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The Sword Of Shannara: The Shannara Chronicles Paperback – 1 Apr 1999

3.7 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Apr 1999
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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New edition edition (1 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857231511
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857231519
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,224,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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)

Book Description

THE SWORD OF SHANNARA is the first volume of the classic series that has become one of the most popular epic fantasy tales of all time.

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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: Paperback
I read this book when I was 21 and I thought it was brilliant. Okay, so it pilfers like hell from Tolkein without any of the latter's scholarly depth, but it's still a thumping good read. But it is better read before your tastes mature and your sense of literary criticism develops. Now aged 42 I am reading it aloud to my 12 year old son, and I cannot believe that I raved over this book 21 years ago. The sentences are so torturously written that if I was Terry Brooks' editor, I would have gone through the story with a blue pencil like a dose of salts! The adventure story line zings along. The characters are well drawn and likeable, but Terry Brooks writes like an amateur. The Sword of Shannara could be cut by half and the only difference would be the improvement!
2 Comments 35 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
To most people they will see resemblences to Lord of the Rings it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that.

If you can see past the theme and see what Terry Brooks has managed to do with it im sure you will enjoy it.

I will agree this isn't Terry Brooks best book but it still is an excellent read and will set you up for an amazing saga that is well worth reading up to 13 books now and i love all of them.

Terry Brooks shows a strong imagination and his story telling ability is consistantly good through out.

Give it a good go and you wont be disappointed.
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By GOTTON TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
It is a shame that the start of what is in my opinion is one of the greatest fantasy series ever written begins with The Sword of Shannara.

The complaints have always been aimed at the similarities between this novel and The Lord of the Rings and it is impossible not to see those similarities. In fact in some cases there are times when it almost seems that whole chapters and scenes have been lifted from one book and put into this one. This is a shame because that is what a lot of people always think of when they hear someone talk of Shannara and they know nothing of the great works that would follow this one.

There are however good things to be said about this book beyond this major criticism. For a start, as good as Tolkein's vision was it can't be denied that as a story, the Lord of the Rings could be lacking at times. Tolkein's every sentence was a line of poetry and the detail of his books lean away from literary fiction towards the writing of some previously undiscovered text book. It is no secret that in order to make the movies the brilliant stories that they were they had to borrow heavily from the appendices. Where Terry Brooks moves ahead is that I think his writing style is better suited to a novel than Tolkein's was.

Now, before all you die hard Tolkein fan's instantly revolt against this notion think about it. Tolkein was a fantastic writer but reading the lord of the rings is hard work. It is not unenjoyable but it is an effort. Terry Brooks' writing has more pace and is much easier to read which allows you to become more engrossed in the story itself.

That being said there are a lot of signs of a debut novel in this book. There is a great deal of repetition and hammering the audience over the head with certain points.
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Format: Paperback
I have to confess I read this book when I was twelve and up to that point it was the best book I'd ever read. I managed it in less than a week and was gripped by it from start to finish. The sequels were okay but this one was definitely the best.
However, upon just looking up the book on amazon I can see that a lot of other reviewers are pointing out that it's a LOTR rip off. Well, I guess they're probably right, but I hadn't read LOTR when I stumbled across The Sword of Shannara and therefore I enjoyed the book without making the comparisons. And in reality most books are copying some sort of formula. Let's face it 90% of crime thrillers involve a dead body at the start and then a detective / investigator tracking down the killer for the rest of the book. It's therefore inevitable that most fantasy books have dwarves, elves etc all hunting for some magical item that mustn't fall in to the hands of evil. So if you like fantasy there is no reason why you shouldn't like this book. It is formulaic but it's well written and I found it very entertaining.
1 Comment 21 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on 16 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
I thought that Sword was a pretty good book and I won't compare it to LOTR because it's been so long since I've read it. However, the following book, the Elfstones is much better, and the third book as well, the Wishsong. My main complaint: the characters weren't developed to the point where you wanted to read more about them.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A lot of people have given this bad ratings because of how many ideas it seems to take from Lord of the Rings. Firstly, I will say I have only read the first 2 LotR books to date so that may affect my opinion.

The first third or so of the book read like a fan fiction retelling of the first LotR book to me, that being said it was fairly well written, with less rambling, so I didn't mind too much. By a third of the way through the book it was diverging into different territories though, leaving me surprised. The middle was the best section for all this, I think I had more surprises as I expected things to happen as the had in the father series so I missed clues.

During the middle the company of people who had journeyed together began to split off. This caused me some confusion and irritation in places as you would spend three days following Shea and then go to Durin, sometimes at the start of those three days, others at the end. It left the timeline feeling twisted.

Towards the end the book drew into an enormous battle, this began to wear on me as the writer had concentrated more on what the left flank did to the enemy or how the right flank manoeuvred the enemy into place, rather than following the actual characters I had grown attached to and seeing how they were faring individually. The end of this book though redeemed the plot for me, I liked the sentiment.

That being said about the plot I liked the variety in characters and how it wasn't clear in many cases whether one was good or evil. The writing also described the landscape nicely without being overdone.

Plot: 3 stars
Originality: 2 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 3 stars

Overall I give this novel 3 stars and as I feel it has exhausted the plot of LotR I would be interested to see what it did with the second book in the series
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