Terry Brooks biography and books reviewed

Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944, where he spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same park that would eventually become the setting for his bestselling Word & Void trilogy. He went to college and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and he received his graduate degree from the School of Law at Washington & Lee University.

A writer since high school, he wrote many stories within the genres of science fiction, western, fiction, and non-fiction, until one semester early in his college years he was given The Lord of the Rings to read. That moment changed Terry's life forever, because in Tolkien's great work he found all the elements needed to fully explore his writing combined in one genre. He then wrote The Sword of Shannara, the seven year grand result retaining sanity while studying at Washington & Lee University and practicing law. It became the first work of fiction ever to appear on the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list, where it remained for over five months.

Terry Brooks has written more than 20 New York Times bestselling novels. But what is more marvelous about this fact is that those novels vary greatly in the type of fantasy they present to the reader. The novels of Shannara are epic fantasy, grand and serious in scope. The Landover novels are light-hearted fantasy. Nearly the exact opposite from the Landover novels is the Word & Void series—a dark, contemporary fantasy. Terry is now writing a pre-Shannara trilogy titled the Genesis of Shannara that focuses on the events leading into the Great Wars.

"A marvellous fantasy trip" Frank Herbert

"If Harry Potter has given you a thirst for fantasy and you have not discovered the magic of Terry Brooks, you are in for a treat" Rocky Mountain News

"Confirms Terry's place at the head of the fantasy world" Phi

Terry Brooks reviews

Paladins of Shannara: Allanon’s Quest by Terry Brooks

Allanon's Quest is a good short story for fans, and the ideal way to get your head back into the world of Shannara before Brooks releases the first book in his new Shannara trilogy later this month.

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Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks

Five hundred years have passed since the devastating demon-led war that almost exterminated humankind. Those who escaped the carnage were led to sanctuary by the boy saviour known as Hawk: the gypsy morph. But now, the unimaginable has come to pass: the cocoon of protective magic surrounding the valley has vanished. When Sider Ament, last surviving Knight of the Word, detects unknown predators stalking the valley, and Trackers from the human village of Glensk Wood find two of their own gruesomely killed, there can be no doubt: the once safe haven of generations has been laid bare. Together, the young Trackers, the aging Knight and a daring Elf princess race to spread word of the encroaching danger. But suspicion and hostility among their countrymen threaten to doom their efforts from within, while beyond the breached borders, a ruthless Troll army masses for invasion. Standing firm between the two, the last wielder of the black staff and its awesome magic must find a successor to carry on the fight against the cresting new wave of evil.

"This is a well written novel designed to be easy to read and hard to put down. Being easy to read means that there is not a lot of complexity in the writing and this did have a slightly detrimental affect when exploring the complex nature of the religous and political scenarios mentioned above. There are some pacing issues early on and you do get the feeling that you are reading a lot of pages and learning a lot about the world without much actually happening to progress the story. These are relatively small issues and they do not take anything away from what is the strongest piece of work produced by Terry Brooks in some time."

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The Measure of Magic by Terry Brooks

Terry Brooks’ follow up to his first in the Legends of Shannara duology possesses a somewhat different feel from its predecessor. With the final bearer of the black staff Sider Ament out of the picture, the responsibility of protecting the people of the valley falls to young tracker Panterra Qu. But with the demonic ‘ragpicker’ hunting him down, unstable Elven politics rapidly escalating and the people of Glensk Wood in more peril than they realise, there’s little room left to examine the story of a young man burdened by new responsibility.

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Dark Wraith of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Science has become an outmoded concept, in its place magic is born as a power source in the world of Shannara where Elves, Gnomes, Trolls and Dwarves, even men have tried using it to bring order to that world. In Terry Brooks' tale The Sword of Shannara, Brona a druid was lured by a dark and evil power known as Ildatch wanting to overthrow the other races and make them his slaves, but the druid Allanon had other ideas for enlisting the help of Shea Ohmsford, of the Shannara Elves to recover the great sword of truth and defeat the warlock lord.

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Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks

With the discovery of ancient powers, a legend begins... There was an age when the world was young. It was a time before the coming of humans, a time when magic was the dominant power - and it was named the age of Faerie. Ever since this time, a bitter war has been raging between the forces of good and evil. And it was during this age that the Elfstones protecting the Elven race disappeared. They have been missing for thousands of years. Now a clue to their location may have surfaced in the ancient diary of a princess, and it will be the beginning of an adventure that no-one could have anticipated.

"This book had a slower pacing and buildup, which helped allow me to focus on the characters and their motivations. While the action – the quest – is key, spending time on the company helped flesh them out a bit more and made the choice and results have more weight. Brooks is building a longer story here and wants us to be invested in not just the end result, but the people. I, for one, found this to be a welcome change. And I also have a sense we may see some other old friends again."  Fantasy Book Review

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The Black Elfstone by Terry Brooks

The age of peace that has reigned across the Four Lands is now at an end. An army of invaders, wielding a terrible new magic, is cutting a bloody swathe across the far north... The fate of the world now rests on the shoulders of an exiled druid, a conflicted warrior and a young woman struggling to master a powerful magic. As the conflict grows, they will face dangerous adversaries and deadly challenges - and the consequences of their actions will determine the future of the Four Lands.

"This was a strong opening book, and if the narrative follows the plot line here rather than jumping around, as it did in The Defenders of Shannara, it could be a very strong series too."

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The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Long ago, the world of the Four Lands was torn apart by the wars of ancient Evil. But in the Vale, the half-human, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford now lives in peace - until the mysterious, forbidding figure of the druid Allanon appears, to reveal that the supposedly long dead Warlock Lord lives again. Shea must embark upon the elemental quest to find the only weapon powerful enough to keep the creatures of darkness at bay: the fabled Sword of Shannara.

"And while I will agree that Brooks draws inspiration from Tolkien, he doesn't copy him. The reason I linger on this is to hopefully, impress upon you an open mind to reading this book. Do not cross this book off your “to read” list because you've heard people knock it. Similarly, do not go into reading this book attempting to cross reference everything back to some other work. This is a book that deserves being critiqued on its own merit."

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The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks

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.

"One word of warning: if you are a romantic be prepared for a shock somewhere in the book. It literally had me on the verge of tears, and bumped Brooks up in my estimation for the courage it took to do it. A few weeks away from the book have provided me with the ability to look fondly on the decision, but it still hurt when I read it for the first time."

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The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks

The Druid Allanon needs Brin Ohmsford to help win through the vile growth that protects the Ildatch, ancient source of evil--for only Brin holds the magic power of the wishsong, which can make plants bloom instantly, or turn trees to autumn gold.

"The third and final installation of Brooks' original Shannara trilogy is definitely worth the read. The second half is fascinating and enthralling all at once, and if you have a sibling of any sort (who you regard fondly), you will enjoy the ending immensely."

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