Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Elfstones of Shannara (Shannara, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Elfstones of Shannara (Shannara, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  40,598 ratings  ·  578 reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Terry Brooks'sThe Measure of the Magic.

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 t...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 10th 2000 by Del Rey (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.

Be the first to ask a question about The Elfstones of Shannara

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...more
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...more
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...more
This is by far the BEST FANTASY READ by Brooks [in my opinion]. I remember reading this in 8th grade [I think] and just being floored. I wrote him, the author, in 1992 and 1995 and he wrote personal letters back encouraging me, a young writer. That alone said volumes of his character to me, so I have been loyal ever since. I snatch up his books even though the last 6 I have not had time to read yet.

Mr. Brooks's description and narrative are INSANE and he is the author that made me want to write...more
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...more
In The Elfstones of Shannara, Terry Brooks finds his own voice, and it’s a pretty good one at that.

A few decades after the events in The Sword of Shannara, Allanon once again reappears, and this time it is Wil Ohmsford, grandson of Shea Ohmsford, that must answer the call.

A long time ago, when demons walked the land, the elves weaved a truly spectacular piece of magic, banishing them all to a netherworld and trapping them there behind a wall, called the Forbidding. The Forbidding is maintained...more
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...more
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
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.
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...more
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...more
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...more
I loved this more than the first book, the Sword of Shannara which rumor is, there is talks in the works to make the trilogy a tv mini series or full series following the success of a song of ice and fire by GRRM.
However I was rooting for Amberle and Wil Ohmsford (the protagonist from the first book's grandson) ship and while I liked the ship of him and Eretria I feel that their unofficial union with them running off in the end with Ander watching them from afar, was very forced and as a way to...more
Robbie Hall
THIS. This book got me into fantasy. This book was the first adult fantasy story that I read. THIS BOOK NEEDS TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE. I just completed probably my fifth or sixth read of it, so it's lost some of the novelty and excitement, but it's still a great read.

The characters are the best Terry Brooks has to offer, the protagonist Wil Ohmsford is the only Ohmsford in all of the Shannaras that actually has a soul, the demons are awesome (REAPER IS SO COOL).

Brooks can still be a pretty annoy...more
Bob Hayton
Book 2 of the Shannara Trilogy doesn't disappoint. Set 50 years after Terry Brook's bestselling initial work: The Sword of Shannarra, this sequel brings a new perilous threat to the very existence of the world. And the adventure in this one is even more fast-paced then in Book1.

This book really displays Brook's talent as a writer because from the beginning the plot is laden with twists and full of the unexpected. Yet the development of two of the main characters is quite full, and his dealing of...more
Femme Q
Son of a motherless goat! Shannara is coming to the small screen!!!! I read these books in college and loved them, wow! I hope they stay true to the books and can't wait to watch!!!!!!! Will revisit the books before the series premier. Yay, just so happy with this news!

MTV Officially Orders First Season Of The SHANNARA Series!

Amazon | B&N | Powells
Kindle | Nook | iPad

Dear Readers,
I am very excited and proud to tell you that the dream to turn the Shannara books into an epic television series...more
Mary Rose
This is the second in a series my aunt got me for Christmas (see the 1st post), and this book was actually better than the first. The dynamic between the characters was more interesting than the first book. It sort of had the same corny theme about believing in yourself and having self-confidence like the first, but...sometimes I like corny. And I actually didn't see the end coming, which is saying something because I can usually guess an ending. But I assumed Brooks would have a conventional an...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sooo much better than the first book of the trilogy. I can see why they'd start with this one for a television series. I think that's happening?
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
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...more
I had every intention of rating this book at 3 stars since it was enjoyable, but a bit meandering at times. Terry has done this in all the novels I've read of his so far and it can get a bit dull for me, but the ending was so extremely powerful and moving I really couldn't just say, meh 3 stars.
It had nice world building, better characters than the first, more interesting ideas altogether. The ending was tragic and beautiful at the same time and I really enjoyed the story overall.
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.
The story itself wasn't bad, but oh man, the writing was. Riddled with cliches and just about every other "no no" in fiction writing, this book was one slogging mess to get through. I realize this book was written a long, long time ago but it surprises me that it's hailed as a fantasy classic. Or maybe it's just not my cup of tea. (Cliche! Ha.)
Syiffa Octariyani Sasmita
Waah aku suka banget sama bukunya :D its the amazing fiction world :D
Yah walau pun aku nggak baca buku pertamanya, tapi penggambaran buku pertama dibuku ini udah cukup jelas kok. Aku baru mulai “meraba-raba” gendre apa yang mungkin aku sukain, tapi kayanya aku mulai bener-bener suka sama gendre fiksi kaya gini :3.
Aku suka penggambaran tokohnya, alur ceritanya juga seru banget. Dari mulai dari penggabaran pohon ajaib bernama Ellcrys yang mulai sekarat, padahal didalam Ellcrys terdapat suatu kurun...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Sword and Laser: Elfstones of Shannara Might Air on MTV 10 164 Feb 14, 2014 12:47PM  
Elfstones of Shannara Website 10 88 Dec 21, 2011 03:31PM  
  • Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, #4)
  • The Illearth War (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #2)
  • Serpent Mage (The Death Gate Cycle, #4)
  • A Darkness At Sethanon (The Riftwar Saga, #4)
  • To Green Angel Tower (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3)
  • Camber the Heretic (The Legends of the Camber of Culdi, #3)
  • Shadows of Doom (Iron Tower Trilogy, #2)
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...
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)

Share This Book

“Evil contained is not evil destroyed.” 25 likes
“eyes” 0 likes
More quotes…