The High Druid’s Blade ARCs Have Arrived

brooks-highdruidsbladeAdvanced Reader Copies (ARCs) have arrived for The High Druid’s Blade!

Well, they have arrived at my home, at least. I’m sure Terry will have his soon as will select booksellers, book reviewers, and newspaper/magazine critics all over the United States.

For those of you who don’t know, an ARC is exactly what it stands for—an advanced reader copy. It is the entire book. There are still usually a few grammatical errors and the like in an ARC before they are copyedited out for the final hardcover release but the story is the same.

For those of you who don’t know about The High Druid’s Blade, here is a bit more information:

From New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks comes the first stand-alone novel in his legendary Shannara series in almost twenty years—the perfect place for new readers to begin.

Paxon Leah never thought of the old family sword hanging above his living room hearth as anything other than an intriguing ornament—until his sister is kidnapped by a sorceror. Following the dark mage with nothing but this piece of steel to protect him, Paxon stumbles into a plot to remake the world . . . and accidentally unlocks the powers of the ancient blade.

As I’ve said before, the book features a Leah as the principle protagonist, only the second time in present Four Lands Shannara history that a book hasn’t had an Ohmsford. The book takes place about 100 years after the events of Witch Wraith and is set largely in the Southland.

Here are some pictures of the ARCs, along with a early gift from your Web Druid:

If you click on the first page of the ARC, you can read it. A gift from me to you!

Sometimes, the every day fantasy fan can find these ARCs available on secondary booksellers like Abebooks and eBay. So keep your eyes open. They don’t sell cheap, FYI. I may put one of my two ARCs up for auction soon as well, the money to be used to relieve medical debt for fellow bookseller Duane Wilkins. More on that in a week or two.

I hope you enjoy the first page of The High Druid’s Blade. It publishes March 11, 2014!

Happy reading!

UPDATE: Since I’ve been asked three times already, yes, there will be an online The Signed Page signing for The High Druid’s Blade. The pre-order period for signed/personalized hardcover copies will begin November 1, 2013!

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43 responses to “The High Druid’s Blade ARCs Have Arrived”

  1. Hmm. The history described in that first page doesn’t match what I seem to remember, but perhaps my memory is wrong. I thought the Leah monarchy ended because the Kingdom of Leah was annexed (or conquered) by the Federation. But if the Highlands Council is now the governing body, then Leah is no longer part of the Federation . . . if it ever was. Clearly, I need to pull my copy of Scions off the shelf and do some research.

      • Or Paxon’s historical knowledge could be in error as a manifestation of some blips in transmission of family history over the centuries. After the devolution of the Leahs as a royal family into commoners, the accuracy that once went with royal history recording could have been one of the casualties of that change, resulting in oral transmission of family history since then and some errors therein.

      • I got your book via Terry Brooks comment to read and enjoy. Best endorsement. You story is wonderful and I hope to read the forthcoming books as well. Best to you ever for as long as Terry has been doing it. I am long time fan from when The Sword of Shanara first came out..

        • Thank you for the kind words, Mike! They definitely mean a lot. I’m working on the sequel now. Terry was a kind of editor on The Dark Thorn, guiding me when a scene didn’t work or a plot point wasn’t clear enough. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’ll be doing the same on The Everwinter Wraith. Ha!

          If you haven’t already done so, please write a review on Amazon/B&N. It helps convince others to give it a try. Thanks again! And if you haven’t read my short story in Unfettered, definitely think about it. It’s set as a prequel of sorts to The Dark Thorn but is actually important for The Everwinter Wraith. Cheers!

          • Thank you for the reminder to leave a review on Amazon. I had forgotten to do so and will take care of that tomorrow.

            And I am certain Terry will be happy to work with you on The Everwinter Wraith. I look forward to having that book to read as well!

    • Didn’t Morgan Leah and Matty spend their time after the events of Talismans to “free” Leah, etc? I seem to remember Quentin briefly musing on this in Ilse Witch. That being said, it seems the Federation’s power, at least since the events of Straken has waned and been consolidated south of Shady Vale, Leah, etc.

  2. Thank you so much for a peek. I cant wait for the next book.

    I started reading Terry’s book as suggested by a friend and the librarian at my high school sooo many years ago. I’m in their debt. Haven’t missed a book since!

