This article is about the fantasy universe. For the PC game, see Shannara (video game). For the original book trilogy, see The Sword of Shannara Trilogy.

Shannara /ˈʃænərə/[1] is a series of high fantasy[2] novels written by Terry Brooks, beginning with The Sword of Shannara in 1977 and continuing through The Sorcerer's Daughter which was released in May 2016; there is also a prequel, First King of Shannara. The series blends magic and primitive technology and is set in the Four Lands, which are identified as Earth long after civilization was destroyed in a chemical and nuclear holocaust called the Great Wars. By the time of the prequel First King of Shannara, the world had reverted to a pre-industrial state and magic had re-emerged to supplement science.


The Shannara series is set in a post-apocalyptic world called the Four Lands. This world is a futuristic version of our own, and not a secondary world. The Genesis of Shannara trilogy reveals the Four Lands to be located in the modern Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada. Much of the landscape has been changed by a future holocaust called The Great Wars, but some landmarks remain. For example, the Columbia River still exists.[3]

Each land is named after the compass point it faces: the Northland, the Southland, the Eastland, and the Westland, and is the primary home of different peoples. The Westland is the homeland primarily of the elves, while the Northland is mostly inhabited by trolls and the Eastland is the home mostly of dwarves and gnomes. The Southland is primarily the homeland of humans.


Chronological list of novels

These sections list the book series in the order as their events occur within the universe of Shannara, as opposed to their actual chronology of publication (which began with the original trilogy, not Word & Void) which is listed by year of publication at Terry Brooks bibliography#Shannara series.

Word & Void

The Word & Void series (also called The Word and The Void) focuses on John Ross and Nest Freemark, forced acquaintances who use magic given to them from the Word to prevent mankind from being overcome by the demonic forces of the Void. The trilogy consists of Running with the Demon, A Knight of the Word, and Angel Fire East and is predominantly set in present-day Illinois. It follows Nest Freemark, a girl with magical abilities who has no known relationship to any Shannara character. Before the publication of Armageddon's Children it was unclear whether this trilogy existed within the Shannara universe. It has since been revealed as the "ultimate prequel" to the Shannara novels.[21][22]

The Genesis of Shannara

The Genesis of Shannara series consists of Armageddon's Children, The Elves of Cintra and The Gypsy Morph. The first book, Armageddon's Children, was released by Del Rey Books on August 29, 2006 in the United States and by Orbit Books on September 7, 2006 in the United Kingdom. They cover events during The Great Wars, which are alluded to often in the Shannara series.

Legends of Shannara

The Legends of Shannara series consists of Bearers of the Black Staff and The Measure of the Magic.

First King of Shannara

This is the prequel to the Original Shannara Trilogy.

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

Also published as the Original Shannara Trilogy by Del Rey Books, these were the first three published Shannara novels (The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara, and The Wishsong of Shannara)[23]

The Heritage of Shannara

The next four books consist of The Scions of Shannara, The Druid of Shannara, The Elf Queen of Shannara and The Talismans of Shannara. These books are known as The Heritage of Shannara, are set 300 years after The Original Shannara Trilogy.

The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara

The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy consists of the books Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr.[24] It is set 130 years after the Heritage of Shannara. Similar to its predecessor, this is one cohesive story following the happenings of Bek Rowe, Walker Boh, and Grianne Ohmsford, among other characters.

High Druid of Shannara

The High Druid of Shannara trilogy includes the novels Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken.

The Dark Legacy of Shannara

This trilogy is set 100 to 120 years after the events in Straken, consists of Wards of Faerie, published August 21, 2012, Bloodfire Quest, published March 12, 2013, and Witch Wraith, published July 17, 2013.[24]

The Defenders of Shannara trilogy

Set 100 years after the events in The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy. The three novels are loosely connected, stand-alone novels, described as the setup for the conclusion of the entire Shannara saga.[25] The trilogy consists of The High Druid's Blade (published July 15, 2014), The Darkling Child (published June 9, 2015), and The Sorcerer's Daughter (published May 24, 2016).

Unnamed tetralogy

Described as the chronological-end, four-book series that will conclude the overall story arch of the Shannara universe - but not necessarily be the last stories published.[26]

  1. Book One (tentatively May 2017)
  2. Book Two (tentatively August 2018)
  3. Book Three (TBA)
  4. Book Four (TBA)

Short stories

Paladins of Shannara

Paladins of Shannara 01 – Allanon's Quest An e-book short story set directly before The Sword of Shannara.

