Forthcoming: The High Druid’s Blade

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  • Book One of The Defenders of Shannara
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books
  • Forthcoming: (July 8, 2014)

Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Running his family’s modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet life—until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny.

When his brash young sister is abducted by a menacing stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. And in a harrowing duel, he is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him—and within his ancestors’ ancient blade. But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands, and Paxon must master it quickly because his nearly fatal clash with the dark sorcerer Arcannen won’t be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the fabled Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector.

But treachery is afoot deep in the Druids’ ranks. And the blackest of sorcery is twisting a helpless innocent into a murderous agent of evil. To halt an insidious plot that threatens not only the Druid order but all the Four Lands, Paxon Leah must summon the profound magic in his blood and the legendary mettle of his elders in the battle fate has chosen him to fight.


Forthcoming upon book’s publication.

Video Excerpt:

40 responses to “Forthcoming: The High Druid’s Blade”

  1. Treachery is afoot deep in the Druids’ ranks? 🙁 Sounds just like a rehash of when Grianne was betrayed. 🙁 I want something new! I want a stable Druid order that you can trust!

        • The Druids have acted as politicians since their inception. Their whole purpose in coming together was to gather information which could be used to orchestrate diplomacy between the races; yes, part of their role is in using magic, but politicians, too, wield powers other people don’t have. Allanon’s concerns, knowing more than the average Joe (think of how he kept information from Shea Ohmsford), reflect on an individual level the problems that would plague the heart of any sincere politician, who has to keep the balance between being honest to his constituents but also getting them to do what needs to be done. It’s why the narrator frequently comments on the mistrust that people in the Four Lands have of the Druids – they have a political presence which threatens the sovereignty of the political forces in the four lands.

          Power consolidates to generate corruption – this happens time and time again. Also, narratives which operate around the same themes is a profound part of how storytelling works – artistic repetition is not mere rehash. The failing of the Forbidding, which threatens the Four Lands more than once, for example, repeats because it is part of the world, much as problems in our world repeat – i.e. the threat of war in the Middle East. I’d wait to read the story itself before I’d consider it a rehash.

          • Therein lies part of the problem we have in America. Politicians who believe their job is to get their constituents to do what needs to be done, as if they are the boss and their constituents are the employees.
            We tell THEM what needs to be done, not the other way around, is how it is supposed to work in the American system, which as an experiment in producing a democratic republic is intended as a move away from the royalism and power of the nobility of the historic periods before 1776, away from systems in which leaders ruled over the people to establish a system in which the people rule over their public servants.
            We pay their paychecks. That makes us, the people, the boss, just like anyone who signs someone’s paycheck is their boss at work.

    • I agree! I want a druid as dangerous and mysterious as allanon. I miss all days from the sword of shannara and the elfstones….

    • and I want a stable economy and bipartisanship in the US government. LOL. The Druids are very much politicians. They try to negotiate peace between races, execute covert operations, manipulate people for “the greater good,” keep secrets and provide information on a “need to know” basis. If thats not a politician (except for free election to the position) what is?

  2. is the shannara series shifting focus from the ohmsford clan now? just feels weird to me, but but at the same time, and is there some sort of family tree of sorts for the saga?

    interested in who might be descendants of hawk and the others from the genesis of shannara series

    • Yes! I want to hear more about the Pre-Shannara world, and maybe about how the Black Staff disappeared! I hate to say it, but the Shannara world seems played out, but I just LOVED the 5 prequel books, it really brought things together for me!

    • I do not see it so much as “Shifting” focus, rather than telling the story from a different view point. One of the things I have always enjoyed was the different stories and how they involved the different families. The fact that the stories involved overlapping contact with families seems to mirror real life.

      I would like Terry to write more about the time before the First King, I still believe that the Ohmsford’s are direct descendants of Hawk.

  3. Hey Shawn/Terry,

    Will there be a digital ARC available or are you only doing hardcopies for this series. For the release of Witch Wraith a digital ARC was available well before the publication. Sorry if you’ve got this question 100 times already, but I’m ridiculously anxious about trying to get my hands on an ARC digital or *fingers crossed* hard copy. Thanks fellas!

  4. I am looking forward to this book and Darkling Child. I have already preordered from B&N. The last series renewed my love for Terry’s writing. He’s like a fine wine – he just gets better with age! Great website!

  5. Might be getting completely confused on the obvious, but the High Druid’s blade is infact the same as the Sword of Leah?

    if so why isnt the book called the Sword of Leah?

  6. I am excited about a new Shannara series and I always likes the Leah’s. I cant wait to read these. I never get tired of Shannara.

  7. Can’t wait for the new book. Isn’t the current line of Leah related to the Ohmsfords? Didn’t Brin marry into it? Even so will there be an Ohmsford in the new series?

    Also, wasn’t fond of the ending to Witch Wraith. All that time wasted on getting the missing Elfstones just to have all but the crimson ones lost at the end. Plus I was hoping Grianne would have been saved. She was one of my favorite characters.

    • agreed. It seemed trite the way he hastily disposed of the elfstones, snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. It was disappointing. Of course it leads the way for a new story as the stones are locked away with Grianne now an she has the partial elf blood to use them if she gets her hands on them, but I don’t know if I want another “trek into the forbidding” story right now. He infuses his stories with little bits of hope within the development of the characters but the over all story theme is laced with hopelessness, a little disheartening.

