The next book will be called Bearers of the Black Staff, Book One of the Legends of Shannara duology.
Bearers of the Black Staff takes place 500 years after the events in The Gypsy Morph, where the descendants of the valley survivors are finally confronted with the outside world and its multitude of dangers. The book is written and edited and is as we speak with the production editing team at Del Rey. Artwork has just been commissioned and after several months hopefully we’ll have something to show you.
Terry is as we speak writing the second book in the duology. It has a tentative title I cannot yet reveal but I think it matches up nicely with the first one. Terry hopes to be finished with the second book by April or May 2010. More about this will be revealed in the 2009 Holiday Letter, to be released soon.
As you have probably surmised, the Genesis of Shannara series is complete at three books. Legends of Shannara will push the pre-First King of Shannara novels forward. There will be at least one or two more series after Legends that will bring the timeline up to Galaphile and the First Druid Council. We’ll have to wait and see how Terry does it.
After completing the Genesis of Shannara series last summer, Brooks took a year off to work on a new novel in his less popular Magic Kingdom of Landover series. Bearers of the Black Staff is a welcome return to the world of the Four Lands. What’s most interesting about this series, and the recently concluded Genesis of Shannara series, is that it takes place well before Brooks’ first novel, The Sword of Shannara (first published in 1977) and examines the transformation from post-apocalyptic Earth to Medieval Fantasy world complete with Elves, Trolls, Dwarfs and magic. It might not be for everyone, but Brooks continues to show growth as an author, even 30+ years later.