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Child of Light

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An all-new fantasy series about a human girl struggling to find her place in a magical world she’s never known. At nineteen, Auris Afton Grieg has led an . . . unusual life. Since the age of fifteen, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age An all-new fantasy series about a human girl struggling to find her place in a magical world she’s never known. At nineteen, Auris Afton Grieg has led an . . . unusual life. Since the age of fifteen, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age out of the children’s prison, and rumors say that the adult version is far, far worse. So she and some friends stage a desperate escape into the surrounding wastelands. And it is here that Auris’s journey of discovery begins, for she is rescued by a handsome yet alien stranger. Harrow claims to be Fae—a member of a magical race that Auris had thought to be no more than legend. Odder still, he seems to think that she is one as well, although the two look nothing alike. But strangest of all, when he brings her to his wondrous homeland, she begins to suspect that he is right. Yet how could a woman who looks entirely human be a magical being herself? Told with a fresh, energetic voice, this fantasy puzzle box is perfect for fans of Terry Brooks and new readers alike, as one young woman slowly unlocks truths about herself and her world—and, in doing so, begins to heal both.


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An all-new fantasy series about a human girl struggling to find her place in a magical world she’s never known. At nineteen, Auris Afton Grieg has led an . . . unusual life. Since the age of fifteen, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age An all-new fantasy series about a human girl struggling to find her place in a magical world she’s never known. At nineteen, Auris Afton Grieg has led an . . . unusual life. Since the age of fifteen, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age out of the children’s prison, and rumors say that the adult version is far, far worse. So she and some friends stage a desperate escape into the surrounding wastelands. And it is here that Auris’s journey of discovery begins, for she is rescued by a handsome yet alien stranger. Harrow claims to be Fae—a member of a magical race that Auris had thought to be no more than legend. Odder still, he seems to think that she is one as well, although the two look nothing alike. But strangest of all, when he brings her to his wondrous homeland, she begins to suspect that he is right. Yet how could a woman who looks entirely human be a magical being herself? Told with a fresh, energetic voice, this fantasy puzzle box is perfect for fans of Terry Brooks and new readers alike, as one young woman slowly unlocks truths about herself and her world—and, in doing so, begins to heal both.

30 review for Child of Light

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Speakman

    CHILD OF LIGHT is the first post-Shannara novel for author Terry Brooks, who concluded his bestselling series last year with The Last Druid. That conclusion came at the right time. Because CHILD OF LIGHT is an amazing and welcome new fantasy novel unrelated to anything else Brooks has written. It is a stand alone but will be the first book of at least two. And with it, magic has returned for Brooks. It is clear he has been wanting to stretch his creativity for some time now — and every word of CH CHILD OF LIGHT is the first post-Shannara novel for author Terry Brooks, who concluded his bestselling series last year with The Last Druid. That conclusion came at the right time. Because CHILD OF LIGHT is an amazing and welcome new fantasy novel unrelated to anything else Brooks has written. It is a stand alone but will be the first book of at least two. And with it, magic has returned for Brooks. It is clear he has been wanting to stretch his creativity for some time now — and every word of CHILD OF LIGHT is infused with the same wonder found in his best works (The Elfstones of Shannara, Armageddon’s Children, Running with the Demon, and The Tangle Box). I mention those previous books because they are my favorite works from Brooks. And the keen observer can see I pulled from his Shannara, Landover, and Word/Void series. That is intentional. CHILD OF LIGHT features the strengths from all of those fantasy settings in an all-new story that is wholly original. I savored every chapter I finished. And I believe that any Brooks fan will love CHILD OF LIGHT! Wish I could go into more detail but those details are coming when Del Rey unveils more about the book. But it doesn’t end there. Anyone who loved Katherine Arden’s Winternight trilogy or Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education will also love CHILD OF LIGHT. So get ready, Brooks readers. You are going to love this new fantasy!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I was given a ARC from Netgalley and I can only hope this is a draft that has yet to see an editor. I had never read a Terry Brooks book before Child of Light and I'm not sure I will read another one after this. There is a confusing lack of descriptions of anything in this fantasy world, for instance early on in the novel the main character notes that she warms herself by a "strange heater" and that is the entirety of what is said. This is least spoiler-y of examples but certainly not the last. A I was given a ARC from Netgalley and I can only hope this is a draft that has yet to see an editor. I had never read a Terry Brooks book before Child of Light and I'm not sure I will read another one after this. There is a confusing lack of descriptions of anything in this fantasy world, for instance early on in the novel the main character notes that she warms herself by a "strange heater" and that is the entirety of what is said. This is least spoiler-y of examples but certainly not the last. A good fantasy story should suck you into it's world, make you fall in love with the setting as the character does. The most we get in this book is the author via his first person narrator telling us how in love she is with the place. Because she loves it so should we. Which seems to be a reoccurring theme of the entirety of the plot. Auris hates thing A so that's all we need to know about it. Auris thinks thing B is a certain way and nothing else is needed. Auris is a dull caricature of what the author thinks a nineteen year old girl is like. He had a base for a very compelling character which he then smothered in an infantile Love Interest Obsession to the point where it felt as if the reader was reading Auris's diary where she was writing out her instant love interest's name with hearts surrounding it page after page. For as big of a part of the narrative Mr. Brooks wanted the love story to be it falls flat as neither of these characters have anything but the basest of character traits or interests. They are interested in each other and that is about the lot of it. The same can be said for any of the characters in the book really, they are not given anything but the bare minimum of the trope they are meant to fill. Any hardships or obstacles Auris is meant to overcome are either dealt with easily or deemed not important enough to address. (Goblins tried to kidnap you from your house in this stronghold? Well someone must really hate you... moving on-) And amid it all we are reminded that women (Fae or otherwise) should eat salad for dinner, that other women are rivals in love until proven otherwise, and that being imprisoned for years and the trauma of losing everyone you know within the first ten pages is easily healed by meeting A Man. Redundant prose and the near constant regurgitation of Auris's shallow thoughts (not to mention the baffling amount of repetitive word use) made reading this a completely tedious and predictable slog.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    Do I actually want to read this or is it going to break me like The Sword of Shannara did?! Do I actually want to read this or is it going to break me like The Sword of Shannara did?!

