September Ask Terry Posted

Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks

For many years the only chance a fan had of speaking to Terry was to meet him at tour events or conventions.

With the establishment of this website in 2000, Terry began accepting two questions from each fan per month. On the last day of the month, five questions are randomly drawn. Terry answers these five questions and they are posted monthly for your enjoyment.

Below are the questions selected from September 2016 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Greetings Readers,

Or maybe some viewers, too? Anyway, we are still struggling to catch up with our monthly Q&A, so here is the latest installment of Ask Terry:

Andy Pastuszak writes: Is the tanequil the source of the black staffs used by the Knights of the Word?

Terry Brooks replies: I get that question a lot. But I want to answer you, and I want my answer to be truthful, so here goes. I don’t know. It’s an area I might write in one of these days, but for now I am going to have to leave it ambiguous. We don’t know where the black staffs of the Knights of the Word came from or who provided them but it seems like there’s a story there. Maybe a short story to add to my still incomplete collection. Let me give it some thought, Andy. Your question deserves a better answer than I am able to give at the moment.

Dale Coe writes: Why is The Word and the Void held to be separate from the Shannara series on the website? Surely it counts as a Shannara prequel?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, not actually. It is a lead-in to what happens later in the Shannara cycle, but it is not really directly connected. The world before the Great Wars is another series entirely, one that begins with Word & Void but does not connect to Shannara. What is the reason I say this? Note the title. No reference to Shannara. Note the nature of the world and the characters and the story. Really nothing to do with Shannara. I thought it would be cool to suggest the possibilities, but we still don’t know for sure what happens to all those who fled Seattle and went into the mountains. That story and any connection to Shannara has yet to be written.

Meagan B. writes: I just finished your Word and Void series, and found myself wanting to read more of Nest’s story. Do you plan to write more about what happens to her?

Terry Brooks replies: I think Nest’s story is complete as it is, so I don’t think so. However, I might write some more about that time period and the ongoing war between the Demons of the Void and the Knights of the Word. There’s been renewed interest in that, so I am giving it some thought. But there are other projects ahead of that one, so you might have to wait awhile. Please be patient with me. This is something that has to come when it feels right.

Tim Chapman writes: Will we find out what the Red Elfstones do?

Terry Brooks replies: Don’t we already know? As I recall, use of the Red Elfstones revealed they had the power to drain the life out of any living creature they were directed against. The price for this power was a siphoning off of a part of the life of the user and an infusion of knowledge of how the victims suffered with their dark intentions towards others. Redden Ohmsford was the only one who ever used the Red Elfstones, and we still do not know the ramifications of their use. More on that later.

Rick writes: I have two questions pertaining to Walker. When he used the Sword of Shannara with Grianne in Antrax, what did he see? Did the magic show him only the visions it gave the Ilse Witch? Or did it show him his own life as well? Perhaps even helping him find a measure of peace with the choices he was forced to make in becoming a Druid and after.

Terry Brooks replies: Use of the Sword of Shannara’s magic is very personal in its effect. So the user must visit his or her own sins and failings and survive the pain and shock at seeing all of what has been done for bad reasons or in bad ways. Walker would have had to witness the darker aspects of his own life, but he would not necessarily have witnessed those of Grianne. It is coming to terms with one’s own weakness and failing that endows the wielder of the Sword with power over its magic and a chance to defeat the one against whom that magic is directed.

See you all next month!

Be well,

Ask Terry

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