Customer Reviews for

The Sword of Shannara (Shannara Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 529 )
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(319)

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(98)

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(50)

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(26)

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(36)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Please be informed before reading!

Some people write off this series because of this book and they are truly missing out because this is one of the best series ever written. The complaint is that this book is too similar to the Lord of the Rings, and the truth is that, well it is ON PURPOSE. Terry Brooks...
Some people write off this series because of this book and they are truly missing out because this is one of the best series ever written. The complaint is that this book is too similar to the Lord of the Rings, and the truth is that, well it is ON PURPOSE. Terry Brooks was actually friends with Tolkien and this book was originally written personally for Tolkien as a gift. Tolkien liked it so much that he convinced Brooks to publish it. Despite the similarities the book is able to stand on it's own and the series is completely original.

posted by Merickel-books on May 6, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Unoriginal and very boring

I had to force my way through this entire book. A lot of reviews said this book was a good read, but it was horrible. And yes I did finish it just so I could rightfully write this review. The main character Shea had no personality at all. You should feel some sort of em...
I had to force my way through this entire book. A lot of reviews said this book was a good read, but it was horrible. And yes I did finish it just so I could rightfully write this review. The main character Shea had no personality at all. You should feel some sort of emotion for the main character as you read the book. You should hope they win or lose. But the main character had no feelings toward anything that was happening in the book. If the main character doesn't care what happens then why should I? Setting, Characters, and Plot were just like Lord of the Ring trilogy, only not as well written. It was like reading Lord of the Rings again only this time I didn't enjoy it. I really suggest that you chose a different book for a fun read, but it is really your choice.

posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2008

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Page 1 of 27
  • Posted May 6, 2011

    Please be informed before reading!

    Some people write off this series because of this book and they are truly missing out because this is one of the best series ever written. The complaint is that this book is too similar to the Lord of the Rings, and the truth is that, well it is ON PURPOSE. Terry Brooks was actually friends with Tolkien and this book was originally written personally for Tolkien as a gift. Tolkien liked it so much that he convinced Brooks to publish it. Despite the similarities the book is able to stand on it's own and the series is completely original.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    Unoriginal and very boring

    I had to force my way through this entire book. A lot of reviews said this book was a good read, but it was horrible. And yes I did finish it just so I could rightfully write this review. The main character Shea had no personality at all. You should feel some sort of emotion for the main character as you read the book. You should hope they win or lose. But the main character had no feelings toward anything that was happening in the book. If the main character doesn't care what happens then why should I? Setting, Characters, and Plot were just like Lord of the Ring trilogy, only not as well written. It was like reading Lord of the Rings again only this time I didn't enjoy it. I really suggest that you chose a different book for a fun read, but it is really your choice.

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2002

    Sword of Shannara

    This is one of the best books that I have ever read. Full of action and adventure. If you like J.R.R. Tolkiens books, you will like this.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2007

    A good lullaby

    This is the worst fantasy i've ever read. I had to read it for school, and i almost cried. The book drags on and on and on. This is a HUGE tolkien rip off. Many settings can be compared with settings from the lord of the rings, and the plot has little originality. Not that high detail is a bad thing, but you need to leave some things to the imagination. A waste of time, all in all.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2001

    Good...but flawed

    This book is pleasant, and at times compelling. The power of the Sword of Shannara was imaginative. There is a nice air of fantasy. The mechanics of Brooks' writing, however, are somewhat amateur. I found his description, while occasionally imaginative, to be a little mundane and comically repetitive. Everyone's face is 'impassive' and Allanon's expression is always a 'mocking grin'. It becomes very silly after a while. The elfstones were a bit of the 'Deus ex Machina' - able to solve just about any problem. Another annoying characteristic of his writing is that, as soon as a character becomes totally despondent and hopeless about a situation, that situation resolves and they triumph despite their doubts. After this happens about twenty times, it becomes very predictable. Also, his tactic of breaking chapters into cliffhangers is a weak attempt at infusing unpredictability into this novel. Nevertheless, a good book for younger kids. Some good values such as loyalty and companionship are expressed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    Question

    Ive been told this series is amazing but i was wondering, is it worth the money?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2014

    So epic

    Book is amazing. Love the adventure and action. Thank you Terry Brooks!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    The Sword of Shannara is an ok and at times slow read .that be

    The Sword of Shannara is an ok and at times slow read .that being said , it sets the scene for the best and ongoing fantasy series on earth .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    I love this book.

    It made me so sad when Shea went missing. But then he was okay! Also, I prefer Shannara to Lord of the Rings because it moves at a faster pace and has more modern writing. I still am a Tolkein fan, but it was harder to get through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    For the Haters

    The Shannara series is the best Epic Fantasy books I have ever read. It even surpasses Tolkiens LoR. Which you're all apparentally are in love with. I found it too detailed and boring. I had to force my way through the book.