  4. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    A dangerous new world! A young woman escapes from a prison with fourteen others. A prison in the middle of a desert area where humans are enslaved by beings termed goblins. A place where humans can be killed and eaten by the guards, or sent to baby farms for forced reproduction, ensuring a continuing population for the goblins use. All totally grotesque. And that’s only the beginning. I’m not a big fan of storylines with humans being eaten so that part grossed me out big time. Nineteen years old A dangerous new world! A young woman escapes from a prison with fourteen others. A prison in the middle of a desert area where humans are enslaved by beings termed goblins. A place where humans can be killed and eaten by the guards, or sent to baby farms for forced reproduction, ensuring a continuing population for the goblins use. All totally grotesque. And that’s only the beginning. I’m not a big fan of storylines with humans being eaten so that part grossed me out big time. Nineteen years old Auris Acton Grieg manages to survive the escape and is rescued by a being Harrow, a Fae Watcher. Transported across the water to the magical fae stronghold, Viridian Deep, in the middle of a lush mountainous jungle. These surroundings bring to mind the lushness of areas met in the Voyage of Jerle Shannara. The first fae city is a place of wonderment but not all fae are as welcoming as Harrow. His mother Ancrow is of that ilk. Auris begins a quest to reclaim her memory, to find out who she is. She cannot remember anything except for a vagueness around her parents, prior to when she was taken at fifteen. Harrow is convinced she’s half fae. Auris however decides she “ must live as best [she]can with the knowledge that everything is ephemeral and subject to change.” To my way of thinking this will become her mantra. There are real questions. Dark in nature. What are the connections between the goblins and humans? What is the significance of this for all races? Then there’s Auris’ interest in Harrow. Way too sudden! A by product of being rescued or something more? As Auris reflects, “ Yes, he rescued me, but that hardly seems reason enough for the sort of attachment I find myself yearning for.” Auris seems to berate herself for being self-delusional. There’s much to ponder on various levels. I’m fascinated to see where all this might lead. A Random House - Ballantine ARC via NetGalley Please note: Quotes taken from an advanced reading copy maybe subject to change (Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    First things first: this was MY first Terry Brooks novel. I know he has lots of fans for his other fantasy novels. This is the first in a new YA fantasy series from him. The book started out strong for me, giving me The Maze Runner vibes. The main character 19-year old Auris escapes from a prison where goblins keep human children as workers AND a food source. So, Auris doesn't remember anything about her past, all she remembers is her time at the prison. During her escape, all of her fellow esca First things first: this was MY first Terry Brooks novel. I know he has lots of fans for his other fantasy novels. This is the first in a new YA fantasy series from him. The book started out strong for me, giving me The Maze Runner vibes. The main character 19-year old Auris escapes from a prison where goblins keep human children as workers AND a food source. So, Auris doesn't remember anything about her past, all she remembers is her time at the prison. During her escape, all of her fellow escapees are captured or killed. Auris finds her way to the shore of a lake where a handsome Fae named Harrow saves her from a patrol of goblins. Harrow brings Auris to his Fae homeland because he feels like she must be at least part fae. Auris develops a serious crush on him. And somewhere around here, the book lost me. It just became Auris yearning for Harrow and some other stuff happening. I felt like the world building and character development wasn't as strong as I would've liked. The plot felt like blurry background noise going on to play foil to Auris' feelings for Harrow. Thank you to the publisher for the review copy in exchange for my honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    fleshy

    "Then I know. Just like that, I know." This perfectly sums up the book. Auris, our main character, "just knows" everything. Information and skills manifest as she needs them. Magic has no bounds. Anything you might suspect about her heritage is true. There are no descriptions. There is no sense of what anything actually looks like. People eat food. There are plants. We have no idea what kind of food or plants, what they look or taste like, no sensory information is given about anything, ever. The "Then I know. Just like that, I know." This perfectly sums up the book. Auris, our main character, "just knows" everything. Information and skills manifest as she needs them. Magic has no bounds. Anything you might suspect about her heritage is true. There are no descriptions. There is no sense of what anything actually looks like. People eat food. There are plants. We have no idea what kind of food or plants, what they look or taste like, no sensory information is given about anything, ever. The work "quixotic" is used. This word wouldn’t exist without Don Quixote. Does this take place on Earth? Auris calls herself a “hot mess". Other modern American terminology is used. It's weird. Auris mostly talks about (view spoiler)[how she lusts for Harrow. That is the main thing on this girl’s mind. She just escaped a slave camp/child prison where she experienced years of torture, watched her friends and other children be brutally murdered, knows that the human government in complicit in this, and she’s like “I want to make out with Harrow”. (hide spoiler)] Is this what you think is on the minds of traumatized teenage girls, Terry Brooks? The narration repeats itself over and over again. Even within the same sentence. Auris just thinks about the same things, chapter after chapter. It's mostly her just thinking repetitive, cyclic thoughts. At one point she sits on a bench and waits for something to happen to her. Auris's favorite thing to do is sit and visit. Like an old person. We are not privvy to what happens during these visits, we are just told she hangs out with some people. At 68% she suddenly wonders what she should do with her life. 68%. Pretend this is being read by text to voice software. That is how I got through it. ' Bottom line, it reads like exactly what it is: an old man trying to write in the voice of a 19 year old girl. It doesn't work. The story is trite, boring, and extremely boring. I got an ARC from NetGalley and I regret it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jase

