I read this book at 16 and I LOVED it. OK - it is definitely a shameless and direct ripoff of The Lord of the Rings - hence the three stars. However, it is much easier to read and follow so I recommend it to younger readers. I reread it as an adult at 30 and still thought it good, as were the Elfstones and Wishsong. The later Shannara books however are egregious and should be avoided at all costs!!!!