Paladins of Shannara 03 – The Black Irix An e-book short story set soon after The Sword of Shannara.

Paladins of Shannara 02 – The Weapons Master's Choice An e-book short story set sometime before The Wishsong of Shannara.


Indomitable A short story published in the anthology Legends II, set a few years after The Wishsong of Shannara.

The Dark Wraith of Shannara A Graphic Novel that shows part of the events of Indomitable, along with a continuation of the story.

There are two other short stories, according to the main Terry Brooks article:

Walker and the Shade of Allanon (Spring 2013) (short story published in Unfettered: New Tales by Masters of Fantasy) – Takes place during chapter eight of The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara 01: The Ilse Witch.

Imaginary Friends (1991 & Spring 2013) (Word/Void short story published in anthology Once Upon a Time: A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales, re-published in Unfettered: New Tales by Masters of Fantasy

Television and film rights

In 2007, Warner Bros. optioned the film rights to the Shannara universe for producer Dan Farah, but the rights deal expired in 2010 and all rights reverted to Terry Brooks.[27]

Farah Films partnered with Sonar Entertainment to acquire TV rights to the Shannara universe in 2012.[28] In December, 2013 it was announced an epic TV series based on the books was being produced for MTV. The series is produced by Dan Farah, Jon Favreau, and Smallville showrunners Miles Millar and Al Gough, and Jonathan Liebesman.[29][30] During the Shannara Chronicles panel at San Diego Comic Con in July 2015, a teaser trailer[31] was revealed, giving audiences a first look at the sets and characters. A television version of the trailer was shown during the 2015 MTV Music Awards.[32][33] The series premiered January 5, 2016. The show was renewed for a second season set to film in the winter of 2016 and air in the summer of 2017.


  2. Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks' official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  3. Brooks, Terry (2007). The Elves of Cintra. Del Rey Books. pp. 287–288. ISBN 978-0-345-48411-6. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  4. Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks's official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  5. 1 2 MacRae, Cathi Dunn (1998). Presenting Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. New York: Twayne Publishers. p. 74. ISBN 0-8057-8220-6.
  6. Brooks, Terry (1977). "Summary of The Sword of Shannara". Archived from the original on 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  7. Herbert, Frank (1977). "Some Author, Some Tolkien". The New York Times Book Review (April 10, 1977): 15.
  8. 1 2 Shippey, Tom (2001) [2000]. J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. London: HarperCollins. pp. 319–320.
  9. 1 2 Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks's official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  10. 1 2 Gong, Minnie (2007). "The Elfstones of Shannara Character List". The Shannara Files. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  11. MacRae, 99.
  12. MacRae, 73.
  13. Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks's official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  14. Brooks, Terry (2008). "July 2008 Ask Terry Questions & Answers". Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  15. Speakman, Shawn (2008). "The Wondrous Worlds of Terry Brooks: Novels". Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
  16. MacRae (1998), p. 58
  17. 1 2 MacRae (1998), p. 76
  18. Brooks (2003), p. 190
  19. Gong, Minnie (2007). "The Wishsong of Shannara Character List". The Shannara Files. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  20. Brooks, Terry (2008) Dark Wraith of Shannara
  21. Shawn Speakman. "The Great Wars". Archived from the original on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2006-09-17.
  22. Shawn Speakman. "A Letter to the Fans". Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  23. "Novels". The Official Terry Brooks Website. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  24. 1 2[]
  25. Terry Brooks on the end of the Shannara saga
  26. What's Next? Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  27. Wood, Gerald (August 7, 2007). "Terry Brooks' Shannara series to be filmed?". Science Fiction World. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  28. Sneider, Jeff (September 10, 2012). "Sonar, Farah to adapt 'Shannara' for TV". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  29. Goldberg, Lesley (December 6, 2013). "'Shannara' Series in the Works at MTV With Jon Favreau, 'Smallville' Duo". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  30. Molloy, Tim (July 12, 2014). "MTV Orders Fantasy 'Shannara' to Series; 'Catfish' Gets 4th Season". The Wrap. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  32. Martens, Todd (July 10, 2015). "Comic-Con: MTV unveils first look at 'The Shannara Chronicles'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  33. Stedman, Alex (August 30, 2015). "Watch: First Trailer for MTV's 'The Shannara Chronicles'". Variety. Retrieved August 30, 2015.

External links

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