The Sword of Shannara

Penguin Random House Audio

Narrated by Charles Keating

Abridged6 hr 15 min

The Sword of Shannara is the first volume of the classic series that has becomeone of the most popular fantasy tales of all time.

Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake.The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a trueheir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline,rests the hope of all the races.

Thus begins the enthralling Shannara epic,a spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and myth . .
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Publisher
Penguin Random House Audio
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Published on
Aug 26, 2003
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Duration
6h 15m 14s
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ISBN
9780739304273
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
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Eligible for Family Library

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The first book of the triumphant and epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series, from one of the all-time masters of fantasy.

Across the Four Lands, peace has reigned for generations. But now, in the far north, an unknown enemy is massing. More troubling than the carnage is the strange and wondrous power wielded by the attackers—a breed of magic unfamiliar even to the Druid order. Fearing the worst, the High Druid dispatches a diplomatic party under the protection of the order’s sworn guardian, Dar Leah, to confront the mysterious, encroaching force and discover its purpose.

But another crucial journey is being undertaken. Exiled onetime High Druid Drisker Arc has been living in quiet seclusion, far from the politics and power struggles of his former life, until two brutal attacks by would-be assassins force him to seek out an infamous murder-for-hire guild—and find the hidden enemy who has marked him for death. At his side is Tarsha Kaynin, a young woman gifted with the wishsong and eager to be schooled in its formidable power by a master. She, too, is pursuing a mission: to locate her wayward brother, whose own magic has driven him to deadly madness and kindled his rage for vengeance . . . against his sister.

In their darkest hours, facing dangerous adversaries, the lives and quests of Dar Leah, Drisker Arc, and Tarsha Kaynin will be inextricably drawn together. And the challenges each confronts will have resounding consequences for the future of the Four Lands.

Praise for The Black Elfstone
 
“Epic scope, heroic characters, and so much heart . . . proof that the Shannara series can still reach new heights.”—Tordotcom
 
“A strong opening book . . . The Four Lands face a new threat.”—Fantasy Book Review
 
“Fantastic . . . one of the best books in this saga.”—SFRevu
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Following The Black Elfstone, The Skaar Invasion is the second book of the epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series from one of the acknowledged masters of the fantasy genre.
 
The Four Lands are under siege. Wielding a magical ability virtually impossible to combat, mysterious invaders defeat the most fearsome Troll armies, then focus their savagery on the Druid order—and all hope seems lost.

Eventually the invaders reveal a more human face, but understanding their motives in no way mitigates the brutality of their actions. Dar Leah, once the High Druid’s Blade, has crossed paths—and swords—with their ruthless leader before. So he knows that if any hope exists, it rests in the hands of the Druid Drisker Arc, now trapped inside vanished Paranor.

As Drisker races to find the ancient knowledge that could free him, Dar goes in search of Tarsha Kaynin, the young woman blessed with the powerful gift of the wishsong, whose magic could draw Drisker back into the world of the living. But little do they know that what appeared to be a formidable invading force may only be the forerunner of a much larger army—one intent on nothing less than total conquest.

Praise for The Skaar Invasion

“Like The Black Elfstone before it, and perhaps even more so, The Skaar Invasion is one of [Terry] Brooks’s most aggressively political novels. It engages with familiar conflicts and themes, digging deep into the challenges facing humanity and asking—begging—for us to do better. . . . The Skaar Invasion is an exhilarating, intricate portrait of a world at war with itself.”—Tordotcom
 
“Brooks continues the mastery of the world, as may be expected when working in one as developed as Shannara.”—RT Book Reviews
THE PHENOMENAL EPIC OF GOOD AND EVIL LIKE IT’S NEVER BEEN EXPERIENCED BEFORE
 
Thirty-five years ago, Terry Brooks brought to life a dazzling world in The Sword of Shannara. Nineteen more Shannara volumes would follow, making the series one of the most popular fantasy epics of all time. Now comes a fully annotated collector’s edition of the novel that started it all—featuring never-before-shared insights into the classic tale, an all-new introduction by the New York Times bestselling author, and replicas of the original sketches for some of the long-lost, black-and-white paintings by the Brothers Hildebrandt that decorated the original edition, and a replica of the original Hildebrandt central color plate on the back of the jacket..
 
Long ago, wars ravaged the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. Then the giant, forbidding Allanon reveals that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.
 
Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of a mighty evil, flies into the Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save his home, Shea must flee, drawing the Skull Bearer after him in menacing pursuit.
 
Thus begins the enthralling Shannara epic, a spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and myth.
 
PRAISE FOR TERRY BROOKS
 
“The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks’s cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy. This was one of my favorite fictional worlds growing up, and I look forward to many return trips.”—Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!

