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The Elf Queen of Shannara, book three of The Heritage of Shannara, is the story of Wren Ohmsford, and her journey to find the Elves and restore them to the Four Lands. This journey is a perilous one, and not just due to the physical dangers she must face to rescue the Elves. She is about to discover facts and truths about herself and the Elves. Truths that will temper her in such a way that either she will emerge stronger than ever before, or she will be emotionally and psychologically destroyed
As the book begins, Wren and her friend and guardian, Garth, are attempting to contact the Elves via the method they had learned about in the previous book. Eventually, they succeed, and the adventure truly begins. The long and deadly journey towards her heritage and her destiny.
I know that I am speaking rather vaguely in how I describe the plot of the book, but that really can’t be helped. The plot is straight-forward enough, though very important to the resolution of the conflict of the Heritage books as a whole. So there really isn’t much room to describe the plot without giving everything away. So I’ll just focus on a few technical merits of the story instead.
The tale is a “questing” story, broken up into two main parts. A quest to find the Elves, and a quest to save the Elves. Indeed, in this delineation between two quests, it is similar to the plot of the earlier book, The Elfstones of Shannara. The more important plot is the second quest, just as in Elfstones, but just as in Elfstones, the earlier quest was important in planting the seeds for the ending of the book.
One area of praise that Brooks deserves was how he masterfully moved forward the overall meta plot of the Heritage books. The pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place and they make sense. The reader is puzzled and surprised by various revelations, just as Wren is. Though the attentive reader will figure out some of the details earlier than she did.
The way the story was told was both exemplary and sloppy at the same time. On the one hand, Brooks really dragged certain bits out, which was unnecessary. He probably could have cut a good fifty pages or more of padding from the work, and the story would have made just as much sense. On the other hand, he did make even the more boring parts (as well as the heavier or more depressing parts) work better by interspersing them with various tidbits and glimpses of the other characters, to tell us what is happening to them.
Not as good as The Druid of Shannara, but still a very enjoyable read.
As derivative as it was, I really enjoyed The Sword of Shannara, and its less clichéd sequel The Elfstones of Shannara was also great. Kind of kept me reading at that stage of my life.
Maybe I had outgrown Brooks by the time I read this one as it didn’t resonate nearly as strongly with me. The other reviews here are quite celebratory, I was more at the other end of the spectrum. I didn’t loathe it, but I certainly felt it was just an ‘OK’ read.
Terry Brooks’s Shannara books are usually of the highest quality as far as fantasy novels are concerned, and the Elf Queen is no different. The third novel in the Heritage of Shannara series features Wren Ohmsford as the feature character. Wren has been tasked to return the elves back to the four lands after they fled for some time. She is aided by Stresa, the splinterscat and her companion Garth.
The plot in this novel is very well developed and thought it. It moves at a strong pace and is fille