When The Sword of Shannara published in 1977, even Terry Brooks could not fathom the success it would garner and, therefore, the amount of books that would one day follow.
He has written more than 40 books, three-quarters of which are related to one another. It can be confusing as a new reader where to start without spoiling the adventure. If as a new reader you read the novels in chronological order, you will significantly spoil your foray through the Shannara series. As an example, First King of Shannara, despite being a prequel to The Sword of Shannara, is best read after you have finished The Heritage of Shannara series.
This page will catalog the published order for the main Shannara series. The Pre-Shannara page will document those stories that take place before the events of the Great Wars and directly after.
Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.
Thousands of years after the destruction of the age of man and science, new races and magic now rule the world, but an imminent danger threatens. A horde of evil Demons is beginning to escape and bring death upon the land. Only Wil Ohmsford, the last of the Shannara bloodline, has the power to guard the Elven Princess Amberle on a perilous quest to the save the world, while the leader of the Demon force aims to stop their mission at any cost.
An ancient evil is stirring, intent on the complete destruction of all life. The Druid Allanon sets out on a dangerous journey to save the world, reluctantly aided by Brin Ohmsford, daughter of Wil Ohmsford—for she alone holds the magic power of the wishsong.
Since the death of the Druid Allanon, the Four Lands have changed profoundly, with magic strictly forbidden in the Southland, now under totalitarian rule. Yet Par still has some power of the Wishsong. When he accidentally brings a mythic horror to life, a man calling himself Cogline drives it away. Cogline brings a message from Allanon: venture to the dread Hadeshorn, along with the other Scions of Shannara. For in the future, all life in the Four Lands will be destroyed. To prevent this terrible fate, Allanon commands Par to recover the long-lost Sword of Shannara, a task that is next to impossible.
Ancient evil forces remain in control of the Four Lands. To restore the Keep of the Druids, Walker Boh sets out on a journey to find the black Elfstone. After narrowly escaping death, he learns that the Elfstone lies in the hands of the Stone King. Now Walker Boh must venture into perilous, unknown lands with a strange band of fellow travelers that includes Morgan Leah, whose once-magic sword has been broken; Quickening, the daughter of the ancient King; and Pe Ell, an assassin who hatches his own dark, sinister plot.
“Find the Elves and return them to the world of Men!” the shade of the Druid Allanon had ordered Wren. It was clearly an impossible task. The Elves had been gone from the Westland for more than a hundred years. There was not even a trace of their former city of Arborlon left to mark their passing. No one knew of them — except, finally, the Addershag.
The Shadowen still swarm over the Four Lands, poisoning everything with their dark magic. And their leader is determined to destroy all the Scions of Shannara. For Walker Boh, he dispatches the Four Horsemen. For Wren, he sends an untrue friend. And for Par, he devises the most terrible fate of all. With these traps cleverly laid, the charges given by the shade of the Druid Allanon are doomed to failure—unless Par can discover a way to harness the power of the Sword of Shannara.
Horrified by the misuse of magic they had witnessed during the First War of the Races, the Druids at Paranor devoted themselves to the study of the old sciences, from the period before the collapse of civilization a thousand years before. Only the Druid Bremen and a few trusted associates still studied the arcane arts. And for his persistence, Bremen found himself outcast, avoided by all but the few free-thinkers among the Druids.
But his removal from Paranor was not altogether a terrible thing, for Bremen learned that dark forces were on the move from the Northlands. That seemingly invincible armies of trolls were fast conquering all that lay to their south. That the scouts for the army–and its principal assassins–were Skull Bearers, disfigured and transformed Druids who had fallen prey to the seductions of the magic arts. And that at the heart of the evil tide was an archmage and former Druid named Brona!
Using the special skills he had acquired through his own study of Magic, Bremen was able to penetrate the huge camp of the Troll army and learn many of its secrets. And he immediately understood that if the peoples of the Four Lands were to escape eternal subjugation they would need to unite. But, even united, they would need a weapon, something so powerful that the evil magic of Brona, the Warlock Lord, would fail before its might…
When a half-drowned elf is found floating in the seas of the Blue Divide, an old mystery resurfaces. Thirty years ago, an elven prince led an expedition in search of a legendary magic said to be more powerful than any in the world. Of all those who set out on that ill-fated voyage, not one has ever returned. Until now.
The rescued elf carries a map covered with mysterious symbols–and Walker Boh, the last of the Druids, has the skill to decipher them.
