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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The second book is better
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.
Published on 16 Aug 1999

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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it while you're young and not discerning.
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...
Published on 10 Jun 1999


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26 of 27 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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very easy fantasy read, 3 Oct 2008
This review is from: The Sword Of Shannara: Number 1 in series (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No, its not The Lord of the Rings... or is it?, 30 Jan 2013
By 
T. Ross (Worthing, England) - See all my reviews
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I quite enjoyed the Genesis of Shannara series so I thought I'd try another of Terry Brooks series. Sadly, apart from finding myself skipping through pages to try and to the next part where something interesting was going to happen to the story line, I also found myself drawing parallels with The Lord of the Rings all the way through. Frustrated with drawn out pace (...and then nothing happened) and disappointed and the lack of originality, I gave up after about 150 pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 7 May 2013
This review is from: The Sword Of Shannara: Number 1 in series (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 12 Sep 2011
Great book postage very quick faster than stated on amazon. Well packaged and was exactly what i expected. Very good thanks
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1 of 1 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
By 
C. Parrott "CP" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword of Shannara (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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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
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sword Of Shannara: Number 1 in series (Paperback)
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. Part of this is because of Terry Brooks' prose, which is solid and unpretentious -- lots of strong descriptions, decent enough dialogue, and a genuine sense of atmosphere in scenes like the Skull Bearer's arrival in Shady Vale (if you can stop quoting lines from "Lord of the Rings").

Similarly, the characters are totally derivative -- Shea is Frodo, Allanon is Gandalf, Flick is Sam, Menion is Merry and Pippin, Balinor is Aragorn and Boromir, Hendel is Gimli, Dayel and Durin are Legolas, and so on. But honestly, they have the same earnest, pleasant-but-not original quality as Brooks' writing style, making them likeable even though they're wholly unoriginal.

"The Sword of Shannara" isn't very good, but it isn't horrible (especially as Tolkien knockoffs go). But it's a decent fluff read, and Brooks spent a lot of effort making his later books much more original.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sooo disapointed..., 19 Jun 2009
By 
J. Cavanagh "Nest" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sword Of Shannara: Number 1 in series (Paperback)
I have been reading fantasy for around 15 years now but had never got around to the Shannara books. I was really looking forward to getting stuck into these highly rated (if you read the cover) books but soon realised that there were just too many plot similarities to 'the lord of the rings' for it to be a coincidence.

Sooo disapointed... I will persevere for now, but it has become comical to see how many brazen plot references can be squeezed into the first half of the first book.

Ah well.. I guess if you experiencing fantasy with fresher eyes than mine and you find 'The Lord of the rings' a bit hard-core than this might make a really good read.

I think I am in a minority...
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Sword of Shannara, 15 April 2014
By 
C. Louvet "Caro" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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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. It was a bit annoying at the beginning but after a while you forget about it.
Maybe not enough emotions (I am usually affected a lot by the death of important characters but the way Brooks writes does not make me feel sad).
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The Sword Of Shannara: Number 1 in series
The Sword Of Shannara: Number 1 in series by Terry Brooks (Paperback - 5 Oct 2006)
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