Three hundred years have passed since the death of Allanon, and the Four Lands are sadly changed. The Elves have vanished, and the Dwarves are enslaved. The Southland is now under the totalitarian rule of the Federation, and magic is strictly forbidden.
Yet Par Ohmsford still has some power of the Wishsong. While his brother Coll recites the old legends, Par uses his Wishsong to bring them to life. Then a mythic horror known as a Shadowen confronts them. A man calling himself Cogline drives it off, but also brings a message from the ancient Druid, Allanon—to go to the dread Hadeshorn, along with the other Scions of Shannara: Wren, who lives in the Westland, and Walker Boh, somewhere in the Eastland.
At the Hadeshorn, Allanon's spirit reveals a terrible future where Shadowen have destroyed all life in the Four Lands. To prevent that, he orders Par to recover the long-lost Sword of Shannara, Wren to discover the vanished Elves, and Walker Boh to bring back the Druids and their ancient vanished stronghold of Paranor.
All those tasks are manifestly impossible!Del Rey MME - 22nd printing
Since the death of the Druid Allanon, the Four Lands have changed profoundly, with magic strictly forbidden in the Southland, now under totalitarian rule. Yet Par still has some power of the Wishsong. When he accidently brings a mythic horror to life, a man calling himself Cogline drives it away. Cogline brings a message from Allanon: venture to the dread Hadeshorn, along with the other Scions of Shannara. For in the future, all life in the Four Lands will be destroyed. To prevent this terrible fate, Allanon commands Par to recover the long-lost Sword of Shannara, a task that is next to impossible.
The Raging of the Shadowen
The Shadowen was huge, manlike thing, its body covered with shaggy hair and its massive limbs ending in paws that were clawed. It stood looking at Par and Coll Ohmsford, studying them. Then it launched itself with a shriek.
Coll struck it so hard with his short sword that he severed one arm above the elbow. The Shadowen reeled away, darted back, snatched up its severed limb, and retreated again. Carefully, it placed its arm back. There was a movement, a entwining of muscle and bone, like snakes moving. The limb reattached itself.
It came at them again. One great arm caught Par across the face, snapping his head back. Then the Shadowen was right in front of him, clawed forelimbs spread wide to embrace him. Par backed away, searching for an escape. But the creature was too close...