Kathy's Reviews > The Measure of the Magic

The Measure of the Magic by Terry Brooks
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's review
Aug 22, 2011

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bookshelves: action, fantasy, wizard-witch, to-read
Read from December 16 to 22, 2011

This story introduces many of the formulas and the problems that the Shannara world of many years and many books later - explaining their beginnings.

Panterra Qu takes up the black staff, and via his instincts learns to wield it without quite understanding how... he must face down the demon (one left of the world that was destroyed and that Hawk led the remnant to safety from 500 years earlier) - a demon whose purpose was to destroy the Word/black staff... he tracks and captures Arik Siq, returns him to his home village, and as he is going to set out to rescue Prue, Prue shows up... they promise to never part... they part when they are searching for the freed Phryne who disappeared under the elf arch & then Pan also disappears under the arch - taken to an elven underworld... he assists Phryne in gaining the Elfstones, with the sacrifice of her grandmother - and the Elfstones leads them out - and they end up on the other side of their mountain - using the Elfstones to find their way home... their first night together, they have sex - but as much out of fear and loss as of love and respect - and Phyrne puts some emotional distance between them an she rediscovers her committment to the elves... and Panterra struggles successfully, for the most part, to respect her choice and support her, hoping for a better time... they separate, he returns home - but at the pass, the demon in the body of Skeal Eile has led most of his village people to the pass, to the Drouj - and many are dead, at the 'hands' of each other and finally of the demon. The demon expects this will call Panterra to him - where with an added sacrifice from Prue he defeats the demon (though it was touch and go for a while)... and he joins the Orullians to fulfill his role of going out to explore the outer world, and to find new places to settle.

Prue Liss, after the old warriors sacrifice, is hidden but struggling to get home past the Drouj - and the Ragpicker/demon smells her magic, and begins in the chase to capture her - figuring she will lead him to the bearer of the staff - running through the tunnels, and almost captured... and the King of the Silver River snags her... and in his beautiful garden world, she accepts his gift of strengthening her magic (sense of danger) for the price of her sight - first in seeing only in shades of grey, then entirely. He tells her that her power will help Pan defeat the demon.. and will lead her to him... and that Pan will lead the people of the valley into the world again... The deep brother/sisterly feelings of these two are heartwarming. Thought they vow to stay together, the magic takes Pan away (and to Phryne)... and Prue follows her scarlet sparrow (the only color she can see, and a part of her magic) to Pan... and when it looks like the demon will defeat Pan, the sparrow sacrifices herself by diving into the demon, allowing Panterra a window to strike him and kill him. and here Prue's eyesight is entirely gone. Aislinne had been helping her, and continues to do so.

Skeal Eile, in his attempts to wrest conrol of their world as - when is seduced by the power the demon offers him he tries to get the elven queen to send converts to his world of the year to lead the people of Glensk Woods - he imprisons Aislinne when the ragpicker/demon sets her up for orchestrating the escape of Arik Siq - and ultimately the demon takes his former aphic -to lead the people of Glensk Woods to their death at the pass against the Drouj to draw out Panterra & the staff.

Phryne Amarantyne - imprisoned by the stepmother, accused of her father's death, no one to talk to her about what is going on, visited by her stepmother and the prime minister - who want her to say she did it, but that she was out of her mind - and when her stepmother (Isoeld) pulls the minister from killing Phryne, she tells them they need Phryne alive to locate the Elfstones... and with the help of Xak Wen (will he have a bigger part in the next book?), she escapes - follows her grandmother's clue to the Elf cemetary, disappears under the arch, visits with her grandmother's shade = she died in her escape from Isoeld, and with Panterra's arrival distracts the older shades, receives the stones from her grandmother and makes their escape - to the other side of their known world... they use the elfstones to find their way home, they have sex - but .... and when a dragon approaches them, entranced by the elfstone's magic, she 'knows' she can control the dragon, and mounts it to save her people from the Drouj - and though she succeeds, it is at the sacrifice of her own life... her cousins Tasha & Tenerife Orullian (sure to be in the next book) confront Isoeld, killing her so that her evilness will not rule the elves... they head out with Pan to discover new lands.

Xac Wen, young, eager, is in the thick of things with the elves - he gets Phryne to safety, he watches the fight with the Drouj & the dragon's victory, he spreads the word of Phryne's return to claim her kingdom, knowing she's dead but wanting to trap Isoeld - and he witnesses Tasha & Tenerife's plan executed.

so what do we see? the worlds of Shannara are represented - the spiders, the lizards, the evil and the good wizards, the elves & their politics & their vacillating over the use of magic, the humans who don't join forces against a common threat but a few heros who step up as they need to,

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Reading Progress

12/30/2013 marked as: currently-reading
01/11/2014 marked as: to-read

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