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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 18, Samuel rated it did not like it. My bleeding goodness I was recommended this book by my sister a few years ago. I started reading it and then switched off, but I decided that must be because I was tired or something else I gave the book a second chance. I'm a school teacher; you get a second chance, but you ain't getting a third. I started reading it, again, hoping it could be one of those books I could read a few pages a day because of my busy work schedule. I was hoping I wouldn't have to dedicate lengthy perio My bleeding goodness I was hoping I wouldn't have to dedicate lengthy periods of time to properly get into it to appreciate and enjoy the prose.
Of course, that didn't happen. It is that dull. I'm not going to say it again, okay, yes I am, this is Lord of the Rings with a twist: it isn't exciting. Unlike LotR there is absolutely no backstory of interest. The Ringwraiths called 'Skull Bearers' here aren't threatening, you don't feel a chill or a sense of fear whenever they are mentioned. The 'Warlock Lord' yes, everyone puke now is more comical.
Unfortunately, Flick finds the Sword of Shannara which means he is invincible. I finished the firstbook with a sigh of relief.
What Shannara Book Should I Read First? | Quail Ridge Books
Running marathons is less effort. I gave up halfway through the second book because it wasn't getting any better. Rumour has it that it gets more original later on but there was no evidence. When I'm reading for leisure I don't want to feel like I have to earn excitement. I don't want to have to endure pages just to enjoy pages. Now, one of the major things that irritated me was the names of people. The Warlock Lord was just the first of an increasingly large pile of coprolite.
There are perhaps two names that I could read without feeling slightly nauseous at how bad they were. I could list hundreds. One character is even named after a country, Eretria granted spelt differently. I think it's supposed to be lyrical Jerle whose sword it is is also a stupid name. Shea is a stupid name, Menion is a stupid name All this takes place in 'The Four Lands'.
Can you guess what they are called? Northland, Westland, Eastland and I genuinely could keep going and going on this rant. It is SO bad and derivative that it's not even funny. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time is also derivative but makes up for it nearly with half-decent prose and a deeply thought out world for it to take place in. It joins Twilight as the most overrated novel of all time my list anyway.
Complaints of the prose and further elaboration on everything I've just said can be read below. Actually, the other reviews on here are a thousand times more entertaining than the book. View all 10 comments. Oct 27, Jackie rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: fantasy lovers. Shelves: fantasy , epic. An easier read than Tolkien, Shannara has it's merits. Loveable characters, mysterious characters, characters to despise. A quest and all it's inherent dangers. This original trilogy is by far my favorite in the enitre series.
I enjoyed reading this one and starting my journey into the Four Lands. I found myself cheering Shea on, being frightened for him when he was in peril. And rejoicing at the familar 'good wins' type of ending. Elfstones are powerful magical artifacts, usually found in groups of three, to symbolize the user's body, mind, and spirit. Interesting concept. The novel intertwines two plotlines: the quest of Wil Ohmsford and Amberle Elessedil to find Safehold and create a new Ellcrys, and the attempt by the Elven army and their allies to slow the Demons to give them time to find it.
I was devastated when I realized what creating a new Ellcrys meant to Amberle, herione of the novel. Brought out emotions in me that signify a great novel. The siblings, each possessing an inherited magic, must save the Four Lands from the evil magic within a tome called the Ildatch, a book created by demons containing their essence. The wishsong is my favorite of all the magics in Shannara. Inherited genetically from their Ohmsford heritage, the wishsong works differently for Brin and Jair.
Brin can sing anything into creation while Jair's song creates illusions. Both are very powerful and integral in thier respective journeys to destroy the Ildatch. I still can't decide which I like better, Elfstones or Wishsong. Either way, it's an excellent read and worth the journey. View 1 comment. Feb 10, Aoife rated it did not like it Shelves: boring , library , disappointing , fantasy. The Sword of Shannara 2. I was well aware that this book was very heavily inspired by Lord of the Rings and I'm glad I was prepared for this because even though I knew it, throughout the book I found myself saying 'Lord of the Rings', 'Lord of the Rings,' and 'oh, more Lord of the rings!
The land of Shannara is basically our world years and years and years in the future and has become home to a number of different man-like species besides humans. The book was just far too heavy with description that it became borderline tedious for me. There were a few times that my eyes were drooping and I almost fell asleep more than once while reading. I had to start skimming now and again because otherwise I would just be reading paragraph after paragraph of description rather than actual dialogue or important content that moved the story along.
Some description was repeated a lot such as the description of Allanon and I got sick and tired of hearing about his 'dark figure'. I was pretty glad when this was over but still eager to move on to Elfstones. It was also perhaps a little bit more original. I liked Jair and Brin and learning about them, their personalities and the wishsong. Allanon was really annoying in this one as usual.