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  • Posted June 18, 2013

    Terry Brooks¿ first epic fantasy novel, The Sword of Shannara, h

    Terry Brooks’ first epic fantasy novel, The Sword of Shannara, helped to open the door wide for the modern fantasy genre. Critics like to point out that the book is heavily dependent on Tolkein. That’s probably a polite understatement of reality. Tolkein’s imagery and conflicts scream from many of the pages and yet it is still a well woven, enjoyable story which sets the groundwork for the remainder of the series.

    I read this book both as a teenager and then again some twenty-five years later. It’s not my favorite book in the series, but I did enjoy the story. Many of the characters remained vivid in my memory over those two and a half decades and it maintains a fond place in my heart. Later books (Elfstones and Wishsong) are better precisely because Brooks broke out on his own and wrote truly independent works. In the final analysis, I don’t think it was wrong of Brooks to write a tribute to Tolkein and it’s a credit to both men that the Shannara series has thrived so well in the expansive fantasy field.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    I'm going through the reviews.......

    I'm going through the reveiws and I am going to read the book, but I'm not sure if I should. I mean is it a good book or is it horrible? If you really want me to read the book or not please anwser and lable your reveiw by my name.....

    Katlyn Wagner

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2013

    I eventually decided to give this book a read, since my brother

    I eventually decided to give this book a read, since my brother is head over heels in love with the Shannara series. Every year there's a new Shannara book on his Christmas and Birthday list, so I decided to crack open the first one and see what all the fuss was about.




    I must be honest, I wasn't particularly impressed. This book is long--and not in the sense of word count; I've read books with higher word counts, in far less time. This one is long-winded. I simply could not get into it. Often while reading I would "zone out" for pages and pages, and then have no idea what was going on later in the story. The characters aren't particularly memorable, and their manner of speaking is inconsistent. That, coupled with the author's infuriating habit of using "the other" to refer to a speaker after the first speaker has just finished a two page diatribe, makes it insanely difficult to keep track of who's in a particular scene.




    There are more twists and turns in this book than a snakes and ladders game, and it's frequently also not entirely clear where one scene or point in time ends and other starts (see what I did there?).




    I've read many people bemoaning how derivative this book is of Lord of the Rings. I have to say, I didn't find that at all. Granted, there were certain small sections of this book which reminded me of lots of things I'd read in lots of books before, including but not limited to Lord of the Rings. However, many of those books were actually written AFTER this one, so which is derivative of which? Tolkein was the father of modern fantasy anyway, so all fantasy written since will always tend to have a semblance of familiarity with his books. Besides, I wasn't in love with Lord of the Rings anyway.




    There's not much more to say about this book. It's a decent story, I guess, but I found it those parts I was awake for a bit predictable. If you can follow the plot and all the characters (again, of which there are far too many, in my opinion), you might enjoy it. I didn't particularly, though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Wonderful Book!

    This book was fantastic! It was similar to Lord of the Rings, but without all of the extremely boring, drawn out pages that made me feel like I was reading a textbook. I seriously loved it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading sci-fi or fantasy books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    I read this book in my last year of high school, 1977. I did no

    I read this book in my last year of high school, 1977. I did not know it at the time, but it would eventually be the reason I stopped reading modern fantasy. Mr. Brooks is a good writer, not a great one, and likely a very nice person. Unfortunately, his imagination is lackluster. Not once in this epic did I ever really get where the story was heading, nor did I ever get to like or admire one of its characters. They were all very one dimensional, and lacking any solid personality. I believe that this book was published only because of the existing thirst for more--Tolkien like--fantasy at this period of time, and Lester del Rey figured that it would sell. It not only sold, but it sold well. Yet I have never met one person who read this book who can truly--spur of the moment--recall anything about it-- other than the fact that they forced themselves to read it. I've reread TLOTR only twice in my life, and--regardless of the movies--it still replays vividly in my mind over 30 years later. Anyway, I'm glad Terry succeeded with this book when he did, as I'm sure that it would not make it past the first reader today before being returned with or without a rejection slip. In some respects, I want to apologize for my honesty, but in truth this book would make better kindling than a prospective Kindle.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2012

    the very first fantasy book I ever read

    A great book to start off a ever good series with well thought out and memorable characters. It has a very fast moving and compelling story line that makes you want to keep reading. it can be read as a stand alone story or as a starter book for all of the Shanna series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    Not just the book, the series

    As a stand alone its ok, good but not great. But because it starts one of the best series ever its a 5 star. Beggining simularities to lord of the ring are just that. It branches off into a totally new area and captures the imagination. Worth reading this first book as it starts you off on familiar territory then takes a left turn into a great series.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Can't finish

    So I did a "halfway through" review for this book, i was originally going to finish it and post a full review - but alas, i cannot continue reading a book that does not hold my interest. Yes it's like Lord of the Rings - to my understanding it was meant to be that way. Everything is description and details, I didn't feel for any of the characters - they were very bland, the "action" was not captivating and was quickly over.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Halfway through review

    There was alot of hype around this book, I can see why, it is well written, the description is out of this world BUT it drags on and on, I haven't finished it yet but I really hope it gets better...after i'm done i'll post an updated review...just wanted to let people know that it is extremely slow.

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