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Summary

More than a quarter of a century after The Sword of Shannara carved out its place in the pantheon of great epic fantasy, the magic of Terry Brooks’s New York Times best-selling saga burns as brightly as ever. Three complete series have chronicled the ever-unfolding history of Shannara. But more stories are still to be told - and new adventures have yet to be undertaken.

Book One of High Druid of Shannara invites both the faithful longtime listener and the curious newcomer to take the first step on the next extraordinary quest.

Twenty years have passed since Grianne Ohmsford denounced her former life as the dreaded Ilse Witch - saved by the love of her brother, the magic of the Sword of Shannara, and the destruction of her evil mentor, the Morgawr. Now, fulfilling the destiny predicted for her, she has established the Third Druid Council, and dedicated herself to its goals of peace, harmony among the races, and defense of the Four Lands. But the political intrigue, secret treachery, and sinister deeds that have haunted Druid history for generations continue to thrive. And despite her devotion to the greater good as Ard Rhys - the High Druid of Paranor, Grianne still has bitter enemies. 

Among the highest ranks of the Council she leads lurk those who cannot forget her reign of terror as the Ilse Witch, who covet her seat of power, and who will stop at nothing to see her deposed...or destroyed. Even Grianne’s few allies - chief among them her trusted servant Tagwen - know of the plots against her. But they could never anticipate the sudden, ominous disappearance of the Ard Rhys, in the dead of night and without a trace. 

Now, barely a step ahead of the dark forces bent on stopping him, Tagwen joins Grianne’s brave young nephew, Pen Ohmsford, and the wise, powerful elf Ahren Elessedil on a desperate and dangerous mission of search and rescue - to deliver the High Druid of Shannara from an unspeakable fate. 

Expect no end of wonders, no shortage of adventure, exhilaration, suspense, and enchantment, as Terry Brooks demonstrates, once again, that there is no end to his magic of invention and mastery of storytelling. 

©2003 Terry Brooks (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic reviews

"A sure winner." ( Booklist)

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More please

Great book, wish more terry brooks full length books were on audible on the uk site.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jimmy
  • 24-12-03

Brooks is Back!

Having greatly disliked the previous Shannara series, The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, I had misgivings about starting a new one. I'm glad I chose to give it a chance -- Brooks is back in form! The style and plotting of this series is nothing new -- the usual quest with an Ohmsford along for good measure -- but that doesn't deter from a great plot with well-developed characters, some new, some old from the previous trilogy. This book harkens back to the Heritage of Shannara series, which is IMHO the best of the group. Scott Brick is also a great reader.

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Felix
  • 06-07-05

Great book enhanced by great reader

I have always been a fan of Terry Brooks. So I knew right away I would like the book. But what makes an audiobook a masterpiece is the quality of the reader and in this case I am not dissapointed. After the first few minutes I became a fan of Scott Bricks. He is easy to understand and know how to use all the secret of his trade to make this wonderful book exceptional.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lesley
  • 30-01-08

Slow start, but worth it

This is a great pick for anyone who enjoyed the other Shannara books. Grianne Ohmsford is back, no longer the Ilse Witch--now she's Ard Rhys of the druids and desperate to get the druid council up and running. She has a lot to worry about, including some indications of strange magic going on near Paranor.

At the start of the book I found myself bored with druidic politics and wishing something interesting would happen. But about an hour in, after meeting Pen Ohmsford, the story took off like an airship, with several exciting plot lines going at once. I couldn't stop listening.

Scott Brick as always does a great job here. One warning: the story is a little more epic than some of Brooks's other books (hence the long set-up time at the beginning), and it ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger. Don't start this one unless you're prepared to get part 2, Tanequil.

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  • Eric
  • 09-01-16

Started slow but...

Great read if not looking for background in a book... Must listen... Once it gets going!! Well done... Brick rocks as usual as a narrator !!

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  • Allison B
  • 13-06-10

Great Book, random ending

I loved this book, but it ended very oddly mid story. There was no "finale" or wrap-up of current struggles, there was simply an epilogue that explained how the book was randomly ending and a teaser that the next book would continue where this one left off.

Very odd...

I also found out that this is not the first book of the Shannara series, but the 7th series within several sets of books.

Those gripes aside, I'll probably get the next book to see what happens, and may some day go back to start with Armageddon's Children (what appears to be the actual first book).

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  • John Sullivan
  • 15-11-21

Horrible narration

Scott Brick is one of the most boring narrators I’ve ever heard, and would it kill him to research previous books and learn how to pronounce names and titles instead of just using horrible guess work.

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  • Tobi
  • 14-01-16

Another great book.

I have read all of Terry Brooks books. He is one of my favorite authors. This is the second time I have listened to this book. And that was after I had read it years ago. It never ceases to entertain.

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  • Beenie
  • 22-06-22

AMAZON: Too short for 1 whole Audible credit!

Good book, well read. Enjoyable. But seriously Amazon? This is an incredibly short book to charge Audible members an entire credit for. And it looks like the next book in this series is as short as or even shorter than this one. Amazon, pls come up with a way for us to get these shorter books that are part of a series with less than one credit per book - perhaps 2 credits if we buy an entire 3 book series at once? Please do something for those of us who devour books and spend so very much on Audible!

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  • Foxblade
  • 11-04-22

amazing story

miss pronounced a few words but otherwise it was an amazing performance. thankfully voyage of jerle shannara new unabridged version fixed that in there books.

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  • Rogue
  • 07-03-22

love the story - hate the narrator

I'm a fan of Terry Books. I didn't think I would be, but I really do like the world he's created. I can't stand listening to Scott Brick, though. I'm listening to this now and the way he reads just irritates me. He's monotoned, mispronouncing terms, and way - way too tinny audio mix drives me crazy. I'm only tolerating Scott to get to the rest of the story.