But someone else understands the map’s significance: the Ilse Witch, a ruthless young woman who wields a magic as potent as his own. She will stop at nothing to possess the map–and the magic it leads to.
Brave explorers led by the last Druid, Walker Boh, traveled across unknown seas in search of an elusive magic. But now it seems that Walker and his team were lured there for sinister, unforeseen purposes.
As the crew aboard the airship Jerle Shannara is being attacked by evil forces, the Druid’s protégé, Bek Rowe, and his companions are being pursued by the mysterious Ilse Witch.
Meanwhile, Walker is alone, caught in a dark maze beneath the ruined city of Castledown, stalked by a hungry, unseen enemy. It is alive, but not human, coveting the magic of Druids, elves, even the Ilse Witch. It hunts men for its own designs. It is Antrax: a spirit that feeds off enchantment and traps the souls of men. And with it, the fate of the Four Lands hangs in the balance.
Harrowing confrontations with the merciless Ilse Witch and the monstrous Antrax have taken their toll on the intrepid heroes aboard the airship Jerle Shannara. But their darkest adversary now snaps at their heels, in the form of the Morgawr—feeder upon the souls of his enemies and centuries-old sorcerer of unimaginable might with a fleet of airships and a crew of walking dead men at his command.
The Morgawr’s goal is twofold: find and control the fabled ancient books of magic and destroy the dark disciple who betrayed him—the Ilse Witch. Now at the mercy of those who seek vengeance against her, the Ilse Witch’s only protector is her long-lost brother, Bek Ohmsford, who is determined to redeem his beloved sister . . . and to fulfill her destiny.
Twenty years have passed since Grianne Ohmsford denounced her former life as the dreaded Ilse Witch. Fulfilling the destiny predicted for her, she has established the Third Druid Council and dedicated herself to its goals of peace, harmony among the races, and defense of the Four Lands.
But despite her devotion to the greater good as Ard Rhys, the High Druid of Paranor, Grianne still has bitter enemies. Even her few allies—chief among them her trusted servant Tagwen—know of the plots against her. But they could never anticipate the sudden, ominous disappearance of the Ard Rhys, in the dead of night and without a trace.
Now Tagwen joins Grianne’s brave young nephew, Pen Ohmsford, and the wise, powerful elf Ahren Elessedil on a desperate and dangerous mission of search and rescue—to deliver the High Druid of Shannara from an unspeakable fate.
Dark magic has opened a gateway to the Forbidding and trapped within it Grianne Ohmsford, rightful High Druid of Shannara. Rescuing Grianne will be merely the beginning of the effort to return the Four Lands to some semblance of peace.
Only her young nephew, Penderrin, has any hope of returning her to power. But to breach the Forbidding and bring Grianne back to the natural world, Pen must find the fabled Tanequil . . . and the talisman it alone can provide.
That means journeying into the Inkrim–a dreaded region thick with shadows and haunted by harrowing legends. And there, Pen will strike a bargain more dire than he could ever imagine.
For reasons known only to himself, the King of the Silver River has charged young Penderrin Ohmsford, barely more than a boy, with the daunting task of rescuing his aunt, Grianne, Ard Rhys of the Druid order, from her forced exile in the terrifying dimension of all things damned: the Forbidding. With the noble dwarf Tagwen and the prodigal elven princess Khyber Elessedil by his side–and with the outcome of the bloody war between the Federation and the Free-born at stake–Pen has accepted his mission without question. But not without risk . . . or sacrifice.
Because Shadea a’Ru, the ruthless Druid responsible for imprisoning the true Ard Rhys and usurping leadership at Paranor, has sent her agents and assassins in relentless pursuit of Pen and his comrades. And in securing the talisman he needs to breach the Forbidding, Pen has paid a devastating price. Now if the Free-born forces–already decimated by the Federation’s death-dealing new weapon–should fall, Shadea’s domination of the Four Lands will be assured. Nothing short of Pen’s success can turn the tide.
But Pen’s challenge grows greater when he learns that his parents, Bek Ohmsford and Rue Meridian, have fallen into Shadea’ s hands. He must try to help them–but once within the walls of Druid’s Keep, where Shadea’s minions and dark magic lurk at every turn, Pen’s survival is far from assured. Yet it will all pale in comparison to the horrors that wait inside the Forbidding–horrors poised to break free upon the Four Lands when the time is right. . . .
