Thank you Terry Brooks – a unique first edition ‘The Sword of Shannara’

I think I was about 11 or so (back in ’91 or ’92) when one day I was rummaging around in one of my parents’ book shelves in the house (being of the religious literary types, they’ve amassed a lot of books!). For reasons unknown they had this book in their collection: The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks.

This was Terry’s debut novel and to my dismay I didn’t realise until today that this book in my posession is actually a first edition! I’ve no idea what its value is and don’t really care, to be honest, because I’ll never sell it. Why? Because it means so much to me.
This book introduced me the world of literature which, up until that point in my life, I had vehemently avoided. I hated reading anything, possibly because I considered the activity closely related to homework. So when I found this book with its glossy artwork I was blown away. Who is that guy that looks like Jesus? What’s with the blonde-haired characters dressed in white? A dwarf? Swords, maces,  bows and arrows? Cool!

I had to know what the story was for such epic artwork to be painted, and to my delight the story was no less grand in scale. Thus I had discovered the joy of reading for pleasure.

After twenty years I’m proud to look at the collection of books I’ve accumulated, and I’m happy to say The Sword of Shannara has helped shape my life in such a positive way. I love literature and reading, the fantasy genre – even to the point of playing Dungeons and Dragons – and I’d like to thank Terry & his publisher for putting together such an inspiring work that could make such an impression on a kid like me.

Below is a few photos of my copy… yes, it is rather tattered, but from my point of view this book has character! A section has even been bound upside down and is missing about 10 pages. I’m not sure whether this flaw is unique to this actual copy or whether it was known to be a problematic print run. There is no RRP and it now has that fabulous “old book” smell. Click the images for the full-size view.

The Sword of Shannara - cover

dust jacket - fairly worn (well-read!)

The Sword of Shannara - glossy fold-out

Beautiful illustrations by the Brothers Hildebrandt

The Sword of Shannara - copyright page

Seems legit.

The Sword of Shannara - upside down binding 1

pages 153-184 bound upside down!

The Sword of Shannara - missing pages

pages 163-174 missing!

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1 Comment

  1. I like the this first edition of ‘The Sword of Shannara’. Well these pix attracted me to read this book..

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