    Ended up being much of what I said earlier at greater length. You kind of get what you think will.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    A coming of age fantasy with our heroine seeking the roots of her origin. I felt this book read too much like a tale for children. Impossible scenarios for our heroine to escape evil and contradictions within the set of circumstances. How does a Fae, trained in magic, bows, arrows, knives, etc., suddenly bring forth a "flash bang grenade" to elude danger? The book's concept is good. No depth. A coming of age fantasy with our heroine seeking the roots of her origin. I felt this book read too much like a tale for children. Impossible scenarios for our heroine to escape evil and contradictions within the set of circumstances. How does a Fae, trained in magic, bows, arrows, knives, etc., suddenly bring forth a "flash bang grenade" to elude danger? The book's concept is good. No depth.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thomas West III

    If you know anything about my tastes in fantasy, you know that I've been a fan of Terry Brooks since I was a pre-teen, when my mom and aunt introduced me to The Sword of Shannara. I've read almost every single one of his books since then (his novelization of Hook is the only one I haven't), as well as his works of short fiction. And, while I was sad to bid farewell to Shannara with last year's The Last Druid, I was excited to see what he would bring to bear in Child of Light, a new novel set in If you know anything about my tastes in fantasy, you know that I've been a fan of Terry Brooks since I was a pre-teen, when my mom and aunt introduced me to The Sword of Shannara. I've read almost every single one of his books since then (his novelization of Hook is the only one I haven't), as well as his works of short fiction. And, while I was sad to bid farewell to Shannara with last year's The Last Druid, I was excited to see what he would bring to bear in Child of Light, a new novel set in an entirely different cosmos than any we've seen from him before. As the novel begins, a young woman is trapped in a dreadful prison run by Goblins. After she manages to escape, she makes her way to the land of the elusive and enigmatic Fae, where she becomes especially close to a Fae Watcher named Harrow, who takes her to his homeland, Viridian Deep. There, Auris is forced to confront the reality that, contrary to her human appearance, she might actually be part Fae herself. The rest of the novel is occupied with her search for the truth of her identity, the full scope of which almost proves too much to accept. From the beginning, Child of Light is an adventure story like only Terry Brooks could write. Though the opening portion of the book is short, it packs a punch. It shows the truly grisly conditions in which Auris and her friends are forced to exist, and the fact that we don't know why this place exists makes it all the more terrifying. Their escape from the Goblins is as fraught with peril as one might expect, and it's deeply tragic that Auris is one of the few to survive. As is always the case with Brooks, he manages to deftly weave together a pulse-pounding story with deeper, more philosophical issues. Obviously, the most important of these revolves around issues of identity, and the extent to which any of us bear the burden of our ancestry. This is of particular importance for Auris, who struggles throughout the book both to know where she came from and, once she discovers that, how to make sense of earth-shattering revelations. It's impossible not to feel for her as she repeatedly has everything she thought she knew about herself reshaped and sometimes downright destroyed by new revelations. Perusing some of the early reader reviews on Goodreads, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Brooks doesn't include a great deal of description this book. It is true that we don't get a zoomed-out look at this world, but Brooks maintains his ability to capture the feel of a world, and I particularly relished his descriptions of the exquisite Viridian Deep. There are shades here of Arborlon, the capital of the Elves in the Shannara world, but this place still has its own unique character. There are times when you feel like you are actually there, and you wish, along with Auris, that she can find the home there that she has been denied for so long. Some have also criticized the book for having "insta-love," in that Auris almost immediately falls in love with Harrow after meeting him. However, I think that this actually works in the context of the narrative. After all, this is a young woman, still in her teens, who has just endured years of imprisonment before attaining unexpected freedom. Put in her place, who wouldn't fall in love with the first person to show them a bit of kindness and understanding? More to the point, there are actually people in the real world (myself included) who are notorious for falling in love at the drop of a hat, so I actually appreciated Brooks' ability to show that process. Obviously, Child of Light has a different feel than much of Brooks' earlier work. For one thing, it's narrated in first-person present, which gives it an immediacy and a breathlessness that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wonder just what's going to happen next to this brave young woman as she attempts to both survive and find out more about herself. At the same time, there's still a lot here for Brooks' legions of existing fans to enjoy. In some ways, it seems to me that Child of Light is the culmination of all of the work that he's done so far, and one can see strains of his earlier work running through the entire book, with the darkness of the Word and the Void, the light touch of Magic Kingdom of Landover, and the epic scale of Shannara. It probably goes without saying that Humans don't come out particularly well in this book and that, too, is very much in keeping with Brooks' prior work. Anyone who has read the Shannara books knows that he has a healthy dose of pessimism when it comes to humanity's ability to destroy itself or anyone who it perceives as different. The world of Shannara was born out of nuclear war, and for centuries afterward humans waged war against the other races, often to their own detriment. Here, the Humans yearn for the power that the Fae possess, and they are willing to perpetrate horrific acts of violence and violation to attain what they want. Fortunately, Brooks doesn't pruriently dwell on that cruelty, but he makes it clear - particularly through the story arc of Ancrow, the leader of the Fae - just how far they are willing to go in their pursuit of power. I suppose it comes as no surprise that I loved Child of Light as much as I thought I would. Terry Brooks has a well-deserved reputation for crafting stories that cast a spell like almost no one else working in fantasy. Though this book is self-contained, Brooks leaves us just enough mysteries and questions to make a sequel inevitable. I'm very much looking forward to seeing just how he continues to develop this new world and its fascinating (and enigmatic) characters.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Margolin genna

