“…what happens to one must happen to both.” #Shannara
“I cannot imagine life without books any more than I can imagine life without breathing.” ― Terry Brooks
In 1978, Brent and I were 12 years old and book obsessed.
That year, I recall spending a fair amount of time reading a couple of W.E. Butler books I’d culled from my great-grandmother’s magical trunk. Brent’s interest in the esoteric was growing and I had loaned him copies of Lords of Light: The Path of Initiation in the Western Mysteries and Apprenticed to Magic.
He returned the favor by loaning me an already tattered hardcover of Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara with the preface, “Best book since Lord of the Rings!”
He was excitable like that.
With a spectacular cover by the Hildebrants, the first book in the original Shannara Trilogy was essentially Lord of the Rings reimagined. Exactly what two boys living in rural Indiana needed — more Tolkien.
We didn’t care that it was unoriginal. At 12 years old, that’s exactly what we wanted… more of the same. And Brooks delivered.
Brent continued to be a Brooks fan right up to the end. I had long since moved on. My friend’s Peter Pan complex kept his reading tastes unjaded and still tinged with the freshness of child-like innocence. It’s something I was always jealous of, his ability to lose himself in young adult fantasy in such a way that that sense of wonderment was still there.
For me, I’d seen behind the curtain and there was no going back.
To be added to but another thing I will no longer be able to share with my departed friend, at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, the trailer for a new TV series was presented to an audience of ravenous fans — The Shannara Chronicles.
I have to admit… it looks amazing, and I know Brent would have loved every bit of it.
I look forward to watching it with my son, Connor, who is already excited about it. And who knows, maybe we’ll get Brent’s son Kasey to watch it with us too. I know Brent would have wanted to share it with him. It only seems right that I should pass Shannara along to the son as the father did to me.