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The Sword of Shannara Hardcover – Dec 31 1977


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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  See all reviews (430 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,356,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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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

3.8 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MatthewLegaspi1661 on Feb. 27 2012
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 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: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Exciting adventures with endearing characters in the vein of Lord of the Rings made this mammoth book enjoyable for my kids.
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By Theo TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 16 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'll make this one short and to the point.

This book is quite simply a complete load of crap. And yes, as you've probably heard before (for example, from just about every other reviewer here), it is incredibly, unbelievably derivative of Lord of The Rings; even more so than most "epic fantasy" books of the same vintage.

That said, it is also quite entertaining. So if you like swords and sorcery epics, and aren't above reading total crap now and then, you might actually enjoy this novel. I know I did. Yes, I admit it! It's true that with every single word I was fully (indeed, unavoidably) aware that I was reading complete and total crap. But it was entertaining crap all the same.

References to fecal matter aside, this book really is garbage. So if you're looking for anything with any depth, originality, wit, style, or substance to it at all, look elsewhere. Otherwise... feel free to go ahead and enjoy some garbage. The literary equivalent of a bag of cheetos.

Hey, it's okay. We all do it from time to time.

Theo.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.

The characters had no motivation and seemed to wander aimlessly...which explains the plot.

I tried several times to "get into" this book but it literally would put me to sleep. I usually read before bed, so this is highly unusual.

The writing is so bland and basic that it ends up being "and x moved there, with y following, thumping z out of the way with a Big Bang".

I really, really do not like this book.
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