Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book of the Day

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

This high fantasy series follows a family destined for greatness. Terry Brooks does an amazing job of creating a post apocalyptic world, making humanity into the new trolls, dwarves, and gnomes. Among other fantasy beings. Follows is a brief history of the setting:

The Sword of Shannara's events take place 2000 years after an apocalypse has occurred: nuclear holocaust has wiped out most of the planet. During this time, Mankind mutated into several distinct races: Men, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Trolls, all named after creatures from "age-old" myths. Also, the Elves begin to emerge after having been in seclusion and hiding for centuries. The warring that caused the holocaust is referred to as the "Great Wars" throughout the novel. These wars rearranged the planet's geographical attributes and wiped out most life forms on Earth. As a result of the Great Wars, most advanced technology has been lost, thus most of the events in the Shannara series take place in a medieval setting. However, magic is also back into the world, rediscovered after the loss of technology.
1000 years before The Sword of Shannara, an Elf named Galaphile gathered all of the people who still had some knowledge of the old world to Paranor in an attempt to bring peace and order to all of the races. They named themselves the First Druid Council. However, a rogue Druid named Brona and a few followers left, taking the Ildatch with them; this magical tome had subverted their minds and had brought them under its control. 250 years later, Brona began the First War of the Races when he convinced all Men to attack the other races. He almost succeeded in seizing rule of the Four Lands, but the tide turned, and the war ended with his defeat and subsequent disappearance. The Druids divided the Four Lands among the races to reduce interracial tension, and then became reclusive, withdrawing to Paranor because of their shame at the betrayal by one of their own members.
Two and a half centuries after the First War of the Races, Brona returned as the Warlock Lord, now with Skull Bearers as his servants. Chronicled in the prequel novel First King of Shannara, the Second War of the Races began with the destruction of the Druid Order. A lone Druid, Bremen, then forged a magical talisman for the express purpose of destroying the Warlock Lord; it was given to the Elven King, Jerle Shannara. As it takes the form of a blade, the talisman was named the Sword of Shannara. It succeeded in banishing the Warlock Lord, though he was not killed, while his entire army was subsequently defeated by the combined armies of the Elves and Dwarves. Yet peace came at a high price, as interracial tension was renewed and the Druids had seemingly vanished from the land.

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

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