Poll: What Decade Did You Start Reading Terry Brooks Books?

brooks-annotatedswordI began reading Terry’s work in the 1980’s.

The story of how I became his webmaster is HERE. In short, my mother brought home a ratty, well-loved copy of The Sword of Shannara from work. While she finished reading a different book, the copy of Sword just sat there, waiting for me to pick it up. I did. And thirteen year old Shawn read it in two days, completely engrossed.

At that time, I had no idea there were two sequels. The copy my mother had been given was a first printing paperback. The Elfstones of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara were not mentioned inside of it. Later that year at Christmas though, my mother gave me those two sequels. And I’ve been a fan every since.

What decade did you come to read your first Terry Brooks book? Were you one of the first, in the 1970’s, when The Sword of Shannara published? Were you later in the 1980’s, when fantasy became as epic as the stories that were written? Or are you a newer reader?

And how did you come to his work? Did a friend or family member tell you to read Terry’s books? Did you just wander into a bookstore and pick up a book? Was it the internet that recommended? Do share!

Vote below! And then comment!

Happy Friday!


171 responses to “Poll: What Decade Did You Start Reading Terry Brooks Books?”

    • this may sound bad but I bought the Sword of Shannara in a store while going on my honeymoon in the June of 1978 and I still have that copy to this day

    • I started reading Terry Brooks’ books when the first book (The Sword of Shannara) came out and have read every book since then, including all the Magic Kingdom books

  1. The Original Shannara Trilogy in the 80’s
    The Sword of Shannara
    The Elfstones of Shannara
    The Wishsong of Shannara

    The Heritage of Shannara tetralogy on release date
    The Scions of Shannara (1990)
    The Druid of Shannara (1991)
    The Elf Queen of Shannara (1992)
    The Talismans of Shannara (1993)

    • I was in a bookstore waiting for hubby to do his chores. I like fantasy and new material to read and looking through the section I kept coming back to this new series. When buying books especially if its a series, I want to pick up all of the ones that are available. So when I get home or in this case after I purchased my 3 books I started reading right away. And could Not put them down. Even later in the evening after Hubby insisted on me putting the ____ book down! I finally made a late supper and read more while eating. What a fantastic series, and I couldn’t wait for Terry’s Next book to come out. I have had the whole set for years and from time to time I love to re-read them. I’m proud to display my books along with many other types of books. An avid reader and always looking for that new one Terry puts out. Keep up the awesome story telling.

  2. I needed to broaden my vocabulary for the SAT and keep my mind active while studying in 1987. I was at a friends house and saw a copy of The Sword of Shannara and picked it up and read the back of it. I was immediately enthralled. I read The Sword, The Elfstones, and the Wishsong that summer while studying for the SAT and the ASVAB. Got accepted everywhere I applied so either the books helped my mind relax after studying or maybe they helped strengthen my mind while studying. Either way I was hooked and have read the rest over time, frequently anxiously waiting for the next publishing date!

    • Oh and now my son has read the Sword trilogy and the Heritage series and is working on The First King!! This has inspired him to help me write a fantasy story! Fingers crossed it makes sense.

  3. Shawn your story is similar to mine, except I was 16 and found the Sword of Shannara in the used book section of store…

  4. I first read one of Terry’s books in the mid-1980’s, probably late 85, early 86. Started with the original trilogy and the the 1st Landover book when it was released. I’ve been hooked since I read that 1st chapter of The Sword of Shannara.

  5. I’ve always been an avid reader. My freshman year of high school, a friend gave me a gift card to a bookstore for my birthday. I wandered through the fantasy aisle for only a short time before I found The Sword of Shannara on the shelf. I felt drawn to the book, and the cover reminded me a bit of Tolkien. That was the first book I ever bought for myself as a (semi) adult. That was in 1990, and I’ve read it more times than I can remember since. Just last year, I had to have the cover rebound because years of love and reading had worn it off. It’s ready for another 25 years now!

  6. I started reading Terry Brooks in the mid 1980’s. I borrowed a school-mate’s copy of Wishsong of Shannara and was hooked from the very first sentence.

  7. I found a copy of Sword of Shannara in my school library. It was an odd book for a very old fashioned all girls school n the late 70’s. Must a read it many times before saved enough to buy my own copy. Have every book written by Terry and oth my kids have read them all ;))

  8. My mother bought The Sword of Shannara and was the first to read it. She eventually handed it off to me after I’d finished going through her collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels – those had been my first “grown up” books I’d read.

    I was around 8 or 9 at the time, so it was around the very cusp between the 70s and 80s and I can’t recall exactly which decade I officially started in. The Sword of Shannara was the first high fantasy novel I recall reading and it made me fall in love with the genre. I’ve been collecting all the books in the series ever since.

    • The Sword of Shannara and ERB’s Barsoom series were my first forays into fantasy, too (I consider Barsoom to be just as much fantasy as it was sci-fi). It was around 1984 or 1985, so I was 11 or 12 at the time. I was hooked on The Sword of Shannara right away. So much so, that I recall blowing off that Friday’s episode of Miami Vice to keep reading more of The Sword. This was a big deal because I really loved Miami Vice back then.

  9. Started reading after re reading the hobbit and lord of the rings many dozen times. Was recommended by staff at bookstore to try Elfstones…haven’t looked back since.

  10. I think this poll is skewed by the current ages of readers. I started reading Terry Brooks when I was 12 years old, but that was in the early 2000s. I found them in the school library. It would be interesting to see a poll asking at what age folks started reading the books.

  11. I started in 1997 in 7th grade. Sword was a high-value book in a reading competition. But once I read it, I had to read the series. Now I own them all. Awesome writing.

  12. I started reading in the 1980s and clearly remember taking that first book from the shelf at the bookstore in St Albans, UK. I still have my signed copy of the Scions from when Terry Brooks did a UK tour and came to the Athena store in St Albans ( I asked him how to pronounce Shannara.)

