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The world according to Brooks

Terry Brooks Named Monstrosity

If some madman or diabolical wizard had fused an alligator and a toad and a rat, and given the rat really huge fangs, it might have looked something like the Traskerwhump.

[Pause a beat for dramatic effect.]

Natural creatures fled from the Traskerwhump. They feared it. They knew something was wrong.

[Pause.]

The Traskerwhump was not natural.
It knew no fear, only endless hate.

Hate for its masters. Hate for its creators. Hate for all living things.

Even hate for itself.

Did I mention the 6-inch long poisonous fangs?




Examples:

  • The Maw Grint (Druid of Shannara)

  • The poison-clawed thing that fought Allanon and Garet Jax (Wishsong of Shannara)

  • The Reaper (Elfstones)

  • The Shadowen (Heritage of Shannara series, or "I Was Blizzard When Blizzard Wasn't Cool")

  • The Mord Wraiths (Sword of Shannara)

  • The Death Shadowen (Talismans of Shannara, aka Weapons of Mass Destruction of Shannara aka Forget My Anti-Nuke Stance of Shannara)

  • The quijillion or so creatures on the Shadowen island that Wren Ohmsford-Elessedil-Sackville-Baggins spends a 300-page book escaping from (Elf Queen of Shannara, which in a sane world could only be called Resident Evil of Shannara)


Terry Brooks Cannon Fodder

Hurgh Wibble was proud of his bloodline. He was descended of a long line of men of Wibbletraskia: Urple Wibble, the first High Wibble of Wibbleopolis; Bha Wibble, the half-Human, quarter-Elf, eighth-Druid, and eighth-Mountain Troll runesinger of Wibblas Vale; and even Hugh Wibble, one of the famous companions of Urp the Blind Pyromaniac Seer. Hurgh was often confused by my readers with Hugh, but they hailed from completely different centuries. The Big Bad came from the North-Northeast in the time of Hugh, two hundred fifty years before.

Now, in Hurgh's middle years, the Eight Realms were threatened by evil from the South-Southwest. Completely different evil.

"I'm getting too old for this," thought Hurgh. "Ah, but at least my son Rurgh and his cousin Argh are safe back in the Southeastlands, and the honorable Wibble name will continue."

Then they came.

A giant wave of Traskerwhumps - not the one small Whumpling who was killed by Teuncer Boj and his pet machairodon (just because a big black sabretooth is cool, yo). No, this was an endless flood of them, pouring through a magical rift that Hurgh could have sworn wasn't there a minute ago. Hurgh grasped his staff of wibblewood and faced his certain doom with steely resolve.

"Gee, I really hope Rurgh heeded my warning letter and got out of Wibblas Vale when I told him to," was his final thought.

Terry Brooks Level Boss

The Blighterwock smiled to itself, in the only way that a being of pure evil could: inwardly, looking into the undiluted darkness of its soul. At last, the line of Wibble would come to an end, and with it the royal house of the Elves. Then the long-dead Druids would finally be extinct. Again.

Once, the Blighterwock had been a living being, albeit an infernal one from a dimension whose map I haven't drawn yet, but will in the next four sequels. But other beings of faerie had not liked his looks.

They hadn't liked them at all.

So they imprisoned him.

Not in a cage of cold iron or wrought steel. Not even a methral-gilded one! Instead, for crimes against nature that he had yet to commit, the Old Ones banished him to the even more hellish dimension of Ultimate Destiny, also known to the elves and men of the Eight Realms as the Doomedlands. They had bound him with cruel enchantments that forced him to reflect inwardly upon his evil until every day was full of dreary musings like the monologue that is thankfully ending now.

The first Whumpling should have destroyed at least half of Wibblas Vale. Small matter, thought the demon overlord as he surveyed the muster of his dark domain. An army a thousand times its size was about to break through the Elven front lines and slash its way inexorably towards their incredibly weakly-guarded palace. And if that army failed - there were creatures worse than Traskerwhumps that dwelt in the Doomedlands, in places even the Blighterwock avoided. (If you're really interested, though, I can write another sequel about those places.)

At last, the Blighterwock would reveal himself to the Free Peoples. At last, the Blighterwock would have revenge.




Examples:

  • The Dagda Mor (Elfstones of Shannara)

  • The Ildatch (Wishsong of Shannara)

  • The Uhl Belk (Druid of Shannara)

  • The Shadowen infiltrator (Tib Arne) from WMDs of Shannara



--
Banazir

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
dorukai
Aug. 7th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
Hey, that's only 90% fair!

He also wrote the entirely fun Magic Kingdom of Landover series!
banazir
Aug. 7th, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)
Magic Kingdom
I have the first book of that series (Magic Kingdom for SaleSold!) - it was one of the $0.50 books from my annual haul from the KSU Library Book Sale. I will read it eventually.

--
Banazir
dorukai
Aug. 7th, 2006 06:43 am (UTC)
Re: Magic Kingdom
I liked it. Very lightweight and fun stuff. Some quite cool concepts in there too.

Enjoy!
banazir
Aug. 7th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
I actually liked Elfstones and Druid
Elfstones was a little formulaic, but it was original for its time, unlike Sword, which was 90% a LOTR imitation. Druid might be a little too reminiscent of Warcraft today, but it came out in the early 1990s, before Warcraft was ever published. Wishsong was a dungeon crawl, but a pretty good one. Scions was slow; Elf Queen was a little predictable, and Talismans was a lot predictable.

--
Banazir
(Deleted comment)
banazir
Aug. 7th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
Re: I actually liked Elfstones and Druid
Those are, IMO, the weakest. Elf Queen in particular is a warmed-over RPG novelization with a dash of horror fantasy script thrown in for good measure. You can practically see the cheap CGA.

