The Druid of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara Series #2)

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In the three hundred years since the death of the Druid Allanon, the evil Shadowen have seized control of the Four Lands. If they are to be saved, the black Elfstone must be retrieved, at whatever cost to life or love....

Quickening, the daughter of the ancient King of the Silver River, heals the dying Walker Boh, and they set out to secure the Elfstone. Their quest takes them into the perilous land beyond, where the Stone King has unleashed monsters to guard his ...

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The Druid of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara Series #2)

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In the three hundred years since the death of the Druid Allanon, the evil Shadowen have seized control of the Four Lands. If they are to be saved, the black Elfstone must be retrieved, at whatever cost to life or love....

Quickening, the daughter of the ancient King of the Silver River, heals the dying Walker Boh, and they set out to secure the Elfstone. Their quest takes them into the perilous land beyond, where the Stone King has unleashed monsters to guard his citadel. Brooks is the author of Hook.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

"If you were delighted and entranced by Michael Ende's The Never Ending Story, you will definitely want to sample one of more of Terry Brooks's books."
--Santa Cruz Sentinel

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The second installment of Brooks's new series, after The Scions of Shannara, follows Walker Boh as he reluctantly seeks the Black Elfstone, needed to bring back vanished Paranor, a quest laid on him by the shade of the Druid Allanon as part of the effort to save the Four Lands from the wraith-like Shadowen. Walker is rescued from a Shadowen attack by the beautiful and tragic Quickening, daughter of the legendary King of the Silver River. Walker and Quickening, with Morgan Leah and Pe Ell, travel to the land of the Stone King, who has stolen the Elfstone and is determined to turn the world into his own element. As the small band struggles though hostile terrain, Pe Ell's secret mission to assassinate Quickening complicates the battle with the Stone King's minions and his awesome powers. While this volume briefly touches on the fortunes of other questers, it appears that they will form the basis of future installments. Broadening the landscape of his magic world, Brooks has produced a deep and thoughtful fantasy.
Library Journal
In a desperate attempt to reverse the destruction wrought by the Shadowen upon the Four Lands, Walker Boh, the ``Dark Uncle,'' embarks on a perilous journey to recover the black Elfstone and restore the lost druid keep of Paranor. Brooks's talent for creating complex, memorable characters is evident in this addition to the popular "Shannara'' series. Recommended.
School Library Journal
YA-- This book in the second trilogy about Shannara, which began with The Scions of Shannara (Ballantine, 1990), is set over 300 years after the end of the first trilogy and the death of the Druid Allanon. The evil Shadowen still retain their hold and continue to drain the Four Lands of the magic that had been their lifeblood. The King of the Silver River, a fabulous being as old as mankind, creates a daughter named Quickening and sends her to assist. She joins Morgan Leah and Pe Ell, an assassin who plans to eventually kill her, on a journey to the far north to recover the lost magic, a process that involves the need to capture the Black Elfstone. Brooks weaves an intricate tale with a richly detailed fantasy world peopled with multidimensional characters. As with the previous four books about Shannara, fans will not be disappointed with this wonderful fairy tale. This should be an automatic pur chase for collections serving fantasy readers.-- Barbara A. Lynn, Econo-Clad Books, Topeka, KS
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345375599
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Series: Heritage of Shannara Series, #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 126,562
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Brooks
A writer since high school, Terry Brooks published his first novel, The Sword of Shannara, in 1977. It was a New York Times bestseller for more than five months. He has published seventeen consecutive bestsellers since, including The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch 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 each selected by the Rocky Mountain News as one 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 and Hawaii.

Visit us online at


"I found my way to fantasy/adventure. When I got there, I knew I'd found a home," said Terence Dean Brooks, creator of the blockbuster, New York Times bestselling Shannara, Landover, and Word & Void series. Not only is Brooks at home in the highly competitive realm of fantasy literature, many would call him the genre’s modern-day patriarch – Tolkien’s successor. While that title is debatable, Brooks is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most prolific and successful authors of otherworld (and our world) fantasy. Few writers in any genre can boast a more entertaining collection of work – and a more ravenous and loyal fan base -- than can Terry Brooks.

