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Added by Fraterlucis on 10 Apr 2013 08:07
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The Complete Works of Terry Brooks

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Books & Stories of Shannara

Note: The list below represents Terry Brooks' suggested reading order for new readers.
First Publication: 1977
Published by: Ballantine/Del Rey


For anyone who is familiar with Lord of the Rings, and most of us should be by now, this book is, in many ways, a lesser image of that work. Now, don't get me wrong. It is a good book, and one well worth reading. But the Tolkien influence is definitely palpable throughout it. Still, it is a solid story, and over the years, Brooks has become one of my favorite fantasy authors, if his writing seems to have slipped a bit in later years. I credit this, in part, to the length of time between his works decreasing, and in short, a heavier reliance on weak descriptions becomes more prevalent in later works. But in this, his first major work, his writing is solid and sharp.
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First Publication: 1982
Published by: Del Rey Books


This one is by far one of my all-time favorites by Brooks, only perhaps the above Sword of Shannara being above it. Absolutely gripping story, full of new ideas and great characters, and diabolical villains in the form of some nasty demonic beings, including a "grim reaper" character. I highly recommend this one, as a good and fitting sequel to the above.
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First Publication: 1985
Published by: Del Rey Books


This one introduces a new thread into the ever widening tale of Shannara, the origins of magic in the Ohmsford family blood and new abilities taking shape. This is a fitting sequel in the series, and while not quite as high up as Elfstones it is, nevertheless, a good read and well worth a fantasy reader's time and money.
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First Publication: 1990
Published by: Del Rey Books


Our beloved druid, Allanon, has gone, but this book begins a whole new series following in his footsteps, including a new successor to the druid magic. After reading the first series, you'll begin to notice a pattern developing in the stories, not so much of specifics, but rather, in some general themes that continue on, such as Ohmsfords always have two offspring, always having a member of the House of Leah, etc. These don't necessarily take from the books, as they are still quite good, but it does become a bit familiar in that sense.
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First Publication: 1991
Published by: Del Rey Books


In this sequel to the above, Brooks identifies the heir apparent to Allanon. This novel expands on the magic of elfstones, one vital element seen in a number of his other books. This is essentially a continuation of the previous books, furthering the return of the druids and Paranor. It's a good read, and this series still showcases his brilliance as a top fantasy author.
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First Publication: 1992
Published by: Del Rey Books


This one leaves Walker Boh behind for the time being and focuses on another of his companions from the first book of this series. This story deals with the returning of the elves to the Four Lands. I like what Brooks has explored in this series, which is in the same vein as Star Wars in that it speaks to a return of the forces of good who have been derailed and suppressed by a "dark lord" of sorts. Even being somewhat formulaic in that sense, it is a good read, and a good series.
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First Publication: 1993
Published by: Del Rey Books


This is the exciting conclusion to the series. All of the different tasks begun in the first Scions book have come to fruition, and it only remains for all of them to overthrow the Shadowen. All that being said, this one is a good and memorable conclusion to the series. I would recommend any of this or the previous series as good and enjoyable epic fantasy tales. While I don't claim to have even this level of skill yet, I do hope to some day perhaps reach this point. It is a much safer goal than to aim at Tolkien's level, whom is far, far above this.
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The First King Of Shannara - Terry Brooks_III
First Publication: 1996
Published by: Del Rey Books


If you enjoyed the first published book of this series, you'll probably enjoy this one. The writing is solid, and it provides background on Allanon and much more interesting, his teacher the druid Bremen. I love Allanon as a character, dark and enigmatic. Bremen, however, is a whole different type of druid. Here we see a druid who is aging, who is thrust into a position he did not want and faced with a situation only he and his followers can help deal with. There is only one book in this story, but it is well worth a read. Perhaps not my favorite in the series, but definitely in the top ten for me.
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First Publication: 1997
Published by: Del Rey Books


For many years, I ignored this series, not necessarily meaning to leave it behind, but never quite getting to it. I didn't, of course, realize its connection with Brooks' greater mythology until later, and then I quickly turnt to it. And I was not disappointed. With my own aspirations to write an apocalyptic story, here I found one in a similar vein to my own imaginings. I found this entire trilogy fascinating, and I loved especially in this first installment, the new character he created by drawing from a different mythology. I won't ruin it for you, if you haven't read it, but this one is definitely worth checking out.
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First Publication: 1998
Published by: Del Rey Books


The sequel to Running With the Demon, this one is another solid tale in the transformation of earth to what it ultimately became in the original Sword of Shannara series. This whole series is quite fascinating, and I love how it uses the deteriorating urban landscape with the mystical forces of the Word and Void. I don't have much experience with apocalyptic stories, at least not contemporary ones, so this is quite fascinating from an aspiring writer's perspective, not to mention from a pure reader's perspective.
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Angel Fire East (Trolltown) - Terry Brooks_III
First Publication: 1999
Published by: Del Rey Books


