The collection was gathered by Shawn Speakman, author and web guru for Terry Brooks. When Shawn fell ill back in 2011 and was unable to cover his medical bills, the fantasy community showed its exceptional generosity by stepping forward to help out. All of the authors involved were kind enough to donate their stories the collection to help him cover the costs – and what was produced is a truly wonderful anthology.
This is the first time UNFETTERED has been published in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and our Orbit edition contains an extra bonus story from Shawn himself. Please see below for a list of all the stories included.
It’s available now at a special introductory price, and so it’s a great time to sample the fiction of some of the some of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed authors writing in fantasy today.
We’re delighted to unveil our cover for UNFETTERED (UK),an anthology of original fiction from some of the biggest names in fantasy, to be released digitally this February.
It will include stories from Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett, Mark Lawrence, Terry Brooks, Naomi Novik, Michael J. Sullivan, and even deleted scenes from A MEMORY OF LIGHT, the final book in Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s Wheel of Time series.
This collection is not only a fantastic anthology in its own right, but it’s also a testament to the generosity found in the science fiction and fantasy community.
When author Shawn Speakman was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011 and didn’t have health insurance due to a pre-existing condition, he incurred a huge medical debt that he was unable to pay. That’s when New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story that Shawn could sell to help cover those bills. He also recommended he ask the same of his other writer friends, and UNFETTERED is the impressive result.
The collection includes twenty-four tales, including an extra story for the UK edition from Speakman himself. As the title suggests, the writers were free to contribute whatever they wished, resulting in a truly unique selection from some of the brightest minds in fantasy fiction.
UNFETTERED will be released digitally in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other territories on 20th February 2014. It is available for pre-order from online retailers now.
With a hugely popular writing career reaching back more than thirty years, some fantasy readers may think they know all there is to know about the books of bestselling fantasy author Terry Brooks and his seminal world, Shannara. But think again.
To celebrate the conclusion of Terry Brooks’ most recent trilogy, the Dark Legacy of Shannara, we thought we’d unearth a few facts about the world of Shannara which may surprise fantasy readers out there . . .
1. While influenced by The Lord of the Rings, the Shannara series is more influenced by William Faulkner, who wrote generational sagas where family secrets can destroy from within. Terry Brooks wrote his college senior thesis on Faulkner.
2. The Shannara series is set in a far future after the destruction of own world. That means Elves are living in our world right now…
3. Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and Miles Millar & Alfred Gough (Smallville) are trying to bring THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA (UK|AUS) to television à la Game of Thrones.
4. WARDS OF FAERIE (UK|AUS), BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK|AUS), and WITCH WRAITH (UK|AUS) are the three books comprising the Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy. They are an indirect sequel to THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA (UK|AUS), widely regarded as Terry’s best novel.
5. Terry created airships in the Shannara series because he thinks there should be a natural progression in technology from a medieval setting. He also grew tired of keeping track of long treks on horseback.
The Dark Legacy of Shannara is out now in paperback. Terry Brooks’ next novel, THE HIGH DRUIDS BLADE (UK|AUS), is published in March.
Coming in March is something new and very exciting from one of the all-time greats of epic fantasy writing.
THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE is a brand new title from Terry Brooks. It’s the first Defenders of Shannara novel – one of three new stand-alone novels set in his thrilling world of Shannara.
Here for the first time is our UK version of the cover in all its glory, using the stunning artwork from illustrator Bastien Lecouffe Deharme. We feel this new look is just right for Terry’s books – it’s fresh and dynamic and really reflects how Terry’s writing is as breath-taking as ever.
THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE features a brand new hero Paxon Leah – a young man who believes himself to be ordinary, but fate will prove him to be very different indeed . . . It’s one of the most exciting fantasy stories I’ve read in a long time! Secrets are revealed, powers are unleashed, and you’ll see a whole new side to Shannara you never knew existed. Read on for the blurb:
Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once waged war with magical weapons. But those heroes are long gone now, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Paxon leads a quiet life – until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny. When his sister is abducted by a mysterious stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. He is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him – and within his ancestors’ ancient blade.
