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

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  55,254 Ratings  ·  1,249 Reviews
In the far future, unbeknown to humankind, an apocalyptic war is brewing. Fearsome, vengeful Demons rage at the boundaries of the world, held at bay by a spell called the Forbidding. But now that barrier is dying. Evil is beginning to break through. And only the Chosen can banish the Demons back to their realm.
Wil Ohmsford is a healer, not a fighter; a man of duty, not
Published September 13th 2005 by Random House Audio (first published July 12th 1982)
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Nettie 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)
Krista I've only watched the first episode of the TV series and loved it. It does deviate from the book slightly but so far I'm not seeing any major changes.…moreI've only watched the first episode of the TV series and loved it. It does deviate from the book slightly but so far I'm not seeing any major changes. I'd say the book is SO amazing. I first read the book when I was younger. Loved it then and I've reread it at least 10 times since (rereading it again right now). I'd have to say it's been my favorite fantasy novel for a long time now. The first in the 'series' is Sword of Shannara which is a good book and will give you a little more background on the world and such. However, you can start with Elfstones. To me, the first three in the series were really just stand alone books that all deal with a specific family line. I'd say the books are at least on par with Harry Potter. I like these books better but that's just one woman's opinion. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
This was so much better than book one, but I still didn't love it. I do think it'll be translated well into a television show and I'm looking forward to seeing how it's adapted. Unfortunately I do think this will be the last Terry Brooks book I read. It wasn't a terrible read and I actually enjoyed the story! I just don't think his writing style is for me.
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
Jan 03, 2016 Samantha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thank the lord that's over....
Just watch the show. Seriously.
Jan 02, 2015 Danae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 06, 2007 Bryce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jan 01, 2016 Connor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
[1 Star] Starting off 2016 with a bang. I hope that's not indicative of how this year will go for me.

This book is definitely not for me. At first, I was intrigued. The world was cool enough. The story, promising. But soon I started to like the book less and less as I read it. The writing was not for me. It is insanely repetitive. The same story is told over and over and over. The same story is told over and over and over. The foreshadowing is clunky and blatant. Watch out! This character has so
Dec 04, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah I read this because of the TV show that's about to come on... Sue me! so happy I did too! Can't wait to see it all play out on the big screen!

Please don't be a flop... please don't be a flop... because this could be amazing.

Dannii Elle
Every bit as fascinating, fantastical and phenomenal as the first book!

I was initially disappointed that this did not feature the same characters from the first installment in the trilogy, and that we would not get to see how their lives had continued to develop after the close of the book. So much time had passed between the two, in fact, that this felt more like a companion novel than a continuation of the series.

I soon forgot the prior adventure had even existed, however, as I was sucked into
Feb 20, 2008 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Brooks
Alright. I held out as long as I could, but I'm just so bored and I've got about 90 unread books on my shelf I'd rather be reading than trudging through this.

This has a very Tolkien writing style (in that it's much longer and explainy than it really needs to be) but is lacking the intrigue for me. I think this book could definitely lose about 100-200 pages and I'd not find myself missing them. Typically I don't mind a lot of world building and explanation but ultimately I just didn't care what
Nov 01, 2010 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jul 13, 2011 Kandie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 >>

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 event
Michelle M
I first read this in middle school (cough cough) years ago, but apparently forgot every single plot point. It wasn't until I watched the tv adaptation (fantasy 90210, not bad, quite glossy) that my interest was sparked again.

From reading Brooks's "The Word and the Void" series, I did know these take place in a post-apocalyptic Earth. But with all the massive backstory I missed between then and now, I was worried I'd be lost. I was pleasantly surprised at how I was able to enjoy it as a stand-al
Stefan Yates
As with the Sword of Shannara, I must preface this review by stating that I do not know why there is so much loathing of this series. I find these books to be well-written, nicely paced, epic fantasy that work well together or even as stand-alone entries.

One of the coolest things to me about this series is that you always get a new set of main characters. The stories relate to one another, but they are separated by many years and a new generation has to step up to face the current threat. While
Inés Izal
Mar 17, 2016 Inés Izal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Buena ambientación, buenos personajes y con ritmo.
Quizá la única pega sea ese exceso de narración que tiene a veces.

Lo que sí recomiendo es leer el libro sin a ver visto la serie antes.
Yo ya había visto la serie, y eso ha hecho que pierda su gracia en algunos momentos.

I read this specifically because I wanted to compare it to the television series, which I recently watched. Otherwise, I really had no intention of returning to Shannara. I read LOTR 2.0 -- I mean, The Sword of Shannara, and was bored. Were it not for the fact that I was actually watching paint dry at the time (repainting my kitchen) and being entertained by my co-blogger, Tiara, who had recently undertaken the same journey, I am not sure how I would have survived the trip. But what actually tur ...more
K.K. Summer
Apr 05, 2016 K.K. Summer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
Cover: es handelt sich hierbei um das Filmcover welches Emberle zeigt: es ist nicht das hübscheste aber nunja - Geschmackssache ;)

Geschichte: wirklich eine tolle High Fantasy Geschichte die mich wirklich in ihren Bann gezogen hat, auch wenn sie an manchen Stellen ihre Längen hatte und dadurch stellenweise etwas langweilig war. Doch trotzdem konnte mich die Geschichte überzeugen und obwohl ich die Sereie geschaut habe wollte ich einfach wissen wie es mit der Geschichte weitergeht und auch wo die
Anna (Curiosity comes before Kay)
It took me almost a month to read this one! Not because it was awful, or difficult writing to wade through, but because I've been working 50-70 hrs a week. And I also wanted to take my time and enjoy the story. Believe it or not, of the three Terrys (Pratchett, Brooks, & Goodkind) I hadn't read anything by Brooks before. I attempted "Sword of Shannara" first but it was such a blatant ripoff of Tolkien that I didn't bother past the first chapter. As a cohesive story that is mostly original an ...more
Sep 06, 2013 Evgeny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Dec 14, 2015 Alina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, big-books
2.5 stars.

