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 ...
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. Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of Evil, flew into the Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save the Vale, Shea fled, drawing the Skull Bearer after him.... "From the Paperback edition."
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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.
Jul 12, 2007
A stand alone
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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