Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Elfstones of Shannara” as Want to Read:
The Elfstones of Shannara
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Elfstones of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #2)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  46,645 ratings  ·  708 reviews
Ancient Evil threatens the Elves: The ancient tree created by long-lost Elven magic, is dying. When Wil Ohmsford is summoned to guard the Amberle on a perilous quest to gather a new seed for a new tree, he is faced with the Reaper, the most fearsome of all Demons. And Wil is without power to control them.
Paperback, 469 pages
Published July 12th 1982 by Ballantine Books (first published 1982)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Elfstones of Shannara, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Nettieboo Offering an alternate opinion, I read this one first and then read Sword second. I have never regretted my choice to read out of order, I enjoyed this…moreOffering an alternate opinion, I read this one first and then read Sword second. I have never regretted my choice to read out of order, I enjoyed this one far more.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I don't think you can possibly understand what a formative impact this book had on me.

Picture it: I was nine years old. We were at this massive used book sale, and I was bored silly of all the books at the children's table. I wandered around a bit, and ended up in adult SF/F. And there, like a shining beacon of fascinating glory, was a gorgeous hardcover copy of The Elfstones of Shannara.

Of course I bought it, even though my parents thought I wouldn't understand it. And they were right. I didn't
My ratings have become more strict the more I read, so lately my 5's are reserved for books that I absolutely love and am able to look past the flaws. The Elfstones of Shannara had a few flaws I can't look past, however, this book ruined me. The last 10% absolutely, and completely, ruined me. We're talking tears, words leaving the brain (they still haven't fully returned yet), and a book hangover. A book like that? It definitely deserves the full 5 stars.

Seriously, words fail me so I can't reall
I notice that everyone's favorite lists are riddled with the literary classics like Great Expectations or modern smartness like Middlesex.

I bet far more people prefer to sit down with some Dean Koonz or a bodice ripper. So I'm going to stand up and say: I like fantasy. I read it. And I think it's good!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2010 Angie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
Shelves: fantasy
I loved this book. I was a bit disappointed at the beginning when I realized that I wouldn't be reading about Shea, Flick, and Balinor, but I quickly became used to Wil and Amberle, and frankly, I found them to be much more believable and relatable characters. Shea and Flick were a bit annoying at times, and the other characters were too close to LoTR characters for me to really get close to them. This book could stand on its own, and it was a good story.

I enjoyed the character development of An
September 2015 Update:
For those of you who love Terry Brook's books here's an update. Shannara, is now a TV series on MTV, with a scheduled premiere date in January 2016. I'll be writing blogs about the journey to the premiere and covering episodes.

Here's the link to my "Shannara Blog" please follow and support Terry! I have waited nearly 20 years to see "Elfstones" made into a movie. Although this is a TV show, I know with its large fan base supporting the show, it could eventually become a m
An ancient tree created by elves who lost magic of that caliber a long time ago for the purpose of containing a great evil is dying. The said evil is about to escape with some of the most powerful guys already walking among population of Four Lands. Only Allanon knows the full extent of the problem, but even the last surviving druid cannot be at two places at the same time, so he must ask unlikely heroes for help - including Wil Ohmsford, the grandson of Shea Ohmsford from the first book.

This b
It was slightly better than the first book (which is not saying much) but at least the plot was more original. The beginning and the end were interesting but the middle was overloaded with too many descriptions - of battles, places, feelings and whatnot.

It got a little wearisome but if it had been shorter, or would have been good to read. There wasn't anything memorable except that he has a fondness for the word 'awesome' which seems misplaced in an old world epic.

There seemed to be too long m
Viktoria (seelieknight)
So I just got The Sword of Shannara because of how amazing the MTV series trailer looked, but now I'm noticing that the show will start at the second installment: The Elfstones of Shannara. I was super excited to read the first book, but I've recently read a lot of critiques about how closely related it is to Lord of the Rings, and that makes me a little wary. However, I've never actually read the LotR series, either. I've only seen a few movies. Perhaps I will abandon the first book and go stra ...more
Originally I rated this 3 stars, but it was really just "OK". 2 stars it is.

