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

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  50,687 Ratings  ·  1,012 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....
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published December 12th 1983 by Turtleback Books (first published July 12th 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)
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

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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 07, 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 05, 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 08, 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.

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.
Inés Izal
Apr 07, 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.

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
Jan 26, 2016 Ashley marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
May 05, 2016 kathalovesbooks 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
Feb 11, 2016 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
Apr 02, 2016 Wendy rated it liked it
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
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
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 23, 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
Jonel Boyko
Apr 20, 2016 Jonel Boyko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rlftci-2016
This novel was absolutely magical. Brooks engaged my imagination and my emotions. The breathtaking scenes were vividly real, causing me to loose myself in the pages. It was written with an intensity that seeps from the pages.

Brooks’ world building is a seamless part of the plot. He doesn’t assume that the reader knows anything about this world, yet also doesn’t rehash past events ad nauseum. It’s the perfect balance. I love the deeper look at the elfstones. The intricacies behind them were fasc
Marlin Elina
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 ->
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
Chris Thomas
Jan 14, 2016 Chris Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A classic and you can see why. It hasn't really stood the test of time, but when you read it with the mindset of someone who hasn't read fantasy before, you can see why it is so popular. It is full of charm and envelopes you into the comfort of the standard fantasy tropes we have come to know and love in the thirty or so years since this was written. A must read for any self respecting fantasy fan.
Jun 14, 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
Sep 18, 2015 Tosh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Norma  Panziera
Jan 19, 2016 Norma Panziera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Finalmente sono riuscita a terminare questo libro che, per me, è stato lunghissimo da leggere.
Questo probabilmente perché non sono abituata allo stile di scrittura particolare dell'autore o sui vocaboli che usavano 30 anni fa.
Nonostante questo però ho davvero adorato questo libro come sto adorando la serie tv.
Le differenze tra questa e il libro esistono, ma non sono profonde come quelle di altri adattamenti televisivi o cinematografici.
Il libro segue diversi personaggi e ha diverse prospetti
Gilbert M.
Jun 18, 2013 Gilbert M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

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
Mikel Murillo
Feb 11, 2016 Mikel Murillo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La ambientación es muy buena, y la capacidad imaginativa y descriptiva del autor es arrolladora, confirmando el por qué Terry Brooks está en lo más alto del mundo de la fantasía.
Hannah (Filia Libri)
Halleluja, war das langweilig! Mit etwas weniger Wiederholungen und einem weniger ermüdenden Stil hätte man die Handlung vermutlich auch auf 300-400 Seiten packen können - wenn überhaupt... Und wenn ich mir jetzt noch vorstelle, dass Band 1 noch schlimmer sein soll... XD Ich denke, das war's mit mir und Terry Brooks!

Diese und weitere Rezensionen findet ihr auf meinem Blog Anima Libri - Buchseele

Über die Fernsehserie zu Terry Brooks "Die Shannara-Chroniken: Elfensteine" bin ich ganz zufällig gest
I decided to read The Elfstones of Shannara because I've been watching MTV's The Shannara Chronicles and fan-girling it out big time. Like any self-respecting book worm, I like to read the book before I watch a movie or television series that is based on a book, because that's just what we do, right?

I pestered a Goodreads friend who has read the series and did some Googling and decided to skip the first book in the series, The Sword of Shannara, as it is supposed to be the weak link of the seri
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Sci-fi and Heroic...: MTV's Shannara Chronicles on TV 46 166 11 hours, 40 min ago  
tolkien or brooks 20 50 Mar 12, 2016 09:56PM  
The Sword and Laser: SoS: Should Elfstones have been picked instead? 80 276 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  
Fantasy Book Club...: * Shannara #2-Elfstones of Shannara--First Impressions (Spoiler Free) 13 48 Sep 18, 2015 06:59AM  
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  • Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, #4)
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  • To Green Angel Tower, Part 1 (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3; Part 1)
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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“Evil contained is not evil destroyed.” 32 likes
“Do not be so quick to accept as truth what is only conjecture.” 3 likes
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