Sword of Shannara

   4.5/5 star rating

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brook

This book was the very first fantasy book I ever read, so it only makes sense that the very first post I write is about this book. It is also the first book published by Terry Brooks and the best starting point for the Shannara series. I often find with most authors you are better off starting with the first published book.


Shea Ohmsford is brought up by his Uncle alongside his cousin Flick, while his Elvin heritage is apparent, he has no real idea of his ancestry until the arrival of the druid Allanon. Shea is the last known descendant of Jerle Shannara and the only one capable of wielding the Sword of Shannara against the evil warlord. So begins the quest to find the evil warlord and for Shea to face him wielding the sword. A number of misadventures, mistakes and problems are encountered along the way. I don’t want to go too much into it and give too much away. It is a fairly classic story of good versus evil and also facing your own inner demons and doubts along the way.


I was 13 when I first read this book and at that age I loved it. One of the things Terry Brooks is really good at and that is descriptions. His world building is brilliant and as a reader I find it really easy to picture the characters and scenes he writes about. With Elves, goblins, trolls and dwalves people do tend to compare it to Lord of the Rings. Brooks himself admits he was heavily influenced by Tolkien but Brooks has his own style and over time has developed the Shannara series into his own epic tale of good versus evil.

Background info

Terry Brooks started writing The Sword of Shannara in 1967 at the age of 23 while attending law school. While he had tried writing before he struggled to find a genre until he read Tolkien’s the Lord of the RingsIt took Brook seven years to write The Sword of Shannara while he continued his studies in law.

The Sword of Shannara was published in 1977 and became a commercial success. Brooks doesn’t deny his inspiration came from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings though other influences come in as well. Regardless it is still a good read.


I rate this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

Reading Order

  1. The Sword of Shannara……….       Purchase now through Amazon
  2. The Elfstones of Shannara
  3. The Wishsong of Shannara
  4. Heritage of Shannara
    1. The Scions of Shannara
    2. The Druid of Shannara
    3. The Elf Queen of Shannara
    4. The Talisman of Shannara


Purchase your copy of The Sword of Shannara through Amazon