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on 24 May 2017
Good quality as promised.
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VINE VOICEon 8 March 2005
I first read the Sword of Shannara when I was about 13 and absolutely loved it. The Elfstones and the Wishsong soon followed.
Now aged, shall we say, a little more than 13 I still enjoy the books although I wouldn't recommend them to someone who wanted a deep involved plot.
Without giving too much away of the plot, the first book features Shea Ohmsford who is visited by a tall dark stranger, the druid Allanon. It turns out he is actually adopted and (surprise, surprise) descended from Elven kings. Naturally he is the only one with the birthright to wield the ancient Sword to defeat the evil Warlock Lord. So off he goes to kill the bad guy, facing assorted hazards along the way.
The second book, the Elfstones, is set one generation later. This time it's Shea's son who is needed to go into battle against legions of Demons and save the legendary Ellcrys, the tree that keeps the Demons banished.
The third and final book in the trilogy is the Wishsong, set further into the future again (I think two generations, but forget). This time a brother and sister have similar but conveniently different manifestations of the Shannara magic (yet preserve the Ohmsford name) and set out to defeat the Mord Wraiths.
The story is sufficiently involving to be worth a read, but it's a fairly light read. If you're looking for a light fantasy read I can highly recommend this series. If you want to have to really think about the plot and figure out the twists and turns you'll probably find it a bit thin.
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on 27 September 2002
The Sword of Shannara is a book from the same mould as Lord of the Rings. Its an epic fantasy set in a fictional world where good and evil intermingle, and Elves and Dwarves roam the forests alongside men. It tells the tale of one family's fight against the Warlock Lord; Shea Shannara is the last descendant of the great Elven kings and it's his family's magical heritage that the world must rely on. The first book focuses on Shea's search to find the legendary Sword of Shannara, the only weapon capable of defeating the Warlock Lord. Shea's discovery of his heritage and him trying to come to terms with it while his world is falling apart around him makes for great reading.
In the Elfstones of Shannara, the task of saving the world falls on Wil Ohmsford, Shea's grandson, and an Elven girl. They must restore the ancient wards that protect the Elves and the rest of the world from the Demons imprisoned beyond them.
The third and final book of the trilogy is the Wishsong of Shannara. Wil Ohmsfords children have been born with the magic of the wishsong and it is this power that they must wield to restore the balance between good and evil. But be warned, this one's a bit of a weepy and is much scarier than previous books!
If you like romance, this has romance, if you want fighting, this has fighting and if you want magic, theres plenty to be had here. I couldn't put this book down, it is quite simply fantastic and any fantasy fan should have this in their collection! If you already have all three books seperately, buy this anyway so when you finish one book you are saved the inconvenience of having to get up to find the next book!
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on 10 August 2004
I heard so much about this series of books and bought the omnibus edition to read the main trilogy.
Following the first story of Shea Ohmsford and his brother Flick on a quest lead by the mysterious druid Allanon and joined by a host of others from dwarf and man, they quest to find the legendary sword of Shannara to defeat the Warlock Lord.
In this first story, right from the first few chapters I became aware of the blatant use of Lord of The Rings plots and twists.
A lot of fantasy books also borrow from Tolkien in some way such as Robert Jordan and his Wheel Of Time series, but none of those writers seem to have borrowed so obviously.
I thought by the second book of the trilogy Terry Brooks would have found his own way, I was wrong. There's still huge borrowed imagery from LOTR. The 2nd story is set 50 years after the first, which is a nice touch, but has been done before with The Hobbit followed by LOTR!
The second story follows Shea Ohmsford's grandson Wil on a quest to help an Elven girl Amberle seek her destiny and save an ancient Elven tree and stop the world from being overtaken by demons.
I had heard so much about the series of books being "fantastic" and "superlative", but I don't find the writing very high quality at all. The author's characterizations are predictable, and his use of keeping the reader up to speed with the "story so far" by getting a character to "think for a moment on all that had happened since...." are so clumsy and amateur.
However, having said all this, the trilogy CAN be enjoyed as long as you don't expect too much and accept you're reading a scrambled version of LOTR!! It's a good bedtime book, which doesn't need too much thinking about.
If you're looking for the spectacular from your choice of fantasy book look elsewhere, but if you're not fussy and you're happy to jog along with a gentle harmless story then this is the book for you.
One thing I'm sure of, this trilogy is NOT the classic I was made to believe it was.
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on 17 June 2009
I had previously read (years ago) the Sword of Shannara, but it didn't enthrall me. This time I got the first Trilogy (The Sword of Shannara) and read all the stories in sequence from start to finish. I found the story got my attention this time and I could not put it down. I have now just finished the second trilogy (The Heritage of Shannara) and have recently bought the next trilogy. Perhaps my perception of the story has changed over the years, and I am rather pleased that there has been a good gap, because I can now read the whole series in order from start to end, and getting it all in chronological order has greatly enhanced the series. I have become absorbed into the whole Shannara story, and can't wait to get on with the rest of it.

