American fantasy Novelist “Terry” Brooks was born January 8, 1944 in Sterling, Illinois. He is an alumnus of Hamilton College, earning his B.A. in English literature in 1966. He later obtained a J.D. from Washington and Lee University. He was a practicing attorney before becoming a full-time author. Brooks had been a writer since high school, writing mainly in the genres of science fiction, western, fiction, and non-fiction. He started writing in his early college life, after he was given a copy of The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, which inspired him to write in one genre. While Tolkien inspired the genre, Brooks stated at the Charlotte Literary Festival that he credits the inspiration of his style of writing to William Faulkner’s works. With this inspiration, he then made his debut in 1977 with his first epic fantasy novel The Sword of Shannara.
The Sword of Shannara saga has continued to this day, with the Legends of Shannara, First King of Shannara, The Heritage of Shannnara, The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Trilogy, The High Druid of Shannara trilogy and the latest installment The Measure of the Magic which was released in August of 2011, as well as a prequel, First King of Shannara. The series blends magic and primitive technology and the books are set in the Four Lands which in some books is identified as Earth long after civilization as we know it was destroyed in a chemical and nuclear holocaust called the Great Wars. By the time of the prequel First King of Shannara, the world has now reverted to a medieval state and magic has re-emerged to supplement science as humans and other races live in a place known as the Four Lands, which is a future North America. Further into the novels science starts to become more advanced.
Brooks also wrote the Landover novels and then wrote a four-book series titled The Heritage of Shannara.For the next fourteen years, he wrote more Landover books, then went on to write The Word and Void trilogy. Continuing the Shannara series, Brooks wrote the prequel to The Sword of Shannara, titled First King of Shannara. He then wrote two series, The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara and High Druid of Shannara and recently finished a third, Genesis of Shannara, a trilogy bridging his Word and Void and Shannara series. His latest project, A Princess of Landover, was released in August 2009. Legends of Shannara, a duology taking place after the events of Genesis of Shannara, was recently completed. The first part, entitled Bearers of the Black Staff, was released in August 2010. The second installment, The Measure of the Magic, was released in August 2011. During his writing career, Brooks has written 23 New York Times bestsellers, two movie novelizations and is one of the biggest-selling living fantasy writers.