  13. Found Sword on my high school library shelf, and gave it a try. 🙂

  14. I’m pretty sure I read The Sword in 6th or 7th grade, so that would have been 1979.

  15. I bought Sword for a friend’s birthday in the early 80’s. We were both in junior high and just getting into D&D so it seemed like the perfect gift. I was so intrigued by it that I ended up buying a copy for myself shortly after and fell in love with the story. It’s still one of my favorite stories. A few years back, I found a used hardback copy of the same version I used to own. I was fortunate to have Terry sign it not too long after that and it sits proudly on my shelf with the rest of his books.

  16. I’m quite new reader too. It was last year that I first found (completely in random) couple Brooks books from my local library in Hollola Finland. The library was selling cheaply these worn-out copies of old books that weren’t loanable anymore, so I picked them up. Completely unknowing what kind of story they would contain and knowing nothing of Brooks. I was just into fantasy at the moment so I devoured pretty much any book I was able to find or spare time to read. These worn-out copies were The Scions of Shannara and The Elf-queen of Shannara. Those copies were in Finnish by the way. But the truth is, I never finished either of those books in Finnish. Don’t know why. Perhaps I felt that the translation was a bit silly. Especially now when I compare the translation to the original language, English editions. Mainly it was awesome covers of those two books that made me buy them. Well, anyway, not long after buying those worn-out copies I found omnibus edition called The Heritage of Shannara, which, of course, contained all four books of.the Heritage… cycle. And this time, in English. And man, did I enjoy it! One of the best fantasy experiences I’ve read in long, long time. Such a dramatic series of books. Especially Elf-queen and The Druid books. After reading these four books my eyes really opened for terry Brooks. Soon after that I bought every single Shannara novel that has been written, excluding e-books (I’m not very huge fan of e-books). I also bought that comic book. Right at the moment I’m reading The Sword of Shannara trilogy and I’m in the Elfstones…. book. Amberley and Wil has just been saved by Eretria in Grimpen Ward.

  17. Started with Sword of Shannara in my early teens (90s). Read all the rest of them since at least once. My favorite author!

  18. In 1979. I was 13 and I’d just finished Lord of the Rings for the first time and I craved for more. I found Sword of Shannara and have been reading Terry Brooks ever since.

    • Ditto (although I started in 1988).

      I picked up the Sword because it was a 726 page book and I was a precocious kid. I liked the challenge. Took me about 3 days to read the whole thing. Then I read it again and then again. Probably read it more than 20 times in my life since then and I enjoy it every time.

  19. I was a jr. in college at Millikin U. Decatur Ill. A friend who was a freshman recommended Terry Brooks to me because I had just finished reading the Lord of the Rings books and really liked them. Been reading them ever since. Met Terry at Andersons Book Store in Naperville Ill. a few years ago. Got a picture taken with him. I’m the guy that was shorter than Terry.

  20. I read the original Sword of Shannara about 1978 or 79, when my sister loaned the book to me. From then on Terry’s books were on my “buy” list.

    In the mid 90’s I realized I had most of his books in first edition hard copies. Since then I have collected pretty much all of his books in signed 1st edition hard copies, including the original Shannara series. I was able to get my original copies signed by Terry in person. 🙂

  21. I started with Magic Kingdom for Sale-Sold! when I was in my teens. I need to re-read that one because I loved it. It was right there with my other favorite books, Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time.

  22. Started early 80’s when Elfstones came out. So I read the first two out of order. Still remember the standup display of the trade paperbacks at the front of the mall bookstore. So many mall booksellers since then, I couldn’t tell you which one it might have been. The cover illustration drew me to the display and then after reading it had to go back and get Sword. The well worn copy worked its way around my circle of friends and they became fans too. I’ve met Terry on several occasions and he’s definitely my favorite author.

  23. Had collected the books from Used Books stores over many years. Sat down and read Sword first and kept going in published order. Three years later I had read the whole series up to the current Witch Wrath and the Landover Series. Still need to read Defenders and soon Darkling Child. Have even visited with Terry and Shawn at a book signing bringing along my then 10 yr old son introducing him to Terry’s works. Even got to meet Peter O’rillian at that signing and loved his book. Need to get yours now Shawn! Helps to be a local with Terry so near! See you at the Darkling Child release this Summer!

    Michael Rich

  24. In 8th grade literature in the fall of 1991, we had to write short stories. We were paired up with a classmate to discuss our stories. My classmate was writing fan fiction based on (I believe The Wishsong of) Shannara. I had never heard of it but I had already read Tolkien’s stuff two or three times. My best friend and I ended up buying each other The Sword of Shannara for Christmas (completely on accident, but I’m not surprised). It was the longest book I had ever read at the time. I remember taking a couple of weeks to get through the first half while I was out of town for Christmas. Then I got home and read the second half in two days, and for the next year or two I caught up on all things Terry Brooks.

  25. I picked up the Sword of Shannarra in 1982 in a used book store in Reno when I was 11. It was the first “grown up” book I ever read, and got me hooked on Fantasy books ever since.

  26. Found Sword in the library at Jr. High in 1980, bought Elfstones shortly after that… and have impatiently waited for each new book since!!

  27. 1988 I was 8 ” borrowed” the elfstones from my dad,
    read them ever since

  28. In 1992, I was 12 years old and had just finished 6th grade. I found an old box of books belonging to my dad in the back of the closet. Many of them were Old West style stories, but at the bottom of the box was an old copy of Sword of Shannara.

    I was intrigued by the map I found inside the cover and asked my dad about it. He told me it was a good fantasy book he had read years ago and that I should read it.

    Having never read an adult book before, I was a bit intimidated by how many pages it had. Within a week, I had finished it completely and was eager for more. I went to the local public library and found Elfstones and Wishsong.

    I can’t thank my dad enough for suggesting I read Sword. Because of him, I became the die hard sci fi/fantasy fan that I am today.

  29. I knew it was early 80’s, but I couldn’t remember when. I still have my Sword paperback that I first bought new in a book store. It’s a 10th printing mass market edition, but no other books are listed, even though Elfstones was already out. That would have been the year I graduated high school. Been reading ever since.

  30. I started reading The Sword of Shannara back in the early 80’s. We lived out in an at the time remote area known as Valley Center, CA. so we’d go to a book store in Escondido, CA. everyone once and a while to buy a few books and I read the first few pages and was hooked and have been enjoying his books ever since. BTW I now live in the Pacific Northwest as well.

