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Shannara // is a series of high fantasy novels written by Terry Brooks, beginning with The Sword of Shannara in 1977 and continuing through The Sorcerer's Daughter which was released in May 2016; there is also a prequel, First King of Shannara. The series blends magic and primitive technology and is set in the Four Lands, which are identified as Earth long after civilization was destroyed in a chemical and nuclear holocaust called the Great Wars. By the time of the prequel First King of Shannara, the world had reverted to a pre-industrial state and magic had re-emerged to supplement science.
- 1 Setting
- 2 Characters
- 3 Chronological list of novels
- 4 Short stories
- 5 Television and film rights
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Shannara series is set in a post-apocalyptic world called the Four Lands. This world is a futuristic version of our own, and not a secondary world. The Genesis of Shannara trilogy reveals the Four Lands to be located in the modern Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada. Much of the landscape has been changed by a future holocaust called The Great Wars, but some landmarks remain. For example, the Columbia River still exists.
Each land is named after the compass point it faces: the Northland, the Southland, the Eastland, and the Westland, and is the primary home of different peoples. The Westland is the homeland primarily of the elves, while the Northland is mostly inhabited by trolls and the Eastland is the home mostly of dwarves and gnomes. The Southland is primarily the homeland of humans.
- King of the Silver River - a Faerie creature who appears throughout the series.
- Skull Bearers were Druids once upon a time, but they were subverted by the Ildatch along with the druid Brona, who would later become the Warlock Lord. They "sacrificed their humanity" to become "winged black destroyers"; but in doing this, they tied themselves to their master, the Warlock Lord, and became his "dread minion[s]". Reviewers and critics had mixed opinions on the Skull Bearers. Praise for them came from Frank Herbert, the author of Dune, who liked all of the "monsters" in The Sword of Shannara. He said that "[Terry] Brooks creates distillations of horror that hark back to childhood's shadows, when the most important thing about a fearful creature was that you didn't know its exact shape and intent. You only knew that it wanted you. The black-winged skull bearer, for instance, is more than a euphemism for death." Tom Shippey wasn't so positive, as he thought that the Skull Bearers were very familiar to those who had read The Lord of the Rings: he found that the Skull Bearers were "analogues" for the Nazgûl.
- Demons is a common name for many different creatures in novels by Terry Brooks.
- The Dagda Mor is the antagonist of The Elfstones of Shannara. He is the most powerful Demon locked inside the Forbidding. As such, most of the others obey him out of fear, with a few notable exceptions, such as the Reaper. He channels his magic through his Staff of Power.
- Allanon, described as Brooks's "most enigmatic character", is very secretive and appears only when the Four Lands need him. He is never completely honest, telling many white lies or half-truths, and informs others with information only if it includes possible risks, if the information is crucial to the task at hand, or if the situation calls for it. Allanon often called on the aid of the Ohmsford family in the novels, as they are descendants of Jerle Shannara and therefore the only ones who can use the Sword of Shannara. He called upon Shea Ohmsford in The Sword of Shannara, Wil Ohmsford in The Elfstones of Shannara and Brin and Jair Ohmsford in The Wishsong of Shannara.
- The Druids are an order of historians, philosophers, magic-users, teachers and researchers. Druid Magic, like most of the magic that originates in the Four Lands, is elemental. It draws from the earth, air, fire and water in various forms. Its power is enhanced or weakened by the strength of the user. Some users would find more success with talismans like the Sword or the Elfstones than others. Sometimes the magic of a talisman or an external source links with the magic innate in a user, causing various results. Unlike science, magic is uncertain, and the results of its application are not always predictable.
