The First King of Shannara Audio Cassette – Aug 2003
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Dark forces are on the move from the Northlands, and Bremen, an outcast Druid, learns of the huge Troll armies on the march and the Skull Bearers who act as their spies. To save the Druids, Bremen must convince the people of the Four Lands that their only hope lies in uniting -- and in using the magic they fear above all else. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
You can't find the Four Lands on any map of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth; but, given all the elves, dwarves, warlocks, trolls and gnomes that run rampant in the setting of Brooks's many Shannara novels (The Talismans of Shannara, etc.), readers can be forgiven for trying. Tolkien's influence is so strong in this prequel to The Sword of Shannara (1977), which launched the series, that many of the events here seem predictable or repetitive. Set 500 years before the events of Sword, the novel chronicles the destruction of ivory-towered Paranor and its Druid scholars, tracing the subsequent adventures of the outcast Druid-magician Bremen. With a handful of companions, he must find and hide the Black Elfstone from the Warlock Lord and forge a magic sword for Elven King Jerle Shannara to wield against the warlock. Brooks's prose generates a breakneck pace, but it lacks depth of characterization and also the wealth of linguistic invention that the most satisfying high fantasy offers. As an allegory of the eternal struggle between good and evil, the vital basis of fantasy, Brooks's mythical universe also suffers from a crucial dearth of those magical moments of heart-stopping revelation when, against all hope, against all reason, against all the forces of evil, salvation comes at last. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, onto The First King. As a prelude, this book was not all that bad. It continued rather well in the same vein as the rest of Brooks' Shannara series. He did an excellent job with staying within the pre-determined guidelines of what he had already hinted at in his other books. Personally, I thought Bremen's end was a little anti-climactic, but that was the author's personal choice. All in all, not too bad of a novel. I the way that he continues to tell a marvelous tale of fantasy and wonder. If you are a fan of the Shannara series, you will like this book.
Relationships are passionless and handled poorly. The three major romantic relationships featured in this book are quite dysfunctional. Tay loves Preia, Preiea loves the king Jerle, the King loves Tay's sister who is married, Merrith loves the ranger who is supposed to be 40+ years old? Ech. The only person I actually really liked was Bremen. I felt sorry for him and the pain/sacrifice he bore at times. But the rest of the characters had as much personality as department store mannequins.
Look. If a story is going to have romance in it. Make it ROMANTIC. The romances were hasty and very contrived.
Not quite up to par with the rest of the books. And what's with all the female character's being called 'girl'? The author refers to Preia as 'the elf girl' and Merrith as the 'druid girl' but the male characters are all called 'men' come on now. These characters are WOMEN. Lets call them such, shall we?
That issue aside, I've always had a couple of other small problems with Brooks' writing. It's always seemed to me that either the world of The Four Lands is lilliputian, or the characters in these books walk at extraordinary speed. Brooks frequently has characters traverse passes through mountains in a day. Early in this book, Bremen and his companions go from Paranor south through mountains to the Mermidon in a day, then go from there (the western end of the Dragon's Teeth) to near the Valley of Shale (at the eastern end of the Dragon's Teeth), a distance that would have to be 100 miles or more based on maps from the books, the following day. Admittedly, these are imaginary places, but, as someone who has done a little backpacking, the sheer unreasonableness of traveling such distances on foot in the timeframe given in the stories always bothers me. Try walking through a range of mountains in a day or two. Further, these characters seem inexhaustable. They get tired and haggard, but they hike for days at a time, often continuing far into the night, with little food and little sleep. Superman couldn't do it.
These are, however, small problems.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
An enjoyable prelude to the Sword of Shanara it fills in the blanks to the Shanara series how it started etc.
A good read.
Cheap and quick delivery. This is a must read before reading the trilogy.Published 2 months ago by canadianmd
Was very disappointed with the format of the book. I was expecting a full size hardcover edition. What I received was a pocket book size book with a hardcover. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Anonymous 16
As a long-time reader of the Shannara books, I was very excited to read this one. "First King of Shannara" doesn't disappoint, allowing you to explore the world as it was... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Sienna Holm
I was not very happy that it was a pocket book that was recovered. That was not mentioned in the information. I wanted the hardcover because of the size of the book.Published on April 27 2013 by Brenda Crossland
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