  31. I was in my early 20’s around 2003 and just getting into fantasy and found his books while wandering the book store. I actually started with First King and have read everything up to date except Landover. I’m excited for the show.

  32. I picked up a copy of Magic Kingdom for Sale and loved it and the series. I’ve been reading his books ever since.

  33. I still have my 1st edition paperback copy of the Sword of Shannara that I read in the 70’s. My 1st encounter of lifelong reading pleasure. I have read every one too including Landover.

  34. I was introduced by a friend in the early 2000s who had got his book signed in Blackpool Waterstones. The first book I read was the First King of Shannara.

  35. I started with the Heritage tetralogy in 1993. I hated reading but a friend’s mom took me to a summer reading program at the library. That summer, I read everything Terry had published. I’ve been an avid reader since and am a librarian myself, now.

  36. I started reading the series in 2002 and I started with the Sword series. Currently I am completely caught up with the entire series and am very excited for future booms and the TV show!

  37. Started reading Terry Brooks in High School, right after Lord of the Rings. His series got me into reading and writing fantasy, and generally got me into fantasy geekdom as a whole.

  38. My older brother was assigned to read the sword of Shanara in class in jr high. Fascinated by the cover I started to read it a few years later when I was 12. After that I was taken to the library when I got my first card and read any Terry Brooks book that I could get my hands on. Evey few years I would go back and re-read them plus any new books that had come out.

  39. My Grandfather got me started on the first Shannara series in the 80’s. I love them

  40. I started reading his books in the 80’s I can’t wait to to the new one s to come out’

  41. I found a copy of The Sword of Shannara in the library at my middle school when I was in 6th grade. I was looking for a book to do a report on for one of my classes and came across it. I took it home and gave it a shot to see if it was a good choice for my report and the topic wasn’t right for the report but I still read it in only a couple days anyways. I’ve been hooked on the series ever since, and have read every book as they’ve been released. I’ve loved them all and will always love and enjoy any books having to do with the Shannara story lines.

  42. I’m Dutch and I started reading his books in the 70’s. I read the S.o.S. First in Dutch, then bought the English version and kept reading all books a.s.a. they were available. (probs re-read them bout 10 times now)

  43. Started reading him in the 2000’s. My book club chose “in the shadow of the warlock lord” (1st third of sword) and I was hooked. I requested the other 2 parts from my local library and devoured them. Went on to read all the way up to antrax. I haven’t caught up yet because I’m reading Landover. I read sword, Eragon, and The Lord of the Rings all in the same year. All of those authors are my top 3.

  44. 1990, to be exact. I was at a friend’s house and The Elfstones of Shannara caught my eye, I borrowed it and it blew my mind. Best book I ever read. From there I had to buy my own copy, together of course, with The Sword of Shannara. I now have 23 Shannara books (including the Word/Void and Genesis of Shannara series). I am so stoked that Elfstones is being made into a tv series! LOVE these books!

  45. I was 9 y/o in 1988 when my uncle, who is the other syfy/fantasy nut in the family, let me borrow his copy… and the rest is history. A fan for life.
    Thank you Terry!

  46. I have read all Terry Brooks books since 1978. I still have my first book The Sword of Shannara, I read in high school.

  47. 1978 is when I picked up Sword of Shannara browsing through the fantasy/sci-fi section at B. Dalton Booksellers.

  48. I was working at Downing Golf Course in Erie, PA. I’ve always loved to read, and had just finished David Eddings ten book series, The Belgariad, and The Mallorean. The guy handing out our pay checks was reading a book and I asked what he was reading and he said “nothing you would like.” It was Elf Stones. I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve read them all at least eight times. I haven’t watched tv in over a year, but I’ll be watching this summer!

  49. Well, I’m sure I would have read them in the 80s if I had been old enough to read then…

  50. I started in the late 80’s. I was a freshman in High School and an avid reader . I had heard about this Sword of Shannara and wanted to give it a try. I had never tried any fantasy (not even Tolkien). But my school only had one copy and it was continuously being checked out. So I would swing by their library every day and check the returned books. And one day.. Bang. I seen Sword of Shannara written on the back cover of a book. As it turns out, it wasn’t Sword but Elfstones with a review of Sword on the back cover. I took home Elfstones of Shannara and my world was forever changed.
    Now I have read everything Terry Brooks has written.

  51. I have always been an avid Tolkien fanatic (read the Hobbit in 6th grade). In the early 80’s I was looking for a book or books that would whisk me away into a new land. I was a freshman at W&La small private college in the Shenandoah Valley. Some one suggested The Sword of Shannara written by a guy who went to the law school. I was instantly hooked and have read everyone of Terry Brook’s books multiple times.

  52. I’ve started reading the Shannara books in the year 2012. It’s kinda based in luck actually. One of the days during that year my dad came home with a bunch of books for me to read. I read almost all of it and deem it all interesting except “The Sword of Shannara Trilogy” because I didnt bother to read it. I didn’t bother reading it because I was uninterested with its genre, but one day I felt dreadful and bored as hell. So I went to check my bookshelf to see if I have anything to read. Nothing except the Shannara book. Then I thought I might as well read it since I was bored as hell. After finishing that book, I started to buy more of Terry’s books and became a fan. That’s how it all began, by being bored.

  53. In the early 90’s I read the Lord of the Rings for the 1st time. When completed I went into a book store and asked for a recommendation based on fact that I had enjoyed Lord of the Rings. The young man pulled a copy of Sword of Shannara off the shelf and basically guaranteed that I would love it. He was correct. I now anxiously await every new book and devour it when I finally can get my hands on it.

  54. I started reading Terry’s books after meeting him and working with him at the Maui Writers Conference and Retreat.

  55. I started reading Terry’s books after I met him and worked with him at the Maui Writers Conference and Retreats.

  56. I first read The Sword of Shannara in August of 1979 just before my 7th grade year. It was the book I read in the car when my dad retired from the army when we moved to Kansas. I remember it, as it was the first paperback book I had ever read with a colored picture in it. Probably a strange item to remember, but I fell in love with books and devoured every book I could at a very early age.

  57. Checked out Sword from the library in middle school (mid 80’s) & loved it. Fast forward 20 years & I found a first edition hardcover copy & started reading Terry again & now have everything he has written.

  58. My younger brother recommended it as I recall. Read Sword of Shannara in 1977.

  59. 1994. I was 7 when Dad handed me Magic Kingdom For Sale -SOLD!. I was probably a bit young for some of the themes, but I was already reading well above my grade level, and he was just trying to keep me occupied. I started reading Piers Anthony around the same time.

  60. I started reading Terry Brooks in 2009 after I bought the original trilogy and most of the Heritage of Shannara from a yard sale for about a dollar each.

    I had trouble getting into Sword of Shannara in seventh grade, but by the time I finished it I was hooked. I have read every Shannara book since, either by buying the books or borrowing them from the town library (which has a huge Brooks section!)

  61. When I was about 9 my local librarian, seeing me book out four childrens books on a Friday and bring them back on saturday to choose 4 more, took pity on me and introduced me to the adults section. I found Terry Brooks amd never looked back. I was maybe a bit young but that adult section was the best discovery of my life.

  62. I believe the first book i read of Terry’s was magic kingdom for sale sold. After that i started reading the shannara series. He has been one of my favorite authors ever dince.

  63. 1976-Early -1977:
    How? A certain naughty child had a book, “The Sword of Shannara” taken from him for reading while in class. The student was sent to “Detention” with the book, which was confiscated by the school. No one knew that the boy’s parent, was one of a few New York editors that had early pre-print drafts of the book, and that his parent had given it to him. Through odd circumstances the dog-earred book fell into my hands with the editor’s hand scrawled comments intact.

    Thus, began my decade spanning journey into the worlds created by Terry Brooks.

  64. Del Rey was giving away copies of Sword at a Milwaukee Gen Con in the mid-1990s. Even though I read and liked it, I didn’t really get hooked until I read Elfstones, which is why I agree with Terry’s decision to start the TV series there.

  65. I first read the Sword of Shannara in 1991. I was 13. I found it on my grandmother’s bookshelf. I read it cover-to-cover in 12 hours, and I’ve read every book since. I usually finish them by the end of the first day of release. Once I start, it is very difficult to put down a Terry Brooks novel.

  66. I was 15 in the summer of ’82 and dating a girl that was a complete bookworm. I remember showing up at her house one day and she was reading Sword. Later that year, long after she was an ex-girlfriend, I needed to pick a book to read and right a book report about for English class. I went to my local Walden Books and picked up a paperback copy of Sword and was just captured by the story. I probably re-read it 2 or 3 times over the next several months. Then one day I was wandering through Walden Books again and found Elfstones in paperback. Reading Elfstones left such an impression on me that I own every Shannara book from the Heritage series on in hard back and read them almost as soon as they are released.

  67. My first book was The Scions of Shannara in the mid 90’s. It was in my local library right by the Michael Crichton books I had recently grew fond of reading. I remember saying that the cover looked cool. Read it and the rest of the series very quickly. The characters entranced me. I reread it several times over the next years and then read everything else by Terry Brooks. I own the whole series (and Landover and Phantom Menace) now and quickly buy and read every new book in the Shannara series.

    • Hey Duane,
      I know of Landover series but I’ve never read a single book of it but I’m quite intrigued to start reading those too. But I’d like to know what you have to say about that series? How would you compare it to Shannara? Is more prodiparodical in sense of Terry Pratchet? And then the most important questio: is it worth it? Is it worth my time to read it? Thank you so much if you reply.

      • Hi Henry, not Duane here.
        I feel the same as Duane. I own everything Terry has given to us.(Started in 80’s with elfstones) And although the Shannara series is HUGE, and more popular, I love Landover equally if not more. It’s more lighthearted, but still has a serious tone. Funny and the characters are very diverse. It’s unrestrained imagination and worth every second spent reading. If you decide to give it a go don’t expect it to be anything like Shannara. Just open your mind and let Terry take you for an incredible ride!

        • Thanks Kinsler tae, I’m definitely going to give Landover series a serious try 🙂

  68. The year was 1996. I was a freshman in high school, when I started reading the Elfstones of Shannara.

  69. A friend introduced me to Tolkien in 1977 and I was hooked on fantasy from that point. After reading all of J.R.R. that I could get my hands on at that time, I was looking for something else in fantasy to read. I was in Walden Books on one occasion in ’79 and they had a display of best sellers and I was shocked to see a fantasy book called “The Sword of Shannara.” I bought a copy and was hooked. Terry Brooks was the best story teller I had ever read. I’ve purchased every book Terry has written since then.

  70. 1977, I was 15, sitting on the back porch swing everyday after school…still have my hard cover edition……still get the Shannara the day they are published….Elfstones is still my favorite book in the series and favorite book in general..

  71. Started in the early 90s by finding Elfstones on the shelf in the school library.

  72. I was in seventh grade in the late 90’s. I found Sword of Shannara in the high school library in the tiny fantasy / sci-fi section. I tore through it faster than any other book I had ever read. I returned to the library and found Elfstones, but that was it. A few years later I went to my local bookstore and found the others by Terry. I bought a copy of everything that was out up to that point, and I have been purchasing hardcovers as they’ve been released ever since.

  73. I had just finished reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy during Christmas break 1977 and was so enamored with the genre that I started looking for more fantasy books. That’s when I found the The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I was hooked and have read every one of Terry’s books since as they became available.

  74. I started reading them in 79 with Sword. I guess I was about 14. I have had to wait for every other book he has written. I get the same excitement each time I pick up a new one and begin again on a new adventure. Thanks Terry for the magic!

  75. “Armageddon’s Children” was my first, and I bought it at the book signing. So why did I go? Because even I knew that Terry was (as Ron Burgundy would say) “kind of a big deal”. If you want to get technical, I did read the novelization of “Hook” in the early 90s without ever noticing that it was by Terry. I also started to read “Sword” in the 90s but had a misunderstanding about the plot in the first few chapters. For some reason, I thought since there were three elfstones, they could only be used three times. When they were used that many times right out of the gate it made no sense to me, and I put it down. Only in the last 10 years did I finally read it and finish it.