He's actually a bit of a bully but I liked that in this one it's acknowledged by everyone. I also feel that Wishsong has a lot more real Allanon moments. We see him weak, and afraid and we also see some moments of tenderness with Brin. However, I really love Jair's group of comrades and in particular his relationship with Slanter.
Unfortunately this book eventually fell the same way as its predecessors and just became boring and I eventually began to skim. I'm really glad I finally finished this bind-up because I really just stopped enjoying it. It began to feel like homework and I dreaded picking it up. When it comes to any more Terry Brooks reading, I'm sticking with Landover. Jan 09, Amy rated it it was ok. I found this highly reccomended and went into it expecting to love it. I was very surpised to find it so disappointing. I am unsure why this gets listed as being on par with the other series I listed.
The writting is really sub-par. You don't care about the characters, it's narrated like somone decided to write out their DnD adventure, it seems like a bunch of cliche's all strung together. The author even changes Point of View mid paragraph. You don't know from one sentence to the next whose thoughts you might be hearing. It's just not the quality I can live with. I read the entire first novel and am going to take a break from it, and I don't know that I will ever return. This book is a trilogy so I'm going to break it down into each book.
A Druid named Allanon comes looking for the half elf Shea so he can get the sword to destroy the Warlock Lord. Shea's brother Flick comes along for the journey. They have to fight for their lives with all sorts of evil creatures. They pick up some friends along the way and Allanon recruits more to help.
Menion Leah is a friend o This book is a trilogy so I'm going to break it down into each book. Menion Leah is a friend of Shea's and he decides he is going. He is the prince of Leah. Balinor is a borderman and the Prince of Callahorn. You have Hendel the dwarf and Durin and Dayel who are elf brothers. They fight off gnomes and all sorts of this and that creatures.
At one point, they get separated when Shea falls off of a cliff into the water that takes him away. He is eventually taken prisoner by the gnomes who are taking him to the Warlock Lord. I just know I'm leaving some stuff out! So the others keep traveling as they are all headed in the same direction.
OH and duh! I forgot to mention Allanon gives Shea the elfstones which has magic to the one who has them. He uses them to fight off a few monsters when it's just him, Flick and Menion. Anyway, so they all make it to the city where the Warlock Lord is and all kinds of stuff ensue as they are looking for the Sword. The sword isn't there, they fight with gnomes and other such creatures, everyone gets split up again. I mean they need to be attached at the hip. The gnomes who took Shea prisoner were killed by a funny character and theif named Panamon Creel.
He has a friend who is a Rock Troll named Keltset. I loved Keltset. They find a gnome that was hiding and a little off his rocker. He has all of these weapons and random stuff he stole and guess what? By the time Shea figures it out the gnome got loose and is on the run. Closing this up before I tell the whole story, Menion Leah finds a woman he saves and falls in love with, a few of them die and the day is saved when they finally get the sword and kill the Warlock Lord.
I liked this book, but I really wish that Keltset didn't get killed. I was hoping to have him in more of the stories. I was sad because more of the people are dead now : I thought it would go on with their stories, but nope! So we have in this book Wil who is a relative to Shea and Flick. They are still alive and run an inn. They are his grandfather and great uncle. Allanon comes to him to help with some more bad stuff coming. He gets the elfstones but he doesn't have too much magic in him and they only work a little bit. What happens is the elves have a tree called the Ellcrys. She keeps all of the evil demons, etc.
But she is dying and they are starting to escape. There are 7 Chosen to take care of the tree, but one of the demons tears all but one to shreds! They are all males. The one female, Amberle didn't want to do it so she was banished. Soooo, Allanon gets Wil to go on the adventure and talk Amberle into taking the seed from the tree to the Bloodfire. This makes the seed be reborn and has to be returned to the earth.
So once again, we are off on a journey. I fall in love with Amberle, she is really sweet. Her and Wil fall in love for a short time. To make this one short, they find the place they need to go and get the seed all set up. Meanwhile, the elves and Allanon are fighting the demons that escaped when the ellcrys finally died.
When they finally get back Amberle goes to the dead tree and "She" becomes the new tree. Of course, Wil is heartbroken! There are other characters in the book but I didn't want to drag it out, but one is a woman named Eretria who ends up staying with Wil. This story was pretty good. This one is great. Eretria and Wil have two children, Brin and Jair. They inherited a gift from the Elves called the Wishsong. They sing and it causes magic. Well you can guess what I'm going to say next : Here comes good ole Allanon!
He asks Brin to come on a journey with him to use her wishsong to destroy a book or the same ole junk is going to happen. Jair has to go off on his own journey. Rone Leah goes with Brin and Allanon. He is Menion Leah's great grandson and a prince himself. He is in love with Brin too. They come upon some wonderful characters in this book. Jair runs into a gnome named Slanter, who is a tracker. Him and his gnome buddies drag Jair with them, but Slanter seems like he likes Jair. They all run into Garet Jax who kills them all but Slanter as he is a good gnome and they escort Jair on his journey.