--
Banazir
bojojoti
Aug. 7th, 2006 06:02 am (UTC)
"(If you're really interested, though, I can write another sequel about those places.)"

It is to laugh!


Oooh, please do Terry Goodkind next!
banazir
Aug. 7th, 2006 06:34 am (UTC)
Terry Goodkind
Wizards First Rule? I haven't read any of Goodkind's books yet. In fact, I stopped reading the Shannara series after the last book of the Heritage series (Talismans), though I have and will read First King.

I'll let you know as soon as I get to some Goodkind novels.

Your icon is a riot! Who are those in it?

Glad you liked these,
Banazir
dorukai
Aug. 7th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
Re: Terry Goodkind
I actually recommend avoiding Wizards First Rule.

The series is Jordan-esque in its unendingness, and the author has a penchant for torturing (literally) his protaganists. There's some pretty nasty stuff in there.

I enjoyed the first book, to be honest, but yeah. Fair warning :D

Have you read A Song of Ice and Fire, by George RR Martin? If not, do! Some truly good fantasy for a change. Fairly brutal, and none of your favourite characters are safe, but very well done.
banazir
Aug. 7th, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
Song of Ice and Fire
See, I've completely avoided Jordan because people tell me he takes himself seriously, whereas I think anyone who's grinding Hero With A Thousand Faces into an epic fantasy needs to lighten up just a tad. Also, Jordan gets compared to Tolkien a little too much by the hoi polloi reviewers of scifi for me to think he's doing anything but imitating, however many disclaimers they throw in.

I've heard good things about Song of Ice and Fire. It'll probably go a year into my short list, though. Thanks!

--
Banazir
dorukai
Aug. 7th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)
Re: Song of Ice and Fire
Jordan's a fantastic imitator when he wants to be (case in point: his Conan books). Interestingly, I find the world he's set his Wheel of Time books in utterly, utterly compelling, but his characters, and his writing style. Geez.

He does take his setting very, very seriously. There's even a FAQ online somewhere where he'll answer one question per month, generally explaining discrepancies etc.

Compare and contrast Robert Jordan and Roger Zelazny:
Zelazny - spends pages and pages covering the pivotal moments in the story, a one minute fight might take up five pages, but three years in a prison cell might take three pages. I like this time dilation effect :D
Jordan - describes everything in real time. An uneventful month travelling might take half a book, a fight scene might take one page.

Err. Sorry, another recommendation, The Chronicles of Amber, by Roger Zelazny :D. Or, Lord of Light, being just a single book, in which the high tech rulers of a world masquerade as Hindu gods. Very cool. The Amber books are an excellent story though.
banazir
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:17 am (UTC)
Zelazny
I am a huge, huge fan of the early Zelazny. I read all ten books of the First and Second Chronicles (now bundled as the Great Book of Amber). I was so enamored of the first two books that I even gave Kevin Knight's parody character, Corbin of Ember, a cameo in one of my chapters of The Lord of the... Whatever.

The First Chronicles are pure gold. The time dilation is spot-on; the story flows, and it's magic. There are more plot twists than you can shake a stick at, and the technology and combat are completely seat of the pants, like a town storyteller's story or the kind a scholarly uncle or aunt might tell you as a bedtime story. It's great. Corwin's first-person POV is as absorbing as anything from this or any other subgenre of fantasy I can think of.

The Second Chronicles open up cans of worms and then carelessly tosses them all over the ground, littering the landscape with them. There are plot twists, again, but this time almost none of the loose ends get tied up. I once read a commentary on them that referred to them as a "scheme to transfer beer money from the reader to the author", and I have to concur in this case.

Lord of Light is in my bag-o-books. Any author who would name a character Shan and make him epileptic so that the Spoonerism "the fit hit the Shan" would fit has got to be crazy enough in my book.

--
Banazir
dorukai
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:27 am (UTC)
Re: Zelazny
I finished rereading the First Chronicles yesterday, from the Great Book :D.

Definitely magical. Rereading doesn't hurt it at all. I search in vain for another author that compares (A Song of Ice and Fire matches it for intrigue, in parts), but no luck so far.

The first person POV is an interesting one. I've read a handful of books that are written that way, and oddly they're all action-packed. Hmm?! The Anita Blake series jumps to mind, but while they're a good read (the first few anyway), they're not really in the same league.

The Second Chronicles were profoundly disappointing, degenerating as they did into more standard swords and sorcery. The great appeal of Amber, for me, is the presence of Amber, as the one true place in the universe (ok, the Courts of Chaos too, though you don't know about them until VERY late). But then in the second chronicles there are people with all sorts of weird magic, and non-Amberites are frequently real threats. Bleah.

Zelazny really had a bunch of crazy ideas :D
I'll stop listing his books now though, since that's clearly redundant!
bojojoti
Aug. 8th, 2006 07:34 am (UTC)
Re: Terry Goodkind
The icon is a compilation of the heads of my children placed on the bodies of Schwarzenegger and, perhaps, Brigitte Nielsen. It was funnier five years ago when the kids had no resemblance to the characters. Now, however, my son has grown into his muscles (although he is hardly Ahnold, but who is?). My daughter, on the other hand, is way more attractive than Brigitte and she can hold her own in the curves department.

Goodkind can tell a story, but he is a pompous ass. He will berate the reader with his viewpoint until the only way to read his book is by skipping large portions of it. Sadly, I feel compelled to finish the series.

Do try George R. R. Martin's Fire and Ice series. I love his characters. He can get overlong with description (you'll know the color, material, and stitching of every garment each character wears), but it is worth slogging through for the excellent story.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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