"The Sword of Shannara" and its two sequels, "The Elfstones of Shannara "and "The Wishsong of Shannara," are the three most popular books by American fantasy author Terry Brooks. Although the prolific author has dabbled in other genres, his books set in the Shannara fantasy world consistently outsell his other works.
Terry Brooks has written over 20 novels, novellas, and short stories in the Shannara universe and its fictional setting, the Four Lands. The first novel in the series, "The Sword of Shannara," was first published in 1977 and was a surprise bestseller. It helped to confirm within the publishing industry that the success of epic fantasy novels such as "The Lord Of The Rings" was no fluke. The second book in the series,
The Elfstones of Shannara," came out in 1982 and outsold its predecessor. Brooks wrapped up this original trilogy of stories with "The Wishsong of Shannara" in 1985.
The popularity of the original books in the series has not gone unnoticed in other media. Over the years frequent attempts have been made to adapt them for feature films or television series. Brooks has also revisited the setting frequently, using the same setting for stories set long before and after the events recounted in the original trilogy. He has also written another well-received if less popular fantasy series completely separated from the Shannara universe, set in the Magical Kingdom of Landover.