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The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
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The Sword of Shannara (original 1977; edition 1991)

by Terry Brooks

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4,95773924 (3.53)115
Member:AHS-Wolfy
Title:The Sword of Shannara
Authors:Terry Brooks
Info:Orbit (1991), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fantasy, Sword of Shannara

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The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks (1977)

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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 |
Yes, it's a ripoff of Lord of the Rings, but it is original in its own way. I found this much easier to digest than Tolkien's flowery prose (which I love, but . . .). I read it when I was 13 or 14. I had never become so immersed in a fictional world. It's the book that hooked me on fantasy. ( )
  CDVerhoff | Aug 26, 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)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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