The last of the trilogy, here we have the completion of the pre-war phase of our ultimate collapse towards the rebirth, in the future stories, of the earth into the Four Lands of Shannara. Without giving away the ending, it was a tad bit predictable in the end, and yet, it was also very satisfying. The overall story arc works here, and it is a good finish to a strong trilogy in Brooks' mythology. I would recommend it as well as the previous two works in this series.
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First Publication: 2000
Published by: Del Rey Books


In this book, Brooks introduces a favorite of mine from his mythology, the introduction of skyships, and no, not planes, but literally ships that sail the sky, with sails and a unique power source and handling of them. You expect such things in science fiction, but in fantasy, it is much more rare, and for that, I have to hand it to him. I enjoyed this one immensely, and would highly recommend it to any fan of fantasy.
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First Publication: 2001
Published by: Del Rey Books


While not technically a conclusion, it does in some ways feel that way. It is also a much darker story than the previous tale, and a good blending of prehistory with former earth and the current Four Lands history. In this story, we lose another beloved druid, Walker Boh, but gain a new ally, though somewhat expectedly. This book is a fantasy take on a science fiction concept made popular by such movies as Terminator. Definitely one of his better works, and in my top ten of Brooks stories.
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First Publication: 2002
Published by: Del Rey Books


In this one, we have the conclusion of the Jerle Shannara trilogy, and after the turn of events in the last book, we return with some familiar faces and a new enemy. Not nearly so dark as the previous book, it is a bit more typical of a fantasy book, but it does utilize his skyships to good effect throughout. Without giving too much away, I will say this one was a solid read for me, and worth investing some time into.
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First Publication: 2003
Published by: Del Rey Books


I definitely still enjoyed this one, but for me, this one was just not quite up to his original standards set in the first Shannara book. The writing in this one feels at times a bit lazy, where he relies on stale and generic descriptions at times for scenery and settings. It is still an inventive story, and quite fascinating in that regard, but it was not up to standards for me.
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First Publication: 2004
Published by: Del Rey Books


Much of the action in this one revolves around yet another hunted Ohmsford. This is a decent read as well, and yet, does feel a bit stale in the pursuit as seen in a number of previous books. More formulaic in some ways, I feel this series not quite up to his former standards, but yet, still worth a read through, especially to understand events leading to the newest series that does return to form for Brooks, the Wards of Faerie series.
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First Publication: 2005
Published by: Del Rey Books


Here we have the conclusion of this series, and it was indeed inventive in some new ways. In fact, the most interesting part of this series is the land of the Forbidding. Previously, we only saw glimpses of the creatures from there, and in a future series, The Wards of Faerie series, we'll revisit it, but here we have the first real glimpse into it. As mentioned, the pursuit of an Ohmsford throughout this series feels a bit stale, but this one is redeemed in large part by the rich description of the realm of the Forbidding.
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First Publication: 2006
Published by: Del Rey Books


This book begins the war for earth that will culminate in the final and utter collapse of the world, setting the stage for our new earth we have already become accustomed to in his other Shannara books. In this one, society is already well into its destruction, with organized governments non-existant, and groups of survivors huddling together in protective camps and structures, or small groups hiding out amongst the ruins and empty cities. Brooks' approach to this time period is unique and much along the lines of my own vision for such a story. I suppose I will have to go rethink my own apocalypse story. Definitely a good read, and well worth the time and price paid.
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First Publication: 2007
Published by: Del Rey Books


With this one, we have our first introduction to the elves: where were they living during the contemporary, man-dominated period leading up to the collapse? Well, here you have that answer, along with the tale of how a few human survivors, led by a Knight of the Word and a creature of the Word, seek them out. A very good story, and one with quite a few twists, although some of them were a bit predictable.
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First Publication: 2008
Published by: Del Rey Books


If I said the ending was predictable in the previous series of the Word and the Void, it goes doubly so for this one. Does that take from the enjoyment? Not a whole lot. But it is a detractor I felt compelled to mention. Still, the story is entertaining and it is a fitting conclusion to the series. And his solution to the destruction of the world is quite interesting, if not completely original, although in fairness, perhaps that is merely because I have read so much fantasy and science fiction.
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First Publication: 2010
Published by: Del Rey Books


I won't say to not buy this series. It is a decent read, but I was ultimately a bit disappointed with this series. For one one of the major elements he spent so much time setting up in the previous series he axes completely, that is, the origins of at least one tribe of trolls in human/mutant characters I came to love in the previous series. Not only that, but he also creates a romance scene that he then makes irrelevant and impotent by killing of one of the two before any consequence could come of it. Now, I don't necessarily mind if some characters die (okay, yes, I am saddened when I lose a character I care about), I mean, I can accept it, and it might even make sense but for the uselessness of the romance he creates for no good reason than to follow formulaic rules. In this series, he got a bit lazy in that regard. I don't say this to scare you off from it; it is still a good read. But it was not my favorite series of his.
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First Publication: 2011
Published by: Del Rey Books