        • Not a great reply to two posts. After all this is fantasy and anything can happen! I for one love most of Brooks’ novels. Not so much a fan of the Landover series, but it seems that that one is the only one that might be made into a motion picture. I also want the Ohmsford legacy to continue, with the addition of the new Elfstones and another Druid order. I still consider myself a young person and want Terry to continue to write for decades. I’d hate to see him go the way of David Gemmell, Robert Jordan, or Tom Clancy anytime in the near future.

  8. The book sounds fantastic. I am sooo waiting on it. Terry writes the best books ever. I have read everyone so far and have never been let down. Whenever anyone asked me, who is your favorite author ? The answer is always Terry Brooks. I love the magic, the mystery, the excitement, the adventure, and the wonderful characters. The way Terry spins this all together into a wonderful story book that you can’t put down once you start reading the first page. Connecting the Leahs and the Druids this is exciting, can’t wait to read it. If I am remembering correctly, I believe the sword of Leah did have some magic at one time? This is what I love how Terry connects the history of Shannara through his books.

  9. I’m sorry to say that terry lost his magic awhile back, his books have been lazy and poor reads. He’s just rehashing old ideas and failling to tell an entertaining story. His last few series of books have been drawn out and painful to read, what took three books should have taken one. He has sold out. They have been so bad since the voyage trilogy that it feels like someone else has been writing them. I shall always think highly of the first three series but the high druid series was the begining of the end for me. I will read no more of terry’s books

    • Yet you still care enough about Terry’s writing to come to his website, insult him (and his fans) just to say you wont be reading the very book you are commenting on? Hmmmm.

  10. The thing i love about Terry is that he is normal and so real . Had a chance to meet him last summer and it was amazing. God bless him with a long life. And keep writing….always.

  11. Like some, I also found the way in which Grianne was used a little disturbing.

    However, the one thing I like about reading Terry’s books, is that he is not scared to rattle the cage. Sure there are going to be instances where I may not agree with how a character was portrayed or written, but there has always been a good reason behind it.

    So when I read about this book moving in a slightly different direction, I was both excited and nervous at the same time. And that is the magic of Shannara to me. Sometimes the magic does work, and sometimes it doesn’t. But I love it all.

  12. I agree with Matias, It does sound like a rehash of Grian’s story in the High druid series, which would be unfortunate. That’s the exact reason the end of Witch Wraith was dissatisfying to a certain degree. It shared too many common threads with elfstones, with a changeling attacking the king, the elfstones adversely affecting their user, right down to the confrontation with the bad guy on the way out of safehold, the quick flight home, the transformation sacrifice, and two of the young protagonists ending up together.
    Elfstones has long been one of my all time favorite books and Terry’s penchant over the years of never allowing any character to be safe from tragedy or an untimely demise provided for a certain amount of unpredictability, which I’m sure was his goal, and it worked wonderfully. But within that framework of story telling certain elements of the narrative lately have become predictable. I’m not meaning to sound harsh, I just enjoyed the journey his books have taken me on and lately some of the paths seem a little too familiar.

  13. 320 pages? Isn’t that a little light? Sigh…. I don’t want to buy these books anymore…. Half the value.
    Half the time to write them, half the time to read them, and half of the plot and detail that makes books worth reading. Its like the fast food of reading.

  14. ah, I’m glad the sword of Leah is back; I was really dissapointed when it wasn’t in the dark legacy of shannara.

  15. The only grumble I have is the constant need for main characters having to go over what got them to this spot in time ,otherwise I have loved the shannarra series and the prequel series including Running With The Demon probably my fave Brooks book ,so I am so looking forward to this new trilogy

  16. I love Terry Brooks’ novels. It has such an impact on me and remind me of the novel series ‘Left Behind’ (for various reasons). Terry, thank you for writing novels that when I read them it feels so much that I am a part of the story (even if I have to be more than one character…) you have a God given gift and I hope that you continue writing for years and years to come.

  17. Grains outcome could just be her paying karmic dues. She tried to make amends for her time and actions as the Isle Witch by being selfless, pursuing a greater cause, and found herself in a safe haven where she could be at rest. Perhaps that was too good for her, and the universe needed her to be square with the house again. Looking back, I now believe she was off course to begin with once she strayed from being the Isle Witch. Grain is just now getting back to her true destiny, she was a good druid but a GREAT Witch! All the people she cared for or had an impression on during her time as the Isle Witch are gone. All of the deterrents have been removed and their weight of sway. Just because she isn’t on the good side of the spectrum doesn’t mean her tale is less significant or wrong. Every villain is their own hero. She definitely has hero potential.

  18. About, grianne, if you were paying attention while reading, she isn’t paying any karmic dues, when she was asked to be brought back from the ariads, only her wasted body and evil side were returned to the “world”, there was no good left, it was separated.

  19. I am looking forward to the upcoming book. I was just wondering if there will be Ohmsfords in this series? Also i remember he talked about doing a book about the 1st druid council. I was just wondering if that was still in the works?
    Thank you for you time
    Jeremy J

    • Hey Jeremy. Yes, Terry plans on still doing the 1st Druid Council book. That’s down the line though. He is writing Book 3 in the Defenders of Shannara series and then I think he’ll dive in and write the epic trilogy that concludes the series. Then he’ll go back and write those pre-Shannara books like the 1st Druid Council book.

      And I won’t answer your question about the Ohmsford. It’s too complicated. You’ll just have to wait and see.

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