Very old-fashioned, trope-y kind of fantasy. I enjoyed about the last 30 percent, the rest was super slow. I found the characters to be flat and stereotypical, and many difficulties were just solved too conveniently. Still, I did not entirely dislike it. There is something comforting in this sort of fantasy tale that you feel you just know, and I will always enjoy a good quest story. And some of the battle scenes played out like an action movie in my head (and I usually just get confus
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
Patry Fernandez
Feb 09, 2016 Patry Fernandez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro me ha gustado mucho más que el primero, con más aventuras y fantasía, y sobre todo algo que me faltó en el anterior, una historia de amor que le da más fuerza a la trama. Una historia de amor en la que tendrán que hacer frente al destino y luchar contra muchos peligros y enemigos que harán lo que sea por destruirlos.

Reseña completa ->
Liz Weasleyhead
Jun 28, 2016 Liz Weasleyhead rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Dieses Buch/Hörbuch hatte alles was ich von einem HighFantasy Roman erwartet habe: episches Setting, tolle und tiefgründige Charaktere, blutige Schlachten :) ich bin einfach so verliebt in diese Story :)
und ich hab mich entschieden die Serie nicht weiterzuschauen, denn diese kann nicht im geringsten an dieses BuchEpos rankommen :)
Jan 24, 2017 Oliver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you picked up this book as a fan of MTV's The Shannara Chronicles, you may be in for a bumpy ride. I was the same; a big fan of the fantasy-dystopia series I bought this book wanting to experience this world and these characters all over again. The Elfstones of Shannara is VERY different from the tv show. Many of the plot points in the tv show simply don't exist here - and a lot of characters are missing too. However, this is not to say that the book is disappointing, in fact it's a hugely en ...more
The Elfstones of Shannara was overall a good entertaining read but it was very formulaic in places. I've seen some say that it is nothing but a Lord of the Rings fan fiction and to be quite honest they might not be wrong but I would still say that it's worth a read.

The battle scenes were so well written that they were my favorites parts of the book. Some of the other scenes came off feeling cold and clinical like a character was going through the motions without actually getting involved and ye
David Sarkies
Dec 22, 2013 David Sarkies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jay  The Crippled God
Hallo Lovely people, please brace your awesome selves for one of my lame reviews.
This book got 3/5 stars and the only reason I gave it it's 3rd star was due to the Legendary narrator ( oh, did I forget to mention that this was my first audiobook experience and it was amazing due to Mr.Legendary narrator? well, now you know ;) )

Anyhoo, I got to read this book because I wanted to watch the TV series but might as well read it first, right? (as you all know, I never read a book in a series without
Jul 15, 2016 Scott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, abandoned
Another stinky book club pick. At this point I'm just going for the socialization. Anyway...

The worst thing about this book is not that it's a Tolkien rip-off; it's that it's a tedious, badly-written Tolkien rip-off. It reads as if a young writer read a few fantasy novels, maybe played a little D&D, and then proceeded to write what he thought a fantasy novel should sound like. In other words, the style is very affected and pretentious. He also repeats himself a lot. At least Stephen King wil
Jun 06, 2013 Rachna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
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
Nell'ombra del Divieto.

Buona prova quella di Terry Brooks, finalmente capace di restituire al lettore antagonisti accattivanti ed un manipolo di eroi con il classico compito di salvare il mondo.
L'intreccio narrativo e l'introspezione rimangono piuttosto basilari e non offrono particolari guizzi; molto meglio la parte action e l'assedio finale, quest'ultimo davvero godibile e ben descritto.
Nel complesso, "le pietre magiche di Shannara" rinvigorisce l'intera saga e mette in secondo piano - per f
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2017 Reading Chal...: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Elfstones of Shannara (Sword of Shannara #2) 31 167 May 13, 2017 09:11PM  
Sci-fi and Heroic...: "Shannara Chronicles" on TV 47 198 May 11, 2017 08:33PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Switch to correct cover 3 16 May 11, 2017 10:39AM  
tolkien or brooks 21 65 Jan 01, 2017 10:04AM  
The Sword and Laser: SoS: Should Elfstones have been picked instead? 80 282 Feb 29, 2016 04:05PM  
The Sword and Laser: This topic has been closed to new comments. Elfstones of Shannara may air on MTV 18 298 Jan 19, 2016 01:09PM  
Elfstones of Shannara Website 17 111 Jan 12, 2016 06:02AM  
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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 (3 books)
  • The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #1)
  • The Wishsong of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #3)

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“Hurt leads to bitterness, bitterness to anger. Travel too far that road and the way is lost.” 162 likes
“Evil contained is not evil destroyed.” 34 likes
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