This is a prequel novel to the Shannara series by Terry Brooks, and it came out in 1996.
This is almost 20 since the first book of the series, ‘The Sword of Shannara’, was published. And if you only judge by these two books, Terry Brooks writing skill hasn’t improved at all.
The story is a carbon copy of the original Shannara book, which in turn was a carbon copy of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. The plot is predictable and dry, the characters one dimensional and flat.
This book is about the struggle by the druid Breman (The mentor of the druid Allanon), to defeat the evil Warlock Lord who is trying to conquer the Four Lands, again. He is helped in this by the elf named Jerle Shannara, who gave the series it’s name. This book also has the high fantasy mix of Elves, Dwarfs, a Troll army (Deninitely not Orcs) and epic battles.
If you read this book after reading the other Shannara books you might find it a bit, anti-climactic.
The battle between Breman and the Warlock Lord, the character of Jerle Shannara, and the forging of the ‘Sword of Shannara’ all look like they were written in a hurry, with minimal detail and depth. It’s worse because they are presented as legendary events in the later books.
I don’t recommend this book unless you are a die hard Shannara fan, or want to enjoy a quiet afternoon of reading without engaging your brain.