Locus Award nominee 1978.
Long ago the world of Shea Ohmsford was ruined by the wars of ancient Evil. Now mankind must compete for the Earth with many other races – gnomes, trolls, dwarfs and elves. But Shea, the half-human, half-elven adopted son of an innkeeper, knows little of such troubles. Shady Vale, where he grew to manhood, seems a haven for peace.
Then into Shady Vale comes the giant, forbidding figure of Allanon, possessed of strange knowledge and even stranger Druidic powers. To Shea, he reveals that the evil Warlock Lord, supposedly long dead, is once again plotting to destroy the world. Against this Power of Darkness the sole effective weapon is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true descendant of Jerle Shannara. Shea is the last living heir: on him rests the hope of all races! When Shea protests that he is no hero, the Druid states that he must reclaim the Sword. In the morning Allanon is gone, leaving behind a mysterious warning note.
Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of the Warlock Lord, flies to the Vale, seeking to destroy the last heir of Shannara. Rather than risk destruction for the Vale, Shea and his skeptical half-brother Flick flee, drawing the Skull Bearer after them. Allanon's cryptic orders have directed them to Culhaven, home of the dwarfs. Somehow they must go there to await him, despite the Skull Bearers and other unknown, dire perils. And beyond Culhaven, they must enter the ravaged Northland, where the Warlock Lord holds total dominion.
Thus begins the seemingly hopeless quest of a simple man against the greatest power of evil the world has known. Valiant comrades join him against a host of foes and soul-wrenching dangers. Terrors and wonders increase as the overwhelming armies of the Warlock Lord move toward war. But in the end, Shea alone must confront the Lord of Evil without knowledge or hope to guide him.
The Sword of Shannara is that rarest of all novels – a truly believable, wholly satisfying wonderstory of epic fantasy.
Terence Dean "Terry" Brooks (born 1944) is is a writer of fantasy fiction. Terry Brooks writes mainly high fantasy, and has also written two movie novelizations.
Terry Brooks was a practising attorney for many years, but now writes full time. His first novel, The Sword of Shannara (1977), remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 5 months.
Written by Atropos 2010-03-21
The Sword of Shannara truly was one of the biggest dissapointments for a good while. A piece of warning to all who appriciate completed style of writing and deep analysis of human mind and relationship AND fresh and new ideas concerning fantasy genre: If you already have read The Lord of the Rings (as you should have) then beware! In The Sword of Shannara you will find the most precise copy of all the skeletal components of the Lord of the Rings right from the wise Gandalf and brave ... (more)
Written by Seregil of Rhiminee 2007-10-14
The Sword of Shannara is a nice and entertaining fantasy book. Many people have often compared The Sword of Shannara to The Lord of the Rings, because they're similar books. The comparison is easy, but The Sword of Shannara is still different and it's the first part of one of the most popular fantasy series ever. If you like entertaining stories, you should read this book.