The newest chapter in Terry Brooks' popular Shannara fantasy saga begins 20 years after the conclusion of the Jerle Shannara trilogy. In JARKA RUUS (4.5), Book One of High Druid of Shannara, Grianne Ohmsford begins to rebuild a Druid Council dedicated to defending the land against war and anarchy. There are those, however, who cannot forgive Grianne her past and who covet her power; when Grianne disappears, her nephew Pen must set out to save her accompanied by the usual assortment of faithful companions. In this enthralling read, Brooks provides a rich cast of humans, dwarves and elves that exceed the familiar conventions of epic fantasy to become individuals the reader cares for deeply. While the Shannara series now numbers in the double digits, this novel can be read and enjoyed on its own merits; the world of Shannara has lost none of its appeal. (Sep., 416 pp., $27.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum