Great article, Aidan. I never read beyond the three original Shannara books, but this has made me want to read more – particularly the sequels to Elfstones. I was never really that keen on Sword, although I loved the one handed character (Panamon Creel?). I liked Wishsong particularly because it t was grittier than Sword. The Weaponsmaster was a terrific character, akin to a Nina version of The Man With No Name, and that creature he fought towards the end has stayed in my mind ever after.
I’m not sure why I stopped reading Brooks. I think like you said, Eddings came along, whose books and characters I loved, and then Guy Gavriel Kay and David Gemmell.
Anyway, thanks for reawakening my interest in Shannara!