The Sword of Shannara

By Terry Brooks,

Book cover of The Sword of Shannara

Book description



Volume one in the classic bestselling series - from one of the all-time masters of fantasy

'Terry's place is at the head of the fantasy world' Philip Pullman

Long ago, the world…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

4 authors picked The Sword of Shannara as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I first read The Sword of Shannara in the 80s, but, looking back forty years later, I didn’t distinctly recall the novel and gave it another read. Sword is a fun read; you’re in for a fantastical adventure.

Sword owes a lot to Tolkien, and some critics have taken umbrage with the novel because of it; I’ve always loved when artists are inspired by other artists and doubt very much that the same critics would find fault with Shakespeare for taking inspiration from Horace. 

Often fantasy books are set in “past times”. This is future times after the world is destroyed and only a remnant remains of what was. Shut off from the horror of the outer world, it's a world of elves, humans, wizards, and demons. It's about a boy with who the fate of the world rests. The world and characters created by Terry Brooks are addicting. Read the first book, and soon you’ll be working through the series. It’s about heroes and sacrifices, about honor and treachery. 

I’m going to be honest with you... I am a cover junkie, and that is how I came to purchase The Sword of Shannara. I found the book in a used bin of a bookstore, and I remember looking at the worn and cracked cover of a human, elf, and dwarf staring at the mystical blade thinking; what I story this must be. The story is about a half-elfin lad named, Shea Ohmsford. Shea is the last of the Shannara bloodline and the only one capable of wielding the sword of Shannara against the Power of Darkness known as…

From Charles' list on fantasy filled with action and mayhem.

While the first book was called derivative by many people, The Sword of Shannara broke ground as the first fantasy to hit the New York Times Bestseller List back in 1977. Sure Brooks was heavily influenced by Tolkien, but he diverges into his own fantasy path. The next two books, The Elfstones of Shannara and Wishsong of Shannara take their own courses with some powerful magic, knock-down battles, and serious last-stands. Reading these books is taking a seat to experience the maturation of fantasy as a genre.

Want books like The Sword of Shannara?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 66 books like The Sword of Shannara.

Browse books like The Sword of Shannara

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in elves, William Shakespeare, and druids?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about elves, William Shakespeare, and druids.

Elves Explore 63 books about elves
William Shakespeare Explore 179 books about William Shakespeare
Druids Explore 24 books about druids