Poll: A Four Lands book without an Ohmsford?

Elf Queen of Shannara, painted by Keith Parkinson

This last week, I visited Terry at his Oregon coast home to take a mini-vacation before The Dark Thorn is published and I begin editing the short stories found in the fantasy anthology, Unfettered.

It was a nice time. Great weather. Better company. Terry and his wife Judine spoil me like one of their children and after the year I’ve had, I welcome it. My time was spent reading, writing, playing games (curse you Judine for winning two games of Mexican train dominoes!), and watching the Pacific Ocean try its best to pound the North American continent into submission. After sleeping food-induced comas off every night, I would wake in the morning and make my way to my writing nook, which is just down from a set of stairs from where Terry writes.

And every morning, I could hear Terry already typing away, writing the next book.

What is that next book? As he mentioned in the most recent Ask Terry, Terry is writing a stand-alone Shannara novel that takes place after Witch Wraith, featuring a Leah character!

What? No Ohmsford?! Apparently not! It’s not surprising. Many of Terry’s novels feature characters outside of the Ohmsfords. For instance, Wil Ohmsford isn’t introduced to readers of The Elfstones of Shannara long into the novel. The same is true in the newest book, Wards of Faerie. So that takes us to our poll today!

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48 responses to “Poll: A Four Lands book without an Ohmsford?”

  1. I wouldn’t mind a book without an Ohmsford, but I would not want the books to leave them behind completely. It would be nice though if he would introduce something new into the Ohmsford family. Instead of just the general Wishsong magic manifesting itself in the same way maybe he could add something else to it and have it be different.

    • I agree with Callan. It seems that the wishsong has reached a dead end. I personally found it exciting when reading about how the magic from the elfstones left that permanent mark on the Ohmsford family, then how it changed from illusion to manifesting reality. In The Four Lands, I have been accustomed to magic being unpredictable and dynamic. Though we see more than a couple generations with the same type of Wishsong manifestation. I’d like to see how it might grow, or dwindle, or simply become something totally different as the need arises within The Four Lands.

      I’m re-reading The Elfstones currently, and its always like visiting with old friends I grew up with. Like sharing stories we nearly forgot all the details to, etc. Thanks Terry, for giving me that sense of deep familiarity with the characters. You truly breathe life into them for me.

      • i agree elliot the magic of the wishsong has gotten to predictable there needs to be a new unexpected magic..maybe or as you said maybe a change

    • I read Sword in Jr. high school… 79 I think (?). Been an avid fan of Shannara ever since! But I seem to remember it being talked about that the Elven magic evolves over time… so shouldn’t the Wishsong also evolve? Become something more, or less, or different? Just one persons take on it! 😉

    • I love all Terry’s books on the Shannara series but find it confusing sometimes trying to place where each story fits into and how many hundreds or thousands of years have come and gone. I wish there was a book that layed it all out and where everything fit and when and how long certain characters lived. I know that is a lot to put in one book but it would be neat to see when things happened maybe starting with Hawk and the Ghosts and them venturing into the valley and where the valley is compared to the four lands and if the bearers of the black staff died out or did they become druids and so on and how long over time did this take place. There are so many questions lol sorry.

  2. It really doesn’t matter to me! I love everything Terry writes, so of course I’d read a book without an Ohmsford. So glad to hear that he’s working on a book featuring a Leah! The Leahs have always been my favorites; I get excited at every mention of one.

  3. I would argue that I already have. The Word and Void trilogy and the Genesis of Shannara trilogy are part of the Shannara saga. So are Bearers of the Black Staff, The Measure of the Magic, and First King of Shannara. None of those books have any Ohmsford characters, but I read and enjoyed them all the same. So please tell Terry to write the book with whatever characters he wants. I’ll preorder my copy no matter what.

