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Dark Wraith of Shannara
Spin off from The Wishsong of Shannara

by Terry Brooks

      Terry Brooks is one of the foremost names in fantasy fiction, and here he branches out into a currently popular sub-genre with his first graphic novel. Following on from the events in The Wishsong of Shannara Jair Ohmsford finds himself forced once again to call upon the unpredictable power of the wishsong to destroy the last page of a book of dark magic. As if this wasn’t enough, he also has to rescue some friends from the hands of the dreaded reptilian Mwellrets and defeat a wicked witch.

Although it is advertised as a good place to start reading about Shannara, it contains plot spoilers about The Wishsong of Shannara, although not of any others in the series. My advice would be to start with Brooks’ first book, Sword of Shannara, but for anybody more au fait with the world of manga and graphic novels this book does give one a taste of the treats in store. There are some fine illustrations in here, in a style midway between that of manga and western comics that suit the story admirably. The story suffers from being rather thin, and does not tell us anything new we don’t already know about any of the characters. Only the witch is new, and we don’t learn enough about her, which is a pity. After the story itself is a section about the making of the book that is interesting, and we learn what Brooks thought of initial drawings and see what the sketches looked like at various stages. There is also a taster from Wishsong itself, so maybe this book will hook in readers who are coming at conventional western fantasy from a different angle.

The Book

Orbit (Little, Brown)
3 April 2008
1841496383 / 9781841496382
Fantasy / Graphic Novel - Fantastic Location
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008