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BobbyHulse

Shannara

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Hey everyone, this is my first post here so forgive my noobness (and if this has been brought up before). Has anyone ever read any of the Shannara books? I've read through a good portion of it but it is on hold because of Wheel Of Time. I actually just started on A Crown of Swords.

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I tried reading the Sword of Shannara on several occasions but can't seem to make it past page 80-100. By then, I am just... meh. ALthough, there are lots of people out there that love them.

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I tried reading the Sword of Shannara on several occasions but can't seem to make it past page 80-100. By then, I am just... meh. ALthough, there are lots of people out there that love them.

 

 

With you on that one, it has been sitting on the book shelf for a bout a year, have tried reading it twice but can't seem to get into it.

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I have read all of Shannara and I loved them all (well, almost. some later ones where OK and the whole Void didn't work for me). I'm def waiting for the continuation. Sword was a bit boring at times but man after that one things pick up really fast. Love the long time line (that's the one thing that I always wanted to see in WoT - future generations looking at the deeds of Rand and company after some considerable time). Anyways, I def recommend Shannara.

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Shannara was my gateway drug to fantasy basically (well, other than Tolkien's stuff which I read around the same time in middle school). Yes, Sword is basically a revamped LotR, but it's fun, too, and Elfstones, the second book, is one of my favorites (you could probably get away with starting with Elfstones). Heritage I'm due for a re-read, I remember liking it but not liking it. The generations thing is awesome though, I'll agree, though T.B. runs the risk of being redundant with his characters sometimes cause I can't remember them all too distinctly.

Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy was ok;

I didn't really like High Druid as much, (is it just me, or is 'Cinnaminson' the stupidest name for a romantic interest?)

and I haven't read his newest series yet.

 

BUT! I love Magic Kingdom of Landover (I think it's five books?) and the three books starting with Running with the Demon. I personally think the latter is among his better work, but that's my opinion.

 

I think that Shannara and other books by Terry Brooks are a lot of fun. My only criticisms would be the romances in his books usually seem to be rather contrived and lacking something, and the dialogue can be long-winded and inorganic at times. And although his worlds resemble a lot of familiar elements of fantasy, I think T.B. does a good job of making it fun to read.

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I read everything until they killed all the Shadowen or whatever, I haven't read the books that come after that. Also, it's like three years since I finished the series, and haven't read them since then. But it was, together with Riftwars, my gateway into fantasy. And while Sword of Shannarah might be a little boring (except Allanon), Elfstones of Shannarah is one of the best, and saddest, books I've ever read.

 

 

I can't remember the names, but what that elf-chic becomes that tree.. man, I think I cried all three times I read that book

 

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I read everything until they killed all the Shadowen or whatever, I haven't read the books that come after that. Also, it's like three years since I finished the series, and haven't read them since then. But it was, together with Riftwars, my gateway into fantasy. And while Sword of Shannarah might be a little boring (except Allanon), Elfstones of Shannarah is one of the best, and saddest, books I've ever read.

 

 

I can't remember the names, but what that elf-chic becomes that tree.. man, I think I cried all three times I read that book

 

 

 

Sword was also my gateway book to loving fantasy novels. In 1981, My sis-in-law had a bag of books, and let me pick one to read. That book was a cover-less Sword of Shannara. It took over two weeks for me to read it, and I loved every second. Staying up late at night, with the stereo playing. Very good memories. I tried to re-read it a few years back and.. well stopped. For some reason it didn't have the same.. feel. I guess I just got older. But I would suggest it and the other two books of the first trilogy. Never read any of the other ones. Oh the chicks name was

Amberle.

 

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... and the three books starting with Running with the Demon. I personally think the latter is among his better work, but that's my opinion.

 

 

Actually these books along with the Genesis of Shannarra are the beginning of the Shannarra series. Sort of like prequels. They happen in the present and set up the downfall of modern civilization that occurs and leads to the remaking of the world as we know it. There is no mention of Shannarra obviously, but if you read them all you'll see the links eventually.

