Child of Light

Child of Light by Terry Brooks is the first fantasy novel after the conclusion of the Shannara series. Auris has escaped Goblin prison, only to be found by the fae. What secrets are hidden in her lost memories?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.

From Goodreads:

The electrifying first novel of an all-new fantasy series from the legendary author behind the Shannara saga, 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.

“But I am a survivor. I survived what killed all my friends. I will not let it kill me.”

This book started off incredibly strong. There are elements of Brooks’ previous storytelling styles, with a new fresh world. I enjoyed the overarching 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.

“Gods of Fae and Faerie Kind, you’re in love with him.”

I am notoriously displeased by the instant love trope. This book is no different. The added negative here is that Auris’s motivations become primarily fluctuating between who am I and does Harrow love me. This is supposed to reflect what 19-year old’s think, and I feel that the writing here reflected a disconnect from the author. I don’t believe that a freshly traumatized 19-year-old is going to immediately be focused on the romance aspect of someone she just met. Especially under these circumstances. This is specifically why I mention the overarching plot, as the story without the romance is still quite interesting.

“I don’t remember ever knowing any of this, but somehow I do.”

The writing of Auris’ discovering herself got a bit lazy, and that was frustrating. The above quote reflects something Auris says a lot. She simply knows things, with no explanation for it. This isn’t unusual for this author, but I expected a bit more given that we are no longer in the Shannara universe.

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.

“I was very different than I am now. Life does that to you. It gives much, but it takes much away in the bargain.”

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Read more reviews here.