Home

Calendars

Arts and Crafts

Aromatherapy
Candle Making
Celtic Cross Stitch
Celtic Knotwork & Calligraphy
Celtic Quilt Patterns
Celtic Stencils
Celtic Tattoos
Growing and Using Herbs
Illuminated Manuscripts
Making Mead, Ale, Wine
Medieval Architecture
Medieval Food
Medieval Furniture Plans
Soap Making
Stained Glass
Traditional Celtic Food
Weapons and Armor

History and Archeology

Ancient Celts
Ancient Scots and Picts
Anglo-Saxons
Crusaders
Dark Ages
Icelandic Sagas
Medieval Castles
Roman Britain
Romanesque and Gothic Cathedrals
Stone Circles
Vikings

Languages

Indo-European Roots
Irish Gaelic
Old English
Scottish Gaelic
Welsh

Mythology and Religion

Celtic Christianity
Celtic Folklore & Fairy Tales
Celtic Halloween Traditions
Celtic Mythology and Religion
Celtic Prayer
Celtic Saints
Celtic Wedding Traditions
Druids and Druidism
Icelandic Sagas
Irish Mythology
Norse Mythology
Welsh Mythology

Fantasy Fiction by Author

Joe Abercrombie
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Terry Brooks
Steven Brust
Lois McMaster Bujold
Glen Cook
David Eddings
Steven Erikson
Raymond E. Feist
Robin Hobb
Robert Jordan
Stephen Lawhead
George R.R. Martin
Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett - Kids
R.A. Salvatore
J.R.R. Tolkien
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Other Fiction

Arthurian - Medieval
Arthurian - Modern
Historical England and Wales
Historical Ireland
Historical Scotland
Medieval Murder Mysteries
Robin Hood

Commentary and Reference

Fantasy Reference Books
Fantasy Writing Tips
Lord of the Rings Movie Books
Middle-Earth Maps and Atlases
Tolkien Art
Tolkien Biography & Commentary

Fantasy Artists

Bell and Vallejo
Susan Seddon Boulet
Brom
J.R.R. Tolkien

Art Books and Instruction

Celtic Knotwork and Calligraphy
Illuminated Manuscripts
Lord of the Rings Movie Art
Medieval Architecture
Medieval Stained Glass
J.R.R. Tolkien

Music CDs

Celtic Christmas
Celtic New Age
English Folk and Madrigals
Gregorian Chant/Medieval Church
Icelandic and Norse
Lord of the Rings
Medieval Christmas
Movie Soundtracks
Traditional Irish Folk
Traditional Scottish Folk

Movie Soundtracks

Best Fantasy Soundtracks
Lord of the Rings

Terry Brooks

Newest Brooks release - The Elves of Cintra - Genesis of Shannara Trilogy, Book 2 - August 28, 2007.

Also, Straken is out in paperback on the same date.

It's nice when your first published novel is The Sword of Shannara and becomes the first fantasy trade paperback to make the New York Times bestseller list - gives your career a bit of a boost!

Terry Brooks was just lucky there, I think, since the Tolkien books had enjoyed a recent surge of renewed interest in the US and people in the mid-70s were pumped for fantasy. It is not true that Terry Brooks aped Tolkien - the Shannara series is strictly his own and stands on its own merits (if not quite in the same league).

Terry Brooks is not a great writer, and it's been very obvious in the last few years that he has lost interest in the Shannara world. Often, in reading his books, I sense that his narrative has just barely missed the mark, there is a leap of imagination yet to be taken to fully grasp the emotions and motivations and meaning of what Brooks is trying to get across. But, all is not lost, because occasionally, we can make that leap, especially in his best series The Heritage of Shannara.

Shannara is a post-apocalyptic world where magic has superseded the horrendous mistakes of technology. Throughout several centuries, we follow the fortunes of young heros and heroines born to a group of core families (Ohmsford, Leah, Boh, Creel and Elessidil) and guided by a druid (first Bremen, then Allanon, and later Walker Boh and Grianne Ohmsford) as they are forced by destiny to save their world from various incarnations of evil.