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Slanter is freakin hilarious! He's always going on about this and that and thinks everyone is stupid! I love him. Brin and Rone come across some new friends. One is Cogline a crazy old man who is hilarious, his granddaughter Kimber Boh and their moor cat Whisper, which is huge. They go with them on their journey after Allanon is killed. Yep, Allanon is killed, but he is still a spirit in the water. Anyway, Brin does what she is supposed to do and puts an end to that evilness. I liked these books, but my review can't give them credit because I loved so many people and there were so many things going on that it would take forever to even mention.
I thought I was just get to the point of most things and mention some of the people that I really enjoyed.
The Original Shannara Trilogy
I have a few more of the trilogies and I wonder how far in the future these are going to go or if they are going to backtrack, I'm not sure yet. At any rate, they are good books with loveable characters. I really wanted to like this series. I started watching the TV adaptation because of Jed Brophy, and though the series has its faults, I was enjoying myself.
I then learned the show was based on a book series, and I knew I had to read them. I bought this with high expectations--it had been heralded as a cornerstone of the fantasy genre, after all. I got about pages in before it started to go downhill. It wasn't the similarity to Tolkien. In fact, The Tolkien comparisons aren't a huge turn off I really wanted to like this series.
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In fact, The Tolkien comparisons aren't a huge turn off for me. Pretty much everything written post-LotR is done in the Tolkien tradition. Plus, I have to be honest, but even though Tolkien may have been master world builder, he was a mediocre writer. I think the timelessness of his work is the depth he gave Arda, not the strength of the novels' writing.
Anyway, the Tolkien similarities aren't what made me quit the book. The complete lack of women I got more than pages in with no woman in sight didn't turn me off completely. It was the characters and the writing. First, the exposition was often clunky. This was most apparent to me when Allanon is describing the history of the world especially in the beginning.
That was something I would have done while attempting to write a story when I was Rather than letting the information come as the story unfolds or leaving information up to the reader's imagination, it feels like the history is being shoved down the reader's throat, like "Look!!!
The plot is so rich!!! Another thing that bothered me was the overuse of adjectives and adverbs. I actually love adverbs and don't feel that they deserve the bad rap the get, but my god It felt like every other word had to be described by three other words. Things that could have been said succinctly were dragged out. It felt redundant and trite. Moreover, the author seldom referred to the characters by name. Instead, they were often called "Valeman," "highlander," "Elves," etc.
This got irritating after a while, and it reminded me of gay fanfiction, which is guilty of this. A lot of "the other man" and "the older man" and "the younger man" and "the [occupation, etc]. Not so much for a book considered to be one of the best in the genre. Finally, there were constant changes in point of view. I was actually confused when it happened mid-chapter the first time. These changes gave me no insight into the characters though, and that's why I have issues with the characters at all. I didn't feel invested in any of them. I think that they were actually robbed of their complexity because the author kept jumping around.
Honestly, it's a shame the series turned out to be such a disappointment. It's a shame that a show produced for MTV of all things has me more invested than its source material. It's a shame that this will be the third book in my life I haven't been able to finish. Maybe one day I'll pick it up again, but for now, it's going on the shelf.
Nov 09, Chris Witt rated it it was ok. A mysterious magic user petitions a simple farming person to help save the world from the powers of darkness.
Where have I heard this story line before? Anyhow, parts of the book were well-written, but that first line up there was just the first in many instances of what seemed to be direct rip-offs of one very famous fantasy trilogy which this author admits was a big influence on him deciding to become a writer. Witness, for example, the third book in the trilogy - in which the heroine must take A mysterious magic user petitions a simple farming person to help save the world from the powers of darkness. Witness, for example, the third book in the trilogy - in which the heroine must take a powerful magical artifact and hurl it into a river of fire in order to destroy it.
Almost every element of the trilogy has some parallel from that famous trilogy, which is a shame, because the first several chapters of the Shannara trilogy started out pretty great and roped me in.
And the Shannara parallel the druid Allanon is a total dick. Spoiler: Every book starts out with Allanon telling a Hobbit-parallel character about some mission they need to go on. Allanon pretty much can foresee the future, but he withholds information from the lead character because he's afraid that the Hobbit clone won't go on this quest if he reveals too much. So they go off, solve their quest, and then something horrible happens to them - like their sister dies or their mother is raped by ice goblins or something - and then Allanon shrugs his shoulders and says "Ya, but you saved the world.
