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

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  45,940 ratings  ·  684 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)
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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)
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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
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
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!
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeffery Moulton
Elfstones is a great book. It is amazing to compare the writing with Sword, Brooks' first publishing effort, and see how far he had come in such a short time. The characterization was much better, the dialogue was great, the action was far superior, and the plot was much more interesting. While I could put down Sword and walk away for weeks at a time, only returning to it when I had nothing better to do, I couldn't put Elfstones down. It was entirely engrossing and a great read from beginning to ...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.
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.
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 is one of my favorite books of all time. My favorite Terry Brooks book anyhow. I have reread this one as many times as Lord Foul's Bane I do believe. =)
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
I've ready this book so many times, more than I can count. But with the Elfstones of Shannara TV series on the way I decided to give an old favorite a reread.

For the fifth time.

Elfstones of Shannara did not disappoint.

That's the thing about reading an old favorite, there's something so comfortable about picking it up, dusting off the old pages, turning them carefully so the well-read binding doesn't fall apart like your friends old Robert Jordan copy. That's what Shannara books are for me. A sa
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
This book could easily be nitpicked and taken apart, especially if done through a feminist lens, but it succeeds on so many other levels that it's impossible for me to call it anything but a fantastic achievement.

As someone who only somewhat liked The Sword of Shannara, I can say that this book addresses my main issues with that book. For one, every journey, battle, and action feels important and drives the plot forward. From the very first page, there is a sense of urgency that does not stop un
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
Full review at

One of the best things about The Elfstones of Shannara is that you don’t have to read the first book in this trilogy in order to understand it. Although it should be noted that Elfstones would spoil all of the outcomes from The Sword of Shannara. If time is of the essence, then I would recommend you start with this book and skip The Sword of Shannara all together as it’s highly derivative and not especially well written. Let me clarify thoug
Timothy Stone
In The Elfstones of Shannara, author Terry Brooks continues his storyline of a future earth where magic and creatures of myth have re-emerged to inhabit and impact the world once again. While I personally preferred the first book, The Sword of Shannara, to this one, there is a reason why this novel is remembered as the one that cemented Brooks' place as a heavyweight in the pantheon of American fantasy writers.

The story begins approximately fifty years after the conclusion of Sword, with the gr
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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)
The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1) The Talismans Of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara #4) The Wishsong of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #3) Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #1) The Druid of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara #2)

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