But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands. Paxon must master it quickly, as his near-fatal clash with a dark sorcerer won’t be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector . . .
Also, don’t forget that the paperback edition of the last book in Terry’s Dark Legacy of Shannara series, WITCH WRAITH, is released on the last day of this year. It’s a perfect end to the series, and a great way to round off 2013!
With publication of WITCH WRAITH (UK | ANZ), the final installment of The Dark Legacy of Shannara, today, we thought we’d take a look back at this incredible series. You already know Terry has fans in his peers, with authors such as Brent Weeks, Christopher Paolini and Peter V. Brett all singing his praises, but readers have also flocked to this series. If you’re a fantasy fan yet to experience the fast-paced adventure, incredible magic and complete epicness of the world of Shannara, this series is the perfect place to start.
The critics on The Dark Legacy of Shannara series
The design of the Shannara books spreads the story line across centuries, yet also makes it easy for new readers to jump in at any point . . . a grand example of the best of the best in the genre‘ - The Washington Post
“This may be the best Shannara novel in years. Highly recommended” – SFRevu
“Explodes from the first page . . . and the action doesn’t stop until the novel’s cliffhanger ending. . . . Intense and exhilarating . . . The author balances character development with intense action, and he has a gift for creating characters the reader cares about. Brooks is one of the best fantasy writers in the business, and Bloodfire Quest is better than its predecessor – Associated Press
“Wards of Faerie is the best novel Brooks has written in years . . . It’s full of hair-raising escapes, twists to established traditions and set pieces familiar to Shannara fans and characters, interesting magic and monsters and diverse relationships - A Dribble Of Ink
“Shannara fans will delight in Brooks’s sorcerous action, skilled characterizations, and rapid-fire storytelling twists” – Publisher’s Weekly
“From the first pages to the harrowing ending, Bloodfire Quest . . . is a thrill ride that will leave readers wanting more. . . . This volume, paired with the first, might be just the right place to introduce new readers to this fine writer” - Booklist
Watch Terry Brooks read the first chapter of WITCH WRAITH
Today we release the paperback of BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK|ANZ) – book two in Terry Brooks’s Dark Legacy of Shannara series following WARDS OF FAERIE (UK|ANZ). It’s a new epic fantasy set in the author’s core Shannara world, and it’s been knocking people’s socks off:
‘Explodes from the first page…the action doesn’t stop until the novel’s cliffhanger ending…Intense and exhilarating…Brooks is one of the best fantasy writers in the business’ ASSOCIATED PRESS
‘[Brooks] brings his distinct talent, giving a true grandeur to clashes involving terrifying creatures and powerful magic’ KIRKUS REVIEWS
‘A thrill ride that will leave readers wanting more…This volume, paired with the first, might be just the right place to introduce new readers to this fine writer’ BOOKLIST
The third book, WITCH WRAITH (UK|ANZ), is released very soon on 16th July.
Back in April, Terry did a very rare signing in the UK for the hardback release of BLOODFIRE QUEST. The queues at Forbidden Planet were phenomenal, and the signing went on for hours! See some pics of the event here.
For those who were unable to make it, we asked readers to send in their questions for this fantasy legend from afar. Now, we release Terry’s answers in the video below:
ps. Is it just me or is Terry awesome? No – the signs say it’s not just me . . .
Terry Brooks‘s latest epic fantasy book BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK | ANZ) has been released this month. It’s the second book in The Dark Legacy of Shannara series and is delighting fans everywhere:
‘Nearly every page is filled with tension and passionate storytelling . . . Bloodfire Quest is a fine follow-up to Wards of Faerie and continues to prove that The Dark Legacy of Shannara is one of the most exciting and satisfying trilogies that Brooks has written in years’ A DRIBBLE OF INK
‘Shannara fans will delight in Brooks’s twists, sorcerous action, skilled characterizations, and rapid-fire storytelling ‘ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
‘Shannara continues to deepen, and Brooks continues to color his world with new hues . . . BLOODFIRE QUEST is an epic adventure packed into 350 pages, delivering more of a punch than many trilogies provide in three books’ BOOK REPORTER
Don’t forget that if you live in the UK, there’s just under a week until Terry visits for the first time in over 5 years. There’s a facebook group here for his signing on 3rd April at 6pm at Forbidden Planet London.
