The Elves of Cintra, by Terry Brooks

Buy: The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara)

So, I just finished reading this book. It's second in Genesis of Shannara series that bridges Brooks' Word and Void series with the Shannara world. It's a tale of several groups of people trying to survive the new demon infested world that resulted from the Great Wars.

There are several things that struck me about this book and the one before it. First is how far Terry Brooks has come as an author. His first book, The Sword of Shannara, was mediocre and a rather blatant rip off of Lord of the Rings. He improved a lot with his next books, but the Genesis of Shannara blows them away as well. Apparently 30 years of experience helps.

Second is that these books do not fall into the same depressing traps that most post-apocalyptic stories do. Most of them have very little hope, just that the main characters will somehow survive. Most everyone else is out of luck, and it's usually every man for himself. The Elves of Cintra doesn't do that. Right and wrong, good and evil, are all very clearly defined. And the story is very focused on good versus evil. While good recently got it's rear whipped, there is still a huge faith in something bigger than the characters. They don't get their strength only from themselves, they have to have faith in the Word to keep going. That is very refreshing when most sci-fi/fantasy stories usually have the main character only getting strength from himself.

From a Christian standpoint, there are a lot of Christian principles in these stories. People get to choose good or evil. People have to live in faith. You do the right thing, even if it doesn't help your survival. People take care of each other. Evil is evil, no excuses. And so on. It's not a Christian story, but it's about as close as you can get. So, I highly recommend that you read this series if you like Fantasy. There are a lot of elements from the other books, but those elements are presented in a way that a new reader can enjoy the series without reading the many other books. The first book in the Genesis of Shannara is called Armageddon's Chlidren, the third is called The Gypsy Morph which is what I am going to read next.

Submitted by david.reagan on