  3. No, I was remembering correctly. From Chapter 5 of The Scions of Shannara:

    “Morgan Leah was the eldest son in a family whose ancestors had once been Kings of Leah. But the monarchy had been overthrown almost two hundred years ago when the Federation had expanded northward and simply consumed the Highlands in a single bite. There had been no Leah kings since, and the family had survived as gentleman farmers and craftsmen over the years. […] The Federation, after abolishing the monarchy, had installed the provisional governor and cabinet and stationed a garrison of soldiers to insure order.”

    So the royal family of Leah didn’t walk away from the responsibility of ruling the kingdom. They were deposed when their kingdom was invaded and occupied.

      • I can believe that the people and leaders of Leah might have decided to not put up a fight, especially if, at the time, they didn’t have a situation giving them reason to believe there would be allies, such as the Elven, Dwarven, and Rock Troll people showing up to fight the Federation army alongside them. I’d guess a smaller nation like Leah might have been able to field a standing army of 2000 to 3000 fighting men or thereabouts at most whereas the Federation Army they knew was coming if they fought back, if it sent just a quarter of its manpower, might be fielding an invading army of 5,000 to 10,000 fighting men with the ability to send yet another 5,000 to 10,000 down the line if they so wished. And Leah’s territory taking all the collateral damage during the fighting of an eventually lost defensive war.

    • Pat, it’s possible that the difference between what you quoted and the content of Paxon’s thoughts in the internal monologue on that page, rather than an error by Terry, represents a gap in Paxon’s knowledge of family history. An organized royal family would have professional scribes recording their history and making sure to record all of it accurately, resulting in future generations of the royal family being taught, as they grew up, their family history with scrupulous accuracy by their tutors. The devolution of the family into commoners may have changed that, resulting in family history of the Leahs since then being transmitted to future generations of the family orally by family members instead, grandpa telling it to his grandson, uncle telling it to his nephews and nieces, father to sons and daughters, big brother to little brother, etc., possibly resulting in some factual inaccuracies with regard to dates and goings-in creeping into the family history over the centuries. As a result, perhaps some of what Paxon believes he knows about family history, unbeknownst to him, is not quite 100 percent correct empirically.

  4. But I can easily believe that Leah is no longer controlled by the Federation. If memory serves, the territory controlled by the Federation contracted somewhat after the Shadowen were vanquished, and shrank even more after the Federation was defeated in the Prekkendorran War.

      • I have my copy of Witch Wraith, but haven’t read it yet. I decided that I needed to reread the whole trilogy from the beginning. I’m almost to the end of “Wards of Faerie.”

      • Something else occurred to me. When the Federation withdrew from the Highlands of Leah, a power vacuum was created. The people of Leah had to create a new government for themselves. It’s inevitable that some people — perhaps a great many of them — would have called for a restoration of the old monarchy. The descendants of the former royal family would have been asked to reclaim the throne and become the rulers of Leah again. But they must have declined to do so, or Leah would have a king today. If the descendants of the royal family turned down the offer to reclaim the throne, that would constitute walking away from the responsibility of ruling the Highlands. The chronology still doesn’t quite match what the ARC page says, but otherwise the events fit pretty well.

  5. Have been reading Terry’s books from the first, even before I managed to read “The Lord of the Rings”.
    Loved the way the two worlds were joined in the last few trilogies.
    Would also love one of the advanced copies ;0) although will buy the hardcover regardless for my collection.
    Are there still hardcover copies of the earlier books around?

    • Yeah, just have to look around. Quite a few sites out there that have them. Alibris. Amazon. Ebay. To name a few. I picked up a few here and there to round out my collection.

  6. Hi, Shawn,
    I was looking at the “Books: What’s Next?” page and it appears the Defenders of Shannara trilogy will be following the same 6-month release schedule as the Dark Legacy trilogy. Is that correct? If so, that’s awesome news!

    Also, any chance Terry might release more short stories in between the next three books?

  7. It had been some time since I read a book written by Terry Brooks when I discovered the Witch Wraith books. And I devoured them quickly, it took about a week of reading after work and on the weekends to finish the books. Now I am somewhat impatiently awaiting this new series. Thank you so much for a peek at the first page. It will interesting to see the Leah family again.

  8. Can’t wait to read it all. The Leah family has always been a fascinating group I think and it is great to get a chance to learn even more about them. Thanks for the peek Terry.

  9. This is truly exciting news… I am so thrilled to hear about the new addition to the series… one of my favorites of all time… thank you so much for this effort.

  10. Thank you for the teaser 🙂 I can’t wait to get my copy of this. Hardest part will be keeping my son from “borrowing” it from me the moment it comes in the door. I may have to buy him his own copy too 🙂

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