  76. The Sword in High School in the late 70’s after I just finished LOTR. It was the only other book like that out that I can remember. I am glad Terry wrote so many other books, I have enjoyed them all and am looking forward to the TV series.

  77. Found “Magic Kingdom: For Sale/Sold” in school library and we can all guess the rest of the story 🙂

  78. I started with the first book! I graduated in 1978, and was already waiting for the next books! My parents gave me a leather bound copy of LOTR when I graduated, and I have a whole collection of Tolkien, Brooks, and Tad Williams that I have carted around the world with me. Now I’m letting my 13 year old grandson read them!!!

    • That is special indeed. It’s fun to inspire the younger generation to read. I know I needed that inspiration. Reading was not something I liked when I was little but with the help of my loving sister and mom I found my imagination I used playing outdoors could be used while reading.
      Thanks for sharing.

  79. In my defense, I was born in 88.
    I started reading them in the early 2000’s. I was probably 13 or 14.

  80. 2010’s. My first book was Sword, too. My father told me I should read it after I finished reading a Tolkien book… I think. I know I had just recently finished reading a book, and he was telling me about it. It was around 8-11 PM, I remember. Funny that I remember the time and not the book just before, right?

    Anyway, I have read almost every book Terry has published so far. Sadly, my father has only had the luxury to read the first trilogy back when he was in High school, I think. I’m gonna be pushing for him to read Elfstones just before the TV series comes out though! It’s been wonderful reading all of these books, and I hope to read many more as they come along! 😀

  81. I bought The Sward of Shannara on the 14th January 1986. Then on the 16th I bought Elfstones and Wishsong and the rest is history. 🙂


  82. I read Elfstones first. I recall picking it up in the store after I had read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and had recently started to play D&D. I was on an elf kick and the title caught my eye.

  83. I can’t remember where I got The Sword of Shannara but I was hooked on it. Then my mother found a book she thought I would like – Magic Kingdom for Sale – Sold!. I have read the sword, wishsong and elfstone of Shannara about 4 times and the Magic Kingdom books about 5 times. I also have a lot of other Shannara books that I have read too. I love his books.

  84. I was in an Advanced English class in high school. The teacher challenged us to read a book outside of our “comfort” genre. A good friend suggested ‘The Elfstones of Shannara’ and I was ever skeptical that I’d like sci-if/fantasy. He told me the second book would be a ‘better’ intro to Brooks’ work than the first one.

    He was dead right.

    I’ve been hooked on Brooks since 1986-1987 when I read that first one. I’ve tried other authors in the genre and none have clicked.

    I’m now an English professor and will be teaching a class on 9 of Terry Brooks’ books in the fall of 2015. The title of the course: Terry Brooks. We will be covering the first three in Shannara, the first three in Magic Kingdom, and the first three of Running.

  85. I read the Sword of Shannara in the 5th grade, which would have been 1990 I believe. It was my first fantasy novel. I read it over 3 days, and haven’t stopped reading fantasy since.

  86. Honesty, I read Sword in high school. I remember reading it in one day because I was sick and stayed home that day

  87. The first book I read was Sword of Shannara in 1980’s a few a years after it’s release in 1977, Followed by Elfstones and Wishsong! Which is considered by most fans to be the best in the series… followed by Heritage!

  88. May 6, 1986. I got the book Magic Kingdom For Sale for my birthday that year

  89. My best friend gave me a paperback copy of “Sword” for Christmas in 1978. We were Juniors in high school. Best Christmas present I ever got. I now own the entire Shannara series in hardcover, about half of them first edition – first printing. Everything up through “Armageddon’s Children” has been signed. Anxiously awaiting Terry’s next visit to northern Utah to get the rest signed.

  90. About 1981, after chewing through a number of the Dune series of books (Frank Herbert); the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings (Tolkien); a number of Xanth and other novels (Anthony), I was looking for more things to read so I found The Sword of Shannara and have been a fan of Mr. Brooks ever since.

  91. I was in the army about 1976, 77. Just finish reading The Godfather for sixth time, so I went to the PX to buy lords of the ring,well I start reading some of it, in the store, and I just couldn’t in to the book, I did later in life, but not then. So I start looking around the PX and saw The sword and was hook every since.

  92. I picked up the Sword of Shanarra when I was 13 in the 90’s, couldn’t get through it because it didn’t flow like the other books I had been reading. Picked up Elfstones later that year and LOVED IT! Now as an adult I am an avid fan and have realized that while Sword is an excellent book, Elfstones was Mr. Brooks’ first novel that he used his real author voice instead of trying to emulate the writers before him – and that is what hooked me! My all time favorites are Elfstones, Voyage of the Jerle Shannara and Running with the Demon. Keep at it, Terry! Thanks for helping a young man deepen his love for great literature!

  93. Mid-90s. Started with Elfstones, then Sword and on.

    It was also the first time I went to a Barnes & Noble:)

  94. I had finished the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy and was searching for something else in that genre. I scanned several authors and books, but the moment I saw the Sword of Shannara I knew I had found my new addiction!! I loved the writing style and the character development as well as the plot twists. The only thing I DIDN’T like was having to wait for the next one to come out… ;)) So, Mr. Brooks, I am a huge fan of your work and ask only that you keep writing!!! Kudos from Florida…… :))))))

  95. I started the series with my mom and older brother during the Harry Potter craze–at the behest of a friend and fellow fantasy-lover. If I recall correctly I was about 11-12. I fell for the series so hard I even wrote a letter to Mr. Brooks expressing how happy I was that he’d given up being a lawyer to pursue writing full-time. It just about blew my mind when he actually wrote me back.

    I’ve fallen behind on the newest trilogies in recent years but thanks to the TV show announcement it’s reminded me how big an impact books like this have had on my life, so I want to get back to that world ASAP.

    Super psyched for the show to start!

  96. The first book I read was the third book – Wishsong of Shannara – it was the best story I read in the late 1980s. After I read the first and then the second, and reread the third. The year I remember because I finished school and it was the most frightening time of my life – to experience life. Wishsong in reality helped me to move on. I still believe that to this day that one’s experience is driven by defeating the fear within me. Its funny that a piece of writing could move me in a direction which now I think has made me to continue to go forward. I continue to read the first three of the Shannara series each year. Wishsong of Shannara holds a special part to my heart to control the fear and moving forward.