As mentioned in the previous note on this series, I was more than a little disappointed with his handling of a few elements in it. He does indeed create some cool characters in the series, and a fairly sinister villain. But there are many loose threads here, others that were clipped for no good reason that he spent so long creating in the previous series, and just was a bit less well thought out than previous series. I do wonder if some of this has to do with his churning out so many so quickly lately, one a year, not to mention short stories and the like.
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First Publication: 2012
Published by: Del Rey Books


I recently received this book as a gift, and I must say, this is the Terry Brooks I was used to reading. After a bit of disappointment in some of his more recent works that I mentioned above, this one is definitely working well on all levels for me. Perhaps not the best of his work overall, but a much needed improvement for me over some of his lazier efforts in recent years. This one is well worth going out to get.
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First Publication: 2013
Published by: Del Rey Books


I have yet to obtain this one, so I cannot attest to its quality beyond sayings that most works I've read by Brooks are quite good. That said, with the previous story, he created good suspense for leading into this one, and used a bit of good imagination in setting up the storyline. It definitely felt more well thought out than a few of his other works, and I am looking forward to reading this one.
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First Publication: 2013
Published by: Del Rey Books


I don't have a whole lot to say on this one, which is not even published yet, but will update this entry as I learn more of it. Thus far, I am pleased with the first book in this series.
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First Publication: 2012
Published by: Del Rey Books


While I have recently acquired this short story, I have yet to read it. Essential this series fills in some gaps and provides back history for some characters in the Shannara world, specifically Allanon. I will update this further when I have read it.
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First Publication: 2013
Published by: Del Rey Books


A sequel to the above story, this one provides a continuation and further exploration of back story. I will update this when I have read it.
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First Publication: 2003
Published by: Del Rey Books


I have not yet read this one, but it looks like a furtherance along the lines of a sequel to the Wishsong title, featuring Jair Ohmsford. Jair was not my favorite of the family, but was a likeable enough character that I am intrigued by this one. It is also available in the anthology Legends II.
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First Publication: 1991
Published by: Del Rey Books


I have yet to read this, but it is up high on my list of Brooks titles to read, being an older story written before his Word and Void series. It is a short story experimenting with that world, and I am quite curious to see the first exploration into that world he created. It is no recently available, having been out of print for some time before this. It was previously published in the anthology Once Upon a Time.
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First Publication: 2008
Published by: Del Rey Books


This book also takes up a story dealing with Jair Ohmsford, and yet, I don't see myself rushing off to get this one. It is the first graphic novel of Brooks work and frankly, I am not all that into graphic novels as of yet. This could, of course, change in the future, but at present, it is probably last on my list of works to ready by him, for that fact alone.
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Unfettered - Shawn Speakman (ed)
First Publication: 2013
Published by: Grim Oak Press


This is actually an anthology featuring many authors and many different short stories. Only one of them is Terry Brooks, but it might indeed prove an interesting piece. I have tried my hand at fantasy short stories in the past and am intrigued by the prospect. I will say, though, that locating information on this anthology was a chore. This one was not easy to locate, so if you want it, prepare to do some digging. It is possible it could become more widely available in the future, but I wouldn't bet on it.
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Shannara Related Works

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The Guide to Shannara - Terry Brooks (?)
First Publication: 1986
Published by: ???


Honestly, I cannot give any real details on this one, as I could not locate much of any information on this one. I do not know the quality, or even what was largely in this book, aside from being about the world of Shannara. If anyone locates anything additional on this, please let me know. It is most elusive.
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First Publication: 2005
Published by: Amazon


This one is going to be very difficult to locate for anyone, if you did not purchase it when it was first released. It was an online only story, non-fiction, discussing why he writes fantasy. I would highly recommend it if you can locate it. I have a copy of it, and am glad I do. There are very few good books and essays on writing fantasy out there, especially those that discuss why they write fantasy, and where their inspiration and process comes from. So much focus on world creation and creatures and the like, which are all important, but miss so much of the writing process, which this touches on, if only in brief, being an essay and not a book.
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The World of Shannara - Terry Brooks_III,Teresa Patterson
First Publication: 2001
Published by: Simon and Schuster Ltd


I bought my copy of this at a book fair and am glad I did. This is a beautiful book, and very well laid out. I cannot attest to how accurate all the information is in this book, as I have not read it in its entirety, but as a gloss to the world of Shannara, it is the best and largely only one out there. This one is definitely worth owning.
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Other Series

