The World of Shannara

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-08-18
  • Publisher: Del Rey
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The beloved Shannara series byNew York Timesbestselling author Terry Brooks has been acclaimed as a towering achievement, an unquestioned masterpiece in fantasy literature. Now all the wonders of Shannara have been gathered into one indispensable volume in which Brooks shares candid views on his creation. This completely updated edition includes new entries on the High Druid of Shannara and Genesis of Shannara series, as well as the thrilling connection between Shannara and the Word and the Void trilogy. Illustrated throughout with full-color paintings and black-and-white drawings by award-winning artists David Cherry and Rob Alexander, this comprehensive guide ventures behind the scenes to explore the history, the people, the places, the major events, and, of course, the magic of one of the world's greatest fantasy epics. What sets Terry Brooks apart? Is it a knack for creating unforgettable characters like Allanon the Druid, Shea Ohmsford, Tom Logan, and Angel Perezmen and women, gnomes and wizards, who come alive on the page? Is it the haunting and utterly believable evil of his darker creations: the foul Dagda Mor, the murderous Jachyra, the enigmatic Ilse Witch, the ruthless Druid Shadea a'Ru? Whatever the secret of Brooks's storytelling magic, generations of readers have fallen under its spell. Sure to tantalize faithful fans and newcomers alike,The World of Shannarais the ultimate gateway into the fantasy realm of Terry Brooksand the perfect companion to take along on the journey of a lifetime.

Author Biography

Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the Genesis of Shannara novels Armageddon’s Children and The Elves of Cintra; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars®: Episode I The Phantom Menace.™ His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.


Bremen: First Mystic Druid

The first Druid to actually succeed in promoting the combination of the study of magic with other disciplines was the Druid Bremen. Unfortunately, he succeeded primarily because he and his followers were the only Druids to survive Paranor’s fall during the Second War of the Races. Bremen is best known for his role in creating the legendary Sword of Shannara, a magic-imbued weapon he designed to defeat the Warlock Lord.

Abandoned by his parents shortly after birth, Bremen was raised by his grandfather, a skilled metalworker, who was probably responsible for both the boy’s understanding of metallurgy and his dedication. Always searching for knowledge, Bremen was a student of history and ancient tongues, disciplines that made him an ideal candidate for the Druid Council.

He joined the council as a young man and became active in assisting in the evolution and development of the Races. Over time, he watched as the Druid Council began to pull back from the rest of the world, disillusioned by its failure to re-create the old sciences.

Frustrated by the setbacks, Bremen began to look to magic as a possible alternative. In his early journal entries, now part of the Druid Histories, Bremen wrote: “Magic could provide a more manageable and durable form of power than that found through science. It has untapped potential beyond that of the sciences, even at the levels of scientific advancement found in the Old World.”

At that time, the study of the arcane arts was permissible but discouraged. Magic was to be treated as a curiosity only, not a serious discipline. One group of Druids had already been exiled for their insistence on the use of magic as a tool to make the Druids the masters of all the Races. Bremen was warned against traversing the same path. The fact that magic had been used in the First War of the Races to ill effect did nothing to help his cause. He wrote, “It is quite unnatural to me to discard a possibility simply because it has once failed. Do we discard science because we have failed to re-create the wonders of the Old World? Of course not. Why then discard magic just because it was once blatantly misused? If we discard every possibility that is not immediately successful, we are left with no possibilities at all.” He believed that magic could be harnessed and controlled with enough discipline and training.

A few of his fellows apparently agreed with him, but they were in the minority. Unwilling to risk censure, they backed away from the matter. Bremen did not. Eventually his insistence on considering magic a valid and serious alternative to science earned him banishment from the council.

After his banishment, Bremen traveled to the Westland to study with the Elves, where he lived for many years. He believed the Elven libraries, which had the greatest collection of ancient writings in lost Elven dialects, held the secret to understanding the old magic from the time of Faerie. The Elves embraced Bremen and his search, since they too were interested in rediscovering abilities that had been lost. Certain magics, such as some degree of the Druid Sleep, were skills Bremen already practiced. But with his knowledge of ancient tongues, he was able to uncover treasures of magical lore and decipher otherwise discarded texts that increased his knowledge and abilities far beyond what he would have gained at Paranor.

Inspired from his years of success with the Elves, Bremen left them to travel to other lands, seeking whatever lost bits of magic he could find, in much the same way as the early Druids had searched out the texts and lore related to the Old World sciences. According to his journals, he found an amazing amount of lost magic, though none as greatly concentrated or as highly developed as that within the Westland. In many cases, the magic he found was completely foreign to those who used it.


Excerpted from The World of Shannara by Terry Brooks, Teresa Patterson, Terry Brooks
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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