    Loved this book! What a wonderful ride through the heat he and triumph of a young woman trying to escape her captors and find out where she belongs. The author has a way of explaining the scenery so well that you can visualize it in your mind as the story unravels. This journey is filled with heardache, love, loss and finding one's self. Take the ride. Read the book! Loved this book! What a wonderful ride through the heat he and triumph of a young woman trying to escape her captors and find out where she belongs. The author has a way of explaining the scenery so well that you can visualize it in your mind as the story unravels. This journey is filled with heardache, love, loss and finding one's self. Take the ride. Read the book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Josh Stoiber

    Huge thanks to NetGalley and Random House - Ballantine for the ARC. This is my honest review. Child of Light is a fast-paced YA fantasy adventure that winds its way through a number of interesting locals in a world that I'm excited to continue to learn more about. The Fey home of Viridian Deep is the kind of place you wish you could really visit, the villains and their mysterious alliances are endlessly intriguing. For me, the world and its lore are the strongest part of Child of Light, and that Huge thanks to NetGalley and Random House - Ballantine for the ARC. This is my honest review. Child of Light is a fast-paced YA fantasy adventure that winds its way through a number of interesting locals in a world that I'm excited to continue to learn more about. The Fey home of Viridian Deep is the kind of place you wish you could really visit, the villains and their mysterious alliances are endlessly intriguing. For me, the world and its lore are the strongest part of Child of Light, and that makes sense for an established fantasy author like Terry Brooks. The story follows Auris, a 19-year-old girl who escapes a goblin prison and finds her way to the world of the Fey. The book has a central amnesia plot line, so to say much more would spoil a lot of deliberately paced reveals, but the narrative never flags and bounces pleasantly between daring escapes and daily (magical) life. However, for all the strength of the world presented here, the characters that inhabit it are the weakest part of the book. The main character's motivation seems to be largely rooted in moving the plot of the novel forward, rather than the other way around. She's never content, even when it feels like she should be. At times, the book explains this away with her being led by her mysterious Inish. Auris also begins to develop feelings for Harrow, the Fey boy who rescues her in her initial escape, so quickly that it at the beginning it feels very forced. The first internal comments about these feelings happen when she is still in the throws of surviving the horrible ordeal of her escape and at the same time being introduced to the fantastical world of the Fey people. I think the central romance would have played much better if it had happened more gradually. In the end, Child of Light is an easy read that transports the reader into a magical and intriguing fantasy world. It's held back a bit by some two-dimensional character motivations and a romance that starts too soon, but it's still a fun, breezy adventure in a world that I want to know more about, and I will absolutely be back for the sequel. 3.5/5

  12. 5 out of 5

    The Reading Raccoon

    Child of Light by Terry Brooks Child of Light is a fantasy novel by Terry Brooks with hints of science fiction, dystopia and portal magic. Child of Light opens with a prison break by a group of teenagers desperate to leave a goblin managed prison in the middle of nowhere. The reason they are imprisoned is a total mystery as most of them don’t remember their pasts. What they do know is that there has never been a successful break and that the punishment if they are caught will be dismemberment or Child of Light by Terry Brooks Child of Light is a fantasy novel by Terry Brooks with hints of science fiction, dystopia and portal magic. Child of Light opens with a prison break by a group of teenagers desperate to leave a goblin managed prison in the middle of nowhere. The reason they are imprisoned is a total mystery as most of them don’t remember their pasts. What they do know is that there has never been a successful break and that the punishment if they are caught will be dismemberment or to be eaten by the goblins. By the end of their escape Auris will be the sole survivor and will wander the wasteland until rescued by a mysterious fae man named Harrow. While recovering in the land of the Fae called Veridian Deep Auris will discover the truth behind the unholy alliance between the goblins and humans along with her own origin story. On almost every level this is not a great book. It is barely an ok book. I’m not sure why it is marketed as adult because the character and plot could easily pass as a middle-grade. The stakes are impossibly low and every conflict or moment of tension is resolved almost immediately. Auris survives a car crash that kills almost everyone, wanders the desert with no food or water for days and barely has any ill effect. She fits into the Veridian Deep and the fae people incredibly well and no one asks her to provide for herself. She just eats their food and lives in their cottage and surprise (!) she has easily attained skills and powers. All attacks and attempts to hold her are quickly escaped and if she needs help everyone jumps in to assist. Her personality is completely bland and she acts like a tween with a crush more than a nineteen year old that’s been held hostage by hungry goblins for five years. Of course, all the humans are war-mongering monsters polluting the earth and the fae are beautiful and perfect and live in flawless harmony. Sadly, I did not enjoy this book and cannot recommend it to anyone over 13. I honestly think with a little tweaking and illustrations it *might* make a decent middle-grade book but there isn’t anything here for more seasoned fantasy readers to enjoy. 2 stars ⭐️⭐️

