Terry Brooks

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Author Review: Terry Brooks (1944 Present)
Review Written By: Alan


Writing Style 

Body of Work 

Terry Brooks Links 


Terry Brooks has been a writer since high school.  He published his first novel, The Sword of Shannara, in 1977.  The novel had been tossed on the slush (reject) pile at Del Rey but was rescued by one of the editors (lucky for us).  This novel set the standard for mass market fantasy novels by becoming the first work of fiction ever to appear on the New York Times Trade Paperback Bestseller List (on the list for over 5 months).  He currently has a string of 14 best-selling novels.  Although he was a practicing attorney, he now is a full-time writer.  He and his wife live in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

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Writing Style

Brooks has a fast flowing, easy going style.  He uses easy to understand words and you can breeze through his books fairly rapidly.  This doesn't mean his stories are not engaging; they are just pleasant to read.  His plots tend to be fairly straightforward and easy to understand.  He does not bog down his stories with overly complex side plot lines.  Most of his novels rely on the standard fantasy novel plot (probably best established by J. R. R. Tolkien):

  1. Young man has magical powers he doesn't understand

  2. Led on a quest by a mysterious stranger/mentor

  3. Has to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to save the world

However, even though he relies heavily on this basic plot, he creates interesting characters and worlds to flesh out his plots.  His character development is generally adequate for the main characters in the story but can be a bit sketchy for secondary characters.  His plots make sense and don't contain holes which require the reader to fill in the gaps with assumptions.  He writes in a very descriptive style which can annoy some readers.  But unlike Robert Jordan, who also is very descriptive, Brooks can actually conclude a story in 400 pages.

Some people have accused Brooks of copying J.R.R Tolkien when he wrote the Sword of Shannara.  I don't agree with them.  There are some similar elements, but Brooks writes in a very different style than Tolkien.  Tolkien (whom I also admire very much) is very philosophical.  Brooks is more down to earth and prefers to describe his characters and their surroundings as opposed to delving deeply into philosophy.

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Body of Work


The First King of Shannara 

The Sword of Shannara 

The Elfstones of Shannara 

The Wishsong of Shannara 

The Heritage of Shannara 

The Scions of Shannara 

The Druid of Shannara 

The Elf Queen of Shannara 

The Talismans of Shannara 

The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara

Ilse Witch

The Magic Kingdom of Landover

Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold!

The Black Unicorn

Wizard At Large

The Tangle Box

Witches' Brew

The Word

Running With The Demon 

A Knight Of The Word 

Angel Fire East 

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 


For a listing of all Terry Brooks books available at Amazon.com, click go in the box below.

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The Wonderous Worlds of Terry Brooks - Brooks official site.  Very nice art.  The site is relatively new and some pages are still under construction.  However, there is an address where you can write to Brooks.

Shannara.com - Site set up by Del Rey primarily to promote Brooks' new Shannara books.  Sign up for the e-mailing list to receive monthly updates.

Del Rey Books - Brooks' publisher.  Good source of information on all Del Rey authors.  Contains information on upcoming releases as well as sample chapters.

The Tangle Box - Fan site that includes a fan club you can join.

The Terry Brooks Experience - Another fan site that includes news, rumors, etc.

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