As can be suspected when beginning reading books from the Shannara universe and is made clear in the various prequel books,

The Four Lands are actually located in a post-apocalyptic American Northwest, with most of the species descended from what we would call modern-day (or slightly future) humans living in the American Northwest.

Based on this, it seems logical to assume that at least the humans and likely most of the rest of the species have English or some evolved form of English as their primary language.

Is this ever made clear in the books, or in anything Terry Brooks has said?


2 Answers 2


We do know that at least the written language has changed, as books from the Great Wars (which would most likely be English) have to be translated by those who know the language (i.e. Druids). For spoken language, it isn't said whether or not it is English, but we know that some of it is based off of an older dialect. For example, in Antrax, when Panax meets the Rhindge, he realizes that they are speaking a dialect similar to an ancient Dwarven tongue.


The Elves have their own language. In Elves of the Cintra, it explains that the black staff of the Knights of the Word allows them to understand the Elven language. This is when Angel Perez is first brought to the Elves.

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