The Sword of Shannara

The Sword of Shannara

Book - 1978 | First Ballantine Books Mass Market edition
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The Sword of Shannara is the first volume of the classic series that has becomeone of the most popular fantasy tales of all time.

Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake.The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a trueheir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline,rests the hope of all the races.

Thus begins the enthralling Shannara epic,a spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and myth . .
Publisher: New York :, Del Rey/Ballantine Books,, 1978
Edition: First Ballantine Books Mass Market edition
ISBN: 9780345314253
Branch Call Number: FAN F BRO
Characteristics: 726 pages : illustrations, map ; 18 cm
Additional Contributors: Hildebrandt, Greg
Hildebrandt, Tim


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Jan 14, 2021

Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable read. Clearly just a set-up for the rest of the series and it does make you want to read the rest.

Jan 02, 2021

Basically this is a poorly-written rehash of The Lord of the Rings, with no character development, no world-building, and a massive overuse of adverbs (particularly the word "suddenly"). Suddenly this happened, suddenly that happened, suddenly there was a fight, and suddenly it was over, and suddenly the Gandalf character ("druid", not "wizard") had to go on some private journey and leave the hobbit characters ("Valemen") while the elf and dwarf characters suddenly had to go warn people about a war that might happen suddenly and the prince suddenly had problems, not to mention that the Gollum character ("Orl Fane") suddenly stole something important. Yawn. However, the writing did get a little better as the book progressed (I kept reading because of this), and the climactic scene was at least interesting. However, it was over suddenly.

Mar 24, 2020

I thought it was an overall great book. The world Terry Brooks created was very intriguing and the characters were easily likable. The only issue I had with the story was that there is a lot of build up, a lot of anticipating scenes where the characters are at risk of failing their mission completely, but when they finally reach the final confrontation with the main villain, the story is over and done with in one paragraph. There's was too much build up for the quickness of it's ending in my opinion.

Mar 06, 2019

Great book

Nov 26, 2018

This is Terry Brooks first book. Still a favorite of ours ! Great book to get kids interested and hooked on reading. I think my nephew was 11 when he first read this book.

Sep 26, 2018

I Listened to the first three books. Blah. Clearly the vast majority of the plot of the first two were lifted from lord of the rings trilogy. Nothing original about them. Plots and time lines were soooo simplistic with far too convenient exits person x in dark place...scary, ok it’s ok someone just walks in and saves them. Oh gosh a fight. Ha, no suspense. Fight is over in two paragraphs. Need to travel somewhere, don’t bother to describe any of it, just shift to another character for a page and miraculously the other characters are there. In all three books the love interests are ninnies and simplistic. No character development. Everything is very shallow and he didn’t both to add any details to anything. Can’t recommend for any reason. Was very surprised how shallow and how much was just lifted fro Tolkien. Seriously....same races, even the same tree like characters around a central tower...nothing new or interesting. How did this series get to be continued? If I had to actually read them, would never have toughened out three books.

Apr 25, 2017

Ok, so the two main issues I had with this book was the relationships the characters had with each other, and the lack of... interest I guess. It felt kind of wooden to me.
Of the only woman in the entire book: "She seemed small and vulnerable as she waited beneath the massive beams of the high entryway, her face beautiful and anxious. No wonder Palance Buckannah wanted this woman for his wife." :(the humanity. I feel like if you're going to have just one female character, you shouldn't have her best trait be vulnerability and being cute. Anyway, I will say that I will continue reading this series because the next one, The Elfstones of Shannara, was SO much better.
Also, the Sam/Frodo or Flick/Shea type relationships bother me, it just doesn't seem healthy to me.

codythecop1990 Feb 02, 2016

First of all, anyone who is going to give an author a bad review please have the courage to give your name!! I belong to a couple of Anne Rice's groups that really are trying to do away with people who do this. People who leave bad reviews and no name are for the most part have a reason behind leaving the review and it isn't to review the book. Second just because you didn't care for the book, doesn't mean someone else did not. I applaud Mr Brooks for his books!!! There are many and usually with that many in a series there are a few that really aren't as exciting as the one before....Mr Brooks is no different...but I surely wouldn't stop reading or leave a hateful review that makes no sense. Just leaving a review to be nasty...

