Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Black Elfstone (The Fall of Shannara, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Black Elfstone (The Fall of Shannara, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Black Elfstone

(The Fall of Shannara #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,731 ratings  ·  341 reviews
The first book of the triumphant and epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series, from one of the all-time masters of fantasy.

Through forty years of New York Times bestselling Shannara novels, Terry Brooks always had an ending in mind: a series that would bring it all to a grand conclusion. Now that time is here.

The Four Lands has been at peace for generations, but now
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Del Rey Books
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 Black Elfstone, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Gary Martin I believe so, as I read his books many years ago, and have forgotten more than I can remember, yet I thoroughly enjoyed The Black Elfstone and was…moreI believe so, as I read his books many years ago, and have forgotten more than I can remember, yet I thoroughly enjoyed The Black Elfstone and was able to pick up on it enough to be able to follow it pretty easily.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,731 ratings  ·  341 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Over the last three years Brooks has written, well, let’s face it, a very tepid trilogy called The Defenders of Shannara. The tone was largely Y.A and the scope of the story was vastly limited and unimaginative. It felt like he was just trying to squeeze another trilogy out in a fantasy world that was already starting to become a little stale. All in all, it wasn’t Brooks at his best.

But now the real Terry Brooks is back!

This, however, ushers in a return to the old Brooks, a Brooks who wrote vast fant
Stephen Robert Collins
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Terry Brooks ' first Shannara was way back over 40ys ago when Tolkien was becoming popular with the teenage population of Queen & Tom Baker era now those teen-agers are my age.
This set in later time frame from Sword but is still Druid magic arrogance with there rudeness & pomp.
A young girl wakes up one day with the fable Wishsong only she doesn't know it. Her older violent brother also has magic but he is crazy & use it to kill animals.He is locked up for been crazy &am
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A return of form of sorts for Brooks, who is back to writing large, sweeping epic fantasy after spending a decade or more focusing on smaller stories. The Black Elfstones is vast in its scope and implications, and brings to mind the best of Brooks' last big epic, The Heritage of Shannara series.

As much as I've enjoyed some of the recent Shannara novels (after not enjoying several in a row over), this one is far and away Brooks' best work in a long time. Brooks is promising an end to
Jim C
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first book of a new trilogy in a long series which spans centuries. In this one, there is a new threat for the Druids and the Four Lands. This threat seems like nobody can stop them. Meanwhile Tarsha and Tavo have the gift of the wishsong. The problem is that Tavo is an angry person and his possession of the wishsong makes him a very dangerous person. Tarsha seeks out an exiled Druid to help her master her gift and help her brother.

As I said, this is the opening of a tril
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-epic
It has been a very long time since I last read a Terry Brooks novel but, as was the case with Raymond E. Feist bringing his Riftwar Cycle to a close, the prospect of seeing Shannara come to an end brought me back.

The Black Elfstone feels very much like a return to form for Brooks, despite it's disappointing page count and its unprecedented weight of darkness. It's a broad-sweeping epic fantasy, with multiple stories intertwined, a dire threat to the Druids, and a seemingly unstoppabl
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
"Long minutes passed as the silence deepened, and from behind the thick glass of the tower windows, high enough that the walls did not block his view, the dull roil of the greenish mist persisted, spreading from window to window until the entirety of the Keep reflected its sickly hue." p. 312

It pains me to have to give only 2 stars for the Black Elfstone by Terry Brooks, but I must go with my true feeling.

I am a long time fan of Terry Brooks and the Shannara series, having read this se
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hard-copy
Very good first part of the final Shannara series. I think mr. Brooks went back to his writing roots for this one. Even though I'm sad Shannara's ending - on the other hand, about forty books have been written? That should be enough. I think mr. Brooks will go out with a bang for his last books, with some of the best writing he's done so far.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
A summer candy read. Pure enjoyment.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm terribly sad to hear that the Shannara series is ending. This is one of the best entries in the series in quite awhile. The characters are great and the brother & sister are reminiscent of the Wishsong of Shannara dynamic. Well done Mr. Brooks
T.L. Branson
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Black Elfstone is a classic epic fantasy adventure in what is sure to be the crowning jewel of the Shannara series.

All right, that tagline is a little grandiose of a statement for someone who’s never read the previous books in the series, I know. But from all of the other reviews of The Black Elfstone that I’ve read, from what I can tell this is a return to greatness for Brooks from what had been a rather lackluster past couple of books.

I’m not speaking for myself there, just t
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley
Startling, engrossing!

Once more Terry Brooks focuses our eyes towards the Four Lands.
There's a strange new brand of magical warriors stalking the lands. Former High Druid Drisker Arc has been targeted by assassins. A young woman with the magic gift of wishsong, Tarsha Kaynin, seeks out Drisker Arc to learn more about her abilities. At Paranor, the Druids are blithely ignoring threats. Dar Leah is sent to investigate but politics and jealousies get in the way.
We are witnes
Michael Crofut
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shannara books are quick, entertaining reads. A few unexpected plot twists but fairly predictable. Just fun, simple fantasy. I still love it.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
After the abysmal Defenders of Shannara tilogy, Brooks bounces back with this first installment of the concluding series in his legendary Shannara series. This book begins a little YA-ish (continuing the tone of Defenders), but soon becomes a dark, rousing adventure in the best Shannara tradition.