It’s a little outside the norm to start a series in the middle, but a certain GR friend assured me this book could be read as a stand-alone. He didn’t steer me wrong, but there were some parts I felt would’ve had more of an impact had I read the first book,(view spoiler). Nothing major though. It was still pretty much a self-contained story, though it was like starting LoTR witho
Amelia Malory
Potete leggere la recensione anche sul mio blog:

Prima di tutto... chi ha scritto la quarta di copertina!? No, seriamente. Non c'entra nulla con la trama, è dannattamente inesatta. Dannata editoria e le cose fatte male. Meglio proseguire...
Terry Brooks è migliorato ma non abbastanza. Rispetto al primo romanzo della saga, "Le pietre magiche di Shannara" prende in sé un poco di dinamismo. Lo stile continua a mantenere il suo stampo solenne e antiquato, tanto
Jun 24, 2009 veronica rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to veronica by: Chris Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gilbert M.
The sequel to Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara, Elfstones is a far superior work. It tells the story of the grandson of Shea Ohmsford, hero of the first novel, and his efforts to help a young elf girl save the world while a few brave men try to hold off demonic forces to save the elven kingdom As a teenager, I figured out about half way through the novel what “saving the world” meant in this book and I read with growing horror as I discovered that I was correct. It’s a very powerful story.

This has an extra star for nostalgia's sake. When I was 12, I stumbled across this, my first epic fantasy, and I was hooked. I kept up with the Shannara series for a while, but don't remember much about them other than a sense of diminishing returns. This one, though, I remember really enjoying.

Two decades later I felt the need for a good comforting relaxing read & checked this out. I still enjoy Wil & Amberle's storyline, though the Elf/demon battles were less involving. A couple of ann
Alexander Draganov
A brilliant second novel of the "Shannara" series, in which Brooks really demonstrates his writing talent. Young healer Will Ohmsford possesses the magical Elfstones - and that's why the mysterious Druid Allanon orders him to protect Amberle, an Elven Princess, who is the only hope of her race and the Four Lands against a dark tide of evil demons. The two of them must travel deep into wild lands with the most horrifying demon hot on their heels, while Allanon and the Elven Army try to buy them t ...more
Kate Lansing
More like the Elfstone of Snooze-ara... Although, I admit there were things I really liked about this book, mainly the classic fantasy elements. The Elfish culture and the Elcrys, the mysterious druid Allanon, the Rocs and Wing Riders. But ultimately, I found the battle scenes to be too long and the writing redundant. I wish it had focused more on Wil and Amberle's journey since, to me, that was the most interesting plot line.
Aug 08, 2015 Ken marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I just can't get into this book. The story is cliche, the writing simplistic and old-fashioned and the characters bland or annoying. I'm still looking forward to the TV show, at least it has pretty pictures.
SO MUCH LOVE for this book.

I barely even knew I had a MYTHOLOGICAL SUBCONSCIOUS but apparently I do, because this book speaks to it. I thought this book was deeply, primally moving & comforting.

I haven't read a big, worldbusting fantasy in a while and I completely enjoyed crying my way through this one. This is a heart book.
This one's down to the cellular structure. <3 500 stars!
I see a lot of love/hate going on with this series by Brooks. I happened to REALLY like it. I did NOT like the Lord of the Rings as much as I did this. I don't get it, but that's just how art is. I give 'Elfstones' four stars instead of five, because it's a bit repetitive of the first book in the series The Sword of Shannara. I hope the third in the series is not just more of the same.
Jess Neuner
In some ways, this book is much the same as its predecessor, The Sword of Shannara. Allanon, the mysterious druid who crops up only when everything is about to go to hell and sends a member of the Ohmsford family on a quest that seems hopeless. In other ways, it's very different. I can see why this book is liked better - its storyline is much more original than Sword of Shannara, which followed a somewhat too similar plot to the Lord of the Rings series.

Many of the similarities to Lord of the R
Michelle {Book Hangovers}
I'm super excited to read this (read along with I just learned that MTV will have this on as a mini series coming January 2016 and the trailer looks AMAZEBALLS!!!! If you haven't seen it then you must check it out!!!!!
My first fantasy book that was given to me by my Mother in 1989...and I'm glad she picked it up! Brooks has had a special place on my bookshelf ever since then.
This was clearly a much better book than The Sword of Shannara. As is disclosed in the prologue, the author spent years on this book and had a couple of drafts essentially rejected by his editor. He matured greatly in this process and this book does not read like a cheap ripoff of Lord of the Rings.