- Shea Ohmsford is the protagonist of the Sword of Shannara. He has the blood of Jerle Shannara, making him the only one who can wield the powerful Sword of Shannara to vanquish the Warlock Lord. A major theme of The Sword of Shannara revolves around Shea. Part of his quest, in addition to killing the Warlock Lord, includes finding a belief in himself, so that he will have confidence to go on. This is a search that every subsequent Brooks protagonist must undergo. Scholar Tom Shippey believed that Shea was too familiar to those who had read The Lord of the Rings: he found that Shea and Flick were "analogues" for the hobbits of Tolkien's stories. Terry Brooks stated in his autobiography that "[his] protagonists [Shea and Flick] are cut from the same bolt of cloth as Bilbo and Frodo Baggins."
- Garet Jax is known as the "Weapons Master" Garet first appears when he rescues Jair Ohmsford from a band of nine Gnome Hunters, defeating eight of them single-handedly—he killed six, knocked out their leader, and one fled. The ninth, Slanter, doesn't even attempt to fight, saying that he was only working with them because he had to, and he has heard stories about the fighting prowess of Garet. Terry Brooks expressed his desire in the beginning of Dark Wraith to further explore the relationship between Jair and Garet Jax.
- Cogline is the "grandfather" of Kimber Boh. Cogline found Kimber after Gnomes killed Kimber's parents when she was an infant. It is later found out that Cogline was a former Druid-like character, with knowledge of alchemical arts. Was referred to as Walker Boh's guardian and teacher before Walker Boh became a Druid. Cogline aids Brin in her leg of the journey to find and destroy the Ildatch, the ancient Book of Power that holds the forbidden knowledge of the Druids. It is referred to as the book that led the Druid Brona to becoming the Warlock Lord.
Chronological list of novels
These sections list the book series in the order as their events occur within the universe of Shannara, as opposed to their actual chronology of publication (which began with the original trilogy, not Word & Void) which is listed by year of publication at Terry Brooks bibliography#Shannara series.
Word & Void
The Word & Void series (also called The Word and The Void) focuses on John Ross and Nest Freemark, forced acquaintances who use magic given to them from the Word to prevent mankind from being overcome by the demonic forces of the Void. The trilogy consists of Running with the Demon, A Knight of the Word, and Angel Fire East and is predominantly set in present-day Illinois. It follows Nest Freemark, a girl with magical abilities who has no known relationship to any Shannara character. Before the publication of Armageddon's Children it was unclear whether this trilogy existed within the Shannara universe. It has since been revealed as the "ultimate prequel" to the Shannara novels.
The Genesis of Shannara series consists of Armageddon's Children, The Elves of Cintra and The Gypsy Morph. The first book, Armageddon's Children, was released by Del Rey Books on August 29, 2006 in the United States and by Orbit Books on September 7, 2006 in the United Kingdom. They cover events during The Great Wars, which are alluded to often in the Shannara series.
Also published as the Original Shannara Trilogy by Del Rey Books, these were the first three published Shannara novels (The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara, and The Wishsong of Shannara)
The next four books consist of The Scions of Shannara, The Druid of Shannara, The Elf Queen of Shannara and The Talismans of Shannara. These books are known as The Heritage of Shannara, are set 300 years after The Original Shannara Trilogy.
The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara
The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy consists of the books Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr. It is set 130 years after the Heritage of Shannara. Similar to its predecessor, this is one cohesive story following the happenings of Bek Rowe, Walker Boh, and Grianne Ohmsford, among other characters.
This trilogy is set 100 to 120 years after the events in Straken, consists of Wards of Faerie, published August 21, 2012, Bloodfire Quest, published March 12, 2013, and Witch Wraith, published July 17, 2013.
The Defenders of Shannara trilogy
Set 100 years after the events in The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy. The three novels will be loosely connected, stand-alone novels. They are described as the setup for the conclusion of the entire Shannara saga, and will be followed by the final trilogy in the series.
- The High Druid's Blade
- The Darkling Child
- The Sorcerer's Daughter
Paladins of Shannara
Paladins of Shannara 01 – Allanon's Quest An e-book short story set directly before The Sword of Shannara.
