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The Sword of Shannara [Hardcover]

Terry Brooks , The Brothers Hildebrandt
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (430 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 31 1977
Living in the remote hamlet of Shady Vale, the young half-elf Shea Ohmsford knows little of the outside world. And yet, in the desolate, ruined lands of the far north, a dark-hearted sorcerer is plotting his death. The ancient warlock has dispatched a band of deadly Skull Bearers to track Shea down and murder him. For Shea is the last descendant of an ancient Elvin king, and the only person living who can wield the fabled Sword of Shannara - a weapon with the power to thwart the Warlock Lord's terrifying plans. Only the druid Allanon knows where the sword is hidden and even now he rides to Shady Vale to offer his aid. But the Skull Bearers are swift and ruthless, and Shea Ohmsford's destiny may be over before it has begun! And so begins the incredible legend of The Sword of Shannara - a classic story of magic, adventure and epic conflict, from one of the world's greatest living storytellers. Part Two, THE DRUIDS' KEEP and Part Three, THE SECRET OF THE SWORD will be published in successive months.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Review

A marvellous fantasy trip Frank Herbert --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, and this was followed by 13 consecutive bestselling novels. --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

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ugh is a word, right? June 10 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
I finally forced myself to finish this book. I purchased the trilogy and, despite grimacing at nearly every turn of the page, here I am.
I like Terry Brooks in the present. Terry Brooks in the 70's, when he wrote this, was frightening. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is rehashed Tolkien by a less skilled hand. In fact, the last time I wrote on this book, I hadn't even finished it yet. The similarities became even more blatant and, yes, pathetic, as I read on. The reason for it being pathetic, of course, is that Brooks tries to cram into 400 pages what Tolkien did in over 1000.
Witness Shea, our token Frodo with his Sam, now known as Flick, loyal to a fault. Shea/Frodo is no hero, but he's got strength of character and will see this thing through to the end.
Withness Allanon/Gandalf, the wise and ominous figure who knows so much and is a friend to all throughout the lands for he is so wise and blah blah.
Witness Aragorn/Balinor, the heroic man of royalty who..suddenly because Faramir/Boromir near the end of the book when we see that his brother, under the influence of the villanois Stenmin/Grima has ventured to take the throne from the king who is slowly being poisoned to death by Stenmin/Grima. Gasp.
Never forget Gimli/Hendle and then poor Legolas who gets turned into two generic elves who are utterly and totally pointless to the story in its entirety and serve only to remind you that yes, Elves exist here.
And then Menion Leah, who really has no parallel in Tolkien. That must mean he's original, right?
Marvel as they journey through the creepy mountain that is not Moria. Witness Allanon fight a Skull Bearer that is not a Balrog, only to smite the beast but have it grab him at the last second and pull him to a fiery doom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't get the rave reviews June 15 2004
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst second time around. April 29 2004
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is unique... April 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book because of several good things I've heard about it and reading some of the reviews on here. I understand "ripping off Tolkien" is pretty much impossible not to do in fantasy, so it didn't bother me when I heard that it was similar.
Unfortunately, I wasted a good eight dollars. There is such as thing as ripping off Tolkien (which nearly every fantasy author has done, at some point) and just repeating the same exact story with different names for the characters and places. The epic quest to destroy/save a magical object is actually something I enjoy reading about from different authors. But having everything the same -- even to the order of *when* it happens -- from Tolkien, the distraction becomes hard to overlook.
It was overly lengthy, had completely unnecessary descriptions of things like rocks and tables and dirt, and it was sloppily written. I read 400 pages and I had to force myself to read that much. It's like reading a summary of The Lord of the Rings that was written by a fourth grader who has no idea how to use a thesaurus. Poorly poorly written.
I rate this two out of five. Don't waste your money, and if you don't like it after the first one hundred pages don't waste your time.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great fantasy characters
Exciting adventures with endearing characters in the vein of Lord of the Rings made this mammoth book enjoyable for my kids.
Published 3 months ago by R Grant Williams
2.0 out of 5 stars Complete Crap, but Entertaining Crap Nonetheless
I'll make this one short and to the point.

This book is quite simply a complete load of crap. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Theo
2.0 out of 5 stars Garbage - could not find rhythm
I bought this book on my kindle and expected a good, fun read. What I found were characters with about as much personality as cardboard and a plot with no direction. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Misery
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Everyone's Piece of Cake
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2012 by MatthewLegaspi1661
3.0 out of 5 stars A sword you just can't hate
Intellectually, I should hate "The Sword of Shannara." Authors like Dennis McKiernan, Terry Goodkind and Christopher Paolini throw me into a white-hot rage. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2012 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars An unpretentious enjoyable fantasy quest
Some critics have accused Terry Brooks of plagiarizing JRR Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" with the epic fantasy tome "The Sword of Shannara. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2012 by S Svendsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Shannara Review
Terry Brooks is a master of the literary world. His stories are well thought out, as well as written. I enjoyed this book from the first page. Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2009 by Nikolai Krimp
4.0 out of 5 stars Terry Brooks - The Sword of Shannara
Brooks introduced me to the world of fantasy. I have read many things since that introduction, and I look back fondly on the time spent reading the Shannara books and series. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2009 by Martin Chayer
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Read
I very much enjoyed this book. several friends and family all read and enjoyed the adventure, the magic, and the journey that Terry Brooks portrayed. Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2007 by Fearlesscanadian
1.0 out of 5 stars Please don't attempt to read this book!
Oh my god! How, in what multi-verse, did this book get on and stay on the NY Times best seller list? Were drugs legalized during that time? Read more
Published on July 13 2007 by sail2u
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