Now a TV Series
Now a TV Series

Terry has written more than 30 books, three-quarters of which are related to one another. It can be confusing as a new reader where to start without spoiling the adventure.

Where should I start reading Shannara? When is the best time for me to read the prequel First King of Shannara without spoiling the Heritage series? Should I start reading the books in published order or chronological order? These are questions that come into the website often and they are why this page of the website exists.

It’s not only difficult for new readers. It can even be confusing for long-time readers returning to the series.

To help aid both sets of readers, presented here are two different lists:

Caution: It is important to make a note right now for new readers. If as a new reader you read the novels in chronological order, you will be significantly spoiling your foray through Terry’s work. First King of Shannara, despite being a prequel to The Sword of Shannara, is best read after you have finished The Heritage of Shannara series.

New Readers

The Original Shannara Novels

  • The Sword of Shannara
    In the Shadow of the Warlock Lord – first 1/3 of The Sword of Shannara
    The Druids’ Keep – middle 1/3 of The Sword of Shannara
    The Secret of the Sword – last 1/3 of The Sword of Shannara
  • The Elfstones of Shannara
  • The Wishsong of Shannara

A Shannara Novella

  • Indomitable – An epilogue to The Wishsong of Shannara

A Shannara Graphic Novel

  • Dark Wraith of Shannara

The Heritage of Shannara

  • The Scions of Shannara
  • The Druid of Shannara
  • The Elf Queen of Shannara
  • The Talismans of Shannara

A Shannara Prequel

  • First King of Shannara>

The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara

  • Ilse Witch
  • Antrax
  • Morgawr

High Druid of Shannara

  • Jarka Ruus
  • Tanequil
  • Straken

Genesis of Shannara

  • Armageddon’s Children
  • The Elves of Cintra
  • The Gypsy Morph

Legends of Shannara

  • Bearers of the Black Staff
  • The Measure of the Magic

The Dark Legacy of Shannara

  • Wards of Faerie
  • Bloodfire Quest
  • Witch Wraith

Paladins of Shannara

  • Allanon’s Quest (e-short story)
  • The Weapons Master’s Choice (e-short story)
  • The Black Irix (e-short story)

Defenders of Shannara

  • The High Druid’s Blade
  • The Darkling Child
  • The Sorcerer’s Daughter

The Fall of Shannara

  • The Black Elfstone
  • The Skaar Invasion
  • The Stiehl Assassin
  • The Last Druid (forthcoming October 27, 2020)

Revisiting Readers

Genesis of Shannara

  • Armageddon’s Children
  • The Elves of Cintra
  • The Gypsy Morph

Legends of Shannara

  • Bearers of the Black Staff
  • The Measure of the Magic

A Shannara Prequel

  • First King of Shannara

The Original Shannara Novels

  • Allanon’s Quest (e-short story set before The Sword of Shannara)
  • The Sword of Shannara
    In the Shadow of the Warlock Lord – first 1/3 of The Sword of Shannara
    The Druids’ Keep – middle 1/3 of The Sword of Shannara
    The Secret of the Sword – last 1/3 of The Sword of Shannara
  • The Black Irix (e-short story set after The Sword of Shannara)
  • The Elfstones of Shannara
  • The Weapons Master’s Choice (e-short story set before The Wishsong of Shannara)
  • The Wishsong of Shannara

A Shannara Short Story

  • Indomitable – An epilogue to The Wishsong of Shannara

A Shannara Graphic Novel

  • Dark Wraith of Shannara

The Heritage of Shannara

  • The Scions of Shannara
  • The Druid of Shannara
  • The Elf Queen of Shannara
  • The Talismans of Shannara

The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara

  • Ilse Witch
  • Antrax
  • Morgawr

High Druid of Shannara

  • Jarka Ruus
  • Tanequil
  • Straken

The Dark Legacy of Shannara

  • Wards of Faerie
  • Bloodfire Quest
  • Witch Wraith

Defenders of Shannara

  • The High Druid’s Blade
  • The Darkling Child
  • The Sorcerer’s Daughter

The Fall of Shannara

  • The Black Elfstone
  • The Skaar Invasion
  • The Stiehl Assassin
  • The Last Druid (forthcoming October 27, 2020)

It is also important to note that Terry has purposefully written most of his series to be read at any time by new readers. He writes in large generational gaps between series, telling the story of all new characters each time out. It means if a new reader wants to start with Bearers of the Black Staff—despite it being wholly out of order with both lists above—they will be able to understand perfectly what is going on and enjoy the novel.

The two reading lists above are merely a guide to aid readers in not spoiling themselves. And to have a richer experience while reading all of Terry’s work.

Happy reading!