Tumultuous times are upon the world now known as the Four Lands. Users of magic are in conflict with proponents of science. The dwindling Druid order is threatened with extinction. A sinister politician has used treachery and murder to rise as prime minister of the mighty Federation.
Meanwhile, poring through a long-forgotten diary, the young Druid Aphenglow Elessedil has stumbled upon the secret account of an Elven girl’s heartbreak and the shocking truth about the vanished Elfstones, which once warded the lands and kept evil at bay. But never has a little knowledge been so very dangerous—as Aphenglow quickly learns when she’s set upon by assassins.
Yet there can be no turning back from the road to which fate has steered her. Whoever captures the Elfstones and their untold powers will surely hold the advantage in the devastating clash to come.
The quest for the long-lost Elfstones has drawn the leader of the Druid order and her followers into the hellish dimension known as the Forbidding, where the most dangerous creatures banished from the Four Lands are imprisoned. Now the hunt for the powerful talismans that can save their world has become a series of great challenges: a desperate earch for kidnapped comrades, a relentless battle against unspeakable predators, and a grim race to escape the Forbidding alive. But though freedom is closer than they know, it may come at a terrifying price.
Back in the village of Arborlon, the mystical, sentient tree that maintains the barrier between the Four Lands and the Forbidding is dying. And with each passing day, as the breach between the two worlds grows larger, the threat of the evil eager to spill forth and wreak havoc grows more dire. The only hope lies with a young Druid, faced with a staggering choice: cling to the life she cherishes or combat an army of darkness by making the ultimate sacrifice.
For centuries the Four Lands enjoyed freedom from its demon-haunted past, protected by magic-enhanced borders from the dark dimension known as the Forbidding and the profound evil imprisoned there. But now the unthinkable is happening: The ancient wards securing the barrier between order and mayhem have begun to erode—and generations of bloodthirsty, monstrous creatures, fueled by a rage thousands of years in the making, are poised to spill forth, seeking revenge for what was done to them.
Young Elf Arling Elessedil possesses the enchanted means to close the breach and once more seal the denizens of the Forbidding in their prison. But when she falls into the hands of the powerful Federation’s diabolical Prime Minister, her efforts may be doomed. Only her determined sister, Aphen, who bears the Elfstones and commands their magic, has any hope of saving Arling from the hideous fate her captor has in store.
Meanwhile, Railing Ohmsford—desperate to save his imprisoned brother—seeks to discover if his famed but ill-fated ancestor Grianne is still alive and willing to help him save the world . . . no matter the odds or the consequences.
Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Running his family’s modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet life—until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny.
When his brash young sister is abducted by a menacing stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. And in a harrowing duel, he is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him—and within his ancestors’ ancient blade. But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands, and Paxon must master it quickly because his nearly fatal clash with the dark sorcerer Arcannen won’t be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the fabled Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector.
But treachery is afoot deep in the Druids’ ranks. And the blackest of sorcery is twisting a helpless innocent into a murderous agent of evil. To halt an insidious plot that threatens not only the Druid order but all the Four Lands, Paxon Leah must summon the profound magic in his blood and the legendary mettle of his elders in the battle fate has chosen him to fight.
After taking up his enchanted sword against the dark sorcerer Arcannen, Paxon Leah has become the sworn protector of the Druid order. Now a critical hour is at hand, as a beloved High Druid nears the end of her reign and prepares to pass from the mortal world to the one beyond. There is little time for Paxon to mourn his friend and benefactor before duty summons him. For in a distant corner of the Four Lands, the magic of the wishsong has been detected. Paxon must accompany a Druid emissary to find its source—and ensure the formidable power is not wielded by the wrong hands.
But danger is already afoot in the village of Portlow. Gentle traveling minstrel Reyn Frosch possesses the uncanny gift, and curse, of the wishsong. And now his coveted abilities have captured the malevolent interest of none other than Arcannen—whose quest for power is exceeded only by his thirst for vengeance. The lone survivor of a brutal assault on a notorious pirate city, the sorcerer is determined to retaliate against the Federation’s elite military guard—and use the devastating power of the wishsong as his ultimate weapon.
The mysterious, magic-wielding Druid order has existed for long ages, battling any evil that threatens the Four Lands—and struggling to be understood and accepted by outsiders. But their hopes of building goodwill are dashed when a demon’s murderous rampage at a peace summit leaves their political opponents dead—casting new suspicions upon the Druids and forcing them to flee from enemies both mortal and monstrous.