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andee

    BLOG|INSTAGRAM|TWITTER|YOUTUBE Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book started off incredibly strong. There are elements of Brooks’ previous storytelling styles, with a new fresh world. I enjoyed the over arching concept of the plot, and the world that was created here. However, also in very Brooks’ fashion, characters who die in the first 25% are all given first names. Everyone is given a name, and that can get a bit BLOG|INSTAGRAM|TWITTER|YOUTUBE Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book started off incredibly strong. There are elements of Brooks’ previous storytelling styles, with a new fresh world. I enjoyed the over arching concept of the plot, and the world that was created here. However, also in very Brooks’ fashion, characters who die in the first 25% are all given first names. Everyone is given a name, and that can get a bit overwhelming, over time. Overall, this was your standard run of the mill fantasy. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t feel it really brought anything new to the table. At times, the writing did fall on the lazier side, and I think the plot suffered for it. Full review October 15th, 2021.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Uttenweiler

    Thank you NetGalley and Del Rey Books for the ARC! I have to admit that this was the first book I think I’ve ever DNF’d. And I hate that. I’ve adored so many of his stories in the past, and just couldn’t get into this one. I really wanted to finish, but picking it up was starting to feel like a chore and not fun. Which is almost exclusively why I read. I give it two stars instead of one though, since I did like the very beginning, and the story genuinely was interesting. The writing style itself wa Thank you NetGalley and Del Rey Books for the ARC! I have to admit that this was the first book I think I’ve ever DNF’d. And I hate that. I’ve adored so many of his stories in the past, and just couldn’t get into this one. I really wanted to finish, but picking it up was starting to feel like a chore and not fun. Which is almost exclusively why I read. I give it two stars instead of one though, since I did like the very beginning, and the story genuinely was interesting. The writing style itself was most of my problem. It didn’t feel like I being immersed in a new fantasy world or a cool new story, it felt like I was being told every little thing that was going on, even in the dialogue. I was really looking forward to this one. Sorry Terry Brooks!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Albert Riehle

