|The First King of Shannara|
|Publication date||March 19, 1996|
|Published by||Del Rey Books|
| Preceded by|
The Measure of the Magic
| Followed by|
The Sword of Shannara
First King of Shannara
Prequel to Shannara Series
For centuries the Four Races have held an uneasy peace after the War of the Races ravaged the land. The Druids of Paranor, once a light of knowledge and strength to all, have become recluses, withdrawing behind their stone walls, safe in the knowledge that the only foe who could threaten them died at the end of the last War. But something stirs in the North...
Bremen, an outcast of the Druid order because of his decision not to spurn magic, returns to Paranor with dire news: the Warlock Lord, the rebel Druid who started the First War of the Races, did not die. He has survived the centuries by use of magic, and has returned with his foul minions the Skull Bearers to subjugate all of the Four Lands. But the Council of Paranor refuses to listen to Bremen's warnings: 'Magic has twisted his mind,' they say. 'There is no threat.' Only three of the Order are willing to leave with Bremen and his companion Kinson Ravenlock: Tay Trefenwyd, an Elf who follows the elementalist approach to magic; Risca, a battlemage dwarf; and Mareth, an apprentice with wild innate magic. The five travel to the Valley of Shale, to the Hadeshorn where the dead can step through into the world of the living; there Bremen summons the Shade of the first Druid, Galaphile, to learn how best to combat their foe. Galaphile gives Bremen four visions: one, of Paranor's fall and the relic he must retrieve from the ruins; two, of a Black Elfstone hidden in the mountains of the Elven homeland; the third showed a battlefield where Brona's army had met with the Elves, and the one who would wield the weapon that would bring an end to this conflict; the last was of the Hadeshorn itself, and showed little that would help in their fight.
Armed with these visions, the party split. Tay Trefenwyd went west to find the elfstone and secure the aid of the elves against the army that was marching towards the Eastland. Risca went to prepare his own people to stand against the Warlock Lord. Bremen, Mareth, and Kinson returned to Paranor to retrieve the Eilt Druin, the symbol of the Druid Order and a relic of great power; once armed with the Eilt Druin, they went in search of a man who could forge the weapon seen in the third vision, a man who could forge the Sword of Shannara.
Each of them have an important role to play; the storylines twist and turn until at last we stand on the battlefield where the fate of the Four Lands is decided, where the first king of Shannara stands against the dreadful power of the Warlock Lord.