May 28, 2015

I'm not a big fan of the Shannara series at all. I've been getting email after email wondering why Brooks is not on the Top 25 Fantasy list. Let me state it right here: he's not on the list because he hasn't written any books that are good enough to be there.
Shannara was Brook's attempt to milk the whole Tolkien craze during the 80s. He "generously borrowed" Tolkien's mythology (which isn't a bad thing, as quite a few other people did as well), but committed the cardinal sin of not doing anything new at all over his 20+ years writing fantasy books. Brooks is the literary version of the band Nickleback: both have sold out all creativity and churn out the same sort of crap over and over.
Commercially successful? Yes. Intellectually stimulating? About as much as watching Bevis and Butthead reruns. There is a marketing concept called first-mover advantage. This basically means that the person/company that does something first has a competitive advantage. Brooks with his (bad) rewrite of Lord of the Rings did just this. As far as I'm concerned, Brooks is a hack writer who made it big because he was in the Tolkien Clone market first.
If you've read one Shannara book, you've read all twenty of them, or thirty (I can't remember the exact number as Brooks churns them out like a Chinese noodle factory does noodle boxes).
One Shannara book is the same as the rest of them. Hell for me would be being locked into a room with an infinite supply of Shannara books to read. I'd start puking my eyes out around book 20, and by book 40, I'd probably bite my own throat out.
I beg you Terry Brooks, stop writing new Shanara books. If someone points a gun to your head and forces you to read a Shannara novel, perhaps Elfstones is the best of the bunch. But then again, that's like asking which limb you want broken. The correct answer is "none of them."
And dammit, let's get into the Shannara's continuing use of "The Elfstones", a name that itself is borrowed directly from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Man, these Elfstones are simply an outrageous naked plot device that Brooks recycles over and over for more plot fodder, with each additional book having new powers associated with them. After book 20, I still don't think even Brooks knows what the hell these things actually do. In the first book, they help you find stuff, act as a nice magical flashlight and come in handy when battling magical demon types, and even work as a sort of "demon alarm system" if there are, like, nasty demons loafing around. But hey, use the stones too much and your descendents gain special freaking powers that have NOTHING at all to do with the origional Elfstone powers. Talk about no internal rules of magic here. About the only things you can't do with these special stones are your tax forms and your college homework.
I'm not insulting Terry Brooks as an author. Ok, well I kinda am. But the man's not THAT bad of a writer -- Brooks did write a few NON-Shannara books that I found entertaining: Magic Kingdom For Sale was a light, entertaining series, and his Void series is pretty good, even though he ends up tying it to the whole Shannara universe (big mistake).
So yes, Brooks writes some decent books (And God knows he's had enough practice over the years with the dozens of books he's churned out), but just avoid anything with the word Shannara in the title and you'll probably be OK.

Feb 14, 2015

At first, I wondered if this story would be any good. The author clearly uses a similar plot line and characters to Lord of the Rings, which I loved. However, the story has enough differences and plot twists to make you wonder what's going to happen next. The characters seem a little wooden at first too. At some point, I realized the characters were no longer wooden but had developed into characters I cared about. I enjoyed the way the story moved quickly from one adventure to the next. There were many times it was hard to put down.

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Apr 25, 2013

JihadiConservative thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 18, 2012

BieberFever108 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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FavouriteFiction Oct 08, 2009

Book #1 Shannara Series

Shea Ohmsford embarks on a journey to reclaim the Sword of Shannara, the only weapon that can defeat the power of darkness.


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Apr 25, 2013

Violence: afair amount of battles some fairly bloody


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