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Elfstones of Shannara Audio Cassette – Dec 2003

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Books on Tape (December 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736693416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736693417
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 14.5 x 7.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,349,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


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

4.7 out of 5 stars

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AbeStreet on 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. But, he doesn't have the way with words that Tolkien did, he rambles, his characters are naive and then all-knowing from page to page, it's jumbled. I mean, in this book, Allanon hasn't given these people any reason not to trust him but still, after all that he and Flick went through in Sword, Flick still doesn't like him! When Allanon dove into the furnace with the Skull Bearer in Sword, Flick was sure the quest was over and the Four Lands would be destroyed, and he trusts him again when he went under cover in the Gnome army. But in this book, it's like all the progress that they made in friendship never happened!
And as for the stolen elements, Allanon never ages (just like Gandalf). Allanon falls into fire with a Skull Bearer, just like Gandalf is taken down into the mines by the fiery Balrog. There is a white tree that protects the Elves, just like the White tree in Minas Tirith protected the city! Allanon takes a horse from Eventine's stables (Artaq) that is wild and unwieldy but behaves perfectly for Allanon: Just like Shadowfax was a wild and unwieldy horse from Rohan that Gandalf borrowed from Theodin and was able to ride without a saddle or bridle. Also, there are people who want nothing to do with the war in this book, thinking it will leave them alone while the main characters try to convince them that evil stops for no one. This same element is in the Lord of the Rings books, which were written 20-some years before the Shannara books! Heck, these even have maps of the countries (which are similar in geography to Middle Earth) in the front! COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read Sword of Shannara and it took some time and some re-reads to be hooked. This book was different. Both Sword and Elfstones continue a series of themes that can best be explained as, "Use your brain and not your sword," and "The weak can be powerful if they are determined and principled". Brooks' characters are forced to confront themselves BEFORE they can effectively solve their problems. I have always loved this psychological addition to the genre and Brooks does it better than anybody. However, the density of this task often bores people. I don't think Elfstones had this problem.
While Elfstones has the above themes, it also is highly successful as an exciting, page turning (no, page ripping) flight of fear and desperation. Any Brooks fan is likely to tell you this is his finest work. It is a rare book that can give you the depth of character and boiling action to satisfy both branches of our fantasy-fan brethren.
While I hold Tolien on a different plane, Elfstones is perhaps the book that most -approaches- the level of excitement and depth of the Lord of the Rings. And in addition, it is much less derivative than other books (but some derivation is unavoidable).
Here is my advice: Read the Sword of Shannara first. It is the best introduction to this world written and should not be avoided. But while you are reading Sword keep this in mind - all the work will pay off in that a ripping adventure is waiting for the informed in the form of Elfstones.
It is an adventure that will make your heart beat, make your hair raise, and ultimatley make you cry. So deeply did I care for the two main characters that at the end I had trouble accepting it, though I knew there was no other solution within the principles of the actors. Yes, I mourned a bit.
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