This is glory and honor fantasy at its best, as the good people are good, and the evil is clear-cut. Nevertheless, the characters struggle with their destinies, most are very reluctant to shoulder the burdens they are given. Sadly, in recent years, the "formula" for the Shannara books has become stale and the last two series are very poor and predictable. Brooks needs to move on and so do we.

Terry Brooks' personal values shine through in his writing. Common themes are self-sacrifice, the fundamental good that underlies the foundations of the world, loyalty to family and friends, the quest for inner courage and self-knowledge. These themes are reiterated in the modern setting of The Word and the Void series as well.

Terry Brooks Bibliography

Following is a brief chronology and mini-reviews of Terry Brooks' novels, by series. We recommend the Shannara books - at least up through First King of Shannara; the two most recent series have been disappointing. Still, we wouldn't be without them. We're fans.

Buy Books by Terry Brooks
Sword of Shannara Trilogy
Get More Info
The Shannara Series

The Sword of Shannara (1977) - The first in the entire series. Only the sword of Shannara can best the evil Warlock Lord - and only when wielded by one of Shannaran blood. So the druid Allanon seeks out the last surviving heir to the elven bloodline of Shannara - Shea Ohmsford, living quietly with his human kin and completely unaware of who he is. Brother Flick won't let Shea go alone, nor will best friend Menion Leah, so the three of them are off on the adventure of their lives. A complete, stand-alone novel, obviously not written by Brooks with a series in mind. A best-seller for good reason. Start here.

The Elfstones of Shannara (1982) - The tree of life, the Ellcrys, that protects and shelters Shannara from the hordes of demons locked away in hell, is dying and soon the Four Lands will be overrun with evil. Wil Ohmsford, grandson of Shea, is the only one who can wield the Elfstones, using their magic to protect the elven princess Amberle on her quest to find the secret of restoring the Ellcrys. One of the best in the series, not to be missed.

The Wishsong of Shannara (1985) - The genetic magic in the Ohmsford family begins to manifest in new ways. Allanon calls upon Wil's daughter, Brin, to fight an ancient evil, the Ildatch, which has returned to the Four Lands. Rone Leah won't let her go alone, and brother Jair is determined, too. A powerful look at the destructiveness of self-doubt and the self-delusion evil can wrought. The Leah family acquires their own kind of magic in this one.

This ends the first series of Shannara novels. Each is a stand-alone book and can be read separately.
The Heritage of Shannara (all four books)
Get More Info
The Heritage of Shannara Series

These four novels tell a single tale, but Terry Brooks wrote them in a way that allows you to read any one of them without actually having to read them all. But you will want to, because these four are the best of them all - each one an absolute gem. The stories take place concurrently about 300 years after the Sword of Shannara series and are the heart and soul of Brooks' vision.

NOTE: Warners Bros. has recently optioned the Shannara books and is tentatively planning to start with The Elfstones of Shannara - a great choice in bringing Shannara to the big screen.

The Scions of Shannara (1990) - Allanon is gone, magic is forbidden, the elves have vanished, the dwarves are enslaved, and an evil totalitarian government rules the Southland (humans). From the grave, Allanon calls together the last scions of Shannara - Par Ohmsford (who brings brother Coll and Morgan Leah), Par's cousin, a young woman named Wren, and Walker Boh - and tells them of the ultimate threat to the Four Lands - the Shadowen. Each is given a separate quest: Par must find the now lost Sword of Shannara; Wren must find the elves and return them to the Four Lands; Walker Boh must bring back the druids and their hidden fortress, Paranor. Impossible tasks and no one wants to go, except for Par, who sets out with Coll to find the sword.

The Druid of Shannara (1991) - The tale of Walker Boh and Morgan Leah. To restore the druids, Walker must find the Black Elfstone. He is accompanied on his quest by Morgan Leah (the best Leah character in the entire series) and Quickening, the ethereally beautiful daughter of the King of the Silver River. Their band increases in number and complexity as they head to the far north. This is my personal favorite of all the Shannara books. Wonderfully rich characterizations, as both Walker and Morgan become the men they are meant to be.

The Elf Queen of Shannara (1992) - The story of Wren and her quest to find the elves, in which, of course, she finds herself. Wren's quest is far removed from the mainstream of the story, yet vital to the ending of the series. Through perseverance and with the Shadowen on her tail, Wren fulfills her quest, with the help of the Elfstones she didn't know she had. This book is filled with edge-of-your-seat excitement as Wren's small band must traverse a horror-filled jungle, with a very active volcano, in record time or all is lost.