“Terry Brooks has been my constant companion over a lifetime of exploring my beloved fantasy genre. I say with all honesty I would not be writing epic fantasy today if not for Shannara. If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.”—Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear
 
“I can’t even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks’s books I’ve read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood.”—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind
 
“Terry Brooks is a master of the craft and a trailblazer who established fantasy as a viable genre. Not only do I owe him for many hours of reading pleasure, I owe him my job. He is required reading.”—Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Angel Trilogy
 
“The Shannara books were among the first to really capture my imagination. I didn’t just enjoy reading the novels—the world became so real that I would spend hours creating Shannara fan-fiction in my mind. My daydreams and therefore my stories will always owe a debt to Terry Brooks.”—Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Beyonders and Fablehaven series


From the Hardcover edition.
THE PHENOMENAL EPIC OF GOOD AND EVIL LIKE IT’S NEVER BEEN EXPERIENCED BEFORE
 
Thirty-five years ago, Terry Brooks brought to life a dazzling world in The Sword of Shannara. Nineteen more Shannara volumes would follow, making the series one of the most popular fantasy epics of all time. Now comes a fully annotated collector’s edition of the novel that started it all—featuring never-before-shared insights into the classic tale, an all-new introduction by the New York Times bestselling author, and replicas of the original sketches for some of the long-lost, black-and-white paintings by the Brothers Hildebrandt that decorated the original edition, and a replica of the original Hildebrandt central color plate on the back of the jacket..
 
Long ago, wars ravaged the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. Then the giant, forbidding Allanon reveals that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.
 
Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of a mighty evil, flies into the Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save his home, Shea must flee, drawing the Skull Bearer after him in menacing pursuit.
 
Thus begins the enthralling Shannara epic, a spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and myth.
 
PRAISE FOR TERRY BROOKS
 
“The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks’s cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy. This was one of my favorite fictional worlds growing up, and I look forward to many return trips.”—Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!

“Terry Brooks has been my constant companion over a lifetime of exploring my beloved fantasy genre. I say with all honesty I would not be writing epic fantasy today if not for Shannara. If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.”—Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear
 
“I can’t even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks’s books I’ve read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood.”—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind
 
“Terry Brooks is a master of the craft and a trailblazer who established fantasy as a viable genre. Not only do I owe him for many hours of reading pleasure, I owe him my job. He is required reading.”—Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Angel Trilogy
 
“The Shannara books were among the first to really capture my imagination. I didn’t just enjoy reading the novels—the world became so real that I would spend hours creating Shannara fan-fiction in my mind. My daydreams and therefore my stories will always owe a debt to Terry Brooks.”—Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Beyonders and Fablehaven series


From the Hardcover edition.
The thrilling history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work by the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO’s Game of Thrones.
 
With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally bestselling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel’s worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire & Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.


Includes a bonus PDF of illustrations from the book
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from “a superb craftsman of suspense” (Entertainment Weekly).

Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.

At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.

The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?

As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.

Praise for Past Tense

“Child is one writer who should never be taken for granted.”—The New York Times Book Review

“[Lee Child] shows no signs of slowing down. . . . Reacher is a man for whom the phrase moral compass was invented: His code determines his direction. . . . You need Jack Reacher.”—The Atlantic

“Superb . . . Child neatly interweaves multiple narratives, ratchets up the suspense (the reveal of the motel plot is delicious), and delivers a powerful, satisfying denouement. Fans will enjoy learning more of this enduring character’s roots, and Child’s spare prose continues to set a very high bar.”—Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)

“Another first-class entry in a series that continues to set the gold standard for aspiring thriller authors.”—Booklist (starred review)

“With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike.”—Library Journal (starred review)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Following The Black Elfstone, The Skaar Invasion is the second book of the epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series from one of the acknowledged masters of the fantasy genre.
 
The Four Lands are under siege. Wielding a magical ability virtually impossible to combat, mysterious invaders defeat the most fearsome Troll armies, then focus their savagery on the Druid order—and all hope seems lost.

Eventually the invaders reveal a more human face, but understanding their motives in no way mitigates the brutality of their actions. Dar Leah, once the High Druid’s Blade, has crossed paths—and swords—with their ruthless leader before. So he knows that if any hope exists, it rests in the hands of the Druid Drisker Arc, now trapped inside vanished Paranor.

As Drisker races to find the ancient knowledge that could free him, Dar goes in search of Tarsha Kaynin, the young woman blessed with the powerful gift of the wishsong, whose magic could draw Drisker back into the world of the living. But little do they know that what appeared to be a formidable invading force may only be the forerunner of a much larger army—one intent on nothing less than total conquest.

Praise for The Skaar Invasion

“Like The Black Elfstone before it, and perhaps even more so, The Skaar Invasion is one of [Terry] Brooks’s most aggressively political novels. It engages with familiar conflicts and themes, digging deep into the challenges facing humanity and asking—begging—for us to do better. . . . The Skaar Invasion is an exhilarating, intricate portrait of a world at war with itself.”—Tordotcom
 
“Brooks continues the mastery of the world, as may be expected when working in one as developed as Shannara.”—RT Book Reviews
The High Druid of Shannara trilogy draws to a thrilling close as a young hero nears completion of his trial by fire, a banished ruler fights for her life in a wilderness of dread, and forces of darkness and light square off in a battle unto death for the right to absolute rule. Prepare to be spellbound by the masterly hand of bestselling legend weaver Terry Brooks, conjuring at the peak of his skills.

