Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Gypsy Morph (Terry Brooks)

A solid finale to a strong enough trilogy

★★★★☆ – CALSPIE 8.43

Title: The Gypsy Morph (Genesis of Shannara #3)
Author: Terry Brooks
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Dystopian
First published: 2008
Edition: paperback, published by Orbit in 2010

The last cities have fallen. Demons and once-men swarm the ravaged landscape of the former United States. A small band of survivors – the elves of Cintra and a ragtag group of human children and their protectors – flees northward toward a safe haven promised by the mystical King of the Silver River.


This final book in the Genesis of Shannara trilogy gives a strong finish to this trilogy of books in a long running series of books. I am reading the whole Shannara saga in chronological order and this is the final book in the first trilogy.

I enjoyed this one better than the middle book. The story is stronger and things come together quite nicely. Terry Brooks’ books will never be the best written, but I really enjoy the tone of them. There were a few writing choices that irked me, some pet names people had for each other and the random Spanish words to denote that a person was in fact Mexican (I think that’s right), was a little bit unnecessary, but overall it was absolutely fine.

The stories of this author’s books all kind of follow a similar format and it is a format that, though maybe a bit formulaic, works for me. I always know what I am getting into and sometimes that is exactly what I need.

This series, like another epic fantasy series I love, is set in a future world where civilization is destroyed and gets rebuilt into this fantasy world. I really enjoy that trope and it is nice to get that background in this series before moving on into, eventually, the original Shannara books. That does mean that this series certainly begins more dystopian than fantasy, but it really ends up firmly in fantasy territory.

All in all, I enjoyed this series and this was a solid final book. I am looking forward to continuing this journey into Shannara with the Legends of Shannara duology, which I have never read before.

4.25 out of 5 stars



  • Characters: 8.5
  • Ambience: 8.5
  • Language: 8
  • Story: 8.5
  • Pacing: 8.5
  • Interest: 8.5
  • Enjoyment: 8.5
Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Elves of Cintra (Terry Brooks)

Middle book syndrome!

★★★☆☆ 3/4 – CALSPIE 7.71

Title: The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara #2)
Author: Terry Brooks
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Dystopian
First published: 2007
Edition: paperback, published by Orbit in 2009

Thousands lie in fortified strongholds; others roam the landscape as either predator or prey. Standing against the forces that have tipped the balance from good to evil are a very few heroes, men and women imbued with powerful magic and sworn to a high destiny.


I was looking forward to my continuation of this re-read of the Shannara world, but this second book in the Genesis of Shannara series did appear to suffer from ‘middle book syndrome’. For me the story just moved a tad too slow and I never felt quite as invested as I did with the first book.

It was definitely nice to get back into the Elven realm, somewhere familiar for those who have read other Shannara books, but its essence remained quite vague to me and if you only read this book to get an idea of the elven world it really would not tell you enough. It definitely feels like to know the elven world Brooks created, he would have expected you to have read some of the original Shannara books. There was just not quite enough world building there.

In other parts of the book the story moved too slow for my liking. I felt my attention drift and it took me way longer than it should have done to get through this novel.

Having said that, as a whole I still really enjoyed the world and the story and I am looking forward to reading the final book in this trilogy. Terry Brooks’ books will always be a cozy happy place for me. It will be interesting to eventually get to the original Shannara books, as I have not read those in many, many years.

3.75 out of 5 stars



  • Characters: 8.5
  • Ambience: 8
  • Language: 7.5
  • Story: 7.5
  • Pacing: 7
  • Interest: 8
  • Enjoyment: 7.5
Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Armageddon’s Children (Terry Brooks)

Brooks’ writing is like a warm hug

★★★★☆ 1/2 – CALSPIE 8.79

Title: Armageddon’s Children (Genesis of Shannara #1)
Author: Terry Brooks
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Dystopian
First published: 2006
Edition: paperback, published by Orbit in 2007

Logan Tom is doomed to remember the past and determined to rescue the future. Far behind him lies a boyhood cut violently short by his family’s slaughter, when the forces of madness and hate swept our world after decadent excesses led to civilization’s downfall. Somewhere ahead of him rests the only chance to beat back the minions of evil that are systematically killing and enslaving the last remnants of humanity. Navigating the scarred and poisoned landscape that once was America and guided by a powerful talisman, Logan has sworn an oath to seek out a remarkable being born of magic, possessed of untold abilities, and destined to lead the final fight against darkness.


My expectations were oddly mediocre when I went into this book. I did not really love the last series in the Shannara world that I read (The Dark Legacy of Shannara). This was technically a re-read, but I read these books about ten years ago and I could not really remember the exact story or the characters. I was very pleasantly surprised.

There’s is a nostalgia for me to this author’s way of writing. The original Shannara books were some of the first fantasy books I read and returning to Terry Brooks’ books is oddly like returning home. Even though these books are set far in the past from the Shannara books, the way he writes is so nicely familiar it felt like a warm hug, especially a return to the elves’ world, which is only a small part of this first book.

