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Posts Tagged ‘Sword of Shannara’

The end of Shannara has begun…THE BLACK ELFSTONE is out now

The release of THE BLACK ELFSTONE (UKANZ) marks an important moment in the fantasy calendar, and for millions of fans around the world, it’s a bittersweet occasion.

It was in 1977 that Terry Brooks released what was to become one of modern fantasy’s most popular novels ever, The Sword of Shannara. It kick-started a fantasy phenomenon which has lasted for 40 years and over 28 novels, and today Terry’s Shannara books are still as popular as ever. He is lauded as one of the true masters of modern fantasy, with bestselling authors such as Brent Weeks, Patrick Rothfuss, Philip Pullman, Christopher Paolini and Peter V. Brett all citing him as a powerful influence on their writing and the genre as a whole.

And now with THE BLACK ELFSTONE – the first book in the Fall of Shannara series – it is with both excitement and sadness that fans will see Terry start to bring the world to a conclusion.

In an interview with UNBOUND WORLDS, Terry had this to say:

“This four book set is intended to give readers new and old, but especially those who have stayed with me all these years, one last look at the Four Lands and a cast of characters who will write the final story to how things turn out in my lifetime, anyway, for this world. It does not tie up all the loose ends nor does it answer all questions. But it does look forward, it does hearken back, and it does spin one last tale of characters that will hopefully resonate with readers. Much of what you will read will remind you of things that happened in early books and of what I think were my strengths in writing epic fantasy for 50 years”

You can read the rest of the interview here, and THE BLACK ELFSTONE (UKANZ) is available in all good bookshops now.

My First Time: The Magic of Terry Brooks

SwordEveryone remembers their first time.

Mine was back in the mid-1990s. A close friend excitedly showed me a book called THE SWORD OF SHANNARA (UK | ANZ) that his jetsetting pilot father had picked up for him from a bookstore in America. I remember being impressed at its sheer size and being immediately drawn to both the cover (a glowing magic sword, what more could a thirteen-year-old boy want?) and the gorgeous interior illustrations by the brothers Hildebrandt. I forget what gushing eulogy my friend gave about the book, yet it was positive enough for the novel to stick in my mind. Faced with the horrors of a two-week family holiday a short time later, I purchased a copy of THE SWORD OF SHANNARA, thinking it might prove a decent distraction for a fortnight.

It didn’t – because I burned through the novel in two days. I was already a fan of fantasy, having devoured Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and the late Brian Jacques’s much-loved Redwall series, but this was the first time I’d read an adult book – and I was hopelessly smitten. I loved every page, every word. For hours at a time I lost myself in this mythical world, enthralled by the plucky heroes’ dangerous adventure to save the land from darkness. I may not have realised it at the time, but that reading experience was a watershed moment in not just my reading tastes, but my entire life. Read the rest of this entry »

How to create a fantasy book cover: The making of the new-look Terry Brooks

Wards of Faerie - the brand new fantasy novel from fantasy legend Terry Brooks, book one in his Dark Legacy of Shannara series - endorsed by Christopher PaoliniDo you ever wonder what goes into producing the cover artwork for some of the biggest fantasy books out there?

We asked the highly talented illustrator Stephen Youll about how he created the cover artwork for WARDS OF FAERIE (UK |ANZ), the first book in Terry Brooks’s brand new Dark Legacy of Shannara series – out next week on 23rd August.

We wanted a fresh new look for this series – both to appeal to Terry’s die-hard fans and to show that it’s a great point for new readers to get on board with the Terry Brooks phenomenon.

We were delighted with this artwork Stephen produced, so here, in his words, is how it came together:

For Terry Brooks’s first book in the new Dark Legacy series I was asked to create a dragon skull, hanging in a stone alcove with interesting lighting that gave the cover a rich and bold look to it that was different to everything else that was out there. Not much of a challenge?

Step 1: This involves the creation of the alcove shape in the wall. I quickly established the arched alcove with light and shadows on top of  a stone textured background.

step 1- background alcove shape1 - creation of fantasy novel WARDS OF FAERIE by Terry Brooks

Step 2: I added the detailed panels from texture cloned from an old door and colored it to match the stone. Read the rest of this entry »

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