For reasons known only to himself, the King of the Silver River has charged young Penderrin Ohmsford, barely more than a boy, with the daunting task of rescuing his aunt, Grianne, Ard Rhys of the Druid order, from her forced exile in the terrifying dimension of all things damned: the Forbidding. With the noble dwarf Tagwen and the prodigal elven princess Khyber Elessedil by his side–and with the outcome of the bloody war between the Federation and the Free-born at stake–Pen has accepted his mission without question. But not without risk . . . or sacrifice.

Because Shadea a’Ru, the ruthless Druid responsible for imprisoning the true Ard Rhys and usurping leadership at Paranor, has sent her agents and assassins in relentless pursuit of Pen and his comrades. And in securing the talisman he needs to breach the Forbidding, Pen has paid a devastating price. Now if the Free-born forces–already decimated by the Federation’s death-dealing new weapon–should fall, Shadea’s domination of the Four Lands will be assured. Nothing short of Pen’s success can turn the tide.

But Pen’s challenge grows greater when he learns that his parents, Bek Ohmsford and Rue Meridian, have fallen into Shadea’s hands. He must try to help them–but once within the walls of Druid’s Keep, where Shadea’s minions and dark magic lurk at every turn, Pen’s survival is far from assured. Yet it will all pale in comparison to the horrors that wait inside the Forbidding–horrors poised to break free upon the Four Lands when the time is right. . . .
More than a quarter of a century after The Sword of Shannara carved out its place in the pantheon of great epic fantasy, the magic of Terry Brooks’s New York Times bestselling saga burns as brightly as ever. Three complete series have chronicled the ever-unfolding history of Shannara. But more stories are still to be told—and new adventures have yet to be undertaken. Book One of High Druid of Shannara invites both the faithful longtime reader and the curious newcomer to take the first step on the next extraordinary quest.

Twenty years have passed since Grianne Ohmsford denounced her former life as the dreaded Ilse Witch—saved by the love of her brother, the magic of the Sword of Shannara, and the destruction of her evil mentor, the Morgawr. Now, fulfilling the destiny predicted for her, she has established the Third Druid Council, and dedicated herself to its goals of peace, harmony among the races, and defense of the Four Lands. But the political intrigue, secret treachery, and sinister deeds that have haunted Druid history for generations continue to thrive. And despite her devotion to the greater good as Ard Rhys—the High Druid of Paranor, Grianne still has bitter enemies.

Among the highest ranks of the Council she leads lurk those who cannot forget her reign of terror as the Ilse Witch, who covet her seat of power, and who will stop at nothing to see her deposed . . . or destroyed. Even Grianne’s few allies—chief among them her trusted servant Tagwen—know of the plots against her. But they could never anticipate the sudden, ominous disappearance of the Ard Rhys, in the dead of night and without a trace. Now, barely a step ahead of the dark forces bent on stopping him, Tagwen joins Grianne’s brave young nephew, Pen Ohmsford, and the wise, powerful elf Ahren Elessedil on a desperate and dangerous mission of search and rescue—to deliver the High Druid of Shannara from an unspeakable fate.

Expect no end of wonders, no shortage of adventure, exhilaration, suspense, and enchantment, as Terry Brooks demonstrates, once again, that there is no end to his magic of invention and mastery of storytelling.


From the Hardcover edition.
New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks became the master of epic fantasy with the publication of his legendary debut, The Sword of Shannara. Since then, each new novel in the Shannara saga has brilliantly built upon and deepened the world of breathtaking magic, adventure, and intrigue he created. In The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara—his third enchanting series—he literally took his legions of loyal readers soaring to new heights as a colorful contingent of characters took to the skies aboard a magnificent airship on a quest fraught with wonder and danger.

Now in Morgawr, the quest at last draws to its climactic conclusion, as the forces of good and evil vying against each other to possess an ancient magic race towards an explosive clash—and whatever fate awaits the victor . . . and the vanquished. Harrowing confrontations with the merciless Ilse Witch and the monstrous Antrax have already taken their toll on the intrepid heroes of the Four Lands. But their darkest adversary now snaps at their heels, in the form of the Morgawr—master of the Ilse Witch, feeder upon the souls of his enemies, and centuries-old sorcerer of unimaginable might.

With a fleet of airships and a crew of walking dead men at his command, the Morgawr is in relentless pursuit of the Jerle Shannara and the crew that mans her. For the Morgawr, the goal is two fold: to find and control the fabled ancient books of magic, and to destroy the dark disciple who betrayed him—the Ilse Witch. But the Ilse Witch is already a prisoner . . . of herself. Exposed to the awesome power of the Sword of Shannara, and forced to confront the truth of her horrifying deeds, she has fled deep into her own mind. Now at the mercy of those who seek vengeance against her, her only protector is her long-lost brother, Bek Ohmsford, who is determined to redeem his beloved sister . . . and deliver her to the destiny predicted for her by the Druid Walker Boh.

Once again, Terry Brooks weaves together high adventure, vividly wrought characters, and a spellbinding world into an irresistible story of heroism and sacrifice, love and honor. In Morgawr, fans of the Shannara mythos will find both a satisfying finale and the promise of new wonders yet to come.
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