Is my opinion of this book coloured by my feelings of nostalgia? Probably, but to be fair, this is a good story. I enjoyed following all the different characters and their purposes in this story. It’s a classic story of good vs evil and I am kind of here for it.

Of course there are some questions about how people can survive in this world at all, but I won’t think too deeply about that. I just enjoyed this book for what it was. I can’t wait to continue on this road, the start of my (mostly) re-read of all the Shannara books in chronological order.

4.5 out of 5 stars



  • Characters: 8.5
  • Ambience: 9
  • Language: 8.5
  • Story: 8.5
  • Pacing: 9
  • Interest: 9
  • Enjoyment: 9
Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Witch Wraith (Terry Brooks)

Brooks, Terry - The Dark Legacy of Shannara 3 Witch Wraith


Title: Witch Wraith (The Dark Legacy of Shannara #3)
Author: Terry Brooks
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy     Pages: 488
First published: 2013
Edition: Paperback, published by Orbit in 2013

I did enjoy this final book in The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy, but I was slightly disappointed as well.

With about 100 pages to go I was wondering how Brooks was going to wrap up everything that had happened in so few pages. Everything was still in chaos after all! And yes, although I still liked Brooks’ writing, the climax did feel rushed. I did not get the answers I wanted, and some of the resolutions were simply too straightforward and too easy. That left me a bit deflated at the end, which is ashame, because large parts of the book I actually really enjoyed. I just wanted the ending to be that little bit more epic, I guess.

Looking back at the trilogy as a whole, of course it was Terry Brooks by numbers, but I did enjoy them. I just feel like it deserved a stronger closer. However, I still liked the plot and the characters. There is something really comforting about Terry Brooks’ books for me.  Maybe it is because essentially his style has not changed much from his earliest Shannara books, which I read a youngster, and it is probably that familiarity that make them feel like a warm blanket to me.

Overall, I liked The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy, but it is not his best. The pacing was pretty uneven. Will I read more Terry Brooks books? Of course! I already have The Black Elfstone on my shelf.

4 out of 7 stars

Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Sunday, 23 September 2018

08.40 – The oven is on, the croissants are about to go in, and I just read chapter 5 of Witch Wraith, the final book in The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks.

I only read about 50 pages yesterday. I did not end up having much time for reading. We just spent lots of time as a family, which was lovely! Today I may have a little more time as it is likely to be raining most of the day, but we will see.

Everytime I read a Terry Brooks book I am surprised by how familiar and comfortable I am with his writing. Of course over the years I must have read about fifteen of his books, if not more, and I always enjoy them. He has a distinct style. His stories are always quests, his characters usually similar, but I always enjoy them. Nothing gets too heavy, the pacing is usually pretty good and they just read away pretty nicely. This one is no different.

13.12 – Surprisingly, despite the rain, I am not much in  a reading mood. Nothing to do with the book. My brain just feels too scattered today. I am not going to force it. Maybe later.

I have been watching some BookTube videos, and I have gotten a few ideas for future posts, which is good! One or two I hope to bring to fruition in the coming week.

It has pretty much been raining steadily all day. We had plenty of outside stuff to do, but none of that is going to happen! Good for the grass seed we scattered in our future pony paddock I guess…

We have just started watching Wallace and Gromit – The Wrong Trousers, since it is the sort of Sunday afternoon to watch a family movie. I will put my laptop aside now and watch that. 🙂

20.29 – Where has the day gone? It just flew by!

I am only about 110 pages into Witch Wraith. I am enjoying it, but I am still having trouble concentrating on it. That’s more to do with my mood than the book, I think.

I listened to some music for a while. For the first time in many many years I listened to Cast’s album Magic Hour (1999). It has actually held up quite well and I really like the songs. I just have not listened to it for too long. Cast’s singer and songwriter John Power may just be the most Liverpudlian man I have ever seen. I love him though. I love his personality and I have always loved his songs. Back in the 90s Cast used to be one of my favourite bands. I will add the title track from the album below. It just gives me that mellow Sunday feeling.

I think I may listen to Cast for a bit more over the next few days. It reminds me of being young, in the best possible way.

Just watching the second half of Solo now (we watched the first half yesterday evening). I actually think it’s a pretty good movie. The visuals are a bit dark though – makes it hard to see what’s going on. Whatshisface makes a good Han Solo though.

22.22 – Almost time for bed. We are fitting in a cheeky bit of Celebrity Masterchef before 🙂 So no, not reading…. Will read a bit when I get to bed, but probably won’t make it to 100 pages today. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

Until the morrow! xx



Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Bloodfire Quest (Terry Brooks)

Brooks, Terry - The Dark Legacy of Shannara 2 Bloodfire Quest


Title: Bloodfire Quest (The Dark Legacy of Shannara #2)
Author: Terry Brooks
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy     Pages: 465
First published: 2013
Edition: Paperback, published by Orbit in 2013

There is something about Terry Brooks’ writing that I really love. I love his way of telling a story and the way he manages to keep things light even when the tale is dark. When I have been reading other fantasy books, coming back to the Shannara world always feels refreshing somehow. I have been reading about that world since I was a teenager and now, after all these years and those books it feels familiar to me like no other fantasy world does.

