Entertainment Weekly recently revealed the cover for The Black Elfstone, Terry Brooks’ next Shannara novel, which will be published in June 2017. But this wasn’t just any cover reveal; Brooks also shared the news that after nearly 40 years, he’ll be ending the Shannara series that he began in 1977.
Brooks told EW that “my original plan was to live forever, but I’m discovering that’s probably not going to happen, and I don’t want to be one of those authors whose series, after going on such a long time, gets written by somebody else at the end. So I decided it was time to at least write the ending, because I’ve had it in mind for many, many years.” The Black Elfstone is the first installment of The Fall of Shannara, the final quartet in the series.
In the interview, Brooks shares his writing process (including how he stopped being “dogmatic” about outlining 20 years ago), as well as his goal with The Fall of Shannara: “trying to harken back a bit to the beginning—to the Sword, the Elfstone, and the Wishstone—and using that as a touchstone for some of the scenes, characters, and creatures.” He’s also looking forward to the anticipation of writing a new series. But first, he gives some hints as to how Shannara will end:
I’ve got it in my head how I want the series to end—I know the emotional impact I want it to have. I started out with some concepts about the way science and magic work, where they were flip sides of the same coin. They would basically operate with the same rules, and you would learn that, just like science, magic could work for the better of people, or it could be bad, it could be used poorly. And the world, as I see it, is cyclical: History repeats itself. So there would be this war between the two, and each of them would become, at various times, more popular with the people. Now I’ll show you what happens when the two meet yet again! Will one prove to be dominant, or will there be a resolution of some sort between the two?
The Black Elfstone will be published June 13, 2017; the second book is expected to be published in 2018. Read the entire interview at EW.