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The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

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The Sword of Shannara Trilogy PDF, ePub eBook THE SWORD OF SHANNARA: Long ago, the world of Shea Ohmsford was torn apart by war. But the half-human, half-elfin, Shea now lives in peace - until the forbidding figure of Allanon appears, to reveal that the long dead Warlock Lord lives again THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA: Ancient evil threatens the Elves and the Races of Man. For the Ellcrys, the tree of long-lost Elven magic, THE SWORD OF SHANNARA: Long ago, the world of Shea Ohmsford was torn apart by war. But the half-human, half-elfin, Shea now lives in peace - until the forbidding figure of Allanon appears, to reveal that the long dead Warlock Lord lives again THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA: Ancient evil threatens the Elves and the Races of Man. For the Ellcrys, the tree of long-lost Elven magic, is dying - loosing the spell of Forbidding that locks the hordes of Demons away from Earth. Only one source has the power to stop it: the Elfstones of Shannara. THE WISHSONG OF SHANNARA: Evil stalks the Four Lands as the Ildatch, immemorial book of evil spells, has stirred to eldritch life. Once again Allanon, ancient Druid Protector of the Races, must seek the help of a descendant of Jerle Shannara.

30 review for The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    My bleeding goodness... I was recommended this book by my sister a few years ago. I started reading it and then switched off, but I decided that must be because I was tired or something else...basically. I gave the book a second chance. I'm a school teacher; you get a second chance, but you ain't getting a third. I started reading it, again, hoping it could be one of those books I could read a few pages a day because of my busy work schedule. I was hoping I wouldn't have to dedicate lengthy perio My bleeding goodness... I was recommended this book by my sister a few years ago. I started reading it and then switched off, but I decided that must be because I was tired or something else...basically. I gave the book a second chance. I'm a school teacher; you get a second chance, but you ain't getting a third. I started reading it, again, hoping it could be one of those books I could read a few pages a day because of my busy work schedule. I was hoping I wouldn't have to dedicate lengthy periods of time to properly get into it to appreciate and enjoy the prose. Of course, that didn't happen. It didn't happen because even on those periods when I had a few hours to kill the last thing I wanted to do was read more of the Ring/Sword of Shannara. It is that dull. I'm not going to say it again, okay, yes I am, this is Lord of the Rings with a twist: it isn't exciting. Unlike LotR there is absolutely no backstory of interest. The Ringwraiths (called 'Skull Bearers' here) aren't threatening, you don't feel a chill or a sense of fear whenever they are mentioned. The 'Warlock Lord' (yes, everyone puke now) is more comical. You hate Sauron, you hate the betrayal of Saruman in LotR, but in SoS you spend it rooting for the Warlock Lord to win. Unfortunately, Flick finds the Sword of Shannara which means he is invincible. I finished the firstbook with a sigh of relief. Running marathons is less effort. I gave up halfway through the second book because it wasn't getting any better. Rumour has it that it gets more original later on but there was no evidence. When I'm reading for leisure I don't want to feel like I have to earn excitement. I don't want to have to endure 600 pages just to enjoy 100 pages. Now, one of the major things that irritated me was the names of people. The Warlock Lord was just the first of an increasingly large pile of coprolite. There are perhaps two names that I could read without feeling slightly nauseous at how bad they were. I could list hundreds. One character is even named after a country, Eretria (granted spelt differently). I think it's supposed to be lyrical...Jerle (whose sword it is) is also a stupid name. Shea is a stupid name, Menion is a stupid name...they all are. All this takes place in 'The Four Lands'. Can you guess what they are called? Northland, Westland, Eastland and... I genuinely could keep going and going on this rant. It is SO bad and derivative that it's not even funny. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time is also derivative but makes up for it (nearly) with half-decent prose and a deeply thought out world for it to take place in. It joins Twilight as the most overrated novel of all time (my list anyway). Complaints of the prose and further elaboration on everything I've just said can be read below. Actually, the other reviews on here are a thousand times more entertaining than the book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    The world of Shannara (the Four Lands) is reminescient of Tolkien's LOTR, not in style but in the classic struggle of good vs. evil on an epic scale. An easier read than Tolkien, Shannara has it's merits. Loveable characters, mysterious characters, characters to despise. A quest and all it's inherent dangers. This original trilogy is by far my favorite in the enitre series. THE SWORD OF SHANNARA: Two stories interwoven, one follows the protagonist Shea Ohmsford on his quest to obtain the Sword of The world of Shannara (the Four Lands) is reminescient of Tolkien's LOTR, not in style but in the classic struggle of good vs. evil on an epic scale. An easier read than Tolkien, Shannara has it's merits. Loveable characters, mysterious characters, characters to despise. A quest and all it's inherent dangers. This original trilogy is by far my favorite in the enitre series. THE SWORD OF SHANNARA: Two stories interwoven, one follows the protagonist Shea Ohmsford on his quest to obtain the Sword of Shannara and confront the Warlock Lord, the antagonist, with it, while the other shadows Prince Balinor's attempt to oust his insane brother Palance from the throne of Callahorn while being under attack from the armies of the Warlock Lord. I enjoyed reading this one and starting my journey into the Four Lands. I found myself cheering Shea on, being frightened for him when he was in peril. And rejoicing at the familar 'good wins' type of ending. THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA: It provides the history of the Elves, which was only hinted at in the preceding story, and follows Wil Ohmsford, grandson of Shea and inheritor of the Elfstones. Elfstones are powerful magical artifacts, usually found in groups of three, to symbolize the user's body, mind, and spirit. Interesting concept. The novel intertwines two plotlines: the quest of Wil Ohmsford and Amberle Elessedil to find Safehold and create a new Ellcrys, and the attempt by the Elven army and their allies to slow the Demons to give them time to find it. I was devastated when I realized what creating a new Ellcrys meant to Amberle, herione of the novel. Brought out emotions in me that signify a great novel. THE WISHSONG OF SHANNARA: The story revolves around Jair and Brin Ohmsford, the children of the main characters from The Elfstones of Shannara: Wil Ohmsford and Eretria. The siblings, each possessing an inherited magic, must save the Four Lands from the evil magic within a tome called the Ildatch, a book created by demons containing their essence. The wishsong is my favorite of all the magics in Shannara. Inherited genetically from their Ohmsford heritage, the wishsong works differently for Brin and Jair. Brin can sing anything into creation while Jair's song creates illusions. Both are very powerful and integral in thier respective journeys to destroy the Ildatch. I still can't decide which I like better, Elfstones or Wishsong. Either way, it's an excellent read and worth the journey.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    The Sword of Shannara 2.5/5 Stars ************* Coming into this series, I had already watched and read a lot of mediocre reviews. I was well aware that this book was very heavily inspired by Lord of the Rings and I'm glad I was prepared for this because even though I knew it, throughout the book I found myself saying 'Lord of the Rings', 'Lord of the Rings,' and 'oh, more Lord of the rings!' I wish I liked The Sword of Shannara more than I did because I do feel, despite being inspired by Tolkien's The Sword of Shannara 2.5/5 Stars ************* Coming into this series, I had already watched and read a lot of mediocre reviews. I was well aware that this book was very heavily inspired by Lord of the Rings and I'm glad I was prepared for this because even though I knew it, throughout the book I found myself saying 'Lord of the Rings', 'Lord of the Rings,' and 'oh, more Lord of the rings!' I wish I liked The Sword of Shannara more than I did because I do feel, despite being inspired by Tolkien's Middle Earth, that Brooks really created an amazing world with a fabulous history. The land of Shannara is basically our world years and years and years in the future and has become home to a number of different man-like species besides humans. The book was just far too heavy with description that it became borderline tedious for me. There were a few times that my eyes were drooping and I almost fell asleep more than once while reading. I had to start skimming now and again because otherwise I would just be reading paragraph after paragraph of description rather than actual dialogue or important content that moved the story along. Some description was repeated