    • Well, in First King of Shannara, Jerle Shannara was the forefather of the Ohmsford line, so he is basically one. What is surprising about that book though, is that Jerle Shannara wasn’t as “main” of a character as I thought he would be when it was time for his book. Tay Trefenwyd and Bremen stole the show. The young Allanon was quite impressive too. Before that book, I actually thought that Bremen was his father.

  4. Shawn, your choice of artwork to illustrate this poll is an interesting one, since it features Wren Ohmsford Elessedil. I saw what you did there.

  5. Uh duh everything pre Sword have an Ohmsford(not including the recently released prequel) and yes I’d still read it all…his is a great writer…

    • Hell yes Jeff! Cogline is as bad ass as they get! Sure Allanon is awesome in his might and power, but Cogline, his wit, grumpy old man ways, and an endearing heart. However, its his resourcefulness that always gets me, and his merging of the sciences, and magic. <3

  6. I personally will read everything Terry writes, but I think it would be awesome to have a short story/book on the origins to the man of the silver river!

  7. I think wishsong was a good example of how we don’t really need an ohmsford in it. the crew that went with jar were amazing hendel, and the rest were awesome to read about! and of course it was lead by garet jax!) then you had allanon in it which was always a good read with him. so overall i think it doesnt matter especially afters so many years (book wise).

  8. I will read whatever Terry writes. I think a Shannara book without an Ohmsford will leave the readers wanting. All quests need the essential ingredients and historically one of those has always been an Ohmsford. I do think however that it is time they stop fearing the power of the wishsong and use it for the good it was meant for more voluntarily as opposed to more or less being forced into it. Grianne reconciled herself to the wishsong finally and used it for good. Other Ohmsford decendants can do the same.

  9. If you think about it the Leahs have the Ohmsford gene pool working in the family line anyway, so really is there not an Ohmsford?

    • The Leahs have it, and the Elessedils have it. So do tons of other families I would guess. I think it’s time that the magic starts showing up in other bloodlines. I mean, if I had the wishsong (even a weak illusionary version), I’m pretty sure I would have no troubles with the ladys 😉

  10. I think another weapons master would be great. I’ve read everything terry has published. I’m a big salvitor fan, and reading terry’s novels is what got me seeking the action.

  11. I am an avid Terry Brooks fan. Anything that he writes gets my seal of approval. He is a shear genius when it comes to writing epic fantasy. I have yet to read “The Wards of Faerie” but I know that I will not be disappointed. Okay then. Bring on the next awesome series (or stand alone book). Whooo Hooo!!!

  12. I would read a story without the Ohmsford family. But what I would really like to see is this family under attack by a villain because of the threat they impose due to the use of the wishsong/sword of shannara, or the fear another Grianne. I would also like to see them not afraid of the use of the wishsong as well.

    • Or an evil Ohmsford. Someone so consumed by the magic that he/she abuses it so much that he/she becomes a bigger threat than the warlock lord. Even better, the book should be written in the evil character’s point of view, with his/her goals as the storyline. Even crazier would be if this Ohmsford succeeded and plunged the four lands into darkness. Which would lead into a good setting for another set of books!

      • I mean, Knights of the Word can be turned, and they are chosen. Rogue Knights are pretty potent, too, but I don’t think they’d be on par with a Rogue Wishsinger

    • I dont see anyone not being afraid of the wishsong. its practicly the most potent magic ability that has been unvieled in shanarra. other then the elfstones.

  13. I voted that I’d read anything Terry writes. I’m a huge fan of all his work. As long as he keeps up the wonderful stories and characterization, I’ll always be a fan. I think we can all agree that he has had good characters that are not Ohmsfords.

    I am looking forward to the Annotated Sword and Bloodfire Quest. It is a good year for Terry Brooks’ fans!

  14. I keep thinking “wow, to be treated like one of Terry and Judine’s kids.” Being comfortable in their home, and welcomed like a member of the family. I’m having some envy about how it must feel to be so close to one of the coolest minds ever!!

