Third and final in the Paladins of Shannara trilogy of short stories by Terry Brooks, The Black Irix takes place in between the events of The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara.

This one lies right in the middle of the trilogy personally. I liked Black Irix better than Weapon Master’s Choice, but not as much as Allanon’s Quest.

We come to Shea and Flick Ohmsford, two years after the events in the Sword of Shannara. Shea is dying from the contact with the darkness that was the Warlock Lord, and in desperation Flick goes to a medicine woman (witch?) who gives him a potion for Shea to drink and warns of one more adventure for the brothers, despite Shea’s constant vows otherwise.

So Flick feeds Shea the potion, he gets better, and lo and behold a few months later who should ride on into town? The sly, charismatic theif Panamon Creel, an old friend and comrade with a proposition: help him reclaim the Black Irix.

The Black Irix is the highest award within the Troll nation, one not lightly given out and one that essentially give the wearer political power to sway most any discussion. Their rock troll comrade Keltset was a bearer of one such award, and sadly he did not survive the adventure for the sword, being crushed in a rockslide/avalanche. It was assumed his Irix was buried with him, but a mercenary collector Kestra Chule has it, and Panama wants to steal it back to return it to Keltset’s people.  But he needs Shea and the Elfstones to do it.

So after much avowing and swearing to never go on any other adventure ever again, Shea goes on this one last one in honor and memory of their fallen comrade. And of course Flick goes with him.

So where Allanon’s Quest was like a prequel/prologue to Sword of Shannara, Black Irix is like a sequel/epilogue to the same and overall it was pretty good. My only thing is that even though it is listed as the third in the series (mostly likely due to when it was published) it’s technically the second if you consider the timeline of the world itself.

As for me, I’m on a bit of a short story kick now. We’re looking at the anthology Outtakes from the Grave next.

Indulge your love of paranormal super couple Cat and Bones with this ultimate “director’s cut” collection of deleted scenes and alternate versions from the first four novels in the Night Huntress series, complete with author commentary on each selection. Includes: the original beginnings of Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, At Grave’s End, and Destined for an Early Grave: a chapter written in Bones’s point of view; alternate versions of sections of Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, and Destined for an Early Grave; the “white wedding” scene between Cat and Bones that never made it into the final books…and much more!