From Brooks’ official website:
The Wards of Faerie, Book I in the Legacy of Shannara series, will be published in August 2012. It is the story set 100 years after the events of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, where the people of the Four Lands have become largely distrusting of magic after the failed Third Council of Druids. But when a Druid stumbles upon information that might lead to the re-discovery of the lost Elfstones of Faerie, Ard Rhys of Paranor Khyber Elessedil must decide to undertake the most dangerous of missions to acquire them—at all costs.
Jeez, a quest to find the Elfstones? How original. I’m a longtime Brooks fan, but in recent years, I’ve become tired of his re-using the same tools and ideas in novel-after-novel. His creativity was one of the staples of his early books (if, I suppose, you disregard The Sword of Shannara‘s purposeful similarities to The Lord of the Rings and instead look at the several novels that followed), but has been sorely lacking since Antrax. Whatever. I’ll read them, and probably make the same complaints I do every time. The most interesting news, though, comes from details about the publishing schedule:
That means fans will be able to read the entirety of the Legacy of Shannara trilogy in the span of a year—August 2012 (The Wards of Faerie), March 2013 (Book II), and August 2013 (Book III) respectively!
But that’s not all. Del Rey Books has agreed to make The Wards of Faerie a very special publication in its own right. Here are the highlights:
- Interior color artwork for the first time since publication of The Sword of Shannara
- A new two-page map of the Four Lands and beyond by Russ Charpentier
- Detailed schematics of Paranor
In a world where George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch are ostracised for taking years between volumes, Brooks writes so bloody fast these days that he’s a couple of books ahead of publishing schedule. Crazy. Still, there’s a definite reflection of this on the quality of his work. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll actually hold true to my promise to myself and wait until the trilogy is out in its entirety and read it as one long novel (which I’ve always felt might improve my experience with Brooks’ more recent works, which are, essentially, long novels split over three volumes.)
It’ll be cool to have interior illustrations, which were a huge factor in first attracting me to The Sword of Shannara way back in the day. And, well, Charmentier’s maps are always gorgeous, so I certainly can’t complain about that.
What do you think, Shannara fans?