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4.7 out of 5 stars
119
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 March 2017
This is the first book I have read by this author I seen 10 minutes of the tv series on Netflix and decided it was some thing I would like to read instead of watching tv as I prefer reading.
so I got the book I have to say I really enjoyed the book and would properly would have enjoyed it more if I had read it when I was younger its an old book 1982 I was just a babe when I came out but till found I couldn't but it down.
The characters and story line was really good and natural I found it more real to relate to there world there courage, fears and sadness as they progress on there journey, ( side note the tv series is nothing like the book yes the names and quest of the main character's are the same but nothing else is it was really weird for me to watch the tv series after reading this book . for me the book was better now on to next book :-)
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on 4 May 2017
After being very disappointed with the first of the trilogy, I was assured by many people that it got better so gave the second book a try, and I'm glad that I did. This is back to Terry Brooks as I know him. Original concepts (but following through with some of the same characters), a big plot, epic battles and the all-important quest.
I don't feel like we got to know the main characters as well as we did in the first book though, which lessened the impact of their sacrifice somewhat. I'm looking forward to seeing where the third book takes us.
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on 2 March 2017
I watched the Shannara Chronicles, season 1 on Netflix and loved it so much that I had to buy the books. They are all brilliant and a must read for anyone who likes this genre. As is usually the case, the books are sooo much better than the TV programs or films.
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on 4 August 2017
If you like fantasy books then the Shannara books are for you. I love the Shannara books and this is another great book.
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on 11 August 2017
Not as bad as the first one, but I still didn't think it had a lot to recommend it.
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on 23 April 2017
A good read. The tv series is different. There are some long descriptive sections and battles that could be shorter.
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on 11 July 1998
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.
Bob Woodley
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on 30 April 2017
After reading The Sword of Shannara, I had mixed feelings about continuing the trilogy. But never let it be said that I give up on something once I have started.

How do I feel now I have read The Elfstones of Shannara? The second book was stronger, mainly because there wasn’t so much page-space dedicated to the history of the races. It was still, however, a long book and I felt the pace could have been quicker and the detail less in order to make a more exciting book.

The threat originally comes from the Dadga Mor, one of the first demons to break through and act as a leader to the hordes that followed him. But for a terrifying demon, his presence was severely under-used. He directed his minions to cause terror – and the Reaper was certainly a character to send a chill up your spine and into your heart. But the Dadga Mor himself didn’t really do a lot, apart from having one final fight, that he ultimately lost.

The real threat, the threat that drives the characters, comes from the mass of demons swarming to destroy the elves. This meant that half the book was the war between elves and demons – and it made for thoroughly enjoyable reading.

Wil and Amberle were supposedly the main characters. But I couldn’t truly connect with either of them. We don’t get to see enough of Amberle – and what we do mainly reveals her to be a frightened girl until the end. Wil was a likeable enough character, there was just something about him that meant I never really empathised with his character the way I should have done.

The overlooked prince of the elves, Ander Elessedil, was the type of true hero we all love reading about. Faced with impossible odds and decisions that should have never been his responsibility, he rose to lead his people. He was a strong character from beginning to end and was thoroughly likeable. He stole it for me as he was definitely my favourite!

Have you ever noticed a particular writing trait that annoys you, and then you see it throughout the entire book? I had that exact problem! Honestly, if I read the phrase `the Valeman and the Elven girl` one more time, I was going to chuck the book at something. For a 600-page book, Brooks has a way of repeating himself that starts to grate on you once you have noticed it.

While there wasn’t the same history lesson included in this one as the first, there was still a lot of description that threatened to lose me at places. It wasn’t that it was badly written; it just extended for too long in places that you could be halfway through a chapter before realising whose narration you were following.

The extended fight scenes meant I got some real enjoyment out of this book. But that isn’t what fantasy is known for, and I still have my doubts about this series!
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on 18 September 2016
In "The Elfstones of Shannara" we see the maturation of Brooks's talent. While "The Sword of Shannara" is impressive largely because of the position it occupies in the development of epic fantasy, reading as an early, if talented, effort, "Elfstones" is a thrilling fantasy tale with developed thematic motifs, characters that stand out as individuals, and brilliant use of foreshadowing and tension-building techniques.

The most noticeable thing for me on this reading of"Elfstones" (because I've read it so, so many times!) was the theme of being put in a position of being an unwilling hero. All the main characters--Amberle, Wil, Ander, Allanon, even the King of the Silver River--are called to be self-sacrificing heroes. Unlike Shea in "Sword" or Par in "Scions," all our main characters in this book don't want to go rushing off on a heroic quest, but are called to do so anyway and must decide how to answer the call. This thematic unity of the story gives it a satisfying depth without seeming forced, and how each character responds to the demands of the situation in which they find themselves highlights their individuality. There is a level of deft psychological characterization that sets this apart from your standard fantasy fare.

But fear not, there are plenty of expected fantasy elements as well, including the obligatory battle and chase scenes. They, too, are handled well; normally I find descriptions of battle to be so yawn-inducing that I just skip right over them, but the battle at Baen Draw and then the siege of Arborlon are depicted with a vividness that makes it easy even for someone like me who finds descriptions of troop movements to be a fine soporific to feel a part of the action. And the scenes in which the demons are stalking Wil and Amberle through the wilderness as they are on their quest are truly knuckle-whitening: the scene in which the demon comes upon the Rover camp is an example par excellence of how to build tension and fear in the reader. I for one may have lain awake thinking about demon attacks for several nights after reading it :)

In "The Elfstones of Shannara" we see why Brooks is one of the most successful authors of modern epic fantasy. All fans and aspiring authors of the genre owe it to themselves to read it. But beware! You may need to read all the other books in the series too.
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on 11 October 2012
I first read this book 25 years ago when I was 13 years young.At that time I was just discovering fantasy and this book drew me In so much that I have never let go.
The Sword of Shannara was my first introduction to the genre and I loved every page.Fantasy -I was hooked.
However this book was just amazing for me and was a standout fantasy of my teenage years.

So here I am 38 years young and no longer a lover of shall we say young hero fantasy novels. I like my George R Martin,David Gemmell basically anti/adult heros. So could I reread and and enjoy a book from my teens.

YES YES YES. Superb.

Where the Sword was a basic rehash(and better book by the way) and easy read of The Lord Of The Rings this is a stand alone superb bit of fiction.

I have read hundreds of fantasy books in the last 25 years as the genre has changed dramatically this book went from my favourite all those years ago to still stay firmly in my all time top 10 and rereading it has not changed that fact.

A one off
A classic
Read it
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