Witch Wraith is the final installment of the trilogy that put a closure on the Dark Legacy series while continuing the spirit of Shannara stories. However, as much as I was looking forward to this book, I found myself disappointed by Terry Brooks style of writing and despite the length of the book, it took only half end of the book to make it worthwhile. Terry Brooks’s Dark Legacy is like combining Tolkienism and G.R.R Martin’s character killing psychopathy into one book series.
The majority of the book is quite predictable at this point. Although I enjoyed The Bloodfire Quest, I found Witch Wraith goes out of the way of the original motivation of the series and then only later the plot converge before throwing the readers off the loop again. As much as I try to gain some optimism of the story, I do find Terry Brooks perfecting the art of creating another form of sexual frustration. It started when it began with a lengthy detail of Railing Ohmsford’s storyline and his journey to find Grianne Ohmsford so that she would help him to bargain for Redden’s life. He was then taunted with potential quest failure while having some problem with his love, Mirai. At this point, I was convinced that Terry Brooks was trying his hand on Young Adult drama. It took a long time before the narrating came back to Aphenglow Elessendil who had lost his sister Arling to the Federation and found herself and Cymrian toward Arishaig. Then the narrating changed to Arling who found herself face-to-face with Edinja Orle. And then the narrating change again to Oriantha who was still in the Forbidding and was trying to save Redden Ohmsford. And then it change to Redden, Seersha and then some guy named Keeton who had a role in Arishaig’s siege and the story goes from then.
But therein lies the problem of the story, the plot structure. There were multiple of short plots that are not connecting to one another and multiple characters that are so interchangeable that Brooks seems to recycle the exposition and the rising action without providing a climax to each of the plot until later end of the book. There were time when I wonder if the author is just playing with me so that he could write about airship and dragon battles.
I lost interest in Keeton when I realize that the author simply using him to write long meaningless siege scenes at Arishaig. Even Oriantha subplot are used so that one could read the same marching to war scenes or shapeshifting fighting scenes and Railing’s repetitive plot was completely used to add teenage angst into the story while diverting the reader from the main objective of the whole thing – saving Shannara and find the lost Elfstones. For those who had followed the whole series and are familiar with Isle Witch, the book provide some resolution to the Starken Lord plot.
There were a wealth of information that can be expanded but I think the book seem to milk out the Shannara series. Although there were a lot of things resolved in this book, there were a bunch of plot holes that the characters suddenly find themselves realizing its paradox or something. By the ending, I already anticipate another Terry Brook’s mini Shannara series that centered particularly on the surviving characters and to resolve the continuation problems that remained unresolved in this series.
Although the book itself is filled with multitude of action plots that made the book satisfying to average fantasy readers. For me, the problem was with the uneven plot structure itself that made the book a disappointing end to what would have been a grand series.
The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.