Shea Ohmsford is just an ordinary tavern-keepers apprentice who is visited by a mysterious druid. The druid tells him he's got to leave in order to evade pursuit from a skull bearer, who he says is a servant of an evil warlock. He and his half-brother Flick do what he says after actually encountering the creature mentioned. They are joined by Menion Leah, a good-for-nothing prince.
Later they meet up with the druid Allanon, who tells them they've got to go to Paranor to recover the Sword of Shannara, a special blade that belonged to Shea's father, who died a long time ago, and that the sword is the only way of slaying the Warlock Lord. They are joined by an some elves and a dwarf and a prince in their attempt to recover it, and pretty soon they get seperated and are each involved in seperate tasks.
Shea and Flick are captured by a troll and a one-handed bandit, which temporarily halts their progress in their quest, after which bandit and troll in question release them from bondage and they find a sword on the body of a dead gnome that just happens to be the Sword of Shannara. With the help of this sword, they pass through a deadly fog and Shea kills the Warlock Lord, and meanwhile, the rest of the group winds up trying to stop the evil Druid Stemnin, a servant of the Warlock Lord.
This report prepared by Steve Arthur
This engrossing book deals with several issues at once: First of all, there's a young person who doesn't know who he really is & once shown, cannot accept the truth of it. Next, you have a villain who also cannot accept the truth of the very core of his existence. Once both accept the truth about themselves, the plot of the book resolves itself. On the journey to these truths (eventually revealed by the legendary Sword of Shannara) you have a mix of dedicated adventurers brought together by their concern over the darkness sweeping the land into chaos. Allanon, a powerful, concerned druid, (the last of his kind dedicated to good), is the glue that holds the little band together, despite their opinions, good & bad, of him & his intentions. Magic plays a large part of the backbone of the book; rather, it is the source from which all the other elements grow. A mixture of mental & physical battles permeate the ebb & flow of this powerful book. It is a book of realization of one's self & destiny, and the selflessness that comes with maturity.
This report prepared by Vandor