    Ah Shades! I wanted to love this book. I tried to love it. After a lifetime of loving Terry Brooks works, over the last few years I have enjoyed them less and less and personally felt let down by what he allowed MTV to do to some of my most favorite of his books. But Brooks will always be a hero to me for his original trilogy so I wanted this to be his comeback. I wanted him to feel reinvigorated outside of the bounds of Shannara. I wanted this to be the beginning of something new and special. I Ah Shades! I wanted to love this book. I tried to love it. After a lifetime of loving Terry Brooks works, over the last few years I have enjoyed them less and less and personally felt let down by what he allowed MTV to do to some of my most favorite of his books. But Brooks will always be a hero to me for his original trilogy so I wanted this to be his comeback. I wanted him to feel reinvigorated outside of the bounds of Shannara. I wanted this to be the beginning of something new and special. It was just okay though. It started with promise. It felt like it could be something. But I saw just about everything coming. There are "twists and turns" in this book but they all felt obvious to me. Nothing surprised me. There were no red herrings or attempts to keep a reader guessing. There was only straightforward plotting as if it was set on a train track and there was never any doubt about where it would go next. Escaped from the chains of Shannara, Brooks decides to change things up and write this one in the first person but his voice of a 19 year old girl never feels especially authentic, especially not a 19 year old girl who had survived the trauma that this one did. Like many of Brooks' female characters, this one is sweet and innocent and falls hopelessly in love immediately upon meeting someone. It's annoying that even though she has no training that she can remember, she is immediately able to use all kinds of weapons at an expert level. When her lost memories come back to her, there is no history that helps explain that fact. Her magic, called innish in this book, consists of her concentrating really hard, failing, then all of the sudden getting it--at which point she is able to do just about anything a more-skilled innish-user can automatically. Another thing that annoyed me about this book is how much it borrowed from Shannara. The final Shannara series revolved around a kind of magic called "revealers." This book has a magic called The Reveal. Both Shannara and Knights of the Word characters carry black staffs with runes on them. So do innish users. There were probably 3-4 other things that were brought over from his other works and it felt odd. He had the chance to paint on a new canvass and still chose to give readers the same old-same old. The biggest disappointment for me was the world-building in this book. It's basically non-existent. When the protagonist gets to the Land of the Fae she just keeps saying that it's beautiful over and over again. We have to take her word for it because other than it being an Ewok-like village in the trees, we don't learn much at all. Time and again Brooks has the opportunity to show the difference between the world we know and the world of the Fae but all we get is repetitive mentions that it is very beautiful and there are a lot of cool alcoholic drinks there. The plot is slow. The ending is rushed--and obvious. None of the characters stood out in any way. Use of First Person Narrative is poorly executed and the overall plot of this book isn't really revealed until the last hundred pages or so. Before that there's some action/adventure, there's some love/romance. It meanders aimlessly and then all the sudden, on what seems a silly pretext, the heroine undertakes a foolish and dangerous mission of self-discovery that reveals the upcoming war which takes place over less than 30 pages. It's not terrible. It's just okay. It's certainly not good or great and anyone who tries to compare this to Brooks' best books is clearly doing so because they have a horse in the race. Ignore the praise of the sycophantical brown-nosers. This isn't Brooks reborn. It's just the continued decline of a writer that once did it better than anyone and now just phones it in. I have a hard time recommending this one. I'm pretty solid on it being 3 stars. It's okay. Just don't go into it with high expectations.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    A wonderful start to a new series worthy of Terry Brooks! Less than a year after finishing his epic Shannara series, Terry Brooks has laid the groundwork for a great new one. The master of world creation, Brooks has crafted a world quite unlike the one we knew from Shannara. This one is filled with humans, goblins, and a fae people known as the Forest Sylvan. The humans are highly mechanized and possess no magic. The forest sylvan are non-mechanized forest people who control a great deal of magic A wonderful start to a new series worthy of Terry Brooks! Less than a year after finishing his epic Shannara series, Terry Brooks has laid the groundwork for a great new one. The master of world creation, Brooks has crafted a world quite unlike the one we knew from Shannara. This one is filled with humans, goblins, and a fae people known as the Forest Sylvan. The humans are highly mechanized and possess no magic. The forest sylvan are non-mechanized forest people who control a great deal of magical abilities. Therein lies one of the great conflicts of this world. The humans will do anything to try to gain magical ability and the forest sylvan will do anything to protect it. To help them in their quest, humans have allied themselves with the non-magical fae, the goblins. The book opens with a punch of excitement. Auris Afton Grieg who has spent four years in a gruesome prison camp. The camp is human owned with goblin guards and the inmates are exclusively children and youth. After four years in the camp, Auris and fifteen of her companions attempt a daring break for freedom. They get as far as commandeering one of the prison’s armored vehicles, but are overtaken by their goblin overlords. All of the escapees are killed—except Auris, who was thrown clear of the destroyed vehicle. Alone and free, Auris begins her trek across the wasteland in search of freedom. This begins the great quest of the story: Auris’s quest for self-identity and purpose. She has no memories of her life prior to coming to the camp, only knowing that her human parents were killed and she was assigned to the prison camp. When Auris reaches the end of the wasteland at a huge body water, she is met by Harrow, a border watcher for the Sylvan people. He sees something in Auris that draws him to her and contrary to Sylvan rules takes Auris to homeland where her quest really takes shape. She learns that her name is a fae word meaning “child of light.” As the journey progresses, Harrow and Auris face challenges that draw them closer. Along the way, Harrow and Auris confront the extremely dark and sinister character of the book, someone who reminded me of a fantasy world version of Hitler’s doctor, Josef Mengele. From the action packed first chapter to the rousing conclusion, I was captivated by this book and look forward to others drawn from this world. I highly recommend this book and thank NetGalley for allowing me the chance to read and review it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    CHILD OF LIGHT by Terry Brooks Author and fan favorite, Terry Brooks is back with CHILD OF LIGHT, an epic science-fantasy "fae-ry tale". CHILD OF LIGHT opens with a bang as our young protagonist Auris, and her companions, attempt to escape a hellish Goblin prison located in a vast wasteland. Brooks quickly establishes characters we care about in a world we want to know more about, and then pulls the rug out from under us with an unexpected twist that skewers our expectations. Auris must overcome o CHILD OF LIGHT by Terry Brooks Author and fan favorite, Terry Brooks is back with CHILD OF LIGHT, an epic science-fantasy "fae-ry tale". CHILD OF LIGHT opens with a bang as our young protagonist Auris, and her companions, attempt to escape a hellish Goblin prison located in a vast wasteland. Brooks quickly establishes characters we care about in a world we want to know more about, and then pulls the rug out from under us with an unexpected twist that skewers our expectations. Auris must overcome obstacles both internal and external if she is going to find answers to her hidden past and have a chance at a normal life, but first she has to survive. CHILD OF LIGHT introduces us to a magical world, best exemplified by Viridian Deep- the homeland of the Forest Sylvan Fae, whose simple domesticity is reminiscent of Tolkien's Shire, but populated by a people familiar with violence and war. The novel wrestles with issues of identity, family, nature vs. technology, light and darkness, young love, redemption and sacrifice, wrapped in echoes of classic fairy tales and even Oedipus the King by Sophocles. Villains that are easy to root against also share this conflicted world and loom large in the lives of the main characters. The novel has much to recommend but there are areas I wish were more developed. The action scenes are excellent and the pacing is brisk, but at times I felt this caused some of the resolution of conflicts and character development to feel rushed. I also loved the Fae inish staffs but would have liked a better understanding of Fae magic in general; its inner-workings, strengths and limitations. Also, like most fantasy geeks, I would love to see a fantasy map of this strange new world included in the book. There are also mysteries from the past about the world and the characters that remain unresolved at the end of the novel which is fine, but that I hope are explored further in future entries of the series. CHILD OF LIGHT straddles the line between dystopian Young Adult fiction with its chaste depiction of romantic love, and adult fantasy with not too graphic but still present, elements of trauma, torture, and haunting memories of sexual assault. This is a strong first entry in a new series and I look forward to continuing the journey. Thank you to Del Rey Books and NetGalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ayathma

    A very exciting story ! First of all I like to say the starting of the book is simple. but late its getting exciting !!!! There are some magical things in the story I feel terrifying when I read the part that said goblins take over the world and Humans are in prison. Its very horrible. The government even provided the goblins with human children. How can that happen? Any way I like to say read this book This books is very exciting!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristy Allen Hisert

    Am I obsessed? Yes. Could I not put it down? Yes. Am I ready for the next one? Yes please. 😍