The most rewarding aspect to writing for Brooks is “when someone who never read a book reads [one of mine] and says that the experience changed everything and got them reading.” Because of his very engaging, quick-flowing writing style, countless numbers of young people have been introduced to the wonderful world of reading through Brooks’s adventures. The miraculous thing, however, is that these same fans – whether they’re now 20, 30, or 40 years old – still devour each new release like a starving man would a steak dinner. Credit Brooks’s boundless imagination, endearing characters, fresh storylines and underlying complexities for keeping his older, more discerning audience hooked.

Brooks began writing when he was just ten years old, but he did not discover fantasy until much later. As a high school student he jumped from writing science fiction to westerns to adventure to nonfiction, unable to settle on one form. That changed when, at the age of 21, Brooks was introduced to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien provided Brooks with a forum “that would allow him to release onto paper his own ideas about life, love, and the wonder that fills his world," according to his web site.

In 1977, after six trying years, Brooks published novel his first novel, The Sword of Shannara. And quickly it gave him – and his publisher (the newly created Ballantine imprint, Del Rey) – quite a thrill; the fantasy adventure featuring the young Halfling, Shea Ohmsford; the mysterious wizard Allanon; Flick, the trusty companion; and the demonic Warlock Lord, was not only well received -- it was a smash, spending over five months on The New York Times bestseller list. In 1982 Brooks released the follow-up, The Elfstones of Shannara (which Brooks says may be his favorite), to equal success. He closed out the initial trilogy in 1985 with The Wishsong of Shannara, and has since completed two more Shannara sets, The Heritage of Shannara books and the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara books.

As fans of Brooks know, the man doesn’t like to stay put. “I lived in Illinois for the first 42 years of my life, and I told myself when I left in 1986 that I would never live any one place again,” Brooks said. He now spends his time between his homes in Seattle and Hawaii; he and his wife also spend a great deal of time on the road each year connecting with the fans. These same nomadic tendencies are also apparent in his writing. Instead of staying comfortably within his proven, bestselling Shannara series, Terry frequently takes chances, steps outside, and tries something new. His marvelous Landover and Word & Void series are the results. While both are vastly different from Shannara, they are equally compelling. Word & Void – a contemporary, dark urban fantasy series set in a fantasy-touched Illinois – is quite possibly Brooks’s most acclaimed series. The Rocky Mountain News called the series’ first two books (Running with the Demon and The Knight of the Word “two of the finest science fiction/fantasy novels of the 20th century.”

Good To Know

When The Sword of Shannara hit The New York Times bestseller list, Brooks became the first modern fantasy author to achieve that pinnacle.

The Sword of Shannara was also the first work of fiction to ever hit The New York Times trade paperback bestseller list. Thanks to a faithful and growing fan base, the books continue to reach the list.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was not Terry's first novelization. He also novelized Steven Spielberg's 1991 movie, Hook.

Brooks’s The Phantom Menace novelization is also not his only connection to George Lucas. Both The Sword of Shannara and the original Star Wars novel, A New Hope, were edited by Judy Lynn del Rey and published in the same year (1977) to blockbuster success.

The Sword of Shannara was initially turned down by DAW Books. Instead, DAW sent Terry to Lester del Rey, who recognized Terry’s blockbuster potential and bought it. And the rest, they say, is history.

