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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 31 May 2017
Disappointed.A homage to Lord of the Rings,but a pale imitation.Did not show originality and the battle scenes were overlong.First book I have read by this author so may try another not based on Tolkien.
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on 11 August 2017
This was just hard to get through. I found it plodding and derivative, and almost completely devoid of female characters or even background people (no one has a mother, sister, aunt, there isn't a woman in sight!)
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on 22 August 2017
Disappointed. Not as good as I remembered as a teenager.
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on 20 July 2017
Brilliant item. Just what I wanted
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on 28 March 2017
quick delivery items as described will use again
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on 7 June 2017
Fairly good book
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on 2 April 2017
I found this so frustrating.
I love the other work of Terry Brooks' that I've read, and I so badly wanted to love this too!
I went into it with an open mind - I'd heard that it had been roundly slated upon release for being a Tolkien rip-off. But, I thought, Brooks openly cites Tolkein as one of his literary influences, and surely any epic 'group-quest-for-a-legendary-object' type fantasy will run the risk of Tolkien comparisons.
You can't help but notice the similarities between the characters in the Company, and those of the Fellowship of the Ring, but I could overlook that.
It got a bit much when Gandalf (sorry, Allanon) fell to a fiery presumed demise during an epic battle with the Balrog/Skull Bearer in a scene rather too reminiscent of Moria. His last words may as well have been "Fly, you fools!"
After this, the story seemed to change tack and learn to stand on its own merits. Great, I thought. Brooks has paid his dues to Tolkien and now we're getting on with it. This is more like it.
But before I knew it we were in the city of Tyrsis, the final line of defence against the advancing army of the Warlock Lord, and we learn that the Prince Regent's mind is no longer his own having fallen under the influence of the mystic Stenmin, and all of a sudden we are back in Rohan with Wormtongue and Theoden. It was just one step too far for me. Surely Brooks, as a Tolkien fan, could see what he was doing here?
Why? This could have been a perfectly good story in its own right, there was no need for it to become the poor man's LOTR. It spoiled the whole thing for me a bit.
I'm really, really hoping it doesn't continue into the second part, but I am going to give it a chance.
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on 16 May 2017
Maybe I’m getting a little critical in my old age (yes, at just turned thirty six, different things are annoying me and becoming tiresome from, say, ten years ago!). Maybe I was just looking for something that wasn’t here. I most certainly wasn’t looking for a LoTR mk. II, which so many reviews have led me to expect (and I don’t believe it can truly be found here, but more on that later). But what I was expecting was for the writing to be a bit more concrete.

I did enjoy this story, I really did. And, of course, you have to forgive Brooks somewhat for it being his first published novel. There were so many good ideas in here and they were mostly well written. The problem comes in certain word usage – I’m quite sure I saw “momentarily” at least once on each page. Plus there was other incidents of repetition, which I found confusing. I actually have no complaints at all for there being LoTR-style scenes, as the majority of the them were changed enough for it to not be seen as a copy. There weren’t actually that many near-direct scene copies, anyway. Maybe the nice amongst us can call them “odes” to one of Brooks’ favourite reads, for to saw that the Sword is like the Ring is actually pretty absurd. Perhaps if you combined the Sword with the Elfstones, you might get a Ring, but the majority of the similarities appear to come from it being a quest, which includes some inexperienced members, to defeat a dark lord of one form or the other. This scenario has been repeated enough throughout the years now that we pretty much know the basic set up without needing to be told to much. Yet the fact that this story has gone on to inspire many other series just shows its power, new ideas based on an old, as many books within a genre end up being nowadays unless an author is brave enough to break the mould.

The world set up is a little bit shaky in this book, yet I do believe that that improves in later books. In fact, the only books I’ve read of Brooks before, discounting his Magic Kingdom series which is set in a different universe, are the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara series of books. In these, the world is far more rounded, so one can only assume that as Brooks moved on, he improved, as any good author should.

All considered, I’m not joining either of the “Marmite” camps of haters or lovers. I enjoyed this book, but it had flaws. Yet I am most definitely in for the long haul. Please meet me again after book two, and hope that the Shannara TV series hasn’t tainted me too much.
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on 29 March 2017
The Sword of Shannara has been on my TBR list for a long time. I keep stumbling across Terry Brooks, but only now have started reading his books.

From the very start, I felt I was reading Lord of the Rings. For the majority of the book, the events and the characters matched up perfectly – including forbidden tombs under a mountain and an impassable mountain path.

It made it hard to judge the book on its own merit.

It did, however, really grow on me and by the end, I didn’t want to put it down. That could perhaps be because of the long battle scenes – scenes I love reading.

The characters all grew. Valemen Flick and Shea were out of their depth from the beginning and yet proved their worth – they orchestrated two of the most important events in the book.

Menion Leah changed from a flippant young man to a prince worthy of his title. Menion was my favourite because of his development – he proved that he was a good man who cared deeply for his friends. Allannon was mysterious and Balinor was just Aragon by another name, but they were all likeable.

This is a long book. It didn’t need to be.

There was excess description the whole way through the book. Scenery and past events could go on for a few pages before you even knew what character’s view point the chapter was from. It was distracting to say the least! You could cut 200 pages out and not change the plot. It unfortunately detached me from the book on numerous occasions and I struggled to immerse myself in the world because of the info-dump occurring.

That being said, I look back on the book and know that I enjoyed it. It has its flaws, but this is Brook’s first novel – it will be interesting to see how his writing develops. All the components of a great fantasy story are here – he can write well, it just needed a little tightening.
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