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The Sword Of Shannara: Number 1 in series Paperback – 31 Dec 1981


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Product details

  • Paperback: 726 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (31 Dec. 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708813445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708813447
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.8 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,297,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A marvellous fantasy trip (Frank Herbert) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The classic, bestselling 'Tolkien for the masses' fantasy adventure in three parts for Young Adult readers --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Jun. 1999
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!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Neil Butler on 3 Oct. 2008
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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Parrott on 11 Feb. 2007
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lovesbooks on 7 May 2013
Format: Paperback
This is such great epic fantasy!! It is ALOT like The Fellowship of the Ring: The Lord of the Rings, Part 1: Fellowship of the Ring Vol 1 but is far easier to read (it still has it's own story line - there's no ring!) and doesn't have any of the ridiculous songs. OK so it is awhile since I read this, but I feel like reviewing my favorite books at the mo and this is definitely one of them - I have read it at least twice, and liked it so much I have read the whole Shannara series (which must be at least ten books!). Although now I've read so many books by Terry Brooks I have started to loose enthusiasm for his latest ones, and I tried to read is 'Word and Void' books (or some title like that?) and didn't really get into them. Regardless of that, this one is a winner, and I recommend that anyone who likes fantasy (or even who doesn't - as this is a great place to start) reads this.
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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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