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Terry Brooks The Shannara series et al

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Old 23rd October 2007, 03:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Opinions about the Shannara Series

Use this thread to voice your opinions about the Shannara series. I'll go first, since I started this forum.

In my personal opinion, I don't think the Shannara series is now quite as impressive as it was before. Fantasy is much more common than it was before. I have read the first two books in the original Shannara trilogy, and am half-way through with the Wishsongs of Shannara. However, I have apparently lost interest in the series. I feel like I am too well acquainted with races that used to be uncommon in the 70's and the 80's. I grew up around fantasy and science-fiction all my life, and I'm apparently no longer impressed with notions of dwarves and elves, which have been recycled countless times.
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Old 23rd October 2007, 03:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

Is it the perceived familiarity of dwarves and elves, or is it the rather formulaic nature of this class of fantasy LoTR retread?

The Shannara series is a case in point: Replace a sword with a tree or a 'Hi-Ho', change a few names and you pretty well describe the whole set with one review.
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Old 23rd October 2007, 04:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

I think it is more likely the formulaic fantasy, as you suggested, Ray.
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Old 3rd November 2007, 05:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

I've only read the first three books in the Shannara series, so my knowledge about it is very limited. I found Sword of Shannara (SoS)to be the worst of the three that I read. I did read LotR before SoS and some of the similarites were very glaring for me. Seeing as I didn't like LotR, reading another book similar to it wasn't really didn't help matters.

While Elfstones and Wishsong were better, overall I thought them to be average. But, the cover art by Steve Stone are amazing.
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Old 3rd November 2007, 06:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

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Originally Posted by bookfan View Post
I've only read the first three books in the Shannara series, so my knowledge about it is very limited. I found Sword of Shannara (SoS)to be the worst of the three that I read.
...........
While Elfstones and Wishsong were better, overall I thought them to be average. But, the cover art by Steve Stone are amazing.


I agree completely with these statements. I have read all of the Shannara series up through the "High Druid of Shannara" series, and I still have to say that SoS was the worst. It almost felt like a chore to read until about chapter 10 or 11....and it still didn't pick up much after that.

For fear of sounding like I am just trying to bash Terry Brooks, I must add that while I found the Shannara books to be mediocre, I did like his Word and Void series. Running with the Demon and Knight of the Word were definitely better than Shannara.

And I agree, the cover art of the books was definitely the best part
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Old 3rd November 2007, 08:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

I've read everything Brooks has ever published.

Shannara is quite a good series but I agree Word and Void was easily his best effort. Having said that it's good to see some of these ideas being introduced into the current Shannara world prequels....
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Old 3rd November 2007, 08:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

its been a while since I read Shannara, I also cut off when first king came out. couldn't get into the story.Sword came across as a pale attempt to hide the LoTR origins. the others did have a lot more originality to them (at least through talismans). thinking of formulaic fantasy, I can see it, epic quests, etc... and if one takes the story from Scions through talismans, it is again the same epic quest, just more characters, longer paths etc...
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Old 21st February 2008, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

The only books I've read by Brookes are SOS, elfstones and wishsong.

Absolutly love the elfstones of shannara. It's up there in my top 10 books. It may not be the best written, or the most original story, but it has a fantastic plot, really interesting characters dying and a great ending momet. Really enjoyed it. The wishsong, I didn't enjoy too much. I've only read it once, and have no desire to read it again.

Purely for the elfstones though, Brooks has my respect.
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Old 22nd February 2008, 01:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

Are the latest books any good or is it becoming overkill?
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Old 23rd February 2008, 09:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

As with many, I read LoTR well before I picked up the Sword of Shannara. There were many similarities, but Brooks' educated common man approach to the Ohmsford brothers set them off enough from the hobbits. Layer on top of that the more recognizable politics between the border kingdoms and the Southland and the coup in Callahorn, and you have some departure from LoTR. Elfstones and Wishsong definitely get more interesting, and have their own feel.

While I haven't purchased the Elves of Cintra yet, the whole merging of the Shannara world with the Word/Void continuum in Armageddon's Children was fascinating. I thought that was a great read (so much so that I read it 3 times!), so yes, I would recommend picking up AC, at least.
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Old 25th February 2008, 06:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

I seem to be in the minority here, but I quite enjoy Terry Brooks books.
I remember picking up Sword of Shannara when I was about 13, and enjoying it immensly. For his first book, it was great. And the series does improve from there. Rumour has it that the movie of Elfstones of Shannara is in the works, and as Elfstones is generally agreed to be the best of the Shannara books, it will be interesting in how it turns out.
I also enjoy the Landover novels, and the merging of the Word/Void and Shannara worlds is excellent. Am looking forward to the next volume, which will be released in August like clockwork.
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Old 25th February 2008, 07:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

If someone enjoyed epics and juvenile/young adult fantasy, would they be likely to enjoy the Shannara series? I had not even heard of this series till quite recently.
The books I have enjoyed include Beowulf, The History of the Kings of Britain(Geoffrey of Monmouth kicks Mallory's butt), the Prydain Chronicles, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, etc.
I am temporarily burnt out on Tolkien for the most part after multiple readings and movie viewings(including the animated ones).
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Old 27th February 2008, 05:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

Shannara is more adult oriented than young adult I'd say. for epic levels like that, maybe the Belgariad by Eddings. Not many people kick out epic fantasy tales for youths. notable exception would be Rowling with Harry Potter, and even she had the telling grow up as she progressed.
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Old 3rd May 2008, 01:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

i agree with GOLLUM..the books are really good but i havent read every series yet.i only started it at the middle of last year and considering i read a whole range of fantasy fiction i thought they were quite good although not as good as the books as ian irvine.
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Old 5th May 2008, 02:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Opinions about the Shannara Series

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i agree with GOLLUM..the books are really good but i havent read every series yet..
Well they're not bad but I couldn't quite say that they're really good after reading a lot of other work done in the field.
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