First Publication: 1986
Published by: Del Rey Books


I looked at copies of this for a long time in used bookstores before finally biting the bullet and getting a copy. And I was quite pleasantly surprised by it! It is not the typical Brooks, but rather, is very humorous, being a fantasy novel that essentially makes fun of many of its conventions. It still is serious enough to be good fantasy, but definitely has some good fun with the genre. I would highly recommend this as some very fun, light reading.
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First Publication: 1987
Published by: Del Rey Books


This is a continuation of the tale begun in the above book. It is also humorous, although a bit less so than the previous one. Be that as it may, it is a fascinating walk into the new land Brooks has created, and plays with some archetypal creatures and figures you don't see as often in modern fantasy. If you enjoyed the first book, I'd continue on with this one.
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First Publication: 1988
Published by: Del Rey Books


This is the last of the series that I have actually read, and not because I didn't enjoy this one. This one is a bit more humorous than the second book and is a fun exploration of the struggles of our main hero, Ben Holiday. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it for fans of the series. If you haven't read the first two, though, I would definitely hold off on this one.
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First Publication: 1994
Published by: Del Rey Books


I have yet to break down to outright buy this one, but continue to case used book stores and fares for this one. It's not that I don't want to read it, but for some reason, I'd prefer to wait for now. I did locate the next book in this series, but won't read it until I can obtain this book. I would say it is probably good, but I will have to update this one after I have obtained this book.
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First Publication: 1995
Published by: Del Rey Books


While I do actually own this book, I have yet to read it. As I mentioned, I am waiting on this one until I have the previous book in the series. I will update this one when I have done so.
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First Publication: 2009
Published by: Del Rey Books


What is interesting to me about this one (and yes, I have not read it) is that it was published over a decade after the last one in this series. I do not know if he did so because he needed a break from it before, wasn't as interested in this series, or what the cause was. It is interesting to note, though.
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First Publication: 1999
Published by: Del Rey Books


The story had so much potential for me, that I was ultimately disappointed with quite a few things in Episode one, though not enough to not enjoy it. In particular, the casting choices were often off, and they kill off a villain that was much cooler than Count Dooku. I am not sure if I would want to read this one or not. It depends on your interest in this particular Star Wars story.
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Other Works

First Publication: 2003
Published by: Del Rey Books


I read a review of this that cites large portions of it as being self-serving, and yes, in some manner, that is true, but it is true of many such books. However, I enjoyed this book more than many other fantasy books on writing. He does include some practical advice on things, but what I found more interesting are just that, his anecdotes and experiences within the industry. I love hearing about his experiences with Hollywood producers that are actually quite humorous, and about people initial reactions to his writing fantasy. I won't say it's the most detailed in covering all the basis of writing epic fantasy, but it is a good read that provides good insights into the industry.
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First Publication: 2000
Published by: Writer's Digest Books


I cannot say that this book is worth it for Brooks fans. It has some good information on fantasy in general within, but Brooks' only contribution is an introductory essay. That is hardly worth buying the book for. In general, I am not very impressed with many of the reference books out there on fantasy. I do own this, as I bought it back when I was exploring more what kinds of reference materials are out there in fantasy, though I won't say I refer to it often. Not a high priority to buy.
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Hook - Terry Brooks_III
First Publication: 1991
Published by: Ballantine Books


I have not read this, and am not sure I want to. The movie was alright, fun for a one time watch, but I'm not interested enough in the story of the movie to want to buy this. If you really enjoyed the movie, I am sure you would probably love this, and want to go nab it. In fact, you probably already have it or have read it. If not, this is one Brooks title you might hold off on getting.
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Comments

Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at May 21 17:31
I've always thought of Terry Brooks as the heir of Tolkien. He proved, to any and all who care to read Sword of Shannara, that he loved the man and his visions of Middle-Earth as much as the rest of us. It is a delightfully-fitting homage to him and, with each subsequent work, he has, not only, earned the right to be called the heir but deserving of being known as a gifted and imaginative writer in his own right.

He is one of a number of authors whom I always offer up to others as a new discovery for them and their enjoyment. Naturally, he is one of my favorites. The man has done as much for fantasy fiction as anyone to forge it into the viable literary field that it is today and he surely deserves to be known and read by many more people who haven't had the pleasure.

A fine list, my friend. Hopefully this, and your own comments, will spark someone's interest. They will surely not be disappointed. :)

Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at May 22 4:35
This is a wonderful list and a great tribute to Terry Brooks. He's also one of my favorite authors as of late. I love your comments and insight on each of the books, it's going to be very helpful as I continue read his works :)

I can tell you the two short ebooks you have listed here were very good. The first one is more of an introduction to the first in the Shannara series and really doesn't tell you much that's new, but The Weapon Master's Choice was very interesting. It would be nice to see him elaborate more on that character in the future. ;)
Posted: 3 years, 10 months ago at Aug 12 10:10
The man is certainly prolific, if nothing else.

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