  97. fell in love with fantasy at a tender age reading Burroughs A Princess Of Mars, short stories by H.P. Lovecraft, Conan stories by Robert E. Howard then I discovered Tolkien and thought i was at the epitome of fantasy literature – then I was introduced to the Sword Of Shannara by my cousin in 1977 ( I still have the copy he gave to me as a gift much worn and battered) I was 7 years old

  98. Was looking for something new at the library. I liked the first Shannara book so much I bought all of them that were available at the time, and every new one as it comes out!!!

  99. My dad had the first three books, and when I started eying them around twelve, he decided I was too young to handle them on my own and spent the better part of a year reading Sword aloud to me. I hadn’t even been exposed to the LOTR yet, and I thought the Skullbearers were the most wonderfully creepy things ever! We still compare thoughts after each new book.

  100. Our local library displayed “Wards of Faerie” prominently when it came out. I read the book and liked it so much that I checked to see if the author had written other books in the genre. I discovered Terry had been writing all my life, and I had never known it. Since then I have read all the Shannara books, and I have given gifts of them to my daughter to read.

  101. Thank God my little sister knew about Terry Brooks and got me hooked on Shannara series.

  102. I saw a friend of mine reading “The Sword of Shannara” when I was in college. I liked the cover art. Found it in a bookstore, and I’ve been buying everything By Terry Brooks since!

  103. I was always an avid reader once I learned how, and for about a decade, my Dad would tell me about this old box of books buried deep in our attic from his high school and college days. The books became kind of an enthralling mystery to me and for many years my parents would shuffle things around looking for them for me. Finally, we uncovered them when I was in high school and an early paperback printing of Sword and a first edition hardback Elfstones was among them. After I finished Elfstones around 2010, I went online wanting more. Imagine my surprise when I discovered not one book but around 20! I have almost all of them now, but my Dad’s old copies are treasures above the rest along with the rest from that cardboard box. Terry, thank you so much for your writing and please keep it up, your books entertain and inspire generations!

  104. I started reading the sword in 1988 on a 30 hour return flight from London to Sydney. It kept me occupied and then I was hooked!

  105. 1991 with Sword of Shannara. I then proceeded to devour the rest of the books up to Druid Of Shannara. At that time “Elf Queen” had yet to be published and I could barely wait! My grandmother bought me the hardcover for my birthday and wrote a little note to me on the inside cover. She has since passed, but every time I read “Elf Queen” the first thing I see is the birthday note from Gram, always brings a smile to my face.

  106. I started reading Terry Brooks books in the early 1980’s. I was playing D&D and a friend was reading The Wishsong of Shannara. I borrowed the book from him and after reading that book I was hooked!! I went back and read the first 2 and I have read everything he has written ever sense. I have every book of his in hardcover and signed!! I have meet him 2 times. My favorite book is The elfstones of Shannara!! I love the way he bridged the earlier books together with the Shannara world!! I also really enjoyed his explanations as to why the races turned out like they did. The quality of living in the geographical areas that they lived in created the races!! I can’t wait to see his world come to life!!

  107. I started in the 2000’s but I was only 13 and in 7th grade! Great books!

  108. I read The Sword of Shannara in 1992 at 12 years old. My best friend had it at my house and left it when he went home. I thought the cover looked interesting, so I picked it up and started to read. I was immediately hooked. Sadly, I had to return it to him the next day, but I went to a bookstore and bought it as soon as I could. It is still my favorite book ever.

  109. I bought and read The Sword Of Shannara the year it was published…1977. Good God that was a long time ago! I remember it well because it was also the same year I received Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy in a beautiful red leather-bound edition for a birthday gift. I had worn the covers off my 1960s era paperback editions. Anyway I was looking for something in the same vein and along came Terry and Sword. Haven’t miss one since.

  110. I found Sword in 1978, read it while in hospital and was hooked. I was happy to find “Landover” and then went searcing for more. “Word & Void”, then “Genesis”, passing each on to my sons (and buying more copies). Brought my sons up on Shannara and have had many lively discussions regarding them, gave a copy to my daughter-in-law and I just gave my grandson “Sword” (I think everyone should start there) and he loves it, too. Thank you, Mr. Brooks!

  111. I first found the Sword of Shannara in 1984. I was a freshman in high school and worked in the library and this is bad I know… I stole the book I love it soooo much. Since that time my 3 younger brothers and my mom has read then all in fact my mom bought all five of us complete sets over time.

  112. I was at a garage sale with my mother, and my eleven year old mind was captivated by exciting stories of the Hardy Boys. The picture on the front cover of “Elfstones” looked exciting, as did the world painted in the words on the back cover. I have forevermore been drawn to the world of Shannara, and have grown to love that place. Thank you, Terry, for sharing.

  113. I bought and read the Sword of Shannara when I was in 6th grade. Some of my friends in my neighborhood had read it and suggested I read it. That was probably 1988 or 1989. It is still my all-time favorite book. I have been fan ever since.

  114. in 1992 I went into a book store and picked up a discounted book of The Black Unicorn – I loved it and the went back and started getting all of Terry’s books. Then in 2007 we had a fire and I lost everything! A friend of mine (who plays one of the Darth Vader’s) knows Terry and his wife and he was able to get almost all my books replaced for free from Terry! Yeah!

    Now I get every book as it comes out and just love them all.

  115. I bought and read Sword of Shannara about a year after it came out. I was in the Navy and on deployment to the Indian Ocean at the time I read it. I still have that paperback. I also have all of Terry’s books in first edition hardback. All signed by Terry.

  116. I read the Sword of Shannara in 1980 just before leaving to serve in the US Army. I was looking for something new and found a copy of the book in my local bookstore. I have read ever book he has written and continue to be a big fan of Terry’s work.

  117. I first read the Sword of Shannara I think it was 1977 or 8 and have since read all of the shannara series and the word series, I have enjoyed every one of these novels.
    Thank you Terry
    Don Willis

  118. My now ex husband turned me on to Terry Brooks books. One of the few good things that came out of that relationship.

