BrooksBlog: The High Druid’s Blade

On March 11, 2014, Del Rey will publish the first of several stand-alone Shannara books.

It is titled The High Druid’s Blade. I’ve been talking about doing this for awhile, and I feel the time is right for it. I’ve been writing in sets for so long I’ve practically forgotten how to do anything else. Everything I have written in the past fifteen years – save for Princess of Landover and Sometimes the Magic Works – has been in sets of two, three or four. Readers have been patient with me, only asking now and then if I ever intended to write stand-alone books again. Many say they have to wait until an entire set is published to enjoy it. They want to read the story all at once.

So here I am, doing what they have asked me to do, keeping my promise. Only it hasn’t worked out quite like I thought it would. Yes, the books are complete unto themselves. Yes, the stories have a beginning, a middle and an end, and the central story in each is wrapped up by the last page. A few of the characters spill over into subsequent books, and there is a thread there that can be traced through the set of 3 or 4 that I have planned. But so what – each book can still be read by itself? Here’s the thing I didn’t expect.

The antagonist from the first book has become a central figure in all of the others, too. Like one of the Druids, he resurfaces as the main foil of the various protagonists at different time periods during the telling of the stories. I hadn’t intended for this to happen, but somehow he wormed his way into each one. Since writers travel on their instincts in the way armies travel on their stomachs, I’ve had to go with it. It’s a little weird, I admit. But I love the character enough that I want to keep him around awhile.

And it changes out the usual format for a Brooks book. Weird it is, but weird we are, us writers.

Or didn’t you notice?

37 responses to “BrooksBlog: The High Druid’s Blade”

  1. Terry,
    I think it is safe to say that your fans just want to read anything that you write. We love your ability to create memorable characters and tell a good story. Personally, I feel that our (the readers) time getting to know a certain character is too short, and I would like to read more about them. Keep writing and we will keep reading! and thank you for the journey!

  2. I am currently half way through reading Bloodfire Quest and will read Witch Wraith as soon as I get it done. I held off on reading Bloodfire Quest until Witch Wraith came out so I wouldn’t have to stop. Good to see a standalone. Is High Druid’s Blade set after the events of Witch Wraith or will it continue after Measure of the Magic. Either would be great!

  3. I will read whatever you write whatever the format, in fact it would be awesome if I could just get a subscription to everything for some annual fee.

  4. I agree with Greg: I’ll read any of your books and have done so since I was 11.

    And I really like the idea of a villain in several stand-alone books. It’s always nice to have a recurring character, especially in stand-alones.

  5. Here are some things Terry has said about The High Druid’s Blade while on tour:

    •A Leah is the main character, the first time ever.

    •It takes place in the Southland where Terry has never ventured before.

    •It’s a stand alone book.

    •It takes place a hundred years after Witch Wraith.

  6. The What’s Next section of this site says that two of these books will be published in 2014, one in March and one in September. Assuming that two-books-a-year schedule holds, does that mean the next book to follow The Measure of the Magic will be published sometime in 2016?

    • Information changes, of course, but this was on the forums page. It’s two comments, one a question, the second an answer.

      “Will Terry starts writing the first of these 5 books after the last “Dark Legacy of Shannara” book publishing or before doing it, Shawn? Wink”

      Shawn’s response…

      “Umm, way after. Terry’s almost done with the third book in the Dark Legacy trilogy. Then he is writing a stand alone book in a possible new series completely unrelated to anything he’s done before. What will he do then? He doesn’t know yet.”

      That conversation happened back in April of 2012. I’m guessing that what Shawn predicted would happen is happening which means anything between after Legends of Shannara is indeed on the backburner.

    • It won’t hold. Terry is already talking about doing something completely different after he finishes the third stand-alone Shannara novel. The post-Measure books won’t happen anytime soon, I’d wager.

  7. I enjoy the sets very much, especially now that I can buy the complete trilogies. To me they feel like one big book that way. Looking forward to a stand alone format as well. Typically I have to go back and reread the previous books in the series right before the next book comes out to refresh my memory of the story. Of course, I’ve never considered that a hardship! These stories never get old. I’m not sure how many times I’ve reread the first trilogy but it’s probably somewhere around 10 or 11 times.

    • Yes. The Signed Page will begin accepting pre-orders probably December 1, 2013. It will be announced on this website or you can follow The Signed Page on newsletter/Facebook/Twitter. Cheers!

  8. I was just wondering what would come next! This book sounds really exciting. I love the idea of a few stand-alone books with reoccurring character(s). I always forget the details of what happens between books with a consecutive plotline.

    • It is a different book. It follows Paxon Leah almost entirely. The complexity of earlier novels is not in this one — multiple Point of Views gone — but you get more swashbuckling-type stuff and a closer look at a specific character than in any other Terry Brooks book, I’d argue.

  9. This is awesome news! I’m excited! My favorite Shannara books were the original 3 standalone books and I always felt like they had the same kind of commonality with characters spillover and even some of the same antagonists–in a way. As one of those whiny pain in the butt readers who has been clamoring for some stand alone books, I’m really excited by this news!

    I can’t wait for March Madness now!

  10. So you say that a Leah is the main character. Does a Omhsford appear at all in the book? I hope he goes deep in what happening in the Southland.
    There is so much of the political/geographical info I like to know. Is the southland a collection of city states or are they a collection of nations band together.

  11. I’m in agreement with Brian, Greg and Sebastian. I will read anything by Terry Brooks. I’m hoping for another Landover novel sometime in the near future. Terry could publish his grocery list and I would read it.

  12. In order to keep my Terry Brooks collection in order, I will need to get a signed copy of The High Druid’s Blade. Curious if Terry will be doing a Book Signing Tour for High Druid’s Blade, and if he does, will Seattle be one of his stops? And if not, then will order one through The Signed Page.

  13. G’Day Terry & Shaun,

    Just finished reading Witch Wraith loved it. Will look forward to the, The High Druid’s Blade.

    I would like to know are these stand alone books going to be in kindle form for Australian customers. I am still missing in my collection of Terry’s books some series because you don’t have them for us in kindle yet. Would love to swee this happen Mates. Keep up the great writing adventure we all love and know with Shannara

  14. It looks Terry is returning to the beginning of the Shannara series. The Sword Of Shannara, Elfstones, Wishsong and The Scions series . These were stand alone books
    with some characters spilling into the other books. I have read Sword Of Shannara to the Elf Queen several times because I loved the stories and the characters so much. I do like the rest of the series, but something seems to be missing. I think the The High Druid’s Blade will return the missing element for me. I can’t wait for The High Druid’s Blade. I hope to see some of the decendants of my favorite characters in the new books.
    The stories of the Ohmsford, Leah, Elessedil and the Rover families. My all time favorite character is Wren Ohmsford.

    Harry Korber

  15. They say the good taste of the food is in the eating. I have all the books you wrote including star wars and short stories. My food preference will not change. Thank you Terry. Joe Koehler 08/13/2013

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