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The Order Of Shannara
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I just read one of the Shannara books and I liked it. I more than liked it, I loved it and I am determined to read every single last one of them. Now this is a bit of a problem because there are so many and the order is very confusing. Terry Brooks has jumped around in time a lot with his books. This article will try to take the confusion out of this series and working out just what is happening and when and where.

The first Shannara books are The Sword, Elfstones and the Wishsong of Shannara. It is good to start with these ones because they set the scene for what is happening. The first books I read were a much later series, The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, and there were a lot of things that I didn’t understand that were just assumed that you would know. The first Shannara series appears somewhere around the middle of the timeline. The books in this series are not a continuous trilogy, but separate stories with a generation or so between them.

The next Shannara series is The Heritage of Shannara, with The Scions, Druid, Elf Queen and Talismans of Shannara. This series follows on from the first Shannara series with a new threat to the world. A great deal of time has passed since the first series and the world has changed. Unlike the original series, these four books are in sequence and tell one story in a continuous saga.

The next series is the Word and Void series with Running with the Demon, A knight of the Word and Angel Fire East, telling the story of the beginning of the cataclysm that shanghaied the modern world (similar to our present reality) into an apocalypse and then a slow recovery into the world of swords and magic that the Shannara series tells of.

From way back into the past to far into the future, the next series was the Voyage of Shannara with Ilse Witch, Antrax and Morgawr. The following series, High Druid of Shannara, followed directly on from that one with Jarka Ruus, Tanequil and Straken. The Voyage tells a story of a quest for magic with danger from machines of the old world. High Druid of Shannara tells of the new druids struggles to be recognised as such.

After this series, we are back into the past again with the Genesis of Shannara series with Armageddon’s Children, The Elves of Cintra and The Gypsy Morph. These books tell the story of how there came to be survivors of the apocalypse that shook the world and their journey to a place of safety.

Then we go forward a few generations for the Bearers of the Black Staff and The Measure of the Magic (which isn’t even out just yet). Here, the people who were saved in the last series have formed a nation which now must go out into the world and see what’s there.

All in all, this series is very enjoyable and a lot of fun to read. It can be a little confusing to know exactly where you are on the timeline and hopefully this guide will help.


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