My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Last Druid concludes the Fall of Shannara tetralogy as well as the entire Shannara series. While I started the Shannara series at the begining many years ago, the last book that I managed to read was the Isle Witch ... so most of the build up to this story I didn't have, and it was a little difficult to pick up in the beginning (having some background for the much earlier stories helped a lot).
The story opens with the resolution of what appears to have been a cliff hanger from the previous book (I generally dislike books ending with such cliff hangers, so the previous book would have lost a star for that). Most of the world builder has already happend in previous books, so that was minimal here; however, I did manage to pull together a lot of it from the story context and it appears to be rock-solid (like the majority of the Shannara series). The further tilt toward a pseudo-steampunk feel was a welcome trend (and puts into place a question of magic vs technology that was fun to explore). Add an environmental crisis and some political intrigue and you could vaguely make out a commentary of our current times without being too preachy.
There were a lot of characters to keep track of too; along with three or four separate sub-plots that were somewhat jarring for me to switch between (I tend favor a more linear story). The two main lines were Drisker being stuck in the Forbidding where he needed to team up with the Isle Witch (that was cool) to come back and Tasha bouncing back from her disastrous encounter with the evil Druid Clizia. Then we get just a little about the war between the Federation and the Skaar (frankly I found these minor sub-plots to be more interesting). After a slow and somewhat drawn out start, the story accelerates in the second half to actually become enjoyable ... and I can't argue with how it all ends ... pretty much as you would expect this time.
If you are a fan of Shannara, I would definitely recommend it. It would be better if you at least read the first three in this storyline though.
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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