a lot such as the description of Allanon and I got sick and tired of hearing about his 'dark figure'. I was pretty glad when this was over but still eager to move on to Elfstones. The Elfstones of Shannara 3 Stars ******************* Overall, this may be my favorite book of the series. I definitely felt a lot more for the characters of Will, Amberle and Eretria than I did for Shea and Flick. It was also perhaps a little bit more original. I did ship Will with Eretria a lot more, as I do in the TV show, and I liked the twist in the ending. I also really wanted something to happen between Ander and Stee Jan XD The Wishsong of Shannara 2.5 Stars ****************** The first half of this book was good. I liked Jair and Brin and learning about them, their personalities and the wishsong. Allanon was really annoying in this one as usual. He's actually a bit of a bully but I liked that in this one it's acknowledged by everyone. I also feel that Wishsong has a lot more real Allanon moments. We see him weak, and afraid and we also see some moments of tenderness with Brin. However, I really love Jair's group of comrades and in particular his relationship with Slanter. Unfortunately this book eventually fell the same way as its predecessors and just became boring and I eventually began to skim. I'm really glad I finally finished this bind-up because I really just stopped enjoying it. It began to feel like homework and I dreaded picking it up. When it comes to any more Terry Brooks reading, I'm sticking with Landover.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I went specificly looking for an Epic Fantasy series that could engross me as much as A Song of Ice and Fire, The Lord of the Rings, or The Wheel of Time. I found this highly reccomended and went into it expecting to love it. I was very surpised to find it so disappointing. I am unsure why this gets listed as being on par with the other series I listed. The writting is really sub-par. You don't care about the characters, it's narrated like somone decided to write out their DnD adventure, it seem I went specificly looking for an Epic Fantasy series that could engross me as much as A Song of Ice and Fire, The Lord of the Rings, or The Wheel of Time. I found this highly reccomended and went into it expecting to love it. I was very surpised to find it so disappointing. I am unsure why this gets listed as being on par with the other series I listed. The writting is really sub-par. You don't care about the characters, it's narrated like somone decided to write out their DnD adventure, it seems like a bunch of cliche's all strung together. The author even changes Point of View mid paragraph. You don't know from one sentence to the next whose thoughts you might be hearing. It's just not the quality I can live with. I read the entire first novel and am going to take a break from it, and I don't know that I will ever return.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    This book is a trilogy so I'm going to break it down into each book. There will be ***SPOILERS*** The Sword of Shannara: This is the beginning of many books in the series. A Druid named Allanon comes looking for the half elf Shea so he can get the sword to destroy the Warlock Lord. Shea's brother Flick comes along for the journey. They have to fight for their lives with all sorts of evil creatures. They pick up some friends along the way and Allanon recruits more to help. Menion Leah is a friend o This book is a trilogy so I'm going to break it down into each book. There will be ***SPOILERS*** The Sword of Shannara: This is the beginning of many books in the series. A Druid named Allanon comes looking for the half elf Shea so he can get the sword to destroy the Warlock Lord. Shea's brother Flick comes along for the journey. They have to fight for their lives with all sorts of evil creatures. They pick up some friends along the way and Allanon recruits more to help. Menion Leah is a friend of Shea's and he decides he is going. He is the prince of Leah. Balinor is a borderman and the Prince of Callahorn. You have Hendel the dwarf and Durin and Dayel who are elf brothers. They fight off gnomes and all sorts of this and that creatures. At one point, they get separated when Shea falls off of a cliff into the water that takes him away. He is eventually taken prisoner by the gnomes who are taking him to the Warlock Lord. I just know I'm leaving some stuff out! So the others keep traveling as they are all headed in the same direction. OH and duh! I forgot to mention Allanon gives Shea the elfstones which has magic to the one who has them. He uses them to fight off a few monsters when it's just him, Flick and Menion. Anyway, so they all make it to the city where the Warlock Lord is and all kinds of stuff ensue as they are looking for the Sword. The