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On page 97-98 of The Scion of Shannara by Terry Brooks (2003 edition), Par had been captured by Spider Gnomes and was thinking about what he knew of Brin's past experience with them. It says that Brin encounters Spider Gnomes while "looking for the Sword of Shannara". However, Brin was looking for the Ildatch, the book of black magic.

Is there an in-universe explanation for this, or is this a mistake in the writing?

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    Hi! Welcome to SF&F! The Heritage of Shannara is a series of four books. They have come out in several editions. I looked on page 97-98 of the editions I have handy, of the first two books, but they have nothing to do with Brin at all. What edition are you looking at? Which book of the Heritage quartet? For that matter, Brin is a main character in Wishsong, not in Heritage -- do you perhaps mean p. 97-98 in *Wishsong of Shannara"? – Basya Jan 17 at 8:58
  • 1st edition Sept 2003. The scions of shannara. Par had been captured by Spider Gnomes and was thinking about what he knew of Brin's past experience with them. The book says Brin and her group were looking for the Sword of Shannara but in fact they were looking for the Ildatch – Larry Jan 19 at 2:52
  • OK, Larry, I'll take a look. Please edit the information from your comment into the question. – Basya Jan 19 at 9:01
  • Hi Larry, I updated my answer to fit the additional information you provided, and I edited the information from your comment into the question for you; I hope you don't mind. – Basya Jan 19 at 11:02
  • I think that, with this additional information, this question should be reopened. I think that you, as the original poster, can request to reopen. – Basya Jan 19 at 11:04
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(Modifying answer based on additional information from the OP)

Looking at The Scions of Shannara, at the beginning of Chapter 11 (This is page 135 in the Del Ray/Ballantine edition published in 1990), it says clearly:

Brin had encountered them when she, Rone Leah, Cogline, Kimber Boh, and the moor cat Whisper had gone after the missing Sword of Leah

It says very clearly "Sword of Leah", not "Sword of Shannara". This fits the story to which it is referring (see below). So, if your edition says "Sword of Shannara", it is a misprint.

This is referring to Wishsong of Shannara. Brin encounters the Spider Gnomes when traveling with Rone Leah, Cogline, etc. They were, indeed, on the quest for the Ildatch, but at this particular incident (around page 368 of the edition I have handy), they are trying to retrieve the Sword of Leah (not the Sword of Shannara), which was lost earlier,

when Allanon died (if I'm not mistaken).

Rone was certain they must have the sword to succeed in the quest.

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  • You are correct. Thank you – Larry Jan 19 at 12:17
  • You're welcome. This was a fun one to investigate :-) Also, if this answers your question, please accept the answer by clicking the checkmark which is below the voting buttons. – Basya Jan 19 at 13:14
  • The Sword of Shannara was stolen later, by the Shadowen, some time after Allanon's death and the events of the Wishsong. – TimSparrow Jan 19 at 18:38
  • More specifically, Brin learns of the location of the Sword of Leah by tricking the Grimpond into revealing its location - the Spider Gnomes had found it. That incident also plays a part later in Scion's of Shannara, when Walker decides to seek out the Grimpond despite knowing that it holds a grudge against his family ever since Brin tricked it. – Amarth Mar 3 at 17:40

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