Brooks’s influences include: J.R.R. Tolkien, Alexander Dumas, James Fenimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Mallory's Morte d'Arthur.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence Dean Brooks (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Pacific Northwest and Hawaii
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 8, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sterling, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Hamilton College, 1966; J.D., Washington and Lee University
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The King of the Silver River stood at the edge of the Gardens that had been his domain since the dawn of the age of faerie and looked out over the world of mortal men. What he saw left him sad and discouraged. Everywhere the land sickened and died, rich black earth turning to dust, grassy plains withering, forests becoming huge stands of deadwood, and lakes and rivers either stagnating or drying away. Everywhere the creatures who lived upon the land sickened and died as well, unable to sustain themselves as the nourishment they relied upon grew poisoned. Even the air had begun to turn foul.

And all the while, the King of the Silver River thought, the Shadowen grow stronger.

His fingers reached out to brush the crimson petals of the cyclamen that grew thick about his feet. Forsythia clustered just beyond, dogwood and cherry farther back, fuchsia and hibiscus, rhododendrons and dahlias,
beds of iris, azaleas, daffodils, roses, and a hundred other varieties of flowers and flowering plants that were always in bloom, a profusion of colors that stretched away into the distance until lost from sight.
There were animals to be seen as well, both large and small, creatures whose evolution could be traced back to that distant time when all things lived in harmony and peace.

In the present world, the world of the Four Lands and the Races that had evolved out of the chaos and destruction of the Great Wars, that time was all but forgotten. The King of the Silver River was its sole remnant. He had been alive when the world was new and its first creatures were just being born. He had been young then, and there had been many like him. Now he was old and he was the last of his kind.
Everything that had been, save for the Gardens in which he lived, had passed away. The Gardens alone survived, changeless, sustained by the magic of faerie. The Word had given the Gardens to the King of the
Silver River and told him to tend them, to keep them as a reminder of what had once been and what might one day be again. The world without would evolve as it must, but the Gardens would remain forever the same.

Even so, they were shrinking. It was not so much physical as spiritual.
The boundaries of the Gardens were fixed and unalterable, for the
Gardens existed in a plane of being unaffected by changes in the world of mortal men. The Gardens were a presence rather than a place. Yet that presence was diminished by the sickening of the world to which it was tied, for the work of the Gardens and their tender was to keep that world strong. As the Four Lands grew poisoned, the work became harder,
the effects of that work grew shorter, and the boundaries of human belief and trust in its existence--always somewhat marginalaO"began to fail altogether.

The King of the Silver River grieved that this should be. He did not grieve for himself; he was beyond that. He grieved for the people of the
Four Lands, the mortal men and women for whom the magic of faerie was in danger of being lost forever. The Gardens had been their haven in the land of the Silver River for centuries, and he had been the spirit friend who protected its people. He had watched over them, had given them a sense of peace and well-being that transcended physical boundaries, and gave promise that benevolence and goodwill were still accessible in some corners of the world to all. Now that was ended. Now he could protect no one. The evil of the Shadowen, the poison they had inflicted upon the Four Lands, had eroded his own strength until he was virtually sealed within his Gardens, powerless to go to the aid of those he had worked so long to protect.

He stared out into the ruin of the world for a time as his despair worked its relentless will on him. Memories played hide-and-seek in his mind. The Druids had protected the Four Lands once. But the Druids were gone. A handful of descendents of the Elven house of Shannara had been champions of the Races for generations, wielding the remnants of the magic of faerie. But they were all dead.

He forced his despair away, replacing it with hope. The Druids could come again. And there were new generations of the old house of Shannara.
The King of the Silver River knew most of what was happening in the Four
Lands even if he could not go out into them. Allanon's shade had summoned a scattering of Shannara children to recover the lost magic,
and perhaps they yet would if they could survive long enough to find a means to do so. But all of them had been placed in extreme peril. All were in danger of dying, threatened in the east, south, and west by the
Shadowen and in the north by Uhl Belk, the Stone King.

The old eyes closed momentarily. He knew what was needed to save the
Shannara childrenaO"an act of magic, one so powerful and intricate that nothing could prevent it from succeeding, one that would transcend the barriers that their enemies had created, that would break past the screen of deceit and lies that hid everything from the four on whom so much depended.

