First King of Shannara (Shannara Series)

First King of Shannara (Shannara Series)

4.3 155
by Terry Brooks
     
 

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Horrified by the misuse of magic they had witnessed during the First War of the Races, the Druids at Paranor devoted themselves to the study of the old sciences, from the period before the collapse of civilization a thousand years before. Only the Bremen and a few trusted associates still studied the arcane arts. And for his persistence, Bremen found himself

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Overview

Horrified by the misuse of magic they had witnessed during the First War of the Races, the Druids at Paranor devoted themselves to the study of the old sciences, from the period before the collapse of civilization a thousand years before. Only the Bremen and a few trusted associates still studied the arcane arts. And for his persistence, Bremen found himself outcast, avoided by all but the few free-thinkers among the Druids.

But his removal from Paranor was not altogether a terrible thing, for Bremen learned that dark forces were on the move from the Northlands. That seemingly invincible armies of trolls were fast conquering all that lay to their south. That the scouts for the army—and its principal assassins—were Skull Bearers, disfigured and transformed Druids who had fallen prey to the seductions of the magic arts. And that at the heart of the evil tide was an archmage and former Druid named Brona!

Using the special skills he had acquired through his own study of Magic, Bremen was able to penetrate the huge camp of the Troll army and learn many of its secrets. And he immediately understood that if the peoples of the Four Lands were to escape eternal subjugation they would need to unite. But, even united, they would need a weapon, something so powerful that the evil magic of Brona, the Warlock Lord, would fail before its might...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
You can't find the Four Lands on any map of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth; but, given all the elves, dwarves, warlocks, trolls and gnomes that run rampant in the setting of Brooks's many Shannara novels (The Talismans of Shannara, etc.), readers can be forgiven for trying. Tolkien's influence is so strong in this prequel to The Sword of Shannara (1977), which launched the series, that many of the events here seem predictable or repetitive. Set 500 years before the events of Sword, the novel chronicles the destruction of ivory-towered Paranor and its Druid scholars, tracing the subsequent adventures of the outcast Druid-magician Bremen. With a handful of companions, he must find and hide the Black Elfstone from the Warlock Lord and forge a magic sword for Elven King Jerle Shannara to wield against the warlock. Brooks's prose generates a breakneck pace, but it lacks depth of characterization and also the wealth of linguistic invention that the most satisfying high fantasy offers. As an allegory of the eternal struggle between good and evil, the vital basis of fantasy, Brooks's mythical universe also suffers from a crucial dearth of those magical moments of heart-stopping revelation when, against all hope, against all reason, against all the forces of evil, salvation comes at last.
Library Journal
To defend his followers and escape subjugation from the evil Warlock Lord, Druid Bremen must possess the magical Black Elfstone. Set 500 years before The Sword of Shannara (1977), this latest in the series answers fans' questions about the early history of the Shannara family.
Roland Green
With this volume, Brooks seems to launch yet another subsaga within the larger saga of Shannara, an undertaking rapidly approaching its twentieth anniversary. The story opens at an indeterminate but considerable time after the conclusion of The Talismans of Shannara (1993), with the Druids having abandoned magic (too dangerous) in favor of reviving science (long lost). One renegade Druid believes magic and science are both needed and conclusively proves the truth of this when he needs to face yet another host of the Dark Forces--this time, trolls led by magic-corrupted former Druids serving an archimagical potentate named Brona. The Shannara books continue to contain a singular mixture of classic fantasy elements, slabs of narrative long enough to become boring, and scenes of great power. Fortunately, there are more of the latter here than there have been in many Shannara yarns; Brooks' craftsmanship is undeniably improving. True Brooks fans may still feel that the Magic Kingdom books constitute his most lasting legacy, but there are hordes of faithful Shannara readers out there ready to make this helping sell best, too.
Kirkus Reviews
Brooks wasn't the first writer, and won't be the last, to make a career out of a single idea that captured the fantasy audiences's attention (his Magic Kingdom yarns notwithstanding). So, for those who simply can't get enough of Shannara books, here's a very large prequel, chronologically set 500 years before the original The Sword of Shannara (1977), in which readers may discover how the last Druid, Bremen—last until young Allanon, hero of the later installments, shows up—battles the evil Warlock Lord and his Skull Bearers, and how his ally, King of the Elves, Jerle Shannara, wields the Sword of Shannara against the bad guys. And so forth.

For those who care.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345396532
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Series:
Shannara Series
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
70,338
Product dimensions:
4.17(w) x 6.86(h) x 1.15(d)
Lexile:
910L (what's this?)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Terry Brooks has thrilled readers for decades with his powers of imagination and storytelling. He is the author of more than thirty books, most of which have been New York Times bestsellers. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Pacific Northwest and Hawaii
Date of Birth:
January 8, 1944
Place of Birth:
Sterling, Illinois
Education:
B.A. in English, Hamilton College, 1966; J.D., Washington and Lee University
Website:
http://www.terrybrooks.net

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