There is a lot of death in this book, but in true Brooks style, none of it is too graphic or lingered on. The characters are always moving forward, taking action. Many of the elements of this series are elements that have been told before, ie the dying Elcryss, venturing in to the Forbidding, demons, The Federation, an assassin. It is all classic Terry Brooks fare and nothing new, but man, do I enjoy that stuff! The only thing that bugs me slightly is that I don’t feel as much of a connection to Railing and Redden Ohmsford as I have done to the Ohmsfords that have gone before. I also did not quite love the way the Elcryss was written in this book. However, I love Alphenglow Elessedil and the overall storylines.

A lot happens in Bloodfire Quest without much getting resolved, but it had a awesome cliffhanger and I cannot wait to continue the series. Witch Wraith is the final book in this trilogy and is already waiting on my shelves.

5 out of 7 stars


Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Wards of Faerie (Terry Brooks)

Brooks, Terry - The Dark Legacy of Shannara 1 Wards of Faerie


Title: The Dark Legacy of Shannara #1 – Wards of Faerie
Author: Terry Brooks
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
First published: 2012
Edition: Paperback, published by Orbit in 2013

I must have read about twenty of Terry Brooks’ books over the years and I think I enjoyed all of them. This one is no exception

I read this book a couple of years ago, but when I wanted to continue the series I found I did not remember much about it. Does that mean the book is forgettable? Maybe… but I liked it enough to buy the rest of the trilogy at the time. So I decided to read it again. Whilst reading it, I remembered most of the characters, but I still did not remember the story. At least this made the re-read feel like a new read!

This is clearly the first book in a quest series. Most of the book is taken up by getting to the quest and meeting/finding the people that will go on it. I have to say, I am a sucker for these kind of books and Terry Brooks’ books in particular. I find them very comforting and easy to read. They have a clear purpose, good v evil, etc.

This book is not exactly fast-paces, but there is enough action and I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the world building, which is just extensive enough without being overly descriptive. I love how Brooks’ various Shannara series span hundreds of years, but a lot of the places remain the same, so they are recognisable from previous books.

Yes, maybe if you read a couple of Brooks’ books you have read them all, but I love his style. The characters are always reluctant participants or at least filled with self doubt. A few of the characters are related to characters in previous books, the Elessedil and Ohmsford families making an appearance of course. I was familiar with the races (men, elves, dwarves, elves, trolls and gnomes). There is violence, but nothing graphic and sometimes I kind of like that.

This book pretty much followed the familiar format and therefore it felt like an old friend, warm and comforting.

I really liked the cliffhangers the book ended on and it beats me why I did not continue this trilogy a couple of years ago. I will do so soon!

5 out of 7 stars

Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday: Books from before you joined…

Always a fun thing to think about, the Top 5 Wednesday! This week I had to come up with some of my favourite books before I joined Goodreads.

Well, it was not that hard coming up with books, since I only joined in 2014 and have only been properly using it quite recently. However, it WAS hard whittling it down to 5 books! I thought I would take a book from each of my favourite genres!

1. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)

The Picture of Dorian GrayCLASSICS

When I read this book for the first time, many years ago, I expected it to be a chore, but instead I utterly and completely fell in love with it. It’s so charming and horrible at the same time. A masterpiece!



2. The Elfstones of Shannara – Terry Brooks

The Elfstones of ShannaraFANTASY

Don’t start me on the TV series unless you want to see me fume! It’s awful. I watched the first two episodes and I still remember the horror I felt as I saw what they had done to one of my favourite books I read as a teenager!
I have read better fantasy books since, but this one has a very special place in my heart, as with the original Shannara series began my love for fantasy

3. House of Tribes (Garry Kilworth)


A book about mice – yes, it could not be more different from the above two classic pieces of literature. I could have said Watership Down or Duncton Wood, which I also love, but as this is not a very well known book, I thought I would choose this one instead. It’s a story about a hedgerow mouse, who goes on an adventure to The House! It’s absolutely brilliant!

4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeCONTEMPORARY FICTION

If you have not read this book, where have you been? I just adore this book. It’s funny, it’s heartbreaking, it’s just so good! It’s written from the point of view of a fifteen-year-old boy with Asperger’s, who wants to find out who murdered his neighbour’s dog. I was lucky enough to see the stage show in London a few months ago, which is also pretty darn amazing!

5. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M Auel)

The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1)HISTORICAL FICTION

I read this first book of the Earth’s Children series when I was 15 or 16 and it opened a whole new reading world for me. Subsequent books in the series were nowhere near as good, but the first book… Pretty astounding. It certainly was to 15-year-old me. I had never read anything  like it!