Yes, four, not three. Even Allanon did not understand the whole of what was meant to be.

He turned and made his way back toward the center of his refuge. He let the songs of the birds, the fragrances of the flowers, and the warmth of the air soothe him as he walked and he drew in through his senses the color and taste and feel of all that lay about him. There was virtually nothing that he could not do within his Gardens. Yet his magic was needed without. He knew what was required. In preparation he took the form of the old man that showed himself occasionally to the world beyond. His gait became an unsteady shamble, his breathing wheezed, his eyes dimmed, and his body ached with the feelings of life fading. The birdsong stopped, and the small animals that had crowded close edged quickly away. He forced himself to separate from everything he had evolved into, receding into what he might have been, needing momentarily to feel human mortality in order to know better how to give that part of himself that was needed.

When he reached the heart of his domain, he stopped. There was a pond of clearest water fed by a small stream. A unicorn drank from it. The earth that cradled the pond was dark and rich. Tiny, delicate flowers that had no name grew at the water's edge; they were the color of new snow.
A small, intricately formed tree lifted out of a scattering of violet grasses at the pond's far end, its delicate green leaves laced with red. From a pair of massive rocks, streaks of colored ore shimmered brightly in the sunshine.

The King of the Silver River stood without moving in the presence of the life that surrounded him and willed himself to become one with it. When he had done so, when everything had threaded itself through the human form he had taken as if joined by bits and pieces of invisible lacing,
he reached out to gather it all in. His hands, wrinkled human skin and brittle bones, lifted and summoned his magic, and the feelings of age and time that were the reminders of mortal existence disappeared.

The little tree came to him first, uprooted, transported, and set down before him, the framework of bones on which he would build. Slowly it bent to take the shape he desired, leaves folding close against the branches, wrapping and sealing away. The earth came next, handfuls lifted by invisible scoops to place against the tree, padding and defining. Then came the ores for muscle, the waters for fluids, and the petals of the tiny flowers for skin. He gathered silk from the unicorn's mane for hair and black pearls for eyes. The magic twisted and wove, and slowly his creation took form.

When he was finished, the girl who stood before him was perfect in every way but one. She was not yet alive.

He cast about momentarily, then selected the dove. He took it out of the air and placed it still living inside the girlaO(TM)s breast where it became her heart. Quickly he moved forward to embrace her and breathed his own life into her. Then he stepped back to wait.

The girl's breast rose and fell, and her limbs twitched. Her eyes fluttered open, coal black as they peered out from her delicate white features. She was small boned and finely wrought like a piece of paper art smoothed and shaped so that the edges and corners were replaced by curves. Her hair was so white it seemed silver; there was a glitter to it that suggested the presence of that precious metal.

"Who am I?" she asked in a soft, lilting voice that whispered of tiny streams and small night sounds.

"You are my daughter," the King of the Silver River answered,
discovering within himself the stirring of feelings he had thought long since lost.

He did not bother telling her that she was an elemental, an earth child created of his magic. She could sense what she was from the instincts with which he had endowed her. No other explanation was needed.

She took a tentative step forward, then another. Finding that she could walk, she began to move more quickly, testing her abilities in various ways as she circled her father, glancing cautiously, shyly at the old man as she went. She looked around curiously, taking in the sights,
smells, sounds, and tastes of the Gardens, discovering in them a kinship that she could not immediately explain.

"Are these Gardens my mother?" she asked suddenly, and he told her they were. aOoeAm I a part of you both?aO? she asked, and he told her yes.

"Come with me," he said gently.

Together, they walked through the Gardens, exploring in the manner of a parent and child, looking into flowers, watching for the quick movement of birds and animals, studying the vast, intricate designs of the tangled undergrowth, the complex layers of rock and earth, and the patterns woven by the threads of the Gardens' existence. She was bright and quick, interested in everything, respectful of life, caring.
He was pleased with what he saw; he found that he had made her well.

After a time, he began to show her something of the magic. He demonstrated his own first, only the smallest bits and pieces of it so as not to overwhelm her. Then he let her test her own against it. She was surprised to learn that she possessed it, even more surprised to discover what it could do. But she was not hesitant about using it. She was eager.

"You have a name," he told her. "Would you like to know what it is?"

"Yes," she answered, and stood looking at him alertly.

"Your name is Quickening." He paused. "Do you understand why?"

She thought a moment. "Yes," she answered again.

He led her to an ancient hickory whose bark peeled back in great, shaggy strips from its trunk. The breezes cooled there, smelling of jasmine and begonia, and the grass was soft as they sat together. A griffin wandered over through the tall grasses and nuzzled the girlaO(TM)s hand.

"Quickening," the King of the Silver River said. "There is something you must do."

Slowly, carefully he explained to her that she must leave the Gardens and go out into the world of men. He told her where it was that she must go and what it was that she must do. He talked of the Dark Uncle, the
Highlander, and the nameless other, of the Shadowen, of Uhl Belk and
Eldwist, and of the Black Elfstone. As he spoke to her, revealing the truth behind who and what she was, he experienced an aching within his breast that was decidedly human, part of himself that had been submerged for many centuries. The ache brought a sadness that threatened to cause his voice to break and his eyes to tear. He stopped once in surprise to fight back against it. It required some effort to resume speaking. The girl watched him without comment--intense, introspective, expectant.
She did not argue with what he told her and she did not question it. She simply listened and accepted.

When he was done, she stood up. "I understand what is expected of me.
I am ready."

But the King of the Silver River shook his head. aOoeNo, child, you are not. You will discover that when you leave here. Despite who you are and what you can do, you are vulnerable nevertheless to things against which
I cannot protect you. Be careful then to protect yourself. Be on guard against what you do not understand.aO?

"I will," she replied.

He walked with her to the edge of the Gardens, to where the world of men began, and together they stared out at the encroaching ruin. They stood without speaking for a very long time before she said, "I can tell that I am needed there."

He nodded bleakly, feeling the loss of her already though she had not yet departed. She is only an elemental, he thought and knew immediately that he was wrong. She was a great deal more. As much as if he had given birth to her, she was a part of him.

"Goodbye, Father," she said suddenly and left his side.

She walked out of the Gardens and disappeared into the world beyond. She did not kiss him or touch him in parting. She simply left, because that was all she knew to do.

The King of the Silver River turned away. His efforts had wearied him,
had drained him of his magic. He needed time to rest. Quickly he shed his human image, stripping away the false covering of skin and bones,
washing himself clean of its memories and sensations, and reverting to the faerie creature he was.

Even so, what he felt for Quickening, his daughter, the child of his making, stayed with him.

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First Chapter


The old man sat alone in the shadow of the Dragon's Teeth and watched the coming darkness chase the daylight west. The day had been cool, unusually so for midsummer, and the night promised to be chill. Scattered clouds masked the sky, casting their silhouettes upon the earth, drifting in the manner of aimless beasts between moon and stars. A hush filled the emptiness left by the fading light like a voice waiting to speak.

It was a hush that whispered of magic, the old man thought.

A fire burned before him, small still, just the beginning of what was needed. After all, he would be gone for several hours. He studied the fire with a mixture of expectation and uneasiness before reaching down to add the larger chunks of deadwood that brought the flames up quickly. He poked at it with a stick, then stepped away, driven back by the heat. He stood at the edge of the light, caught between the fire and the growing dark, a creature who might have belonged to neither or both.

His eyes glittered as he looked off into the distance. The peaks of the Dragon's Teeth jutted skyward like bones the earth could not contain. There was a hush to the mountains, a secrecy that clung like mist on a frosty morning and hid all the dreams of the ages.