The characters have completely captured me and everyone has its own foibles. I could almost believe that fairies and goblins and dwarves really do exist. The story is imaginative and I love the maps, to which I am always referring to as I read. Terry Brooks has created a great work of fiction and I would love to see it on film. Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings made great films, why not Shannara? What an epic.

I want to know what happens to the descendants of the Ohmsfords, and the Elves. I wish there had been more of the Tree Squeaks and they had been given a bigger family. I almost cried when Faun died trying to protect Wren.

Wonderful, Wonderful. Terry Brooks has created a great epic and I for one have enjoyed it immensely.
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on 2 December 2009
This Book comprises of 3 books. The sword of Shannara, The elfstones of Shannara and the Wishsong of Shannara.
All 3 have an epic storyline and fantastic character base. The writers ability to help you get to know the characters is incredible and I've never had a book that gripped me so well as this one did. I completely lost myself in it.
My favourite book personally would have to be the first one. The sword of shannara. It helps you get to know the characters a little better not to mention this is the starting point for the other two books as all books run in a timeline with roughly the same characters but of a different generation with one character in all three.
These books will leave you terrified, and giggling away aswell as sad and one even made me cry. I do have to put one comparison in it though as the first one is similar to Lord of the rings. Not entierly but the base of it, with characters going on a quest to find a certain something with a druid with magic powers. Thats really the only similarity.
But I can garentee once you read this book you'll want more of what Terry Brooks has to offer and go to buy more of his books. Have a read and ejoy. Loose yourself in the magical kingdom of Shannara.
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on 10 April 2015
I read these books about 30 years ago and recently read another and it reminded me why I love the Shannara books, in fact anything by Terry Brooks. This is the 1st 3 books in the Shannara story and I love them. Terry Brooks invites you into the book, his characters and their surroundings, their stories and their feelings are described in such a way as to make you think you are actually there. If you are new to this author and you are into Fantasy, then don't waste a second, buy as many as you can afford, then come back and buy the rest. This series will keep you busy for many years, and you will want to keep them for re-reading over and over.
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on 25 April 2014
Amazing to find the first fantasy novels that I read as a child in one volume. This book came to my rescue when I was in hospital confined to a bed, swallowed up a couple of days reading through this, felt like being a child again.
Terry Brooks is a really good writer and so far I haven't read a weak book in the entire Shannara universe. These were the three that started it all and well worth a proper read!
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on 10 April 2014
Black and white, good and evil, very little subtlety or complexity of character depth or progression. Just like a Tolkien-wannabee though not without it's entertainment factor, hence my 4 star rating. Also note - this trilogy is HUGE (around 10 cms wide) and very heavy to hold when reading.
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on 11 February 2004
The first book SWORD OF SHANNARA has brilliant adventuring and it's fast paced with loads of action in it. There's so many characters and they all have unique attributes, like they aren't all good or bad. I don't want to give everything away so i'll just say that it's one of the best books i've read. THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA is the best book out of them all with all that action and suspense, making it the most atmospheric and exciting book ever. now... THE WISHSONG OF SHANNARA is a tricky one, its's got better characters then the others and by far the best ending but it can have some unnecessary talking, anyway who cares? Buy it! You'll really love these books, and 10 pounds is a complete bargain.
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