Here is a list of Terry Brooks’ Suggested Reading Order for the Shannara Books. He specifically says this is a good reading order of the Shannara books for new readers.
Alternatively, you can read these books in these orders:
Terry Brooks’ Suggested Reading Order for the Shannara Books
The Sword of Shannara
From the blurb:
The Sword of Shannara is the first volume of the classic series that has becomeone of the most popular fantasy tales of all time.
Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake.The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a trueheir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline,rests the hope of all the races.
Thus begins the enthralling Shannara epic,a spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and myth . .