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The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
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The Sword of Shannara (1977)

by Terry Brooks

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The Sword of Shanara Trilogy by Terry Brooks is an easy to read, engaging fantasy adventure. The author’s writing starts of rather poor with annoyingly short sentences and repetitive descriptions that disrupt the flow of the story, but it gets better after the first book. He doesn’t use any bad language or write anything obscene in these first books. However, his characters do become more intimate in later books.

Brooks’ creates an amazing in-depth world for his books, writes fantastic battle scenes (a few in each book), and the story is well paced, intriguing, and not very violent. Even though his story is rather predictable he still managed to keep me interested.

Although I liked these books, I believe I would have enjoyed them a lot more as a teenager since it seems to be more for early fantasy readers. I tend to like more unpredictable and in-depth stories.

His characters are not as well developed as they could have been. I learned to like his characters and they were believable, but I did not absolutely love and care for them as much as I would have liked. An interesting aspect of his books is that many of the characters after the first book are decedents from characters in the previous book. It was unique to keep characters in the same family line for hundreds of years within his series. Even though I only liked his characters, I loved his creatures, especially the Moor Cat and the creatures from inside the forbidding.

It is said by many reviewers that this trilogy is similar to Lord of the Rings. I believe that Tolkien was his inspiration and he wanted to attract the readers who loved Tolkien’s fantasy. Many fantasy books written after Tolkien are going to have some likeness to Lord of the Rings. It’s to be expected.

I really enjoyed these books and many of the ones that followed. If you enjoy this trilogy, then I would suggest reading through his series until after the Jerle Shannara books. The books that follow are not as good and seem to be the same plot written with different characters. I also skipped any pre-shannra books and just read Sword, Heritage, Jerle, and some others. These first three books are very suitable for anyone 12 or older, but some consideration should be taken for the others in the series ( )
  AshleyMiller | Sep 10, 2014 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The Sword of Shannara was a very popular book back in the 70s right after the huge success of The Lord of the Rings when everyone wanted to read more fantasy. I wasn't old enough to read it back then, so I came to it much later. I read part of the first book and, knowing how popular it had been, and feeling like it was a classic, I was prepared to enjoy it. About half way through I gave it to my ten year old son.

The weird thing is, it's so like The Lord of the Rings, at the same time that it's not. I don't mind a few common fantasy elements (especially in works written before they were cliché), but Brooks' plot and characters come almost straight out of Tolkien. This may have been acceptable if the writing had come straight out of Tolkien, too, but Brooks' style is clunky, wordy, and awkward. Adjectives and adverbs are used without restraint. I mean there are constant repetitive superfluous unnecessary redundant profligate excessive numbers of adjectives. And did I mention the weirdly-placed adverbs which are used unsparingly, unrestrainedly, extravagantly, and immoderately? And annoyingly? . . . When I couldn't care less whether Shea and Flick (they're the hobbits-- I mean the heroes) live or die, then the characterization is weak. Actually, I was kind of hoping that they would die. If they died, the book would have to end, right?

Conclusion: These are fine for kids (at least this one is, I can't say if all of the later Shannara books are -- probably not). But, do you really want to teach them to write like that? If not, give them C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Susan Cooper, and Lloyd Alexander. To be fair: This series is wildly popular. Perhaps the writing gets better (it has been 30 years, after all). I have heard that only the first book is too much like Tolkien. But I'll never know for sure because I can't make it through the first one.

Read more Terry Brooks reviews at Fantasy Literature ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Extremely enjoyable! This is a great adventure with some very memorable characters. Despite what others have said, it is a very different story and atmosphere than in Tolkien's books. ( )
  ScribbleKey | Jan 10, 2014 |
Very much by the yard fantasy. A step up from Robert E. Howard and definitely nicer than John Norman. The prose moves along. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 30, 2013 |
This book will always have a fond place in my heart, since it was one of the first older fantasy books that I read. Terry Brooks is fond of repetitiveness and there are a lot of tropes in his writing, but at the time I loved this book and its sequels with a passion. I'd still recommend them to younger readers as an introduction to fantasy. ( )
  kerrikins | Sep 25, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Brooksprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Het begin...Shannara
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For My Parents, Who Believed
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The sun was already sinking into the deep green of the hills to the west of the valley, the red and gray-pink of its shadows touching the corners of the land, when Flick Ohmsford began his descent.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345314255, Mass Market Paperback)

Living in peaceful Shady Vale, Shea Ohmsford knew little of the troubles that plagued the rest of the world. Then the giant, forbidding Allanon revaled that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord was plotting to destory the world. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness was the Sword of Shannara, which could only be used by a true heir of Shannara--Shea being the last of the bloodline, upon whom all hope rested. Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of Evil, flew into the Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save the Vale, Shea fled, drawing the Skull Bearer after him....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:16 -0400)

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Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil had ruined the world and forced mankind to compete with many other races-gnomes, trolls, dwarfs, and elves.

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