  119. I was on holiday in the Canary Islands, off the West Coast of North Africa, for those that do not know, late 2004. I had finished all my holiday books, so I wandered into a local tourist type shop, browsed the books and was attracted to the cover and description on a Jarka Ruus paperback. I was instantly hooked to Terry, once I had read it.

    The rest, as they say, is history. I have now read all of Terry’s books several times and wait eagerly for the next book each year,

    Thank you very much for the endless pleasure and sheer joy you have given me over the years.

    All the best.


  120. As a 4th grader in 1987, I wandered into the school library to find something to read for a class report. I picked up Elfstones, and my world was never the same. Reading was no longer something done just for school, but for the fun of it! While I could never fully appreciate the Landover novels, I have diligently purchased every Shannara-related novel as soon as I became aware it existed.

    Terry Brooks is easily my favorite author of any genre, and when I began writing my own novel I modeled my writing style in part upon his. I just self-published my novel, Dragon Born, and proudly call Mr Brooks as my inspiration and writing hero.

  121. I have been reading the works of Terry Brooks for many years now. Whether it is The Shannarra series, or The Magic of Landover series, I have enjoyed these books for decades. They have brought me comfort and solace at some very hard times in my life, reminding me of a message many other authors have tried to convey over the years: “You are not alone.”

    • I too find great solace in my books. I own every single book that Terry Brooks has written in the Shannara series and the Landover series ( a couple autographed), plus about 1000 other books from some amazing authors. I have read and re-read the Shannara series at least 3 times, as each new book became available. I discovered the Shanara series in the late 1980’s t the library where I was desperately seeking something new. I loved that first book the First King of Shannara so much, that I had to go out and find all the rest that were in print at the time. I am currently working my way through 4 different books from 4 different series. i might have too much time on my hands? lol

  122. 1983/1984 (7th grade) was around the time I started reading Terry Brooks. Went into a used bookstore and there on a shelf by itself was Elfstones of Shannara. Loved the cover and immediately purchased It. French class took a hit. Our desks had the slots in the front and that’s where I would put the book and read it. I couldn’t put the book down and French class wasn’t going to get in the way. Needless to say my French is non-existent but my Brooksian is strong. Other than the first three I now am the proud owner of all of the Shannara books in hardcover, signed, first editions. A thirty year journey that’s still going. Bravo Mr. Brooks, bravo. Thank you very much for 3 decades of reading enjoyment.

  123. My brother found them in my dad’s book collection and recommended them to me. I didn’t read them for a while because he’d damaged the first book, but then my grandma gave me an undamaged copy. I read it on the way back to our house. I then went and read the next few books and found myself unable to stop.

  124. My dad introduced me to Terry Brooks after I graduated college. I became a teacher in 2003 and was looking for good summer reads in my time off. My father gave me his original hard back copy of the trilogy he read in college in the 70’s. I read them all quickly over that summer and have spent the years since collecting each new one as they come. Keep them coming Terry.

  125. Mr. Brooks sword of shannara made me want to start reading in the mid 1980’s.

  126. I was 12 years old, in the 80’s and a friend lent me The Sword of Shannara. I was enthralled and fell in love with the series… my children are now in their early 20’s and late teens and they love the books too!

  127. A friend introduced me to sword of shannara in 1994. By far the best fantasy series i’ve ever read.

  128. I read a lot of fantasy back in the 70s and 80s, but somehow never read one of Terry’s books. After many years raising a family I started back into reading in order to encourage my daughter and find something to do together. I saw the original trilogy published in one volume in the local bookstore and remembered seeing it years before. I started reading and couldn’t put it down. Now Terry’s books are my favorites!!

  129. PS guys… I read the Elfstones of Shannara to my daughter with a Sean Connery accent. It was a hoot! A great memory!

  130. I was 17 when I read The Sword of Shannara. That was in the 70s. I talked my mom to buying the paperback for me. It was my first epic novel. I have read all the Shannara series. Terry is one of my favorite authors. The only series I haven’t completed of his Landover series and it’s on my to do list. Terry thanks for some great times in a different time and place.

  131. Science fiction was more my genre at the time The Sword was published, but when I saw the cover it was a beckoning to come inside and get wrapped up! I have read every book since and keep hoping there is another one being worked on. My original has been read enough times it is now held together by tape and rubber bands. Many thanks to TB and his muse.

  132. I was working in a grocery store saw the paper back cover; did a quick thumb through; had it held at the counter for me; bought it on my break and started reading; sadly I had to put it down and finish my shift; however as soon as I was home The Sword of Shannara was out of the bag and in my hands; with the exception of eating it never left my hands; I remember trying to eat and read, however the parents put the kibosh on that – no reading while your eating – fastest they ever saw me eat. Never put it down after that bleary eyed I finished it in one sitting. Hooked ever since and can’t wait to get the next fix. Thanks Terry for nearly fifty years of escape from the real world….or is it the other way around hmm

  133. i was a kid in love with swords… maybe 10 years old at the time. visiting the library – a tittle like “the sword of shannara” just leaps out to a 10 year old. i still remember holding the book in my hands and carrying it out. have to admit, some of it may have gone over my head when reading – but i made up for that in the consecutive years of re-reading 🙂 Terry Brooks books first got me into fantasy and changed the way i grew up. i re-read the entire Shannara series often, as well as Magic Kingdom – and have them all in Hardcover from spending hours scouring used and new book stores 🙂 thank you Terry for having such a positive and powerful impact on my life. I can truthfully say you changed my life.

  134. My journey started at the age of 14 in a World Literature class in Truckee, CA. I had read a lot of the books already but fell in love with 2 I had never seen before. The first was “The Count of Monte Cristo” which is my favorite to this day and the second was “The Sword of Shannara”! I voraciously devoured Shannara in a day and a half and never turned back from the tales of the Ohmsfords since then. I own every copy in hard cover, paperback, and digital! By the way, that was in 1979! I look forward to all the offerings of Mr. Brooks and credit him with my love of Fantasy and Science Fiction as his book started it all for me!

