HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Elfstones of Shannara (The Sword of…
Loading...

The Elfstones of Shannara (The Sword of Shannara) (original 1982; edition 1983)

by Terry Brooks, Darrell K. Sweet (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,796321,373 (3.71)18
Member:Denluk
Title:The Elfstones of Shannara (The Sword of Shannara)
Authors:Terry Brooks
Other authors:Darrell K. Sweet (Illustrator)
Info:Del Rey (1983), Mass Market Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Fiction, Fantasy, P-back

Work details

The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks (1982)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 18 mentions

English (30)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
I have noticed that a lot of people have rated this book higher than the first simply on the basis that unlike the first book it is not a carbon copy of Lord of the Rings. This I will admit is true, it is not a carbon copy, but as far as I am concerned, it is still Lord of the Rings, and moreso, it suffers from what I call sequelitis. First, consider that the book has as its main character a young man (Wil, who is related to Flick, the hero of the first book), who has barely reached the age of majority, going off on a great adventure to save the world. This time the story is about an elven woman who is carrying the seed of a tree that has died and this seed needs to be replanted so that the tree can be reborn and the great evil banished from the world. Secondly, much of the book involves a huge battle between the armies of this great evil while Wil and his burden (the elf girl) go off and do their own thing, much in the same way that Frodo and Sam go off and do their own thing while the others fight against the forces of Mordor.
The reason that I say that this book suffers from sequelitis is because, like most sequels, it is set after the original book (and in this case, it is fifty years) and it turns out the great evil that was defeated in the original book wasn't actually all that great because there is an even greater evil out there that must be defeated so that everybody may once again live in peace. Also, despite the fact that this is listed as the second book in a trilogy, it appears that a trilogy was never actually planned but came about due to the success of the first book, so a sequel is written so as to capitalise upon that success (something that we see all too often come out of Hollywood).
What is interesting is that I have been forced to think about the idea of 'what is fantasy' recently because somebody actually asked me that question. I had to think about it, and have come to realise that modern fantasy is much different to what the original fantasy stories were. These days they are just a form of escapism and entertainment and do not come very close to what we would consider to be literature.
When considering the origins of fantasy I generally look back centuries before Lord of the Rings was written: basically to the Ancient Greeks. Here we have what could be considered two foundations, first of all that of the myth, and secondly that of the allegory. The best example of the myth would be the Odyssey and with this story the original hearers would actually look up at Odysseus as a character after which they could model their lives. He was a hero in the true sense of the word because he was in fact a role model. These days with modern fantasy, such as this book, we would not be reading it to consider the protagonist as a shining example of humanity for which we can follow. This is certainly the case here, and in Lord of the Rings.
The second form is what I would call allegory, and Plato's description of Atlantis is an example of this. Here Plato is creating an imaginary nation as an example of what he believes a good and just nation looks like. Allegory also takes a different form in that it is also satire. Lucian of Samotosa and Aristosphanes are examples of ancient writers using fantasy in that way, but then there are also modern writers, such as Jonathon Swift and C.S. Lewis. However I hesitate to consider Tolkien to be a form of allegory since he hated the idea.
Tolkien, however, is not necessarily the father of modern fantasy either, because prior to him (and Lewis) we have stories such as Barsoom and Conan which, while not morality tales or allegory, they were fantasy, but more in the sense that they were adventure stories that would appear in boys magazines. The development of fantasy here was in essence the adventure, but in a sense it was taking the unknown to a new level. As the world became smaller, and the unknown (such as darkest Africa) became known writers would expand their horizons: Conan going to the mists of history, before the waters covered Atlantis, and John Carter leaving the confines of this world to explore the countless other worlds beyond our atmosphere.
That, in the end, is what modern fantasy probably is, namely adventure stories set in the unknown, targeted at a specific set of interests. Gone are the morality tales and the allegories – they are not needed anymore in our postmodern world where everything is right, as long as it does not infringe upon the rights and health of other people – morality is no longer objective but subjective, and we see that shift as we move from the 80s fantasy of Eddings and Brooks, to the fantasy of the naughties with the likes of George R.R. Martin. ( )
1 vote David.Alfred.Sarkies | Mar 5, 2014 |
This is a fantastic example of what a fantasy novel should be. I read this shortly after reading The Hobbit (for the second time) and - I know it's blasphemous - I much prefer the Elfstones of Shannara. Neither book is a literary masterpiece. However, when I think of an idea fantasy story, I think of dangerous quests, imaginative creatures and blistering action sequences. The action in Elfstones was fantastic, with elves, dwarves and trolls fighting alongside one another. There were a lot of memorable creatures, from the wooden men to Genewen the Roc, and awesome fantasy characters like Stee Jans. Thankfully, there are a couple dozen more to go after this! ( )
  ScribbleKey | Jan 27, 2014 |
This old favourite has really suffered with age (mine). Characters and setting now seem flimsy/simplistic, although there's better disguise of some of the adopted tropes than in Sword of Shannara. Worst of all, I remember this as exciting for its strong female characters. Now I can see how thoroughly undermined they are, from Amberle's insistence that she's not worthy and needs Wil to make her do the right thing through to feisty Eretria's motivation being solely her insta-crush (her argument that she needs Wil to escape her father is at odds with her resourcefulness and courage. Cephelo would be more likely to catch her if she accompanied Wil, and just as likely to try. But she needs a man to get her out, apparently). Rather disappointing - I may keep my copy for old times' sake, but I doubt I'll ever read it again. One star added for nostalgia value. ( )
  imyril | Dec 13, 2013 |
Nothing can compare to the Sword of Shannara, but this was really entertaining. I didn't like the ending though. A budding romance undone by a tree (pun intended)--seriously? ( )
  CDVerhoff | Aug 26, 2013 |
Better than the first book of the series... ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Brooksprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Barbara,
With Love
First words
The night sky brightened faintly in the east with the approach of dawn as the Chosen entered the Gardens of Life.
Quotations
-Der alte Mann im Schaukelstul summte leise vor sich hin, während er in den in der Dämmerung liegenden Wald hinausblickte. Weit im Westen, jenseits der grünen Mauer der Bäume, die undurchdringlich die Lichtung umschloß, auf der seine Hütte stand, sank die Sonne unter den Horizont und das Tageslicht wurde fahl und grau.-
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This is a single work and should not be combined with the collection.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345285549, Mass Market Paperback)

Ancient Evil threatens the Elves: The ancient tree created by long-lost Elven magic, is dying. When Wil Ohmsford is summoned to guard the Amberle on a perilous quest to gather a new seed for a new tree, he is faced with the Reaper, the most fearsome of all Demons. And Wil is without power to control them....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The grandson of Shea, Wil Ohmsford, searches for Amberle, the Chosen whose gift of Bloodfire is needed to create the Ellcrys tree that protects against demons.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
342 avail.
31 wanted
3 pay9 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.71)
0.5 3
1 13
1.5 5
2 55
2.5 15
3 203
3.5 42
4 243
4.5 21
5 183

Audible.com

Seven editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,647,004 books! | Top bar: Always visible