There are new characters and new villains... although the villains are strangely both very powerful and very weak... and there's a love triangle that I didn't find very well done. But generally, this
Aug 11, 2014 Skjam! rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: epic fantasy fans
Recommended to Skjam! by: Goodreads
Disclaimer: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it.

Long ago, before even the rise of the old humans, the good and evil faerie creatures had a great war. At the end of it, the evil beings who would go down in legend as “demons” were sealed away in a dark dimension by the Forbidding, a barrier maintained by the tree known as the Ellcrys. The elves have long protected the Ellcrys, through the rise of the humans, the Great Wars, the creation of the new hum
Agnieszka "Aeth" Jędrzejczyk
I never read even a bit of Terry Brooks' classic series, so before I say anything else: this was my first foray into the world of Shannara, and luckily a foray I enjoyed very very much, despite what many people around said about this series (in general: that it was not worth my time). But seeing as I was into traditional, quest-based epic fantasy, I had to check for myself - and I was not dissapointed. To put it short, I loved "The Elfstones of Shannara". I loved the grand scale of events, I lov ...more
Richard Radgoski
I read this first many years ago when it was originally published and really enjoyed it. As like it's predecessor, the Sword of Shannara, it has similiarities to Tolkien...but many fantasy books do. I really wanted to read about things these books were giving me and very much enjoyed them. Decades later, I have decided to finish reading the Terry Brooks books...but in story order. That left me needing to re-read this book. (and I wanted to do that since it will be on MTV soon as the Chronicles o ...more
Albert Riehle
Jun 15, 2014 Albert Riehle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Two confessions to start: 1. I got this edition of the book through Goodreads First Reads. 2. I've read other editions of this book and own it in just about every form it's ever been published, so it's not a new book to me. However, for this review (and because I read it once a year, every summer) I re-read it before writing this review.

The Elfstones of Shannara is one of my all-time, most favorite books. When people ask me what my favorite book is I typically tell them that I hold three books a
In the mythical age of Faerie, long before humans ever walked the earth, there was a terrible war of good and evil between two races of ancient creatures: elves and demons. The elves prevailed and shut the demons away from the world forever by creating the Forbidding; a barrier of magic kept up by a giant tree called the Ellcrys, a beacon of hope for a broken Elven nation. For centuries upon centuries, the magic kept the forces of darkness at bay. Until now, when the Ellcrys is dying.

The univer
David Sarkies
This book suffers from sequelitis
30 December 2013

I have noticed that a lot of people have rated this book higher than the first simply on the basis that unlike the first book it is not a carbon copy of Lord of the Rings. This I will admit is true, it is not a carbon copy, but as far as I am concerned, it is still Lord of the Rings, and moreso, it suffers from what I call sequelitis. First, consider that the book has as its main character a young man (Wil, who is related to Flick, the hero of th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Elfstones of Shannara Website 12 102 Oct 16, 2015 01:23PM  
tolkien or brooks 17 38 Oct 12, 2015 02:32PM  
The Sword and Laser: Elfstones of Shannara Might Air on MTV 13 260 Oct 11, 2015 08:04PM  
Fantasy Book Club...: * Shannara #2-Elfstones of Shannara--First Impressions (Spoiler Free) 13 43 Sep 18, 2015 06:59AM  
  • Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, #4)
  • Fire Sea (The Death Gate Cycle, #3)
  • The Bishop's Heir (Histories of King Kelson, #1)
  • A Darkness At Sethanon (The Riftwar Saga, #4)
  • The Power That Preserves (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #3)
  • Castle Roogna (Xanth, #3)
  • Brotherhood of the Wolf (Runelords, #2)
  • To Green Angel Tower (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3)
  • The Chaos Balance (The Saga of Recluce #7)
Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944, where he spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same park that would eventually become the setting for his bestselling Word & Void trilogy. He went to college and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and he received ...more
More about Terry Brooks...

Other Books in the Series

The Original Shannara Trilogy (7 books)
  • The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1)
  • The Wishsong of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #3)
  • Мечът на Шанара. Част 1
  • Das Schwert von Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #1, part 1 of 3)
  • The Druids' Keep (The Sword of Shannara, #2)
  • Der Zauber Von Shannara. ( Fantasy)

Share This Book

“Evil contained is not evil destroyed.” 30 likes
“eyes” 0 likes
More quotes…