August Ask Terry Q&A

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 August 2018 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Hi All,

Time for another round.  Just finishing up the edits of the new Shannara book – the one for next year I have been agonizing over – so I need a break.  Hope your summer is going well.

Anonymous writes: Because of your recommendations, I picked up Peter V. Brett and Naomi Novik. What are some of the more recent authors that you’d give a nod to?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, I am a big fan of Pierce Brown and Bob Salvatore.  Also, of late, I am getting back to Peter Heller.  Read Dog Stars for a good post apocalyptic thriller.  Try Katherine Arden, if you liked Naomi.  Also Brent Weeks and Mark Lawrence.  That should hold you for a while.

Todd writes: The Skarr Invasion cover art was kinda vague until you read the book… and many questions about the cover were deciphered after finishing the book. Vague in no weapons or buildings like the early books (always a sword in there), but done very well. Big fan of the artwork and my question for Terry is this: Does the artist read the book first and is it his/her interest in the book that inspires such good art?

Terry Brooks replies: The artist does read the book, but you will notice too on the latest set the covers are all similar and each one features a character from the series.  So the idea was to chose four main characters and place them in a dramatic setting taken from the current books.  On my latest cover, that’s Ajin d’Ampere.  We chose from a series of models the one whose face best captured the look we were seeking for the Skaar princess.  My editor, Anne Groel and I, both provide input on how to do this.  Glad you like them.  I am a big fan.

Brian Gressler writes: In your Shannara books there are often references to flameless torches and smokeless lamps that originate from the Old World. What are these items? I assume they are not light bulbs or flashlights but I am stumped beyond that. Or maybe I’m wrong.

Terry Brooks replies: The smokeless lamps are meant to be magic induced rather than science reliant.  I think they first appear in the Druid’s Keep some books into the series, but I used them for a long time as a product of magic.  Now, I think, with the advancement off new science, they might have appeared as a Federation invention, as well.

Patrick writes: Will there be more Magic Kingdom of Landover books?

Terry Brooks replies: Not for a time.  I have a clear opening for a new one at the end of A Princess of Landover, but am holding off to see if the Magic Kingdom movie finally gets made.  There are indications it will.  If that happens, I will write that final book as a companion to the movie.

Matthew Heiser writes: We simply must have a book or two on the young Allanon training under Bremen. What trials did he face? Did he really take to Bremen as a father to him that quickly? Was that ever tested? Where did Allanon learn the dark arts? What made him the hardened enigma we see in Sword but not so much in First King?

Terry Brooks replies: All good questions that demand answers.  Not sure I will be the one to write them and certainly not for a while because I am stepping away from Shannara to write a new epic fantasy.  But we have nothing on record about Allanon’s training or early years save for the little that appears in First King, so there is room for more.  I will keep it in mind.

Thanks again, everyone, for your questions.  I am constantly amazed at what you come up with.  Much of what is posed has never been asked before, so I have to stop and think about it.  Good for me to do so.  See you next month,  Enjoy the summer and hopefully some sun and down time.  That’s what I am looking for.

With magic,

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