Jarka Ruus

As I’m working my way through my enormous pile of unread books, which is not getting any smaller as I keep adding to it, not that I have some sort of addiction to buying books, I’m reading books that are in a series where I haven’t read the first one. The first of these is Jarka Ruus by Terry Brooks. It’s the first in the High Druid of Shannara trilogy which is part of the larger Shannara cycle and I’ve not read any of the others.

Still, the large amounts of exposition in the book mean that doesn’t matter too much. The plot, loosely, is that a very powerful sorceress is trapped in a shadow world of extreme evil and her teenaged nephew and his sidekicks have to rescue her. Not a complex plot, but well handled it could have been very good. As it was, I found myself unhappy with the trope that small boy rescues grown woman as a coming of age rite of passage. The sorceress, Grianne, is supposed to be the most fearsome magic user in the world and yet her part in the story seems mostly to be standing around waiting.

I didn’t find the dialogue convincing; it felt too contemporary, too familiarly colloquial. The characterisation was a bit ropey and the characters didn’t really seem to have any depth to them Overall, I didn’t enjoy this and I don’t think I’ll be picking up any more.

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