Paladins of Shannara 03 – The Black Irix An e-book short story set soon after The Sword of Shannara.
Paladins of Shannara 02 – The Weapons Master's Choice An e-book short story set sometime before The Wishsong of Shannara.
The Dark Wraith of Shannara A Graphic Novel that shows part of the events of Indomitable, along with a continuation of the story.
There are two other short stories, according to the main Terry Brooks article:
Walker and the Shade of Allanon (Spring 2013) (short story published in Unfettered: New Tales by Masters of Fantasy) – Takes place during chapter eight of The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara 01: The Ilse Witch.
Imaginary Friends (1991 & Spring 2013) (Word/Void short story published in anthology Once Upon a Time: A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales, re-published in Unfettered: New Tales by Masters of Fantasy
Television and film rights
Farah Films partnered with Sonar Entertainment to acquire TV rights to the Shannara universe in 2012. In December, 2013 it was announced an epic TV series based on the books was being produced for MTV. The series is produced by Dan Farah, Jon Favreau, and Smallville showrunners Miles Millar and Al Gough, and Jonathan Liebesman. During the Shannara Chronicles panel at San Diego Comic Con in July 2015, a teaser trailer was revealed, giving audiences a first look at the sets and characters. A television version of the trailer was shown during the 2015 MTV Music Awards. The series premiered January 5, 2016. The show was renewed for a second season set to air in the fall of 2016.
- Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks' official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-02.[dead link]
- Brooks, Terry (2007). The Elves of Cintra. Del Rey Books. pp. 287–288. ISBN 978-0-345-48411-6. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
- Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks's official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-02.[dead link]
- MacRae, Cathi Dunn (1998). Presenting Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. New York: Twayne Publishers. p. 74. ISBN 0-8057-8220-6.
- Brooks, Terry (1977). "Summary of The Sword of Shannara". terrybrooks.net. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
- Herbert, Frank (1977). "Some Author, Some Tolkien". The New York Times Book Review (April 10, 1977): 15.
- Shippey, Tom (2001) . J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. London: HarperCollins. pp. 319–320.
- Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks's official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
- Gong, Minnie (2007). "The Elfstones of Shannara Character List". The Shannara Files. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- MacRae, 99.
- MacRae, 73.
- Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks's official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
- Brooks, Terry (2008). "July 2008 Ask Terry Questions & Answers". terrybrooks.net. Retrieved 2008-08-30.[dead link]
- Speakman, Shawn (2008). "The Wondrous Worlds of Terry Brooks: Novels". Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- MacRae (1998), p. 58
- MacRae (1998), p. 76
- Brooks (2003), p. 190
- Gong, Minnie (2007). "The Wishsong of Shannara Character List". The Shannara Files. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- Brooks, Terry (2008) Dark Wraith of Shannara
- Shawn Speakman. "The Great Wars". Archived from the original on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2006-09-17.[dead link]
- Shawn Speakman. "A Letter to the Fans". Retrieved 2008-08-07.[dead link]
- "Novels". The Official Terry Brooks Website. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Terry Brooks on the end of the Shannara saga
- Wood, Gerald (August 7, 2007). "Terry Brooks' Shannara series to be filmed?". Science Fiction World. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- Sneider, Jeff (September 10, 2012). "Sonar, Farah to adapt ‘Shannara’ for TV". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- Goldberg, Lesley (December 6, 2013). "'Shannara' Series in the Works at MTV With Jon Favreau, 'Smallville' Duo". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Molloy, Tim (July 12, 2014). "MTV Orders Fantasy ‘Shannara’ to Series; ‘Catfish’ Gets 4th Season". The Wrap. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Martens, Todd (July 10, 2015). "Comic-Con: MTV unveils first look at 'The Shannara Chronicles'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- Stedman, Alex (August 30, 2015). "Watch: First Trailer for MTV’s ‘The Shannara Chronicles’". Variety. Retrieved August 30, 2015.