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    I don't usually like this type of fiction because I'm not one who deals in fantasy and I have a hard time dispending belief but this book had enough reality to make it feel possible. I enjoyed the grit of Auris as she breaks out of a Goblin prison. Her admiration and affection for Harrow seems very real. It grows gradually like in real life. The conflicts in this story are real, you don't know which way the story will go but it is all believable. I don't usually like this type of fiction because I'm not one who deals in fantasy and I have a hard time dispending belief but this book had enough reality to make it feel possible. I enjoyed the grit of Auris as she breaks out of a Goblin prison. Her admiration and affection for Harrow seems very real. It grows gradually like in real life. The conflicts in this story are real, you don't know which way the story will go but it is all believable.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    The Review A gripping and engaging fantasy read, the author brilliantly draws readers in immediately with a grim and brutal world in which the protagonist faces unspeakable horrors and sees firsthand the vicious nature of her captors, the Goblins. The pacing and mythology the author develops throughout this novel deliver not only a grand universe in which these mythological creatures dwell, but a shocking series of twists and turns not only in the protagonist’s origins but in the status quo of th The Review A gripping and engaging fantasy read, the author brilliantly draws readers in immediately with a grim and brutal world in which the protagonist faces unspeakable horrors and sees firsthand the vicious nature of her captors, the Goblins. The pacing and mythology the author develops throughout this novel deliver not only a grand universe in which these mythological creatures dwell, but a shocking series of twists and turns not only in the protagonist’s origins but in the status quo of this fantasy world overall. The character development was fantastic to see unfold here, and very much reminded me of the bond that formed so quickly between Jace and Clary in Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” YA Series. Auris and Harrow are a breath of fresh air challenging one another without delving into unneeded friction between them, while still delivering plenty of tension with other characters. The gritty nature of the villains plays well into the main narrative, but the villains themselves, the Goblins and Humanity’s ruling leadership, all feel like a play on the theme of humanity’s destruction of the environment and their need to drain natural resources, as this becomes part of the narrative over time. The Verdict An entertaining, emotional, and evenly-paced sci-fi and fantasy read, author Terry Brooks and his novel “Child of Light” is a must-read novel of 2021, and the perfect fall read for fantasy fans. The Fae become more than just an additional fictional race in this book, instead of becoming the prominently featured class and (mostly) heroes in this action-packed and gripping narrative that will leave fans eager for more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Reppy

    The Shannara series was one of my favorites growing up, so I was excited to learn that Terry Brooks had a new (unrelated) book coming out. "Child of Light" was an enjoyable story. Nineteen-year-old Auris has spent the past five years in a Goblin prison. She has practically no recollection of her life before being in the prison and does not understand how or why she is there with all the other children; all the prisoners are children. However, she knows that she will soon be killed or forced to b The Shannara series was one of my favorites growing up, so I was excited to learn that Terry Brooks had a new (unrelated) book coming out. "Child of Light" was an enjoyable story. Nineteen-year-old Auris has spent the past five years in a Goblin prison. She has practically no recollection of her life before being in the prison and does not understand how or why she is there with all the other children; all the prisoners are children. However, she knows that she will soon be killed or forced to breed/reproduce (and when no longer useful, killed). She and a group of other prisoners plot an escape, but only she survives. She wanders through the wasteland, trying to find other humans and safety, and unsure if she will be able to survive. Right before a group of Goblins recaptures her, she is saved by a strange "person", who introduces himself as Harrow, a Forest Sylvan Fae, one of the Faerie Folk. Harrow takes Auris back to his homeland, Viridian Deep, and in the process upends her entire world. She learns that the Goblins run the prisons on behalf of a group of humans called the Ministry, and that the Goblins, who are a type of Fae, have formed an alliance with the Humans. Harrow also believes that Auris is Fae, even though she looks 100% Human. Auris means "child of light" in the Fae language, which is one clue. Harrow's intuition also tells him that Auris is Fae, and his intuition is rarely wrong. The story focuses on the efforts to uncover Auris' past, determine whether she is Fae, and figure out what that means for her and the worlds of the Humans and the Fae. Humans want to capture and destroy the Fae, harnessing their magic, so the presence of a human in Viridian Deep is opposed by some, including Ancrow, the leader of the High Council, a heroine to the Sylvan Fae because of her success in past battles against their enemies, and Harrow's mother. Auris soon discovers that she has innate knowledge and talents she never realized she possessed. The more she learns about her past, the more questions that are raised and the greater the potential danger becomes. The plot is creative with some rather good surprises. The characters are well developed. I enjoyed seeing how Auris comes to terms with the new information about herself and her past, and how she seeks to integrate her newfound knowledge and abilities with her past self. I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Honeychile

    Excellent read! A young prisoner with amnesia escapes to find herself in an unexpected world. Characters are complex and genuine. I especially liked the personality of the Fey, often portrayed as cold and unfeeling, but very different in this book. Plotting is entertaining and unpredictable. Themes include the power of love, accepting and using gifts and talents, and believing the incredible. I'm eager to read others in this series. Five stars from this reviewer. Excellent read! A young prisoner with amnesia escapes to find herself in an unexpected world. Characters are complex and genuine. I especially liked the personality of the Fey, often portrayed as cold and unfeeling, but very different in this book. Plotting is entertaining and unpredictable. Themes include the power of love, accepting and using gifts and talents, and believing the incredible. I'm eager to read others in this series. Five stars from this reviewer.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you NetGalley and Del Rey Books for the ARC. I tried so hard with this book, but it was a DNF for me. This was my first Terry Brooks book and I was so disappointed. It started out so promising, but after the first couple chapters, it just went down hill. Once I put it down (about 40% in) I never picked it back up. Auris escapes a child prison (slave camp) right away and it is high energy from the first paragraph. My attention was grabbed. But all the sudden the pace starts to change and then Thank you NetGalley and Del Rey Books for the ARC. I tried so hard with this book, but it was a DNF for me. This was my first Terry Brooks book and I was so disappointed. It started out so promising, but after the first couple chapters, it just went down hill. Once I put it down (about 40% in) I never picked it back up. Auris escapes a child prison (slave camp) right away and it is high energy from the first paragraph. My attention was grabbed. But all the sudden the pace starts to change and then this teenage girl needs to lust for a boy. Alert, we don't always need someone in our lives. Sometimes we just need to work through the crap going on and that we just went through (friends dying, etc). Also, I felt like things were repeated over and over. At one point I actually said out loud that a section was deja vu.. I tried to finish and just couldn't. Maybe someday I will try a different book and series, as I know he has a strong following.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Casey Wheeler