The fire sparked sharply and the old man brushed at a stray bit of glowing ash that threatened to settle on him. He was just a bundle of sticks, loosely tied together, that might crumble into dust if a strong wind were to blow. Gray robes and a forest cloak hung on him as they would have on a scarecrow. His skin was leathery and brown and had shrunken close against his bones. White hair and beard wreathed his head,thin and fine, like wisps of gauze against the firelight. He was so wrinkled and hunched down that he looked to be a hundred years old.

He was, in fact, almost a thousand.

Strange, he thought suddenly, remembering his years. Paranor, the Councils of the Races, even the Druids—gone. Strange that he should have outlasted them all.

He shook his head. It was so long ago, so far back in time that it was a part of his life he only barely recognized. He had thought that part finished, gone forever. He had thought himself free. But he had never been that, he guessed. It wasn't possible to be free of something that, at the very least, was responsible for the fact that he was still alive.

How else, after all, save for the Druid Sleep, could he still be standing there?

He shivered against the descending night, darkness all about him now as the last of the sunlight slipped below the horizon. It was time. The dreams had told him it must be now, and he believed the dreams because he understood them. That, too, was a part of his old life that would not let him go—dreams, visions of worlds beyond worlds, of warnings and truths, of things that could and sometimes must be.

He stepped away from the fire and started up the narrow pathway into the rocks. Shadows closed about him, their touch chill. He walked for a long time, winding through narrow defiles, scrambling past massive boulders, angling along craggy drops and jagged splits in the rock. When he emerged again into the light, he stood within a shallow, rock-strewn valley dominated by a lake whose glassy surface reflected back at him with a harsh, greenish cast.

The lake was the resting place for the shades of Druids come and gone. It was to the Hadeshorn that he had been summoned.

"Might as well get on with it," he growled softly.

He walked slowly, cautiously downward into the valley, his steps uneasy, his heart pounding in his ears. He had been away a long time. The waters before him did not stir; the shades lay sleeping. It was best that way, he thought. It was best that they not be disturbed.

He reached the lake's edge and stopped. All was silent. He took a deep breath, the air rattling from his chest as he exhaled like dry leaves blown across stone. He fumbled at his waist for a pouch and loosened its drawstrings. Carefully he reached within and drew out a handful of black powder laced with silver sparkle. He hesitated, then threw it into the air over the lake.

The powder exploded skyward with a strange light that brightened the air about him as if it were day again. There was no heat, only light. It shimmered and danced against the nighttime like a living thing. The old man watched, robes and forest cloak pulled close, eyes bright with the reflected glow. He rocked back and forth slightly and for a moment felt young again.

Then a shadow appeared suddenly in the light, lifting out of it like a wraith, a black form that might have been something strayed from the darkness beyond. But the old man knew better. This was nothing strayed; this was something called. The shadow tightened and took shape. It was the shade of a man cloaked all in black, a tall and forbidding apparition that anyone who had ever seen before would have recognized at once.

"So, Allanon," the old man whispered.

The hooded face tilted back so that the light revealed the dark, harsh features clearly—the angular bearded face, the long thin nose and mouth, the fierce brow that might have been cast of iron, the eyes beneath that seemed to look directly into the soul. The eyes found the old man and held him fast.

—I need you—

The voice was a whisper in the old man's mind, a hiss of dissatisfaction and urgency. The shade communicated by using thoughts alone. The old man shrank back momentarily, wishing that the thing he had called would instead be gone. Then he recovered himself and stood firm before his fears.

"I am no longer one of you!" he snapped, his own eyes narrowing dangerously, forgetting that it was not necessary to speak aloud. "You cannot command me!"

—I do not command. I request. Listen to me. You are all that is left, the last that may be until my successor is found. Do you understand—

The old man laughed nervously. "Understand? Ha! Who understands better than me?"

—A part of you will always be what once you would not have questioned. The magic stays within you. Always. Help me. I send the dreams and the Shannara children do not respond. Someone must go to them. Someone must make them see. You—

"Not me! I have lived apart from the races for years now. I wish nothing more to do with their troubles!" The old man straightened his stick form and frowned. "I shed myself of such nonsense long ago."

The shade seemed to rise and broaden suddenly before him, and he felt himself lifted free of the earth. He soared skyward, far into the night. He did not struggle, but held himself firm, though he could feel the other's anger rushing through him like a black river. The shade's voice was the sound of bones grating.


The Four Lands appeared, spread out before him, a panorama of grasslands, mountains, hills, lakes, forests, and rivers, bright swatches of earth colored by sunlight. He caught his breath to see it so clearly and from so far up in the sky, even knowing that it was only a vision. But the sunlight began to fade almost at once, the color to wash. Darkness closed about, filled with dull gray mist and sulfurous ash that rose from burned-out craters. The land lost its character and became barren and lifeless. He felt himself drift closer, repulsed as he descended by the sights and smells of it. Humans wandered the devastation in packs, more animals than men. They rent and tore at each other; they howled and shrieked. Dark shapes flitted among them, shadows that lacked substance yet had eyes of fire. The shadows moved through the humans, joining with them, becoming them, leaving them again. They moved in a dance that was macabre, yet purposeful. The shadows were devouring the humans, he saw. The shadows were feeding on them.


The vision shifted. He saw himself then, a skeletal, ragged beggar facing a cauldron of strange white fire that bubbled and swirled and whispered his name. Vapors lifted from the cauldron and snaked their way down to where he stood, wrapping about him, caressing him as if he were their child. Shadows flitted all about, passing by at first, then entering him as if he were a hollow casing in which they might play as they chose. He could feel their touch; he wanted to scream.


The vision shifted once more. There was a huge forest and in the middle of the forest a great mountain. Atop the mountain sat a castle, old and weathered, towers and parapets rising up against the dark of the land. Paranor, he thought! It was Paranor come again! He felt something bright and hopeful well up within him, and he wanted to shout his elation. But the vapors were already coiling about the castle. The shadows were already flitting close. The ancient fortress began to crack and crumble, stone and mortar giving way as if caught in a vise. The earth shuddered and screams lifted from the humans become animals. Fire erupted out of the earth, splitting apart the mountain on which Paranor sat and then the castle itself. Wailing filled the air, the sound of one bereft of the only hope that had remained to him. The old man recognized the wailing as his own.

Then the images were gone. He stood again before the Hadeshorn, in the shadow of the Dragon's Teeth, alone with the shade of Allanon. In spite of his resolve, he was shaking.

The shade pointed at him.

—It will be as I have shown you if the dreams are ignored. It will be so if you fail to act. You must help. Go to them—the boy, the girl, and the Dark Uncle. Tell them the dreams are real. Tell them to come to me here on the first night of the new moon when the present cycle is complete. I will speak with them then—

The old man frowned and muttered and worried his lower lip. His fingers once more drew tight the drawstrings to the pouch, and he shoved it back into his belt. "I will do so because there is no one else!" he said finally, spitting out the words in distaste. "But do not expect . . . !"

—Only go to them. Nothing more is required. Nothing more will be asked. Go—

The shade of Allanon shimmered brightly and disappeared. The light faded, and the valley was empty again. The old man stood looking out over the still waters of the lake for a moment, then turned away.

The fire he had left behind still burned on his return, but it was small now and frail-looking against the night. The old man stared absently at the flames, then hunkered down before them. He stirred at the ashes already forming and listened to the silence of his thoughts.

The boy, the girl, and the Dark Uncle—he knew them. They were the Shannara children, the ones who could save them all, the ones who could bring back the magic. He shook his grizzled head. How was he to convince them? If they would not heed Allanon, what chance that they would heed him?

He saw again in his mind the frightening visions. He had best find a way to make them listen, he thought. Because, as he was fond of reminding himself, he knew something of visions, and there was a truth to these that even one such as he, one who had foresworn the Druids and their magic, could recognize.