The Talismans of Shannara (1993) - The scions of Shannara have completed their tasks, yet the evil leader of the Shadowen, Rimmer Dall, still holds the upper hand. In varying ways, he attacks and distracts our heros, seeking their destruction before they can band together and realize the nature of the magic they hold. For all are new to their powers, and the secret of the sword has yet to be revealed. This concluding book of the series is as good as the others. Do read all four; they are so worth it.
First King of Shannara
Get More Info
First King of Shannara (1996) - First King of Shannara is a prequel to all the Shannara books, telling the story of the ancient druid, Bremen, and his fight against the evil Brona - a fight eventually won through the forging of the Sword of Shannara and it's wielding by Jerle Shannara, the first king.

A treat for fans, we see Allanon as a boy and meet the forebears of the families featured in all the books. Filled with inside references, you will want to read this after the others, rather than before.
Isle Witch
Get More Info
The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Series

After a hiatus to write the Word and the Void Trilogy (see below), Brooks returned to Shannara with this lack-luster series featuring the usual suspects (Ohmsford, Leah and Elessidil) off adventuring in a airship (the airships are very cool) led by druid Walker Boh. They seek to find out what happened to an ill-fated elven expedition that sought a secret knowledge in the far lands across the western sea. Walker Boh wants that knowledge, as does the evil Isle Witch, who brings her own ship in the race to see who finds the treasure first.

Ilse Witch (2000) - In which both expeditions reach their destination, while discoveries of identity are made and relationships are formed. The Rovers (met in prior books) are given pride of place here as the ones who invented, build and navigate the wonderful airships.

Antrax (2001) - In which the ancient city of science decimates the ranks, and our heros become scattered and enmeshed in a struggle for mere survival. Bek Rowe (an Ohmsford) discovers his relationship to the Isle Witch and seeks her redemption. Walker and the Witch race to gain the knowledge of Antrax - Walker for good ends and the Witch for her own. Brooks' recurring them of self-sacrifice is strongly illustrated in this volume.

Morgawr (2002) - In which Bek Ohsmford and his sister, Grianne, return to the Four Lands hotly pursued by the evil sorcerer Morgawr and his fleet of airships manned (?) by the undead. He seeks the knowledge they have gained and the destruction of his erstwhile pupil, the Ilse Witch. To these ends, he has kidnapped the elven prince Ahren Elessedil and the seer Ryer Ord Star. How will it all end? Will Grianne be restored?
Straken
Get More Info
The High Druid of Shannara Series

Brook's latest series takes place 20 years after the conclusion of the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy. Grianne Ohmsford is now High Druid, and this series follows the adventures of her nephew Penderrin, son of Bek, and Khyber, niece of Ahren Elessidil.

Jarka Ruus (High Druid of Shannara, Book 1) (2003) - Pen and Khyber are out to rescue Grianne from her imprisonment in the Forbidding. Armed only with the Elfstones, and with a little magic of their own, the adventure begins...This series follows Brooks tried and true pattern and will appeal most to ardent fans.

Tanequil (High Druid of Shannara, Book 2) (2004) - War threatens the Four Lands, and Shannara's only hope lies in Penderrin Ohmsford, but it's a dreadfully slim hope. To save his world, Pen must restore his aunt, the former Ilse Witch, to her rightful position as High Druid of Shannara.

But first Pen must free his aunt Grianne from the Forbidding: the world of the demons. To have the slightest chance of freeing her, he must find the mystical tree called the Tanequil, and somehow craft a talisman from its wood. But Shadea a'Ru, the treacherous usurper of his aunt's position, will do anything to stop Pen--and she has already captured Pen's parents and forced them to reveal their son's whereabouts. Sen Dunsidan, the monstrous Prime Minister of the Federation, has armed his greatest airship with a horrible new weapon. And Pen is just a boy, accompanied on his dangerous quest by only a Dwarf, a young Elf, and a blind Rover girl. - description.

Better than the first one.

