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The Gypsy Morph by Terry Brooks

I must admit I have a soft spot for Terry Brooks. It was the Sword of Shannara that first introduced me to adult books and fantasy/sci-fi when I was in 5th grade. Hard to believe that he is still turning out books set in that same world. 

The Gypsy Morph wraps up the Genesis of Shannara trilogy which was a bridge from the Word/Void trilogy to the original Shannara trilogy. Just a little background for those of you who are utterly confused at this point. The Sword of Shannara is very much a traditional fantasy with magic, elves, dwarfs etc. But there were always hints in it of an earlier, fallen society with high technology. Over the past 30 years Brooks has written 14 novels covering hundreds of years in that world. In 1997 he started the Word/Void trilogy set in the modern world and it seemed completely unconnected to the world of Shannara until the Genesis of Shannara trilogy which chronicles the downfall of our modern world around the year 2100 and the birth of the Shannara world.

I won’t provide more of a synopsis than that as the correct place to start your Shannara adventure is probably with the Sword of Shannara. As I was reading I kept thinking this is why I like fantasy. Long character studies spread out over several books with a large arc of change. I just never want them to end. One downfall of Brooks is that he does not stay with a character long enough in my view. Sometimes his characters will carry over for as long as three books but often they only get one book and we move on to their children or grandchildren. Contrast this with Robert Jordan who will have followed the same characters for 12 books. that is a lot of time to build up feelings for characters. That aside I can highly recommend the Shannara series in general and the Genesis of Shannara trilogy in particular.

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