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Small Magic Anthology
by Terry Brooks
Del Rey, $28.99, 464pp
Published: March 2021

Escape to worlds full of adventure and magic in the first-ever Terry Brooks short-story collection, featuring both new and fan-favorite stories from all three of his major literary worlds: Shannara, Magic Kingdom, and The Word and the Void.

Here are heroes fighting new battles and struggling to conquer the ghosts of the past. Here are quests both small and far reaching; heroism both intimate and vast. Here we learn of Garet Jax's childhood, see how Allanon first located Shea Ohmsford, and follow an old wing-rider at the end of his life. Here we see Knights of the Word fighting demons within and without, and witness Ben Holiday and his daughter each trying to overcome the unique challenges that Landover offers.

I read the Shannara chronicles when I was in high school, dating myself quite a bit. I loved them. High adventure and fantasy, it was the perfect mix. With twenty books in the series, though, I've found it difficult to keep up with the rest of the books. I've read some but not all the books. So when I saw this anthology of short stories was coming out, I truly wanted to read the book just to have the opportunity to read shorter fiction set in the world I loved from when I was young. What I discovered were magical stories set in all of Terry Brooks' various worlds, from Shannara to the Magic Kingdom and The Word and the Void. And each story offers snapshots of those series, wondrous windows giving insight into the worlds of Terry Brooks.

Each story is offered with an introduction from Terry Brooks, providing us with some idea of the timeline of the story as set against the broader series but each one also stands alone. Even though some knowledge of the books provides a broader understanding, Mr. Brooks gives enough information in his foreword and in each story itself to keep the reader engaged and understand the events detailed in the tale. The stories add depth for those who've read the series and a rich introduction if you've not read anything.

The anthology is a broad mixture. The stories from Magic Kingdom introduce the most important characters in the series along with new scenarios. The Shannara stories give us new insight into familiar characters or characters readers have always wanted to know more about. The keystone to the book is the final fiction, a longer story about a new character within The Word and the Void series. Each story is well-written, engaging, and exciting. And if you want a chance to learn more about Terry Brooks and his novels, this is the perfect way to join in.

If you love fantasy, Terry Brooks' stories are incredibly engaging and this anthology is a wonderful way to learn more before you jump into the main series. If you're a long-time fan, you will definitely want to pick up the book as it elaborates on familiar characters or lesser-known characters within the various series. It is a must buy for anyone who loves Terry Brooks.

Rating: 5 out of 5 characters. ~~ Andrea Rittschof

For more titles by Terry Brooks click here

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