And don’t fear if you can’t make it – UK fans still have time to submit questions and will receive an awesome dragon skull badge at the same time…
Airships have somehow ended up becoming the ultimate symbol of steampunk fiction. But as much as we love their appearance in established steampunk classics such as Gail Carriger’s fantastic Parasol Protectorate novels, Cherie Priest’s BONESHAKER and Stephen Hunt’s COURT OF THE AIR, I’m making a plea that we remember the humble airship does not have to remain in the domain of steam – and the punkification thereof!
I think it’s really time to claim back the airship for epic fantasy. What got me thinking about this was Terry Brooks’s new Dark Legacy of Shannara series, starting with WARDS OF FAERIE (UK / ANZ) and continuing with the recently released BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK / ANZ).
Airships have been in Terry Brooks’ novels for a while, ever since ILSE WITCH I believe, but it’s in his brand new series The Dark Legacy of Shannara that they’re really coming into their own. I couldn’t help thinking – I really, really want to own one of these airships.
Terry Brooks’ airships are like the suped-up, turbo charged versions of the common airship we’re all so familiar with. They’re powered by the sun – using ambient-light sails, something called diapson crystals and radian draws. Light gets converted into energy, and then this energy is expelled through what’s called the parse tubes. They’ve also got sails to gather extra power from the wind. They can easily fly at 1000 feet, and they’re kickass.
In WARDS OF FAERIE, things only get more exciting on the airship front. You don’t have to have read any previous Terry Brooks novels to enjoy this brand new novel, and you don’t have to know a lot about what’s gone before in airship automobile history to appreciate just how cool Terry’s speed-demon designs are.
To set the scene, there are two twins, Redden and Railing Ohmsford, who are thrill-seekers, risking life and limb racing special modified airships of their own design called Sprints.
Now I’m not into fancy cars, superbikes or private jets, but there’s something about these airships that really gets me salivating . . .
Sprints were one wicked pair of machines . . . Painted black from mast to keel, light sheaths black as well to better absorb the power of the sun, they had long, narrow hulls stripped of everything that might slow them down . . .
The controls were set to either side of a shallow depression that served as a cockpit, all within easy reach of the pilot. The pilot lay on his back with his head slightly elevated, facing forward down the length of his body toward the bow . . . Inside the cockpit, the thrusters and steering levers were manipulated by a combination of hands and feet, the cords that ran from the levers to the sheaths, rudder, and fins drawn so tightly that even the smallest amount of pressure would produce a response in the vessel’s handling . . .
These slender black monsters weren’t designed as transports; they were built to race.
*HUMANA, HUMANA* . . . It would be pretty cool to pull up outside Orbit Towers in one of those.
Now Terry Brooks certainly isn’t the only author to be using airships in a fantasy setting. A number of other authors doing this in books that are just as much fantasy as pure steampunk (Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadow of the Apt books, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, and Neil Gailman’s STARDUST come to mind…).
But I think that Terry Brooks really is one of the pioneers making airships truly sexy. If anyone can think of sexier airships then I’d be open to opinions!
But all I’m going to say for now is, to quote an Amazon reviewer, “Hold onto your diapson crystals – Shannara is back!”
Spring is almost here but we’re already looking forward to summer and autumn 2013! That’s because we’ve got some amazing books coming up for the rest of this year with freshly designed covers to share with you. This isn’t our whole list of published titles for the year – just the covers we think you might not have seen before.
Click on the individual cover images below to see the larger version and let us know your favourites!