The Darkling Child : The Defenders of Shannara

  • by Terry Brooks
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • Series: The Defenders of Shannara
  • 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks comes a thrilling standalone novel in his legendary Shannara series - the perfect place for new listeners to begin.
After taking up his enchanted sword against the dark sorcerer Arcannen, Paxon Leah has become the sworn protector of the Druid order. Now a critical hour is at hand, as a beloved High Druid nears the end of her reign and prepares to pass from the mortal world to the one beyond. There is little time for Paxon to mourn his friend and benefactor before duty summons him. For in a distant corner of the Four Lands, the magic of the wishsong has been detected. Paxon must accompany a Druid emissary to find its source - and ensure the formidable power is not wielded by the wrong hands.
But danger is already afoot in the village of Portlow. Gentle traveling minstrel Reyn Frosch possesses the uncanny gift, and curse, of the wishsong. And now his coveted abilities have captured the malevolent interest of none other than Arcannen - whose quest for power is exceeded only by his thirst for vengeance. The lone survivor of a brutal assault on a notorious pirate city, the sorcerer is determined to retaliate against the Federation's elite military guard - and use the devastating power of the wishsong as his ultimate weapon.


What the Critics Say

"If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle." (Peter V. Brett, New York Times best-selling author of The Desert Spear)
"Terry Brooks is a master of the craft and a trailblazer who established fantasy as a viable genre. He is required reading." (Brent Weeks, New York Times best-selling author of The Night Angel Trilogy)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Predictable, unfortunately.

I ptetty much knew how the book would end after 4 chapters. Still, I did enjoy it.

Sometimes I really like Simon Vance, and sometimes I don't. He adds S's to words that don't contain any. Regardless, I finally learned how to enjoy his narrating consistently, and I thought I would share it. If you're having difficulty listening Simon Vance, just drop the speed to 0.5x. i wish Audible had a 0.75x speed, because his performance would have been even better, deserving 5 stars, instead of just 4.
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- Bob-o

Not as engaging as previous story lines...

Terry has been one of the big fantasy writers for a long time, and I've enjoyed reading his Shannara world as it has evolved. His early books were somewhat formulaic, but he managed to explore new territory by the time Walker Boh came along in his "Scions" series. The Dark Legacy trilogy explored some new ground with existing framework, and was somewhat of a departure from previous writing styles- a darker look at the Shannara world.

However, this book has some of the same flaws as the preceding one does (The High Druid's Blade). There just isn't really anything epic happening in this story. It's interesting on it's own right to see the descendants of the Shannara line and what they are doing, but they are rather "mundane" adventures compared to previous writings. The villain of the story, while he does horrible things to people at times, simply seems opportunistic as opposed to having grand ambitions for ultimate power- he isn't trying to destroy the know world or commit genocide on a people. In some ways you can relate to his line of thinking (why should the druid council be the sole wielders of magic?), which perhaps makes him a bit more real (if sociopathic at times). I suppose the characters are more real and deep in a sense than his earlier stories.

But the story itself just doesn't hold my interest like his earlier works do. I don't have the sense that existence of for the Four Lands (if that's still what we are calling it now) hangs in the balance. It does work as a standalone story; it just really isn't an engaging one, and I found my mind wandering a lot while listening to the book. This feels more like an "in between" book, which had epic things happening before it, and hints that epic things are coming; but both are only marginally connected to the story being told here.
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- Christopher "Residential architect in Texas. Avid fan of Tolkien and Sanderson (are there 2 more opposite fantasy writers?) Very varied tastes in writing"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-09-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio