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The Sword Of Shannara: [Hardcover]

Terry Brooks
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Futura 1985: (1 Jan 1985)
  • ASIN: B002BET8V0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,595,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it while you're young and not discerning. 10 Jun 1999
By A Customer
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The second book is better 16 Aug 1999
By A Customer
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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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very easy fantasy read 3 Oct 2008
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 7 May 2013
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Have good think and read you wont be let down 11 Feb 2007
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A sword you just can't hate 21 Feb 2012
Intellectually, I should hate "The Sword of Shannara." Authors like Dennis McKiernan, Terry Goodkind and Christopher Paolini throw me into a white-hot rage.

But for some reason, I simply can't bring myself to dislike Terry Brooks and his debut novel, "The Sword of Shannara." Perhaps it's because he's worked so hard SINCE this book to create a distinct fantasy world, or perhaps it's because of the novel's wide-eyed earnestness. But as Tolkien knockoffs go, this is one of the more innocuous ones.

In a future medieval/postapocalyptic time, the mysterious druid Allanon comes to the town of Shady Vale, and warns young half-elven Shea Ohmsford that Sauron... I mean, the Warlock Lord will soon be trying to find him. Shea is the last descendent of Jerle Shannara, and as such is the only person in the whole world who can use the Sword of Shannara. He also gives Shea some magic Elfstones.

Faster than you can say "Shire... Baggins," minions of evil arrive at Shady Vale. Shea and his adoptive brother Flick escape their town, and meet up with Shea's friend Menion and a little gang of the expected tropes (a prince, a dwarf, and two elves). Now they must save a kingdom, wage war against the Warlock Lord, and recover the Sword before it's too late.

"The Sword of Shannara" is pretty shameless in knocking off "Lord of the Rings" -- the basic plot, the giant mutant robot spider, the characters, even the "death" of the wizardly mentor all reek of J.R.R. Tolkien. It reads like the first fantasy that a 15-year-old Tolkien fanboy would write while he's still working out the kinks of how to actually make a story.

And yet... it isn't that bad.

There's something very simple and earnest about the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars too long and waffly
This books could have been twice as good if it was half as long. Too much detail. Ended up fast flicking pages to get to the key bits.
Published 1 day ago by Baby Chaos
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
That was VERY slow moving. Reasonable story line, but so much empty filler-stuff that I just flipped through the pages to get past irrelevant descriptions of the lands they passed... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pappa Bravo
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sword of Shannara
I read a few comments before buying it. I read the ones complaining that it is a rip off of the Lord of the Ring. I can understand where it comes from. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisited and still magical
I first read this book in my late teens. it was a captivating read then. Twenty years later it still retains its magic for me.
Published 2 months ago by Cerberus
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Another great book from one of my favourite authors Terry Brooks that I have read before in paperback and I have now added to my mobile library. First set of Shannara books.
Published 4 months ago by Chris Gibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
I love everything about this book. It is one of my all time greats. If fantasy fiction is what you like this is the one!
Published 5 months ago by Janine Berry
4.0 out of 5 stars Mini Lord of the Rings
Plenty of times during the reading of this book I was reminded of the Lord of the Rings. Some of the characters seemed to be written similarly and the story itself bears... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. I. Roe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great books
I love Terry Brooks way of descriptive writing, it enables the reader to get lost in far and distant lands. In an imaginary world that comes to life. Read more
Published 5 months ago by sharon44
5.0 out of 5 stars Smash
Lord of the rings? Star wars dungeons and dragons all in one book smashing read well worth reading looking forward to reading his other books
Published 5 months ago by j brailsford
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic series
Excellent story. I have read this book many times and I never get bored. Cannot wait to start the next book in the series. Terry Brooks is one of my all time favourite authors.
Published 5 months ago by Susan parslow
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