The problem is, it's stuff we've encountered before in the Four Lands. This is the fourth time the black elfstone has been used and the second time for the same purpose; there's always a new army on the march
Christian Freed
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Feels like Brooks is finally back. His last few trilogies have been lackluster and felt like he wasn't interested in them. This is different. Reminds me of the older, original Shannara stories. Once again, the Druid Order is faced with extinction. Filled with plots and twists, this is one of his bet books in years.
Paul Weiss
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
“Always there had been the threat that magic, like science, might be misused.”

It simply has to be said! As the Shannara universe enters its fifth decade and the series novel count approaches 40, it is difficult to believe that Terry Brooks writing remains as compelling, as imaginative, as thrilling, as provocative, as evocative and as exciting as the day I first drooled over The Sword of Shannara. It is no small matter of personal pride for me that I can say I was one of those lucky fantasy lovers who st
Jan farnworth
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So much of this one is familiar, follows places, family names and magics from previous books. I like that part, but what really sucks this time around is that everything that Allanon built up those many centuries ago is at risk of going away. Interesting how science is taking it's place and those with magic aren't looked at in a good light.

I hated how Drisker Arc was betrayed yet again. He seems much like the Allanon of old. Even the other characters seem to mirror characters from the first boo
Amanda Setasha Hall
I'm honestly surprised to say this is my first Terry Brooks novel (even though I own multiple copies of almost everything Shannara).

I was widely impressed. The beginning, I didn't like, but it picked up quickly. This ends in major cliffhangers - so I'm assuming it's part of another trilogy Shannara series. I appreciated little reminders and pokes at past books - especially the comments about Allanon.

I'm looking forward to being able to read the rest of the Shannara books
As a standalone book, not so good.

This book left off woth too many cliffhsngers and lead ins for the next one. It has been awhile since I read Terry but feel like each book went through the typical arc. The Black Elfstone feels like it left off after the first conflict and no resolutions.

His writing is good and I look forward to the next two. This jist felt like it would have been better as a more complete story.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The Four Lands are being invaded by a ghost army and ex-High Druid Drisker Arc acquires a new student in the person of Tarsha Kaynin who has the gift of the Wishsong. Intrigue is rampant in Paranor. Tarsha's brother also has the gift but is going mad and destroying people.
Richard Ritenbaugh
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good start to the final Shannara series. What I want to know is, who is this new Shea Olmsford?
Randy Pursley
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another good addition to the Shannara books. I felt that the characters were believable and the story engrossing. I look forward to the next book of the series.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of the best Shannara yarns yet! Only three more left? How can I be sad & excited at the same time? (I won this ARC through a goodreads give away.)
Jim Graczyk
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Satisfying beginning to this four part series. Can't wait for the July release of the next book. Unfortunately I will have to wait longer for the last two!
Simon Howard
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
As close to the feel of the original Terry Brooks as you're going to find now, after several fairly tepid stories, this one picks you up like a runaway horse and charges off with you whilst at the same time for serious Brooks fans makes you feel like you're coming home. A sad irony considering it looks very much like this is the beginning of the end of the road for the four lands! Family, great and powerful magics, quests and druids.... all there and ready for you.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the Black Elfstone to be a great first book in the final chapter of the Shannara legend. Terry Brooks is in fine form here and is so effortlessly comfortable with the writing of the series that brought him into the world of fantasy back in the 1970's. He has long proven his mastery of the Fantasy genre and can be applauded over and over again for his creations in the land of Shannara. I've been a fan of Terry since the publishing of The Sword of Shannara back in the 70's. I've read every ...more
M Tat
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
There are some things that just don't quite click in this novel.

Among them, that _hundreds_ of years have passed since the last stories were told, yet 'the airships remain a controlling force' and Brooks sets the current level of tech using the airships . . .which appeared hundreds of years ago, and yet remain exactly the same? There's a failure when the 'old' is reinforced as 'new' and the reader is left wondering just how anachronistic this entire world is unto itself.

Another elem
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I think that at the end of the day I would like a complete story. Many writers can write books that feel like a complete story even if there is another book to come. This book felt nothing like that. It felt like an introduction to the main event and I really do not like this style of writing from Brooks. It is SO slow. As a fan, I would rather wait 4 years to read a complete book rather than read an episodic book, which is why I'm giving it a 2 star. I'm SO done with Brooks. I've been a 30 + ye ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: please add uk edition 2 12 Feb 26, 2019 06:25AM  
Föruneyti Nördanna: Shannara 2 4 May 12, 2018 09:34AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dragon's Code (Pern, #25)
  • Elsewhens (Glass Thorns, #2)
  • Recluce Tales: Stories from the World of Recluce
  • M.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action / Sweet Myth-tery of Life (Myth Adventures, #9-10)
  • Siege of Stone (Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles, #3)
  • The Mad Apprentice (The Forbidden Library, #2)
  • Losers Weepers (Dark Avengers, #2)
  • Haunted in Death / Eternity in Death (In Death, #22.5 & #24.5)
  • Darksword Adventures
  • Echoes of Evil (Krewe of Hunters #26)
  • Probable Claws (Mrs. Murphy #27)
  • Betrayal (Dragonlance: Dhamon Saga, #2)
  • Irona 700
  • Razing the Dead (Museum, #5)
  • The Merchant Emperor (Symphony of Ages #7)
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Death of an Adept (Adept, #5)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

The Fall of Shannara (4 books)
  • The Skaar Invasion (The Fall of Shannara, #2)
  • The Stiehl Assassin (The Fall of Shannara #3)
  • The Last Druid (The Fall of Shannara #4)