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The Sword of Shannara Hardcover – Dec 31 1977

3.8 out of 5 stars 433 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Dec 31 1977
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 726 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (Dec 31 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394413334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394413334
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.5 x 5.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 433 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,058,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

A marvellous fantasy trip Frank Herbert If Harry Potter has given you a thirst for fantasy and you have not discovered the magic of Terry Brooks, you are in for a treat ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS Confirms Terry's place at the head of the fantasy world Philip Pullman --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Terry Brooks was a practising attorney for many years, but now writes full time. His first novel, THE SWORD OF SHANNARA, remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 5 months. Every one of the 23 novels that have followed has been an international bestseller. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
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. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
As an avid reader, especially of fantasy novels, I will pick up just about anything, long or short. I am not extremely crtitical of books, but I have my expectations, this book I'm afraid, does not live up to them. I dove into this book on the advice of other critics who sang praises of it. I found this book bears an immediately apparent resemblance to the LOTR series. Brooks even brings up Allanons black garb every so often in order to contrast with the famous Gandalf the White. the story goes that a mysterious figure (aka:Allanon the wizard)appears in a quiet town to warn of an impending doom. Thus two friends and their small band set out to retrieve a ring, er excuse me, sword, to destroy the lord of all evil. Heard it before? However, even putting the stark resemblance to LOTR aside, this book is NOTHING SPECIAL. All your steriotypical fantasy elements are here, magic, intrigue, booby traps, you name it. Still, how bad could a tale about a group of heroes, including, you guessed it, an elf and a dwarf, setting out on a perilous quest, be? The answer: pretty bad. Even the interesting scenarioes, where it would be interesting to see how the band copes, are solved 1,2,3, by Allanon. The sense of urgency and anxiety present in LOTR is gone. I strongly advise you to pass this book by. Instead, go for the first three Wheel of Time novels, the Malazan series, and of course the LOTR series, to name a few.
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Format: Hardcover
Terry Brooks' first novel, "The Sword of Shannara," fulfills most of the tenets of an old-fashioned fantasy story and the structure of Western classical mythology. In many ways, the adventures of Shea Ohmsfold and the company from Culhaven is analogous to Frodo Baggins' adventure with the Fellowship out of Rivendale. That Tolkien heavily influenced Brook's narrative is without question; but that doesn't detract from my assessment that Brooks is an excellent writer.

Brooks is a master world-builder and his greatest talent is capturing the right words to paint a canvas in the reader's mind, illustrating every scene with powerful and distinguished clarity. We enter the Four Lands of Brooks' debut novel, immersed in every excruciatingly detailed scene, as would characters that have never left their own backyard. Yet as with many first-time writers, Brooks is still finding his groove and his descriptions are often long, often uneconomical. Streams of paragraphs seem to flow down the page before any action or dialogue even takes place. But his ability to paint scenes serves him well in depicting the climactic Battle of Tyrsis. Brooks weaves story threads gracefully, building up dramatic tension, and culminating in a battle that his writing portrays as both epic in scope and tragic for those involved.

In his later novels, over time, Brooks becomes more adept at characterizations and diversifying their point-of-views. In "Sword", some characters, though not all, suffer from a lack of inner complexities and unstrained development. My favourite characters are arguably the most original and well-developed. Panamon Creel is the brave, if morally ambiguous, rogue who despite being a thief, is anchored to the side of good by his code of honor.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 20 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Intellectually, I should hate "The Sword of Shannara." Authors like Dennis McKiernan, Terry Goodkind and Christopher Paolini throw me into a white-hot rage.

But for some reason, I simply can't bring myself to dislike Terry Brooks and his debut novel, "The Sword of Shannara." Perhaps it's because he's worked so hard SINCE this book to create a distinct fantasy world, or perhaps it's because of the novel's wide-eyed earnestness. But as Tolkien knockoffs go, this is one of the more innocuous ones.

In a future medieval/postapocalyptic time, the mysterious druid Allanon comes to the town of Shady Vale, and warns young half-elven Shea Ohmsford that Sauron... I mean, the Warlock Lord will soon be trying to find him. Shea is the last descendent of Jerle Shannara, and as such is the only person in the whole world who can use the Sword of Shannara. He also gives Shea some magic Elfstones.

Faster than you can say "Shire... Baggins," minions of evil arrive at Shady Vale. Shea and his adoptive brother Flick escape their town, and meet up with Shea's friend Menion and a little gang of the expected tropes (a prince, a dwarf, and two elves). Now they must save a kingdom, wage war against the Warlock Lord, and recover the Sword before it's too late.

"The Sword of Shannara" is pretty shameless in knocking off "Lord of the Rings" -- the basic plot, the giant mutant robot spider, the characters, even the "death" of the wizardly mentor all reek of J.R.R. Tolkien. It reads like the first fantasy that a 15-year-old Tolkien fanboy would write while he's still working out the kinks of how to actually make a story.

And yet... it isn't that bad.

There's something very simple and earnest about the book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I still can't believe that people give this book over 2 stars. I read all the positive reviews again and thought maybe I'd wipe the dust off the book again after a few years and try to NOT compare it to Tolkien. The book seems even worse. The writing style that Brooks uses is something you'd expect from a high school student who just didnt know when to quit. The characters are so devoid of personality and Shea doesn't even do anything throughout the book except carry around the elf stones which play more of a role than he does. The dialogue is almost hilarious and the situations that they run into (like the gnome encounter) illicits no kind of excitement or interest at all. I was tempted to skip at least 120 pages in this book and thats the SECOND time around after reading it. I realize this is his first book so hopefully he's gotten better. After this one I never read another one of his novels so I won't say to stay away from them completely but I recommend to stay away from this book and the other carbon-copy sounding shannara books.
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