    This book marks a new venture for the author after his many books on Shannara. This one involves interactions between elves, goblins and humans with a strong, young female lead. The book was a little inconsistent, but overall a very good read. I look forward to more in this new series. I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook and my nonfiction book review blog.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Monceaux

    See more of my reviews and other bookish content here! ***Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.*** I've had the Shannara books on my TBR for a while because I know a lot of people like them. So, when I saw that the first of a new Terry Brooks series was available on NetGalley, I jumped at the opportunity to be introduced to his writing. Now I kind of wish I didn't. This book wasn't awful, but it See more of my reviews and other bookish content here! ***Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.*** I've had the Shannara books on my TBR for a while because I know a lot of people like them. So, when I saw that the first of a new Terry Brooks series was available on NetGalley, I jumped at the opportunity to be introduced to his writing. Now I kind of wish I didn't. This book wasn't awful, but it wasn't great either. The writing and story idea were okay, but the weird pacing and mind-numbing amount of exposition killed a lot of the enjoyment I could have had reading this book. The stiff dialogue also left the characters feeling a bit flat. The beginning of the book started out with a bang, and it sucked me in immediately. Auris was mysterious and needed to escape a goblin prison. The tension was high, and there was tons of action. Then the pace completely halted upon her rescue, and, for the rest of the first half of the book, she sat in the faerie city having conversations and training. For the second half of the book, she and her new friends bounced in and out of several high risk situations so often, and quickly, I should have gotten whiplash. It all felt incredibly rushed. Ultimately, the pacing was all over the place, and it made the book difficult to love. The world-building was one of the most interesting things about this book. The fae world that Brooks built was fascinating, and the magic the fae wielded was fun to learn about. I would have loved to get more information about the world in this book, especially the complex relationship between the fae, goblins, and humans. The fae vs. human setup was a great way to explore the theme of industrialization vs. a more natural way of life that respects the land, and I enjoyed the peek of it that was provided in the book. There were also slight glimpses of the history of this world and the politics of the fae, which were all intriguing to see. I didn't really connect with any of the characters in this book, as they all felt a bit flat to me. Auris was mysterious at first, and I did enjoy her journey and inner thoughts related to finding her identity, family, and a place to belong. However, I found her to become almost insufferable as the story continued. She mysteriously knew how to use every weapon available, which was never explained. She also learned how to use magic in ONE day. Despite all her strengths and all of the horrible things going on around her, the only thing she could focus on was Harrow, and she pined over him almost instantly. Their relationship was annoying to read because most of the drama could have been resolved by the two of them talking to each other. I also don't understand what she saw in him other than being enamored because he rescued her. For most of the book, all he did was talk about fae society/history while training her, and he exuded the personality of a wet paper bag. Ancrow seriously annoyed me in this book, but I also liked some aspects of her characterization. She was an interesting example of how past experiences, especially traumatic ones, with a group of people can leave a person extremely prejudiced against everyone in that group. It explored the question of whether that person's prejudicial actions are justified/understandable given their circumstances and underscored the importance of context in understanding any individual's actions. This character's lies, though, got tedious and annoying as the book progressed, especially since the logic behind the lies made absolutely no sense. My favorite characters of the book were Ancrow's daughters. They were a breath of fresh air amongst the angst, and I smiled every time they appeared. Overall, I enjoyed the exploration of the themes of identity and family in this book, as well as the world the author created. However, I didn't really connect with the characters and found the pacing, dialogue, and character relationships to be lacking. Therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. I don't think I'll be continuing the series, and I'm pretty sure it will be quite some time before I read the Shannara series, as well.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I am not a type to read fantasy, but on the rare occasions when I do, Terry Brooks is my only "go to" guy. I have enjoyed all his books, starting with "Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold" and this one was no exception. Starting off a new series, we have Auris escaping from a Goblin prison and making her way to the land of the Sylvans, who are Fae creatures. Why did she feel compelled to travel to them, and who is she really? Because all her memories before the prison seem to be gone. This story, of cou I am not a type to read fantasy, but on the rare occasions when I do, Terry Brooks is my only "go to" guy. I have enjoyed all his books, starting with "Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold" and this one was no exception. Starting off a new series, we have Auris escaping from a Goblin prison and making her way to the land of the Sylvans, who are Fae creatures. Why did she feel compelled to travel to them, and who is she really? Because all her memories before the prison seem to be gone. This story, of course, is spent mainly setting up the characters, the world and some of Auris's background. While I felt this book was a bit long (especially for reading on a Kindle) I did like it. Thanks, Netgalley for letting me read this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    vikki ❤️

    A very intriguing idea carried out with the grace of a bull in a china shop 😩 I got to about 12% and then couldn’t stand the violence, gore and subtle nods to these BEASTLY (and not in a good way) creatures that would rape/murder these poor women and children. Absolutely disgusting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Meh

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christopher J Mann

    Fascinating In true Brooks style, Terry pulls threads from the Word and the Void to create a Fae world that is in conflict with Humankind. Maybe since I've read everything he has written save the Magic Kingdom, I found the plot somewhat predictable. I'm stilll struggling why Auris was the Child of Light? That being said, it was an enjoyable read. Fascinating In true Brooks style, Terry pulls threads from the Word and the Void to create a Fae world that is in conflict with Humankind. Maybe since I've read everything he has written save the Magic Kingdom, I found the plot somewhat predictable. I'm stilll struggling why Auris was the Child of Light? That being said, it was an enjoyable read.

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