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Publisher's Summary

The High Druid of Shannara trilogy draws to a thrilling close as a young hero nears completion of his trial by fire, a banished ruler fights for her life in a wilderness of dread, and forces of darkness and light square off in a battle unto death for the right to absolute rule. Prepare to be spellbound by the masterly hand of best-selling legend weaver Terry Brooks, conjuring at the peak of his skills.

For reasons known only to himself, the King of the Silver River has charged young Penderrin Ohmsford, barely more than a boy, with the daunting task of rescuing his aunt, Grianne, Ard Rhys of the Druid order, from her forced exile in the terrifying dimension of all things damned: the Forbidding. With the noble dwarf Tagwen and the prodigal elven princess Khyber Elessedil by his side, and with the outcome of the bloody war between the Federation and the Free-born at stake, Pen has accepted his mission without question. But not without risk, or sacrifice.

Shadea a'Ru, the ruthless Druid responsible for imprisoning the true Ard Rhys and usurping leadership at Paranor, has sent her agents and assassins in relentless pursuit of Pen and his comrades. In securing the talisman he needs to breach the Forbidding, Pen has paid a devastating price. Now if the Free-born forces, already decimated by the Federation's death-dealing new weapon, should fall, Shadea's domination of the Four Lands will be assured. Nothing short of Pen's success can turn the tide.

But Pen's challenge grows greater when he learns that his parents, Bek Ohmsford and Rue Meridian, have fallen into Shadea's hands. He must try to help them, but once within the walls of Druid's Keep, where Shadea's minions and dark magic lurk at every turn, Pen's survival is far from assured. Yet it will all pale in comparison to the horrors that wait inside the Forbidding, horrors poised to break free upon the Four Lands when the time is right.

©2005 Terry Brooks (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A great storyteller, Terry Brooks creates rich epics filled with mystery, magic, and memorable characters. If you haven't read Terry Brooks, you haven't read fantasy." (Christopher Paolini)
"Terry's place is at the head of the fantasy world." (Philip Pullman)

What listeners say about Straken

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Finally!

Lately I've been listening mostly to the works of Robert Stanek (The Kingdoms and the Elves, his recent story collection) - books that reminded me how much I love the fantasy genre. I must say, and I could be the only one to not like where Terry has been going with the Shannara books, but I just didn't like Jarka Ruus, the first book of the High Druid trilogy. Tanequil was more of the same, and it suffered lots from "middle book syndrome", but unlike Morgawr, the last book from the previous trilogy which was disappointing to say the least, Terry catches stride, returns to form with Straken. Straken was thoroughly enjoyable, a cut above the norm.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

narrator, not so much.

The story was good. Good turns and twists. true to Terry Brooks style. good strong characters, even the evil ones.
The narrator butchered the pronunciation of characters' names, to the point of confusing the the tale.
I still give this book a 5 star, despite the narrators blunders. And if I recommend this book for Shannara fans.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wrong narrator

Would you try another book from Terry Brooks and/or Paul Boehmer?

Love his books, but favor Scott Brick narration.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Probably Penn, preserverance against all odds.

What didn’t you like about Paul Boehmer’s performance?

His inability to match emotion with the scene he is reading or the voices of the characters.

Could you see Straken being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Maybe, if if the screen writer has vision

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Horrid Narrator

Terry Brooks story seems to follow much of the same plot as the rest of the Shannara series, which of itself is a little tiresome. What makes this particular series absolutely horrid is the narrator, and his lack of talent to pronounce words the same way throughout the story. He constantly alters the way he'll pronounce one name or refers to something in the story then pronounces it completely different a bit later. All male voices are the same...whiney and gruff when doing all characters that are not of the "human race". Scott Brick was the narrator in the first book of this series, and he was tolerable...Paul Boehmer has no talent for making the books enjoyable. I wish they wouldv'e paid an extra $50.00 dollars to get someone else...anyone else. Save your credits. *the narrator on the abriged version is much better, and does a wonderful job, however, it is also much shorter and doesn't delve into the story as deep.*

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great story, bad, BAD narrator.

weird pauses, bad/dry mouth noises. sounds lighthearted during battles, and simply confused in other areas.... "She sat down and waited. To fall asleep." like, what? huh?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Almost unable to finish

I love Terry Brooks. And I love this trilogy. But oh my God...this narrator very clearly has never read the books or listened to them. His pronunciation of things like Ellcrys, Leah, Shea, Allanon...it hurts the soul. And he doesn't keep the traditional accents - Scottish for Highlands and dwarves, British for elves, etc. It's clear he doesn't care about the story at all otherwise he would have taken the time to learn how to pronounce things. Scott or Raphael should have narrated this trilogy in its entirety.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Man....

Amazing story. I can't elaborate without spoilers. Such a fantastic series. Sit back and enjoy. You will not be disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

Another fantastic story and narrated to perfection. Terry Brooks does it again. Worth the time.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Why I keep going away and coming back

I read Brooks to find out who will survive the adventure and what they think about it. Usually at some mid-point in these miniseries, I kind of wish for more internal struggles, more plot movement based on relationships, more twinkles that remind me of other literature, etc. So I go elsewhere, then I come back because I really want to know how this story comes out. And perhaps how it provides backstory for other Shannara books. I can't stand not knowing the whole history of the land.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Great Brooks Novel

Slightly lessened by the narrator. Not terribly so, not unforgivably so, but definitely had room for improvement. To Paul Boehmer I say this, "Have you never read a Terry Brooks novel?" I've been a fan (and I hate the word) since I read the Sword of Shannara in paperback in its first printing. Shea Ohmsford was the new Frodo. Shea is pronounced Shay, like shea butter, not Shay-ah, not she-ah. I would suggest finding a fan/reader of this series before trying another. Also, work on your troll and dwarf voices-not gravelly enough.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kaatje
  • 10-13-21

high druid trilogy

I like the High Druid trilogy, but it was a bit let down by the narrator. I thought his voices were okay, but it was as if he was reading to a child and in almost every sentence he had a pause before the last few words, probably for emphasis, but that started to really annoy me after a while. the story is good though and I did enjoy it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah Batten
  • 02-09-21

Couldnt put it down want to listen to more

The twists and turns of the different stories in start inside the stories so interesting a con white to listen to more

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul Roberts
  • 11-02-20

not my favourite

simply not my favourite for some reason and a struggle to finish in the end

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BB
  • 04-20-20

Pronunciation

I wish all you narrators would all stick to pronouncing names in the same way. It is very annoying.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-21

This is a great work from Terry Brooks.

Well. Written and well read, truly a masterpiece, and that is coming from a fan of Terry Brooks, this series was the first I read and since then Terry has been the focus of most. Of my. Library