Straken (High Druid of Shannara, Book 3) (2005)

"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 bestselling legend weaver Terry Brooks, conjuring at the peak of his skills." - book description.
Running with the Demon
Get More Info
The Word and the Void Trilogy

Taking place in modern America, these books might be classified as fantasy, occult/supernatural or horror. Each is a stand-alone novel, so you may read any or all of them. If you plan to read them all, though, I do suggest you go in order.

Running With the Demon (1997) - Young Nest Freemark has the ability to see and converse with the Otherworldly folk who inhabit our world. But a really nasty demon is out to get her (to prevent her fulfilling her destiny), so John Ross, a mysterious Knight of the Word, is sent to protect her. A chilling blend of the mundane and magical, a far more intriguing and complex peek into Brooks' thought than we get in Shannara, plus his usual terrific characterizations.

A Knight of the Word (1998) - Eight years later, John Ross, having failed a task, renounces his pledge to the Word and seeks civilian life. But the Word doesn't just let you go, you know? Nest Freemark, now in college, comes to his aid, knowing how close he is to falling into the Void and determined that this must not happen. More low-key than the first book, we come to know John much better and get a glimpse of Nest's burgeoning power.

Angel Fire East (1999) - Nest at 29 has returned to her childhood home, while John Ross has captured an incredibly powerful and mysterious creature called a gypsy morph. Together, they must turn the creature to the Word before the evil Demon, Findo Gask, ensnares it in the Void. If you've ever debated the Christian elements in Brooks' stories, this one may clarify (or not) a few issues. Powerful, horrifying, awe-inspiring.
Armageddon's Children
Get More Info






Elves of Cintra
Get More Info
Genesis of Shannara Series

Armageddon's Children, Book 1 (2006)
by Terry Brooks


This new series by Terry Brooks is set 100 years in the future in post-apocalyptic times and combines the premises of both his The Word and The Void Series and the Shannara series. Basically, our world is toast, and a small band of Elves and humans, led by two Knights of the Word and a magical being must escape into another world - Shannara.

We liked the opener in this series, though I thought Brook's attempt at integrating the Elves with our world was a bit awkward. I'm still wondering, too, how this series will fit into the overall Shannara history and timeline. All in all, though, we're looking to forward to the next one.

The Elves of Cintra, Book 2 (2007)
by Terry Brooks


"As the menacing thunder of war drums heralds the arrival of the demons and their brutal minions in Seattle, the young survivors who call themselves the Ghosts are forced to brave the dangerous world of gangs, mutants, and worse to escape the invasion. And Logan Tom must infiltrate a refugee compound to rescue Hawk, the leader of the street urchins, who has yet to learn the truth about who and what he is. Meanwhile, Angel Perez has joined an equally urgent mission: to find the Ellcrys, a fabled talisman crucial to protecting the Elven realm against an influx of unspeakable evil from the dread dimension known as the Forbidding. But Angel and her Elf allies must beware–for a demon spy, with a monstrous creature at its command, walks among them.

As the legions of darkness draw the noose tighter, and the time of confrontation draws near, those chosen to defend the soul of the world must draw their battle lines and p repare to fight with, and for, their lives. If they fail, humanity falls." - book description.
Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold!
Get More Info
The Magic Kingdom of Landover Series

Lawyer Ben Holiday decides to leave Earth and purchase his own magic kingdom. These lighted-hearted fantasy stories have a following all their own:

Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold! (1986)
The Black Unicorn (1987)
Wizard at Large (1988)
The Tangle Box (1994)
Witches' Brew (1995)
The World of Shannara
Get More Info
And, for Shannara fans, there is The World of Shannara - a companion volume blessed by Brooks, written by Teresa Patterson and illustrated by David Cherry. Filled with maps and illustrations, this purports to be a guide to the history and characters of Shannara. Mixed reviews: text okay, illustrations disappointing.
Sometimes the Magic Works
Get More Info
Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life
by Terry Brooks
(2003)

Magically written memoir by Terry Brooks, Sometimes the Magic Works includes concrete advice for the aspiring fantasy writer interspersed with personal stories from Brooks' 25+ years working with the publishing industry. Credits Lester del Rey for teaching him to write, and Tolkien for inspiring him to tackle epic fantasy. A good read for fans and fantasy writers alike.