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Summary

50 million Terry Brooks copies sold around the world
The Shannara Chronicles is now a major TV series

Volume one in the classic best-selling series from one of the all-time masters of fantasy.

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 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. 

©1977 Terry Brooks (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic reviews

"A marvellous fantasy trip." (Frank Herbert)
"Confirms Terry's place at the head of the fantasy world." (Philip Pullman)

"If Harry Potter has given you a thirst for fantasy and you have not discovered the magic of Terry Brooks, you are in for a treat." (Rocky Mountain News)

What listeners say about The Sword of Shannara

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a great listen

a great listen the reader was fantastic looking forward to the next one a really great book

6 people found this helpful

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Shanara

I read this book years ago when I was a teenager and I feel like I've just revisited a long lost friend... great book...

7 people found this helpful

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I read this book 30 years ago

and wondered what it would be like now.
A slightly predictable plot but a great romp though a Tolkien like world. Good character development and concepts.
I'd would recommend this book. and now im about to start the elfstones of shannara

2 people found this helpful

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Worth it as a gateway to the much better sequels

This is an enjoyable but extremely flawed fantasy story. The narration is competent though not to my taste. THE BAD: It is to some extent a reimagining of Lord of the Rings, and suffers by comparison to a great work of literature. Where Tolkien develops characters through their actions, Brooks describes everyone's personality traits to the reader. Where Middle Earth has depth in its place and languages, the Four Lands is a hodge-podge: rivers flow in implausible directions, and geopolitics is debated by the equivalent of medieval peasants. Worst of all, readers are never allowed to form their own opinions (good for Orl Fane for being independent-minded enough to escape an unjust war... oh, hang on... Brooks tells me that deserters are the worst form of coward so that is what they are). This book could never be used for an English Literature class, because Brooks has already written the students' essays for them! THE GOOD: The story is fun. It is, eventually, different enough from LotR to be engaging. The ending is satisfying enough to be worth getting to, and there are some decent minor plot twists along the way. One improvement on LotR is that no races are portrayed as irredeemably bad. Above all, the Sword of Shannara is a gateway to much better sequels, which have a lot more originality - and marginally more subtlety - in the writing.

1 person found this helpful

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One of them books you've heard of...

... but never read. Great story, lots of depth to the characters. Pity you don't find out what happened to the rock troll. Looking forward to the second one.

1 person found this helpful

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A Lord of the Rings clone.

I struggled to finish this audio book. The story copies far too many elements from Lord of the Rings. The narration is over exaggerated and very hard work to keep listening too. This has put me off trying the rest of the series.

4 people found this helpful

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Dull...so dull

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Honestly, I've no idea. I'm a big fantasy fan and this just didn't do it for me

What will your next listen be?

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Brick’s performances?

Hard to say, he wasn't great in this one. I had to set it to x1.25 speed just to inject some life into the reading.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. I'd heard the Shannara books were great but this wasn't very good at all.

Any additional comments?

The reading is slow and doesn't make me want to keep listening, and the actual story itself basically a lift - structurally, thematically - from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.

4 people found this helpful

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  • JF
  • 30-10-21

Derivative

I gave up after a while. The story is derivative, the prose clunky. It was okay, but lacking in many departments. The narrator did his best to inject interest, but this manifested as a slightly hammy performance. I won’t be reading any more.

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DIE HARD FAN

having read the books , alot. I was sure I was going to be disappointed.

took a few chapters to get used to the narrator and a couple of times I nearly stopped. THANK GOD I DIDNT.

Once I got used to hearing rather then reading I settled in to the book with ease.

Great flow and pace , eagerly looking forward to hearing the rest.

Already I have listened to the Skaar Invasion which is good , but to really appreciate the entire book collection you have to start here.

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better reading

unfortunately this narration wasn't for me, I found the voice very 'drawling' if that's a word. I love the Shannara books but think I'll stick to reading rather than listening.