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I got through the original trilogy and all the books after. I have also read First King of Shannara which is a direct prequel to the Sword Of Shannara. I've been trying to get through the Word and Void since they are actually prequels for the entire series but it is just so boring and so much different than the rest of the books. I think I liked the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy the most out of the series, particularly when they discover "ancient" tech which is actually (spoiler) modern day stuff. Brooks is supposed to continue on after the High Druid series after he finishes the second book of the duology he has going now (which take place between the prequel series and the First King of Shannara). That's all well and good to me like I said I'm going through my first read through of WoT and I just started a Crown of Swords. I'm hoping to finish the rest before March of next year when the final book comes out.

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The first three were decent enough, despite Sword being a blatant LOTR rip-off. The second one in particular was solid. The series goes downhill after that, though.

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Sword was also my gateway book to loving fantasy novels. In 1981, My sis-in-law had a bag of books, and let me pick one to read. That book was a cover-less Sword of Shannara.

 

Same.

 

It was the first book longer than about 50 pages I read by myself at the age of 8.

 

I used to get up at 6:30 and read for 1.5hrs before going to school every day.

 

 

Sure it wasnt the BEST book... but it fired the imagination of young child, and I never really looked back.

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Sword was also my gateway book to loving fantasy novels. In 1981, My sis-in-law had a bag of books, and let me pick one to read. That book was a cover-less Sword of Shannara.

 

Same.

 

 

Sure it wasnt the BEST book... but it fired the imagination of young child, and I never really looked back.

 

interesting, I think I had a similar experience....except I started with First King.

 

I read the prequel, original trilogy, and the next four books (that starts with the Scions of Shannara). One of the better elements in the series is the references to the previous characters and the continuation of the story. The Sword isn't too bad, and I agree that it can be skipped. I think my favorites were the WishSong and Elfstones.

 

Now that I think about it, I'm surprised Sword was ever published. It is a ripoff of LoTR

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I don't really agree with the whole "it's a ripoff of LOTR" theory. I mean yeah, it does have some similar elements in the first book written (Sword of Shannara) but the similarities end with that book. The rest of the series goes in a completely different direction. There are some common reoccurring themes like Druids = Wizards and the existence of dwarves and elves, but you could say that for pretty much any high fantasy series. LOTR is the inspiration for most things fantasy related.

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I don't really agree with the whole "it's a ripoff of LOTR" theory.

 

It's not a theory, it has been excepted even within the industry for many years, provided the below quote in another thread...

 

Famous fantasy editor Lin Carter

"the single most cold-blooded, complete rip-off of another book that I have ever read". Elaborating on his disapproval of the book, Carter wrote that "Terry Brooks wasn't trying to imitate Tolkien's prose, just steal his story line and complete cast of characters, and [brooks] did it with such clumsiness and so heavy-handedly, that he virtually rubbed your nose in it."

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Well I've read both (all 3 LOTR books) and I can certainly see the similarities. I just wouldn't call it a complete rip-off. But that's just my humble opinion.

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I didn't notice it when i first read it, and it had been a while now, but now I realise what a rip off of Tolkien it is.

 

The plot, themes, character, etc are exactly the same, albeit some minor changes.

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I noticed more than a few minor changes, and I also noticed that the world building in Sword of Shannara had more than a few differences as compared to Tolkien's Middle Earth.

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Another critic had this to say...

 

"The most obvious example was Terry Brooks's generally derided, but still commercially successful, The Sword of Shannara. Roumor has it that when this came out in 1977 it had been commissioned by astute editors who knew they could sell anything sufficiently Tolkienian. If so, the editors were right. The 'Shannara' sequence is still running twenty years later, and is up to eight volumes. Yet the strange thing about the first volume at least is the dogged way in which it follows Tolkien point for point. A group is assembled to retrieve a talisman from the power of a Dark Lord. It is 'retrieve', not 'destroy', which is one point of dissimilarity. But the group assembled matches Tolkien's Fellowhip very nearly person for person.[...]The similarity is so close that in a way it is hard to tell how good or bad the result is. Anyone who had not read The Lord of the Rings might find it highly innovative - but I doubt that many of its original readers fell into that category.

-J.R.R. Tolkien, Author of the Century, Tom Shippey

Edited by Suttree

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I really could care less what the critics say.

