I love to read. I own somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 books, and I’ve read many of them. I have decided, after much deliberation, that my favorite genre is fantasy, and within that genre, my favorite series is Shannara, by Terry Brooks.
I was first introduced to the world of Shannara in 1994. I found an old, dusty copy of The Sword of Shannara, the first book written, in an old garage. The owner gave it to me, and I commenced reading. It was fantastic! The characters and written imagery were wonderful, and I was instantly hooked.
Since then, I have read every book in the series that has come out, many times. There are a total of 20 books in the series, if you count The Word and the Void trilogy as part of the Shannara series, which I do. If you start at with The Word and The Void, this series spans from our current world, to a post-apocalyptic world, to a distant world thousands of years in the future.
The Word and the Void and the Genesis of Shannara books essentially represent backstory to the other 14 books in the Shannara universe. The world of Shannara is inhabited by Druids, Gnomes, Warlocks, Shades, Dwarves, Humans, Elves, Trolls, and a variety of other creatures. Magic, while not quite common, is nevertheless often present.
Terry Brooks, the author of the Shannara books, is an absolute genius. He has created such an incredible tale, that it is truly stunning to behold. I would put him equal to, if not above, authors such as JRR Tolkien and Robert Jordan.
To enjoy the story properly, as it unfolds, the books should be read in this order:
- Running with the Demon
- A Knight of the Word
- Angel Fire East
- Armageddon’s Children
- The Elves of Cintra
- The Gypsy Morph
- First King of Shannara
- The Sword of Shannara
- The Elfstones of Shannara
- The Wishsong of Shannara
- The Scions of Shannara
- The Druid of Shannara
- The Elf Queen of Shannara
- The Talismans of Shannara
- Ilse Witch
- Jarka Ruus
In addition to the books, there was a video game published in 1995, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. It was very similar to the King’s Quest games.
Last I heard, the movie rights to Shannara had been sold, and The Elfstones of Shannara was in-production, with a possible 2010 release date. Here’s hoping that they do the series justice!
For anyone who is a fan of fantasy, I highly recommend the Shannara series by Terry Brooks.