Paxon Leah, the order’s appointed protector, knows that blame lies with Arcannen Rai, the vile sorcerer he has battled and defeated before. But there’s no time to hunt his nemesis, if he is to lead the wrongfully accused Druids to their sanctuary. It is a quest fraught with danger, as a furious government agent and his army snap at their heels, and lethal predators stalk them in the depths of the untamed wilderness.
But Arcannen is playing a deeper game than Paxon realizes. Paxon’s sister possesses a powerful magic that the sorcerer longs to control—but Arcannen has not reckoned with the determination of his own estranged daughter, Leofur, who is also Paxon’s devoted lifemate. Leofur sets out on a perilous quest to thwart her father’s desires—while the vengeful Arcannen conjures his blackest magical skills, determined to destroy them all . . . and claim the most powerful of magics for his own.
Across the Four Lands, peace has reigned for generations. But now, in the far north, an unknown enemy is massing. More troubling than the carnage is the strange and wondrous power wielded by the attackers—a breed of magic unfamiliar even to the Druid order. Fearing the worst, the High Druid dispatches a diplomatic party under the protection of the order’s sworn guardian, Dar Leah, to confront the mysterious, encroaching force and discover its purpose.
But another crucial journey is being undertaken. Exiled onetime High Druid Drisker Arc has been living in quiet seclusion, far from the politics and power struggles of his former life, until two brutal attacks by would-be assassins force him to seek out an infamous murder-for-hire guild—and find the hidden enemy who has marked him for death. At his side is Tarsha Kaynin, a young woman gifted with the wishsong and eager to be schooled in its formidable power by a master. She, too, is pursuing a mission: to locate her wayward brother, whose own magic has driven him to deadly madness and kindled his rage for vengeance . . . against his sister.
In their darkest hours, facing dangerous adversaries, the lives and quests of Dar Leah, Drisker Arc, and Tarsha Kaynin will be inextricably drawn together. And the challenges each confronts will have resounding consequences for the future of the Four Lands.
The Four Lands are under siege. Wielding a magical ability virtually impossible to combat, mysterious invaders defeat the most fearsome Troll armies, then focus their savagery on the Druid order—and all hope seems lost.
Eventually the invaders reveal a more human face, but understanding their motives in no way mitigates the brutality of their actions. Dar Leah, once the High Druid’s Blade, has crossed paths—and swords—with their ruthless leader before. So he knows that if any hope exists, it rests in the hands of the Druid Drisker Arc, now trapped inside vanished Paranor.
As Drisker races to find the ancient knowledge that could free him, Dar goes in search of Tarsha Kaynin, the young woman blessed with the powerful gift of the wishsong, whose magic could draw Drisker back into the world of the living. But little do they know that what appeared to be a formidable invading force may only be the forerunner of a much larger army—one intent on nothing less than total conquest.
The Skaar have arrived in the Four Lands, determined to stop at nothing less than all-out conquest. They badly need a new home, but peaceful coexistence is not a concept they have ever understood. An advance force under the command of the mercurial princess Ajin has already established a foothold, but now the full Skaar army is on the march—and woe betide any who stand in its way.
But perhaps the Skaar victory is not quite the foregone conclusion everyone assumes. The Druid Drisker Arc has freed both himself and Paranor from their involuntary exile. Drisker’s student, Tarsha Kaynin, has been reunited with Dar, chief defender of what is left of the Druid order, and is learning to control her powerful wishsong magic. If they can only survive Tarsha’s brother, Tavo, and the Druid who betrayed Drisker Arc, they might stand a chance of defeating the Skaar. But that is a very big if . . . as Tavo now carries the Stiehl—one of the most powerful weapons in all the Four Lands—and is hellbent on taking his revenge on everyone he feels has wronged him.
Since he first began the Shannara saga in 1977, Terry Brooks has had a clear idea of how the series should end, and now that moment is at hand.
As the Four Lands reels under the Skaar invasion—spearheaded by a warlike people determined to make this land their own—our heroes must decide what they will risk to save the integrity of their home. Even as one group remains to defend the Four Lands, another is undertaking a perilous journey across the sea to the Skaar homeland, carrying with them a new piece of technology that could change the face of the world forever. And yet a third is trapped in a deadly realm from which there may be no escape.
Filled with twists and turns and epic feats of derring-do—not untouched by tragedy—this is vintage Terry Brooks, and a fitting end to a saga that has gathered generations of readers into its fold.