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Elfstones of Shannara [Turtleback]

Terry Brooks
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1990 The Sword of Shannara
An ancient evil threatens the Elves and the Races of Man. The Ellcrys, the tree of long-lost Elven magic, is dying, unravelling the spell of Forbidding that locks the hordes of Demons away from the world. Already the fearsome Reaper is free. Only by quickening a new seed in the mysterious Bloodfire can the Ellcrys be reborn and the Forbidding made whole. Amberle, a young Elven girl, is chosen to undertake the quest for the Bloodfire. The way is perilous, though. Other demons besides the Reaper stalk the land. Amberle will need a protector if she is to prevail, and Wil Ohmsford, heir to the elven magics of Shannara, is chosen to accompany her. Amberle's quest and the fate of the Four Lands will rest on Wil's ability to unlock the magic of the mysterious Elfstones of Shannara. THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA is the second volume of the classic series that has become one of the best loved fantasy tales of all time.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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A marvellous fantasy trip Frank Herbert --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

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....


From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but my least favorite of the trilogy March 3 2014
By Julles
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was good, however the storyline seemed to be rushed. It was my least favorite of the trilogy, Sword of Shannara was the best followed by Wishsong, then this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It reminded me of a good concerto Sept. 26 2013
By S Svendsen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The Elfstones of Shannara was published five years after author Terry Brooks’ first book in his first trilogy, The Sword of Shannara. The final volume, The Wishsong of Shannara, appeared three years later. Subsequently, Brooks became a virtual writing machine, issuing books yearly, the most recent being Witch Wraith published in 2013. As far as I know all of the books are still in print, which says a lot about their readability and Brooks’ loyal fan base. But despite his success there many critics who love to scorn his writing ability, his plots and characterizations. Most of all, there are those who maintain that his first book (The Sword) plagiarized J R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. There is probably some truth in that allegation but surely after writing all these successful books he must be recognized for his contributory legitimacy in the fantasy quest genre.

I have only read The Sword, and The Elfstones. I will also read The Wishsong, but I am not sure I have the time or stamina to continue on to the other books (I have already committed myself to complete Katherine Kurtz’ sixteen volume Deryni saga and I am not even halfway yet). The Elfstones novel follows events that take place fifty years after those in The Sword. I was surprised by this. Why the big jump ahead when the first novel did so well? Why not continue building on the events and characters from the first book? So, even though this is the second book in the trilogy, reading the first volume is not at all necessary to understand and enjoy the second book. All events from the first book which have a bearing on what happens in the second book are well explained. Only three characters from the first book reappear in the second but the circumstances, the geography and the adversaries are all different.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Certain Step in the Right Direction Feb. 27 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Elfstones of Shannara" functions better than "Swords" in terms of showcasing Brooks personality and strengthening the differences between him and Tolkien. While this chapter in his fantasy saga does not pull Terry Brooks out of his predecessor's shadow, it does take a step in the right direction. It seems strange, almost, reading a book decades after it's published, and then reviewing it almost a year after. But the fact that I still recall most of the characters and most of the stepping stones that form its plot speak to my fondness for this story. Published in 1982, "Elfstones" expands the Shannara universe. While the first novel journeyed north, this one explores west, just as the next sequel, "Wishsong," goes east.

The young Omsford hero is Wil, the grandson of Shea, whose journey to master the unpredictable, untamable, and immeasurable power of the Elfstones and escort Amberle Elessedil to the Ellcrys form the pivotal arc of the novel. Yet I would argue that the two Elessedils' personal struggles are more worthy of attention. Over the course of the story, Amberle learns of the terrible sacrifice she has to make and through her, Brooks studies the age old balance between personal freedom and a far-reaching destiny. It is the choice all heroes have to make and of course Amberle emerges true, but the cost is dire and when Wil feels gut-wrenching despair at what is lost, so do we feel it; not because Brooks tells us to (I'm telling you to, dammit), but because we've all lost someone close to our hearts, or at least, we can imagine what that would be like.

In hindsight, I doubt Wil and Amberle ever entertained romantic feelings for one another.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great original story, Great Characters! Sept. 11 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read THE SWORD OF SHANNARA(SOS) in 1984...once I finished SOS I promptly bought THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA(EOS) and what a great read this book is.
The only real character carried over from SOS is Alanon. Eventine and Flick have cameos of a sort but are not main charaters in this story. Instead we have a great lead character in Wil Ohmsford. He unlike virtually every other Ohmsford in the various Shannara stories has a carrer. He is a self made man who has worked hard to get where he is in life. He is young adult, not a teen as most other Ohmsfords when they are wisked away on a journey. I think many readers can identify with Wil as he is a young person just starting out in life with all the uncertainities that come with that age. Next we have a great supporting cast. Ander, Amberle, Allanon and Eretria are all given good character development. The Rovers were also fun to read about. Obviously the Rovers are the Brooks equivelent of Gypsies and I found their lifestlye and practices to be a nice additon to the story.
Oddly, when compared to his other Shannara writings, Brooks seems to have been able to describe a love story that really works. Unlike the relationship between Menion & Shirl that was under deveoped in SOS, the relationship between Brin and Rone in THE WISHSONG OF SHANNARA(WOS) that was over developed or the relationship between Bek and Little Red in THE VOYAGE OF THE JERELE SHANNARA trilogy that was somehow never really explained but more graphic than any of the other relationships mentioned the relationship between Amberele & Wil is a treat to watch unfold. Eretria adds to the story by making the love story a love triangle so that the reader is never quite sure how it will end.
I thought the demons made for great villans.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that got me into Shannara
I read Sword and was kinda disappointed. I decided to give its sequel a shot and was pleasantly surprised. Read more
Published on July 7 2004 by Ross Pazzol
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story and ending
I had read his first book and thought good but then I read Elfstones. This book was better and I like and was suprised about the ending not exactly expecting what happened. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by mpask
3.0 out of 5 stars Well . . . It's better than the Sword of Shannara
Brooks is not an epic writer, at least not that I can see so far. The Sword of Shannara copied dozens of elements from the Lord of the Rings series. Read more
Published on June 16 2004 by Trekkintheplains
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST BOOK YET!
I am a big Terry brooks fan. I love his style of writing and his character development. many people say that Terry Brooks is a copy of Tolkien. Which I think is absolutly not true. Read more
Published on June 11 2004 by Michele van Sise
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of epic fantasy
I first read Sword of Shannara and it took some time and some re-reads to be hooked. This book was different. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by Matthew
5.0 out of 5 stars Endless hordes of demons...
Have you ever had to battle against endless hordes of demons and your only hope of surviving belongs to two people over two-hundred miles away who are trying to complete their own... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2004 by Sparticus
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly better writing and absolutely more creativity make:
a better second book in the series. The first was convoluted and too wordy. The second is a little predictable at times, but the stakes feel higher and (glory be) it is shorter! Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2004 by Jared Garrett
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank GOD it's better than "The Sword of Shannara"!!!!!
I read the first book of the Shannara series and was devasted at the time and energy wasted on that drivel. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Undescribable...
...yet I feel I must try. This has got to be one of my favorite fantasy novels -- I can't remember how many times I've read it, and it still makes me cry every time. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
I love this book, it is one of Brooks best pieces of literary genius. I often think on this story when reading all the later novels. Read more
Published on Sept. 12 2003 by K. Napier
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