  15. I would of course read it, but I like the Ohmsford family line. I understand that since Brin married into the Leah family that it would have the some of the blood line as well, it would just not be the same.

  16. I want more Word & The Void. (I think it is the best thing he has done).

    There is loads of things (The Genesis of the 8 (Of which the King of the Silver River and the Stone King are Two). How that comes into being the original beginning.

    Two Bears story.

    The Knights Story.

    The First King doesn’t have an Ohmsford in it either.

    (I liked the Genesis books – Didn’t think much of the Legend ones after).

    The current one about the rest of the elfstones I enjoyed.

  17. We know there are people living outside the four lands.

    A story in another part of the world, but during the Shannara timeline would be interesting. Perhaps something in Wales (or its remnants) involving the Lady in a fashion similar to the King of The Silver River. Perhaps magics change in a far off land in responce to the magics unleashed in searching for the elfstones. Or technology using survivors encoumtering a magic/ technology airship. All sorts of non- Ohmsford possibilities exist.

  18. I think that it’s absolutely necessary to have an Ohmsford in every novel. After all, in the Sword of Shannara trilogy, the series that started it all, the Ohmsford family has the leading role. Taking that role away in future books doesn’t make sense to me.

  19. What I’d like to see is what happened the the later bearers of the black staff and how it ties into the druids, as well as how the will of the word ties into the four lands in the current time of Khyber Ellesedil. (And what became of the black staff – which I think is as great a mystery as the elfstones)

  20. Terry has often stated that his second novel was going to feature a Leah as the main character/storyline but it was Lester Del Rey who did not like the early drafts. I suppose thirty years later is perfect timing! 🙂

    Seriously though, Terry is a great writer whom I have enjoyed reading for many years. It does not matter to me who the main character is, I will read the book.

  21. What am I going to read when Terry Brooks retires??! I have only read his books in Science Fiction and I don’t know what I will do when he is no longer writing! I LOVE everything he has written!

    • I am reasonable new to Terry Brooks having picked up Armageddon’s Child 5yrs ago in a bookshop. Since then I have read all his books up to Straken (currently reading). With Bearers of the Black Staff & The Measure of Magic sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
      I think there needs to be an Ohmsford. That’s kind of the whole point isn’t it??? That the bloodline gets sent of on the quest. Although I do think that a new kind of magic is needed. The wishsong but different for whatever reason. And I enjoy the whole battle the Ohmsfords take within themselves with the use of the wishsong. To be taken over by it or not.
      Although I’m sure whichever direction Terry Brooks takes the future stories of the Four Lands I will be waiting…I just LOVE them

  22. The Leahs have the magic sword. It would be great if that magic and the wishsong became intwined since the wishsong and the sword of Leah were introduced in the same book and Brin n Rone were partners. I read everything Terry writes anyway so it could have none of the original families and he would still make it work.

  23. Listen the whole story about the ohmsford family has been run into the ground, terry came across a formula in lord of the rings , revamped it and ran. After the scions of Shannara the series took a turn for the worse. However the tying in of the running withthe demon series was clever. Now he is back to the same drivel as before. How you guys can read his newer material and advocate for it is beyond me

  24. There is always an ohmsford necessary for the quest! From the very beginning. I would read anything by Brooks but it would be different not to have an ohmsford there

  25. Wouldn’t mind a book with no Ohmsfords at all… the last few series have had the Ohmsfords become less and less powerful/interesting and more and more whiny and emo and unbearably obstinate. It’s time for an Ohmsford reboot, so let’s take them off the table for a bit so that can happen.

    Besides, the real badasses have always been Leahs. 😉

  26. I think that it would be quite interesting to see how the “rest of the world” works without an Ohmsford. You’ve already demonstrated that they’re not the only family out there with the power of magic.

  27. i think that anything Terry Brooks write as long as its within the general shannara history would be absolutely readable. i think that the ohmsford family has been elaborated on a little to much compared to other parts and people in the shannara world

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