If I read a book, then I am the one who decides whether or not I like said book. For the Shannara series, The Sword of Shannara was my gateway book into fantasy novels. I have read almost all of the Shannara books, and to me they are as good as ...... or even better than much of what passes for fantasy literature these days.

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I started my fantasy journey with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, so The Sword of Shannara seemed like a cheap rip off to me, the same as it did to many others. I thoroughly enjoyed Elfstones though,

(I agree with an earlier poster about the sad ending--I did not see that coming, and it was quite an emotional blindside)

and I thought Wishsong was pretty good, especially towards the end. I haven't read any of the others, but I read the first two Magic Kingdom novels and thought they were entertaining. I would recommend him as an author, but I would steer folks away from Sword. The tale was told much more eloquently by Tolkien; why read the amateur version?

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I really could care less what the critics say.

 

If I read a book, then I am the one who decides whether or not I like said book. For the Shannara series, The Sword of Shannara was my gateway book into fantasy novels. I have read almost all of the Shannara books, and to me they are as good as ...... or even better than much of what passes for fantasy literature these days.

 

Wondering if it stands up for you on subsequent rereads or is it more of a nostalgia thing now that you have read more?

 

IMO the quality of writing is fairly poor and I just couldn't get past how big of a LotR rip off it was. I know it sold well(for the reasons explained in the post above) but it was panned by a large number of people that really know what they are taking about and I happen to agree with them. When I was providing those quotes it was just to show what the prevailing sentiment is as it relates to the blatant copying of LotR. Pretty hard to just dismiss respected critics out of hand.

 

Also Vambram curious, why do you always change the font and size when you post?

Edited by Suttree

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I really could care less what the critics say.

 

If I read a book, then I am the one who decides whether or not I like said book. For the Shannara series, The Sword of Shannara was my gateway book into fantasy novels. I have read almost all of the Shannara books, and to me they are as good as ...... or even better than much of what passes for fantasy literature these days.

 

Wondering if it stands up for you on subsequent rereads or is it more of a nostalgia thing now that you have read more?

 

I have re-read the Shannara series twice. The Sword of Shannara is my least favorite book of the series, whereas Elfstones and Wishsong of Shannara are two of my favorite books from the entire Shannara series.

 

IMO the quality of writing is fairly poor and I just couldn't get past how big of a LotR rip off it was. I know it sold well(for the reasons explained in the post above) but it was panned by a large number of people that really know what they are taking about and I happen to agree with them. When I was providing those quotes it was just to show what the prevailing sentiment is as it relates to the blatant copying of LotR. Pretty hard to just dismiss respected critics out of hand.

 

 

 

I understood your point of view and the reasons why you were posting what "respected critics" had said. However, back then in the early 80's when I bought The Sword of Shannara (I also bought most of the rest of the Shannara series very soon after they were published) and even still today, I do not pay much attention to what professional critics say about books, movies, music, or anything else that I buy or use for entertainment purposes. That's just how I roll. cool.gif

 

Also Vambram curious, why do you always change the font and size when you post?

 

Dragonmount.com's default font setting is the Arial font, and I simply do not like that font at all. I prefer to use either the Georgia, Times New Roman, or the Verdana fonts. Also, the reasons I change the size of the fonts in my posts is so that I may read them easier because it is a little bigger and thus easier for me to read. smile.gif

 

 

 

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It's a series of books that I attempted to read a few years back, and was one that I couldn't get myself fully into. I didn't want to pick up the entire series because I wasn't that drawn into the first book, and so it's worth revisiting I think.

 

I don't particularly like the press about it being a "rip-off" or whatnot, and there's something to be said for taking a plot-line and spinning your own take on it. If it's done well, then it may give the same end feeling of the story, but it's always the journey I'm really after, not really seeing if they really "win" or "lose" in the end.

 

I've read a few books that have made me think that I'd seen a particular point, or even a similar character, before. But that doesn't make them any less enjoyable if you can take any given series for what it is, and not try to compare it to anything else.

 

I think come the end of the year (I have a pile of books I just picked up) I may very well give this series another go-around.

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