Although the influence of Tolkien is very prevalent in Sword, Elfstones is a unique creation, and marked Brooks as the best living fantasy writer. This book is such a marvel of imaginative creatures, concepts, suspense, and memorable characters that it is certainly one of my favorite books of all time. I am currently reading it for about the fourth time; and knowing Amberle's destiny makes reading about her so poignant. She is such a heroic, tragic character. Wil Ohmsford is a man, brave and resourceful. The Dagda Mor and Reaper are unforgettable villains. Eretria perhaps the most sensual character in all the books. The Ellcrys is a spectacular concept, and this book just goes on and on with one amazing concept/character/scene after another.
Allanon, the seemingly immortal Druid who guards the Four Lands throughout the books, even after his demise, is typically enigmatic and unforgettable.
This one is the most emotionally moving of all the books, in my view. I have always regarded Wishsong and Elfstones as my favorites. Wishsong will have to go some to beat this one this time around. This is simply one of the best; if not the best, fantasy novels ever written.