If the Shannara children failed to listen, these visions would come to pass.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 71 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    This is Brook's at his best. Even if you're not a fan of fantasy

    This is Brook's at his best. Even if you're not a fan of fantasy this is a worthy read

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Druid of Shannara, the Heritage of Shannara series, Book 2

    Coming soon.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    Loved it!

    I do not know where to begin! This book has captured my interest and mind and I cannot forget it! Walker Boh is the most interesting character I have ever read about, though towards the middle he becomes secluded within himself, not really speaking or thinking much like he was in the beginning of the novel. I found myself waiting on the edge of my seat to see what was going to happen next with Morgan and Quickening! I almost cried towards the end! Oh the pain Morgan felt! Pe Ell was though, by farthest, my absolute favorite of them all! I was devestated when he passed away at the end! This was a truely excellent 2nd book to the four book series! Bravo Mr. Brooks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2005

    The best Shannara book written!

    I have read every Shannara book written, and none are as good as the Druid of Shannara. It made me excited, it made me mad, it made me scared, and yes, it made me cry. Terry Brooks has set the bar, and this book will make you a Shannara fan forever. Read it. Even if you aren't interested in fanasy, you'll love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2004

    The Best Book in the Series....literally!!!

    This is the best one written. I have read all the books and am currently reading Tanequil. None of the books in the Shannara series I have read can compare to the Druid of Shannara! It is by far the most well-written book i have read. In fact, the entire heritage series is awesome, and I felt like I was one of the characters because it was so enjoyable and the plot is very deep. A must read for anybody. Drop what your are reading and get this!! It is truly amazing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2004


    It's been almost a year since I've read this, so cut me some slack. This one is proof that some authors just write books to show their readers that they're still alive. The part about them staying in that abandoned city at the end was way too long for me. It's also disappointing when someone's in trouble, the half-elf goes down, but with just a little bit more strentgh he overcomes. Brooks has a bad habit of doing that. Terry Brooks: A great fiction writer? Yes. The master of fantasy? NO.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2003

    best shannara book

    I have read them all and this is the best one in my opinion. The story never gets boring, its a constant adventure filled with new heros and new villians. If you bought Scions and weren't sure of continuing the series, do it. You will be glad you did so

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2003

    Great Read

    a book full of emotion, action, and always conflicting relationships, it is as good as #3 in the trilogy. Proof that Terry Brooks is truly a writing genius! I also claimed Morgan Leah my favorite character after this read, so read it, read 'em all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2001

    One of the best

    I felt that after reading The Druid of Shannara that is was probably one of the best books of the series because of the characters and the new lands that they travel to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2001


    Yes! It was fantastic! Amazing! I just couldn't wait to finish it, but as soon as I did In wished I hadn't. The characters were wonderful and Brooks can really capture the imagination of any reader of any age with his descriptions.In all, Walker Boh was my absolut favorite character, I really got to know him in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2000

    A magical book

    As a battle with the Shadowen grows stronger, so does the magic that Terry Brooks writes with. This book was a wonderful read and I suggest it to anyone with a strong imagination. The charaters Terry writes with are facinating, the Assasin Pe Ell, the One armed Walker Boh, the souther Highlander Morgan Leah,Quickening, the daughter of the King of the Silver River, and the evil Shadowen Rimmer Dall. The Group of Morgan, Walker, Pe Ell, and Quickening travel through amazing lands in their quest for the Black elfstone. The journy that the small group undertakes is full of deception, lies, love, courage, death, and mythical creatures you would only find in one of Terry's books. So if your searching for the perfect book for a teen reader, or picky Adult then look no further for the Druid of Shannara is the perfect gift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2000


    I have read the entire Shannara Series twice and this is by the most suspensful of them all. Keep writing Terry!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

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    Posted September 18, 2009

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    Posted January 6, 2010

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    Posted June 5, 2011

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    Posted June 22, 2010

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    Posted September 16, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted August 18, 2010

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