THE SKAAR INVASION
Brooks ended the first book in the Fall of Shannara series on a high note — epic airship battles and cross-cultural intrigue. In this second of the series, Brooks continues the mastery of the world as may be expected when working in one as developed as Shannara. The characters grow in a satisfactory manner, but the action is the winner here. Unfortunately female protagonist Ajin still suffers from a variety of female fantasy tropes that are tiring. Regardless, this is a worthy outing, especially for fans of the series.
Drisker Arc’s attempts to save the Druid order have backfired explosively, with the entirety of Paranor disappearing into the mist and the order’s enemies escaping with its treasures. He is also trapped in an inescapable prison, haunted by ghosts of the near and the long-ago past. Ajin’s incursions into Druid lands seem successful, but they didn’t happen neatly and Ajin’s discomfort with that weighs on her, as well as her growing attraction to Dar, the enemy who faced her and bested her. Tarsha’s escape back to her home has dire consequences, of which she cannot even dream. (DEL REY, Jun., 384 pp., $28.00)