The Weapon Master's Choice by Terry Brooks

A city besieged by a powerful warlock seeks salvation from a fabled warrior in the second of three gripping new stand-alone eBook short stories set in the world of the fantasy-fiction phenomenon that is Shannara—by beloved New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks.

His extraordinary—and deadly—skills have earned Garet Jax renown and infamy as the man called the Weapons Master. Rootless, solitary, and endlessly sought after, he roams the Four Lands, loyal to none but himself . . . and whomever can afford his services as warrior, assassin, and avenger for hire. But Lyriana is unlike any who have come to him before: as beautiful as she is bold, as enigmatic as the distant city she is desperate to save, and possessed of an intangible, irresistible allure that entices even the hardened Garet Jax more than any amount of gold or silver ever could.

But the challenge she comes bearing may give even the celebrated Weapons Master pause. The remote city of Tajarin, Lyriana’s home, is being laid to waste by an immensely powerful and boundlessly evil warlock of the deadliest order. With the populace enslaved and no champion to stand against the invader, Tajarin will soon be wiped from the map—perhaps only the first city to fall. Whatever hope exists rests in the deft hands, lethal blades, and unerring instincts of Garet Jax. With righteous fury in his blood, and feelings he has never before known in his heart, he will face the most dire of enemies, and dare the blackest of fates, for the mysterious woman at his side—whose deepest secrets have yet to be revealed.

The cover’s pretty crummy, but whatever… Brooks is a brand now, and it’s identifiably Brooks, so I suppose that’ all that matters, whether I’m happy with it for not! The story itself, however, sounds like an interesting direction for Brooks. Though his previous short story, “Allanon’s Quest,” was weak, Garet Jax is one of Brooks’ most popular characters, and it’s pleasing to see him tackling a more personal story for the Weapons Master, who, previously, was more-or-less an enigmatic warrior, defined by his prowess, but lacking in personality. Hardcore Shannara fans will likely be watching closely to see how this reflects on the popular Stee Jans/Garet Jax theory that has floated around for years.

Discussion
  • Grant January 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Beloved author? I couldn’t get through his first book because it seemed juvenile and formulaic and I was in 7th grade at the time.

  • Aidan Moher January 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    21 million books sold and credit, alongside Stephen Donaldson, for revitalizing the mainstream fantasy genre in the late ’70s, is a pretty solid reason to title him ‘beloved,’ regardless of personal opinion.

  • kamo January 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    What’s wrong with her eyes?

  • Martin January 4, 2013 at 2:50 am

    So we’ve evolved from hooded man to headscarved woman. Do artists just hate drawing hair?

    And Grant, “juvenile and formulaic” is pretty much the recipe for beloved since you have to be bite as a child.

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