The Elfstones Of Shannara
– Terry Brooks Essay, Research Paper
Set in the age of elves and dwarves, The Elfstones of Shannara is obviously fiction.This is the second book in a trilogy written by Terry Brooks. So far, I have enjoyed this series more than any other books that I have ever read. The storylines in the books have many twists and turns that often stray from the main story. These tangent adventures add intrest and give you a nice little break from the main story. Terry Brooks’ style of writing is very easy to read because he does not use an extensive vocabulary and he uses long introductions to each character and idea so you are rarely confused. The story has many points of excitment and between each are rests so it is easy to pick up the book and absorb a small part of the story without having to look back on the previous chapters to understand where in the story you are. Finally, the variety of moods and themes that the author touches on give you a good understanding of the pains and joys of the characters.
The story revolves around the magical elven tree, the Ellcrys, which was created by the elves’ ancestors so long ago that the exact purpose has been lost from record. This tree protected the Four Lands from the demons that roamed the earth before any humans lived by trapping the vicious creatures within a void, referred to as the Forbidding. For almost a year, the Ellcrys has been dying and with it, the Forbidding has been slowly fading away. A few powerful demons pushed their way back to the Four Lands and threatened to bring their fiendish hordes with them to conquer the world again. This now becomes the quest of Amberle Elessedil and Wil Ohmsford to take the seed of the Ellcrys and help bring it to life so the Forbidding can be reinforced and the demons sent back through to their void. Being chased by the Grim Reaper that has broken through the void, Wil and Amberle make their way to a far away mountain to bath the Ellcrys seed in the ancient Bloodfire that it requires as part of the rebirth ritual. While they are on their quest, armies from the humans, dwarves, trolls and elves have gathered to defend against the tens of thousands of demons that have already broken thourgh to the Four Lands. The demons have pushed their way straight to the elven capital and were about to raze the gardens where the new Ellcrys would be born when Amberle arrived with the help of a Wing Rider and began the ritual of rebirth. As she brought out the fiery seed, the old tree reached over to Amberle and transformed her into the new Ellcrys. With the demons banished, the elven king took power once again, thanking his daughter, Amberle, for her sacrifice to the world.
One of the high points in this book, was during the time when Amberle and Wil were almost at the Bloodfire and ready to bath the seed in its lively flame. The Reaper that had followed them from the elven capital had finally caught them in a closed cavern and it seemed there was no escape. Their only hope of survival would come through the use of magic. The little magic that Wil possessed was in the Elfstones, a tool used by the ancient elves to facilitate magic for those of elven blood, however he had lost the power to use them. He had thought this was because his only elven blood came from his half-elven grandfather. He had been given many talks from elves and druids telling him of their powers and limitations and at this moment he realized his fault. To make the Elfstones work, he had to unite the force of his mind, body and heart, but since he doubted his ability to use them the latter part of the triad would not join. When he found his weakness, he lost the idea that it was his human blood that hindered this ability and he brought them to life. Back and forth, he fought with the Reaper using he new found strength. The Reaper would be hit. Then Wil. Until suddenly he discovered the monster’s Achilles’ heel and struck him in the faceless shadow undeneath his cowl. The demon writhed in agony and slowly burned into ash. This was the end of the company’s peril up until the time they returned to the elven capital.
The character that I related to was Wil Ohmsford. His character was taken from a simple life as an apprenticing healer and dropped into this quest without much choice. From here on, he was kept in mystery about what the point of the whole journey was until he acctually arrived at the elven capital and was prepared to be sent down south. Wil grew close to Amberle, his travelling companion, and had strong feeling for her. After spending more than four weeks in her company and developing an unbreakable bond between them, Amberle was taken and transformed into the reborn Ellcrys. This was a huge loss for him and he never did recover from it within the timeline of the book. Even though others reinforced the idea that he was capable of completing this quest, he never really did believe it himself until the end when it was almost finished. This is a feeling that I ussualy experience myself. I can also relate to his physical stature. Wil was describe as a short stalky boy who could be very quick. Even though he was a few years older, he was still just a curious young man learning about the world.