  135. I was a Junior in Highschool in 1996, I was Nursing a Football Injury and since I couldn’t really participate in the morning, I wandered in the library to find something to read, found and read the Sword of Shannara and fell in love ever since.

  136. In 1977 I was 10 years old. My father was a big Tolkien fan. He had been given “Sword of Shannara” by his father, who considered such literature juvenile and a waste of time. It was a half hearted attempt to show some interest in his son. Realizing this, my father promptly gave it to me. I didn’t have the best relationship with my father either so when he put it in my hands, reading it was the furthest thing from my mind. Admittedly, I was not much of a reader at that time. Anything more than a hundred pages seemed like work. As such, it was more than a year before I seriously started reading it.
    I picked it up because we had just moved away from all my friends to a place where I was alone and a bit of a minority. So, at 11 years old, scared and at odds with my father, I began reading what would get me through some very difficult and challenging times. I read it slow, absorbing every sentence before going on to the next. I was in another world when I read. I would put on head phones and listen to a record, usually classical music, to help block out the noise from outside my bedroom door. I remember reading for hours until my eyes gave up. It was my daily sanctuary. “Sword” was my first experience with a book that truly sparked my imagination.
    For years afterward I stalked unsuspecting book stores searching for a sequel, careful not to let on to my dad my true intentions (truly strained relationship= not wanting to give him the satisfaction he may have done something good for me). In 1982, I was in a new school and a new city yet again. I had reread “Sword” more times than I can remember. I had all but given up on any new books from Terry. I had tried to read other authors, but no-one compared. I was walking through a small shopping center one evening after school and was passing by a small book store when I saw it. My heart jumped into my throat and it took me a few moments to believe it was true. At long last, my good friend had returned. And boy had he! “Elfstones” went beyond what I had experienced with “Sword”, and that is saying quite a bit!!!
    For years to come, and to this day, “Shannara” would be a part of my life. When times got tough, I would find strength in the characters. When I was sick I would find relief in the pages of another amazing story.
    Thank you Mr. Brooks for the magic you created!

    • That is a truly touching story, and I can say that the series has done more for you than it has for me. For me it’s just one of the greatest series I’ve ever read, for you it was a retreat from a world that must have been rather harsh upon you. If I may ask, did you ever work things out with your father?

      • As my father grew older he did mellow a bit, but only in the way a winter storm pauses after burying everything in snow. I would have liked to have been closer to him but the emotional calluses built up over time made it difficult for me. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to make amends; about twenty years ago he died of a heart attack.

  137. started reading 10yrs ago or more have read all of his books,can’t wait for darkling child

  138. I was mowing lawns for money as a 12-13 year old boy. I usually made enough to buy myself something every week. Sometimes, it was an album. But once, I saw a book in the bookstore at Edison Mall in Ft. Myers, Florida. It was 1979 and I had spent my money for the week but I wanted The Sword of Shannarra in the worst way. There was only one copy on the shelf, and I rode my bike to the mall every day to make sure it was still there. To my delight (and, possibly to Mr. Brooks chagrin), the book was still there. Finally, I earned enough, bought the book and rode home with a big bag of Lay’s BBQ potato chips to nibble on while I read. It was the first time in my life that a book kept me up until well into the night and then had me rushing through the day to come home and read. I was already a big reader, but I had never read a book that I couldn’t wait to be a part of, a book that had a world that was so filled with magic, in the story and in the telling. I hadn’t read any fantasy until then, but because of The Sword of Shannarra I became a lifelong fan. Maybe, because it was the first, it will always be held in a special place in my mind. Certainly, I have heard the criticisms of it. But they fell, and will always fall, on deaf ears. It is my favorite story, with my favorite characters and my favorite magic.

  139. Think it was 93-94. My husband handed me Sword. Back then I didn’t read and I considered it like homework. But Sword changed my world and the way I look at reading today. I only wish I had known books like these exsited when I was still in school.

  140. I am from Poland.I started reading Terry Brooks’ books 15 years ago,when I was 53 years old.My daughter gave me the Magic Kingdom books.Since then I read all the Terry Brooks’ books.First, I read in Italian language.Now I read in English.Translated into the Polish language is only part of the books.I admire artistry as a writer and a great imagination of Terry Brooks,who is my favorite writer.Cordial greetings Eugenia.

  141. My coworker lent me her original Sword of Shannara Trilogy last fall and I was instantaneously hooked and have continued to follow the reading orders and currently finishing the High Druid of Shannara series. Huge fan. Love these books and recommend them to everyone who I know would also enjoy them!

  142. I started reading them on my own in the 90s but my mom was reading them to me in the 80s.

  143. Started reading when a friend (who only knew about the first book) told me that “The Sword” was just like “Lord of the Rings” but without Tolkien as the author.

    • When I told my friend about the many other related books, I had to print out a map and give her a list with the preferred reading order.

    • To Brooks, thanks for finally developing original ideas after book 1, but don’t get caught in the repeat cycle (cough…cough… Dark legacy). Mix it up (I’d love a return of the black staffs to further link the series, legends showed that you can’t ever run out of ideas there). Don’t keep throwing in the ellcrys and forbidding, it shows you’ve run out of ideas, but there’s plenty more to write about. Don’t screw up the multimedia with MTV, I love the idea, but don’t let it change the story too far (a little variety would be nice, keep me on my toes). Wrap up your threads, remember your roots, throw in some character surname Easter eggs (gotta love every single one of those Creels), and keep it Brooks.

  144. I read the Sword of Shannara in its entirety within a month after my thirteenth birthday when I got it. That was about two and a half years ago.

  145. I had surgery in 1988 and one of my co-workers loaned me Elfstones. I really wasn’t a reader back then but since I was stuck in bed for several days, I read it… then I got Sword… then Wishsong. Been hooked ever since!

  146. I started reading Terry Brooks Books When I was in Jr High back in Calif. 1978 I came across the book in the bookstore read couple pages then I was hooked. I started collecting every Hardcover and paperback of the Shannara series. The Best set of books that I ever come across. Never a Dull moment very well written and executed for all ages. I cant wait to see the MTV series comes out and I will get the dvd’s once it comes out late down the road. Please Terry Keep the magic going love it all.