Book Review: Heritage of Shannara Series

The second set of books in the Shannara universe.

The Heritage of Shannara Series

General Information

The Scions of Shannara

Author: Terry Brooks
Original Publication Date: 1990
ISBN: 0-345-37074-0
Cover Price: $7.99

Druid of Shannara

Author: Terry Brooks
Original Publication Date: 1991
ISBN: 0-345-37559-9
Cover Price: $7.99

Elfqueen of Shannara

Author: Terry Brooks
Original Publication Date: 1992
ISBN: 0-345-35636-5
Cover Price: $7.99
of Shannara

Author: Terry Brooks
Original Publication Date: 1993
ISBN: 0-345-45375-1
Cover Price: $7.99


Generations after the last book in the Shannara
, the Ohmsford descendants must take their place to defend the four
lands against a new and even more powerful evil than before, the Shadowen.

In “The Scions of Shannara”, the remaining Shannara heirs (Walker Boh, Wren Ohmsford, and Par Ohmsford) are summoned to hear of the quests they must fulfill: Walker to bring back the Druids, Wren to bring back the Elves, and Par to find the now lost Sword of Shannara.

“The Druid of Shannara”, tells of Walker’s adventures in search of the Black Elfstone with the assassin Pe Ell and Quickening, powerful daughter of the King of the Silver River.

“The Elf Queen of Shannara” tells of Wren’s attempt to find and bring back the elves, while Par’s quest is described in “The Talismans of Shannara,” and the nature of the Shadowen is also revealed.

High Point

The resolution of the first part of Walker’s quest in “The Druid of Shannara” is a powerful scene involving the mysterious Quickening and the assassin Pe Ell. I dare not reveal anymore, but it stands as one of the most brilliant moments in fantasy literature.

Low Point

No one specific piece comes to mind, but there is heavy use of the same themes that we’ve seen before in the previous books. These are minor flaws as the themes are still enjoyable.

The Scores

In terms of originality, Brooks borrows less from Tolkien here, and goes deeper into the mythos he’s created. His characters are all very similar: Weak, unsure, and overwhelmed in the beginning, then absurdly powerful in the end. But it’s still a great ride. 4 out of 6.

Brooks’ imagery improves this time around, especially since he chooses some wild and bizarre locales in which to set the stories (jungles and ruined cities). Character emotion is still his fort√©, and it shows. 5 out of 6.

This time around we are treated to one main story, with several branching parts. Each is unique and handled in a separate book, so there is little confusion jumping back and forth between chapters. Each sub-plot is beautifully detailed and each fits within the whole of the main arc. 6 out of 6.

Characterization is still wonderful. The Ohmsfords are still Ohmsfords, but the new characters, in particular Pe Ell and Quickening, add flavor and keep the stories fresh. 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is wonderful. There are some truly terrifying moments in these stories, along with some humor and joy. He allows you to partake of each and every emotion the character has, good or bad. 5 out of 6.

The editing is superb. Well written dialog and action sequences never leave you guessing as to what’s going on. 5 out of 6.

Overall this series is one of my personal favorites, and I recommend
it to anyone looking for a good fantasy read. 5 out of 6.

Total: 34 out of 42

What’s Next?

Brooks has continued the Shannara storyline further with the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy. He also went back in the timeline and wrote out the story of the Sword’s creation in “First
King of Shannara

Terry Brooks is also known for his Magical
Kingdom of Landover
series and, in 1999, wrote the novelization for Star
Wars: The Phantom Menace
and Hook.