We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The High Druid's Blade: The Defenders of Shannara, Book 1 | [Terry Brooks]

The High Druid's Blade: The Defenders of Shannara, Book 1

Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Running his family’s modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet life - until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world…and rewrite his destiny.
Regular Price:$35.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Running his family’s modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet life - until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world…and rewrite his destiny.

When his brash young sister is abducted by a menacing stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. And in a harrowing duel, he is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him - and within his ancestors' ancient blade. But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands, and Paxon must master it quickly because his nearly fatal clash with the dark sorcerer Arcannen won’t be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the fabled Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector.

But treachery is afoot deep in the Druids’ ranks. And the blackest of sorcery is twisting a helpless innocent into a murderous agent of evil. To halt an insidious plot that threatens not only the Druid order but all the Four Lands, Paxon Leah must summon the profound magic in his blood and the legendary mettle of his elders in the battle fate has chosen him to fight.

©2014 Terry Brooks (P)20114 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks’ cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy.” (Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!)

“If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.” (Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear)

“I can’t even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks’ books I’ve read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood.” (Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind)

“Terry Brooks is a master of the craft and a trailblazer who established fantasy as a viable genre. He is required reading.” (Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Angel Trilogy)

“The Shannara books were among the first to really capture my imagination. My daydreams and therefore my stories will always owe a debt to Terry Brooks.” (Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Beyonders and Fablehaven series)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (259 )
5 star
 (130)
4 star
 (76)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.3 (243 )
5 star
 (123)
4 star
 (70)
3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.4 (245 )
5 star
 (131)
4 star
 (80)
3 star
 (30)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Christopher 03-04-15
    Christopher 03-04-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A departure from the typical Shannara storyline"

    A couple of spoilers in this review (4th paragraph)- You have been warned!

    First, I have to say that overall I am a Brooks fan. Next to the Hobbit, Brooks was my introduction into the Fantasy genre at a pretty early age with the Sword of Shannara, and I've read everything he's put out since. So the medicare star rating should be a heads up.

    Most of the Shanarra series has been somewhat, "formulaic", in the overall plot line, and I do want to give props to the author for exploring new ground (though in this book it's not really a good departure in my opinion).

    This story centers once again around the Ohmsford family (though now it's the Leah name as the bloodlines merged at the end of the last trilogy, Witch Wraith). Its pretty obvious that this book is much more about setting the pieces in place politically and contextually for a much larger grand story down the road.

    What we get in this book is relatively mundane in terms of the plot. There is no grand "end of the world" threat taking place (at least overtly) in this story- instead a bar fight escalates into a kidnapping and a rescue that sets some things in motion, that on the surface are, (for the Shannara world), rather "dull", especially given the bloodbath the previous trilogy was.

    Contrasting that dynamic, the other main criticism is that the story gets quite dark in places. One of the main characters is a 15 year old girl (her age mentioned several times in the text), the offspring of the Railing Ohmsford and Mariah Leah line. At one point she is kidnapped and brutally tortured- I hate to give that away, but at the same timeI feel one should be aware of this going in.

    I don't think the description of the torture is specific enough to technically be considered graphic, though it does get the idea of what is being done across well enough through implication. Most of the Shannara characters historically are quite young and always threatened with awful deaths- this brings a grittier detail to the character's trial that may be off-putting to some, given the age of the person being tortured. While there is a sexual tension to the torture (that component is threatened a few times), it doesn't cross the line into that thankfully. For added tension though, her capture always seems to wind up with her clothing removed at the end. It's effective, if a bit disturbing.

    Where in pervious stories, the tension comes from the nature of the evil protagonist of the story attempting to destroy or conquer the world (and subsequently kill the hero of the story who is trying to prevent this), this is a much more direct assault against the main characters for personal gain by the protagonist (though agendas are hinted at).

    Brooks is obviously trying to go a bit deeper here in the perceived threat to the heroes and raising the tension in a different way than he has done in the past. I can't say it isn't successful, even if it does leave you feeling a little dirty at the end (though I have read much worse by other authors- it's just somewhat unexpected here).

    Another flaw is that the main protagonist, while diabolical in his casual brutality, doesn't seem to have any solid direct plans to gain power, but seems to let things develop at times and be along for the ride. He comes across less as an "arch villain" and more as a sadistic opportunist.

    Despite all this, I'll keep with the story and see where it goes. Brooks has said in interviews that the Shannara series is headed to a major (world changing) confrontation between the Magic and Science spheres of the world, and there are some obvious hints being set up in this story for that to play out in the future. But ultimately this 1st book of this trilogy doesn't really communicate any cliff hanging, nail biting drama that makes you want to dive right into the next book. But I remain hopeful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harold 07-30-15
    Harold 07-30-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good not GREAT"

    Definitely not as good as the other book. A little slow in development and not as much action as we accustom to experiencing. Good not great HB

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11thHour 07-30-15
    11thHour 07-30-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping"

    Terry Brooks delivers another classic! The plot twists will leave you spellbound and caught up in the momentum of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morgan 06-23-15
    Morgan 06-23-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brooks just isn't what he used to be."

    I grew up reading Shannara, but these last couple of series have been quite dull. Narration was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-23-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "yet another great book :)"

    I've loved these books since I was a girl still loving him hope there are many many more to come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeremy lamarch 06-15-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a disapointed fan"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Brooks again?

    yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disapointment


    Any additional comments?

    Terry Brooks, one of my favorite authors has been slipping for the last few series including this one. He is over 70 after all. I am a bit sad that we may never get the novel about Galaphile and the first druid council or worse we will get it and it will be a short 300 page rushed novel like the stuff he has been putting out lately.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Hamilton 06-10-15
    S. Hamilton 06-10-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great book! look forward to more!"

    Such a great book! I look forward to more! love the whole series of Shannara!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BR van Dyk 03-30-15
    BR van Dyk 03-30-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wishsong is back...."

    Loved it! when will book 2 be available. Made we want to revisit the first books again on Shanara.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 03-21-15
    Matt 03-21-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    206
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I didn't like it."

    This one was hard for me to listen to it skipped over many months and real detailed for a few hours in the story and then jump ahead quite a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith 03-18-15
    Judith 03-18-15 Member Since 2015

    Just looking for good books

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WONDERFULLY DONE"

    I love this book and the reading as well
    I have gotten all the books and I am enjoying them all

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.