Paperback: Bearers of the Black Staff

Paperback: July 26, 2011

Terry has released a hardcover every year for two decades.

That also means that every year the previous year’s hardcover is released in paperback!

Bearers of the Black Staff is the first book in the Legends of Shannara duology, which will conclude on August 30th with the hardcover publication of The Measure of the Magic. Those of you who have waited to read the Legends of Shannara duology can begin this summer if you’ve been waiting for the paperback since it will be released on July 26th!

The paperback will also undoubtedly have an excerpt from The Measure of the Magic.

Here is the dust jacket copy for Bearers of the Black Staff:

For more than three decades, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks has ruled the epic fantasy realm with his legendary Shannara series. With each new novel the mythos has deepened, ever more fascinating characters have arisen, and increasingly breathtaking vistas of magical adventure have emerged. Now the evolution of one of imaginative fiction’s most beloved worlds continues in the first book of the new series Legends of Shannara: Bearers of the Black Staff.

Five hundred years have passed since the devastating demon-led war that tore apart the United States, leaving nothing but scorched and poisoned ruins, and nearly exterminating humankind. Those who escaped the carnage and blight were led to sanctuary by the boy savior known as the Hawk—the gypsy morph. In an idyllic valley, its borders warded by powerful magic against the horrors beyond, humans, elves, and mutants alike found a place they believed would be their home forever.

But after five centuries, the unimaginable has come to pass: The cocoon of protective magic surrounding the valley has vanished. When Sider Ament, the only surviving descendant of the Knights of the Word, detects unknown predators stalking the valley, he fears the worst. And when Panterra Qu and Prue Liss, expert Trackers from the human village of Glensk Wood, find two of their own gruesomely killed, there can be no doubt: The once safe haven of generations has been laid bare and made vulnerable to whatever still lurks in the wasteland of the outside world.

Together, Ament, the two young Trackers, and a daring Elf princess race to spread word of the encroaching danger—and spearhead plans to defend their ancestral home. But suspicion and hostility among their countrymen threaten to doom their efforts from within—while beyond the breached borders, a ruthless Troll army masses for invasion. And in the thick of it all, the last wielder of the black staff and its awesome magic must find a successor to carry on the fight against the cresting new wave of evil.

Terry & Chapter 2

In August 2009, Terry read Chapter 2 of Bearers of the Black Staff at the University Bookstore in Seattle, WA.

The chapter was an unedited first draft. Therefore the final chapter in the published book may differ a bit.

Part I of III

Part II of III

Part III of III

Reviews

“Terry Brooks displays the sure hand of a master. Bearers of the Black Staff is filled with iconic characters and heroes not diminished but made human by their flaws. A finely-wrought tale of sacrifice, adventure, betrayal, magic, loss, and a world on the precipice.”

—Brent Weeks, author of The Way of Shadows

“500 years after the boy Hawk led a rag-tag group into the valley to protect them from the end of the world as they knew it, the magic used to seal them away is fading. Creatures from outside the valley have found their way in, and if some already have, more certainly will. Sider Ament is the last bearer of the only remaining staff once held by the legendary Knights of the Word, and the power that comes with it. He sets out at once to warn the peoples of the valley to fortify themselves before it’s too late, but the people have grown complacent and vested in false beliefs. It’ll be up to Sider and a small group of those who believe to save all the people of the valley before they are invaded by whatever remains on the outside. In Bearers of the Black Staff Terry Brooks is at his usual brilliant best. This book is tight and fast-paced, with deep characters, an amazing story and some poignant social commentary. The only warning I’d give is that this book is incomplete. It is the beginning and middle of a story that will be finished in his next book, but with a start like this one you’ll definitely want to read that one too!”

— Reviewed by Albert Riehle, Sacramento Book Review

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Written by Shawn Speakman
I am the long-time friend and webmaster for Terry Brooks as well as the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel Terry calls "a fine tale by a talented writer." Join me on Facebook and Twitter (@shawnspeakman)!