Long ago, the world of the Four Lands was torn apart by the wars of ancient Evil. But in the Vale, the half-human, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford now lives ...Show synopsisLong ago, the world of the Four Lands was torn apart by the wars of ancient Evil. But in the Vale, the half-human, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford now lives in peace - until the mysterious, forbidding figure of the druid Allanon appears, to reveal that the supposedly long dead Warlock Lord lives again. Shea must embark upon the elemental quest to find the only weapon powerful enough to keep the creatures of darkness at bay: the fabled Sword of Shannara. THE SWORD OF SHANNARA is the first volume of the classic series that has become one of the most popular fantasy tales of all time. A masterful work from a master storyteller.Hide synopsis
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I got maybe a third of the way into this book before giving up in disgust. The whole book doesn't appear to entirely rip-off "Fellowship of the Ring," but the exposition most certainly does. (meek but noble hero, even meeker brother/loyal friend cleaves to his side, evil creatures tracking hero down close to home, etc. etc.) The ridiculous similarities were a huge distraction, but that's not what bothered me most. Even once the quasi-plagiarism tapered off and the original work began, the characters were flat and predictable and I just could not maintain any interest in the story.
When the Sword of Shannara came out in 1977 the most popular fantasy at the time
was The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Terry Brooks' wrote a
very good book on writing and he wrote to me that although some fans of Tolkien's
books feel like his Shannara is a ripoff it didn't matter because his fans liked his
books and that is all that matters. I read the Sword of Shannara triology and the
Heritage of Shannara trilogy and found no similarities between Tolkien and Brooks.
Tolkien's books are based on a language system whereas Brooks' books are based
on good old fashion adventure stories that he read as a child. I would also tend to
believe that there is a general domain for books writing about supernatural creatures.
I reread the first Sword of Shannara and never get tired of it. The fantasy elements of
Tolkien are there but they are pure Brooks' creations. They both stand alone. I would
recommend both authors to anyone.
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