels.  The druid, Walker, is a character from some of the previous novels, but now he seems more like Allanon.  The red-haired rover, Rue, could be the red-haired rover, Damson.  The list is longer, but I think you get the idea.  I'm sorry to say that, again, I see nothing but a recycle of the same character-types in very similar situations.  At least there's a new evil to fight and not the usual suspects.  The settings are changed, but it's becoming more and more difficult not to see what's coming, since it's pretty much the same thing that was coming the last time.

I would give up on this series about now, but I'm more than half way there.  I will finish this trilogy,  but then I'm taking a break from this series for a while.  I notice the number of books I've finished this month is pathetic and I can only imagine it's simply because I'm really not having a great deal of luck reading these particular novels.  But, I have a sneaking suspicion that the last trilogy I'm supposed to read will finally tie in the past (our time) with the future (Shannara time).  Then again, since there is another trilogy in the works, I could be wrong.

I'm giving this novel a 3 because it really wasn't terrible.  I think I'm just tired of Shannara for the moment, so I'm taking that into account.  Maybe a fresh look in a few months will add some pleasure to my reading.

Rating:  3 / 5

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