First King of Shannara, a 1996 novel by Terry Brooks, is a prequel to Brooks' The Sword of Shannara, set during the Second War of the Races. Many famous characters from the series, and their ancestors, appear in this story.

Plot Summary

Horrified by the consequences of the First War of the Races, the Druids at Paranor have stopped studying the arcane arts and have turned to the sciences of the Old World.

But Brona, now the Warlock Lord, thought to have died in the First War of the Races, has come to make a new war on the Races. He is now stronger than ever, gathering spirits from the netherworld and a massive Troll army under his banner. Brona's first target is Paranor, the home of the Druids who defeated him during the First War of the Races. He easily wipes out the Druid order. The only survivors are the followers of Bremen, an outcast Druid who continued to study the mystic arts and tried to warn the council before it was too late. Needless to say, his caveat went unheeded. Bremen had been cast from the Druid Council because he had an interest in magic, now forbidden since the disaster that turned the Druid Brona into the Warlock Lord. As a result, the council simply didn't trust him. Bremen knows that only magic can fight magic, so he devises a plan to create a magical weapon to destroy the Warlock Lord: the Sword of Shannara. The Sword is created by truth of existence, the only thing remaining to the shades of former Druids. The Warlock Lord never could face the truth that he had died centuries before, and the Sword would force that truth on him. Armed with truth, Bremen leads the battle in the Westland. He equips Jerle Shannara, the Elven King, with the Sword. Jerle confronts the Warlock Lord, and succeeds in driving him into hiding, but he fails to destroy him. To properly wield the talisman of truth, one must first be prepared to face the truth of his own life. Jerle simply could not reconcile the guilt he felt at his best friend's death, and so he lacked the ability to force truth on Brona.

Main Characters

Other Characters