So that's pretty awesome, right? Jun 08, Derek Liggett rated it it was ok. Couldn't finish the third installment. It's basically a poorer version of Lord of the Rings. Scenes that are almost identical to Tolkien's but without the storytelling ability of Tolkien.
Each book starts exactly the same way. To be fair it was written awhile ago when Tolkien was basically the epic fantasy template and I have heard the series greatly improves as it goes on. Maybe someday I will continue it. Sep 04, Will rated it did not like it. It's rare that I leave a full review on here. A book has to be exceptionally good or truly terrible.
Unfortunately this was the Latter. I'm a huge fantasy fan and someone recommended this to me with the immortal tag line " If you liked LOTR you'll love this". Well of course I would. It's LOTR! A young hero is sent away from the home he loves because his life is in danger from an evil lords creatures Check. He is joined on his journey to a safe haven by his stocky, stout and faithful companion It's rare that I leave a full review on here. He is joined on his journey to a safe haven by his stocky, stout and faithful companion Check. Along the way they meet another friend who the companion isn't very trusting of Check.
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They have to go through a dark forest filled with danger where they are saved by a random stranger before one of them is nearly eaten by a tree Check. Upon reaching the haven they must set out with a small group to save the world Check. They have to go through the mountain and not over it because of the dark lords spies Check. There's something evil lurking in the mountain I hope that you get the idea. It's a bit of a mess to be honest. Nov 22, Paul rated it did not like it Shelves: reviewed , novels , sword-sorcery.
I like fantasy based books. I didn't like this one. It basically tells the same story three times while switching the coveted object and the names of the characters It was pretty obvious that the author tried to emulate Tolkien How I even managed to read all three stories, I'll never know, and now it's something I'll never be able to erase from my memory. This book was given to me by a friend who obviously just wanted t I like fantasy based books. This book was given to me by a friend who obviously just wanted to get rid of it.
I don't know if I have a friend I actually hate enough to give it to. Nov 29, Mars rated it did not like it Shelves: abandoned-halfway. A rope appears out of nowhere, then disappears when one would expect it to still exist. Somewhat repetitive encounters with monsters. Pages-at-a-time of plot lifted almost verbatim from the Lord of the Rings.
Reading this is a chore, which I might as well avoid. Sep 17, Shean Pao rated it it was amazing. Well nothing can equal Brook's stories when it comes to high fantasy. He is a master. You simply won't be dissapointed by any of his books. Who doesn't love elves, griffins, orcs and demons? Ok not the demons but they are necessary for the story. If you want to be taken to another world and time - this is it. I really want to read it! Oct 23, Rick rated it really liked it. I first read The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara 30 years ago and a reread of them in this one volume trilogy which includes The Wishsong of Shannara has shown me that I remembered very little of these two fantasy epics.
I recalled enjoying the books and for years have wanted to reread them, but the reread has left me wondering what exactly left such a powerful impression. The Sword of Shannara - 4 stars - definitely introduced to me a more contemporary fantasy storyline that wa I first read The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara 30 years ago and a reread of them in this one volume trilogy which includes The Wishsong of Shannara has shown me that I remembered very little of these two fantasy epics.
The Sword of Shannara - 4 stars - definitely introduced to me a more contemporary fantasy storyline that was unlike anything since The Lord of the Rings. The type of characters were creative and their personalities interesting. While the storyline has been done before for me, as a person that had really only read The Lord of the Rings books prior to picking this up, it just felt like a very enjoyable contemporary rendering Tolkein's books. So, I liked it an awful lot. The Elfstones of Shannara - 4 stars - I recall liking this book more than The Sword, but this time around I liked it a little less.
Elfstones is very much a book full of the movements of the various armies and divisions as good versus evil. To me it lacked the more personal character development, but for what it was it still was very good. The Wishsong of Shannara - 5 stars - THis was my favorite of the trilogy. The idea of song as a weapon was great and how the party grew and what they encountered on their mission kept the story evolving and interesting. Slanter, the Gnome, was a favorite cranky character to follow. Feb 11, Shawn rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy-collection. A masterful work from a master storyteller.
Living in peaceful Shady Vale, Shea Ohmsford knew little of the troubles that plagued the rest of the world. Then the giant, forbidding Allanon revaled that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord was plotting to destory the world. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness was the Sword of Shannara, which could only be used by a true heir of Shannara--Shea being the last of the bloodline, upon whom all hope rested.
To save the Vale, Shea fled, drawing the Skull Bearer after him Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock. Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara.
On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Book Description Orbit, Condition: New. Seller Inventory mon More information about this seller Contact this seller. In stock ready to dispatch from the UK. Seller Inventory XB Brand new book in pristine condition. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory B Book Description Orbit. New Ed. Series: Shannara Series. Num Pages: pages. Dimension: x x Weight in Grams: Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory V