The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara #2) Review

The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara #2) is a 2008 post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure novel written by Terry Brooks and published by Del Rey Books.  Set as book two of the Genesis of Shannara trilogy, the story follows a hero who flees Seattle with a group of orphaned street kids, while another leads a group to the Oregon wilderness to meet the long-hidden Elves of Cintra.


Positives:

  • Great writing
  • Engaging plot
  • Immersive world-building
  • Great, well-written characters
  • Great action
  • Awesome bad guys

Negatives:

  • n/a

Plot:  After the events of the previous book, Logan Tom and the Ghosts are searching for Hawk and Tessa after their disappearance from the execution.  Also, Angel Perez has found the Elves and are searching for the Elfstones while being pursued by the demon Delloreen.  The story is an entertaining read from start to finish continuing the events of Armageddon’s Children.  There is a fair amount of character development and some nice reveals about Hawk’s past.The story maintains a great sense of urgency with Logan Tom trying to protect the kids from the invading forces of Seattle while trying to save Hawk as well as Perez being pursued by the she demon.

The events and character choices keep the story goes at a really good pace and it’s easy to see how things are coming together.  And like the first book there are a lot of things happening but it feels balanced enough not to be stretched thin.  I found the twists and turns to be properly executed without feeling predictable.  Would’ve liked to have see more focus on Hawk’s storyline though I did find the elves a strong focus point. (5 out of 5)

Characters:  The story brings back its great cast and even brings in some new ones.  Of course, we have to look at the Ghosts (now consisting of Owl, Fixit, Chalk, Panther, Bear, Candle, River, Squirrel, and Sparrow), who are now in a world that definitely wants them dead.  Having been driven out of Seattle by the invading army of Findo Gask and searching for the missing Hawke and Tessa, the Ghosts are now traveling with Logan Tom who was tasked with protecting the gypsy morph who is revealed to be Hawke.  I do like the interactions between Logan and the Ghost, especially when it comes to Owl and Logan.  The character development of the first book is well maintained.  Very sad that Squirrel was unfortunately killed.

I do like the relationship between Hawk and Tessa, and even though it was in the first book, it is a bit more fleshed outin this one.  Also, there is the fact that they know that Hawke is magical and how he comes to terms with it makes him that much more likable.

Angel Perez continues to be quite awesome.  She’s helping the elves try to save their civilization from the armies of demons aided by the Ellcrys’ (a magical tree protecting the elves) Chosen Kirisin and his cousin Erisha Belloruus who happens to be the Elven King’s daughter.  Kirisin and Erisha were introduced in Armageddon’s Children but have an expanded role and they are actually pretty likable characters and I like their relationship.  I was completely heartbroken when Erisha bought the farm. There is also Kirisin’s sister Simralin Belloruus who’s this awesome Elven Tracker who definitely shows herself to be a strong female character.

This story has no shortage of bad guys who want to see our heroes fail.  Gask is on the scene and he is ready for humanity’s annihilation but he is not alone in his efforts.  Delloreen is back and she undergoes this nasty transformation loosing what humanity she has left to become this crazy beast who’s on the hunt for Angel.  Again, there is this wariness between the two but as agents of the Void, they are two of a kind.  We have the sneaky Culph who shows himself to be quite manipulative and cunning as he’s infiltrated the Elven courts to find the Elfstones.  He’s the jackass responsible for killing Erisha.  Also, there’s this rogue Knight of the Word named Krilka Koos who takes it upon himself to pull a Mad Max: The Road Warrior.

Great new and reoccurring characters that definitely add even richer depth to the story.  (5 out of 5)

Writing:  Brooks again nails it and his talent for maintaining a rich world is definitely to be commended.  Brooks does a great job of executing plot devices to advance story. The action is handled well and the scope is grand, but the focus of the small moments, particularly moments with the Ghosts are a great read.  The fantasy bits do feel more evened out since being introduced in the first book and expanded upon in the this one.  There is also the storytelling which is done really well.

There are some extremely memorable moments.  Angel’s battle with Delloreen was great and actually comes to a satisfying conclusion.  I liked Logan’s battle with Krilka because there’s a sense of betrayal.  Also, I like that Brooks took in consideration that not all good guys make it to the end of the story and for as sad as those deaths were, they add real depth to the story.  I really enjoyed the writing and think that Brooks has great direction and characterization that makes this a solid read.  (4 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara #2) is a great continuation of the events set by Armageddon’s Children.  The great focus on the characters and their relationships, a well-written story, a rich world, and mounting tension that keeps coming.  The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara #2) gets 5 out of 5.

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