sword isn't there, they fight with gnomes and other such creatures, everyone gets split up again. I mean they need to be attached at the hip. The gnomes who took Shea prisoner were killed by a funny character and theif named Panamon Creel. He has a friend who is a Rock Troll named Keltset. I loved Keltset. They find a gnome that was hiding and a little off his rocker. He has all of these weapons and random stuff he stole and guess what? one of the swords is the Sword of Shannara but everyone is too stupid to look at them closely. By the time Shea figures it out the gnome got loose and is on the run. Closing this up before I tell the whole story, Menion Leah finds a woman he saves and falls in love with, a few of them die and the day is saved when they finally get the sword and kill the Warlock Lord. I liked this book, but I really wish that Keltset didn't get killed. I was hoping to have him in more of the stories. THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA: Ok, this book jumps ahead 50 years! I was sad because more of the people are dead now :( I thought it would go on with their stories, but nope! So we have in this book Wil who is a relative to Shea and Flick. They are still alive and run an inn. They are his grandfather and great uncle. Allanon comes to him to help with some more bad stuff coming. He gets the elfstones but he doesn't have too much magic in him and they only work a little bit. What happens is the elves have a tree called the Ellcrys. She keeps all of the evil demons, etc. in a place called the Forbidding. But she is dying and they are starting to escape. There are 7 Chosen to take care of the tree, but one of the demons tears all but one to shreds! They are all males. The one female, Amberle didn't want to do it so she was banished. Soooo, Allanon gets Wil to go on the adventure and talk Amberle into taking the seed from the tree to the Bloodfire. This makes the seed be reborn and has to be returned to the earth. So once again, we are off on a journey. I fall in love with Amberle, she is really sweet. Her and Wil fall in love for a short time. To make this one short, they find the place they need to go and get the seed all set up. Meanwhile, the elves and Allanon are fighting the demons that escaped when the ellcrys finally died. When they finally get back Amberle goes to the dead tree and "She" becomes the new tree. Of course, Wil is heartbroken! There are other characters in the book but I didn't want to drag it out, but one is a woman named Eretria who ends up staying with Wil. This story was pretty good. THE WISHSONG OF SHANNARA: Twenty years later... This one is great. Eretria and Wil have two children, Brin and Jair. They inherited a gift from the Elves called the Wishsong. They sing and it causes magic. Well you can guess what I'm going to say next :) Here comes good ole Allanon! He asks Brin to come on a journey with him to use her wishsong to destroy a book or the same ole junk is going to happen. Jair has to go off on his own journey. Rone Leah goes with Brin and Allanon. He is Menion Leah's great grandson and a prince himself. He is in love with Brin too. They come upon some wonderful characters in this book. Jair runs into a gnome named Slanter, who is a tracker. Him and his gnome buddies drag Jair with them, but Slanter seems like he likes Jair. They all run into Garet Jax who kills them all but Slanter as he is a good gnome and they escort Jair on his journey. Slanter is freakin hilarious! He's always going on about this and that and thinks everyone is stupid! I love him. Brin and Rone come across some new friends. One is Cogline a crazy old man who is hilarious, his granddaughter Kimber Boh and their moor cat Whisper, which is huge. They go with them on their journey after Allanon is killed. Yep, Allanon is killed, but he is still a spirit in the water. Anyway, Brin does what she is supposed to do and puts an end to that evilness. I liked these books, but my review can't give them credit because I loved so many people and there were so many things going on that it would take forever to even mention. I thought I was just get to the point of most things and mention some of the people that I really enjoyed. I have a few more of the trilogies and I wonder how far in the future these are going to go or if they are going to backtrack, I'm not sure yet. At any rate, they are good books with loveable characters. www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    joshigaya

    I really wanted to like this series. I started watching the TV adaptation because of Jed Brophy, and though the series has its faults, I was enjoying myself. I then learned the show was based on a book series, and I knew I had to read them. I bought this with high expectations--it had been heralded as a cornerstone of the fantasy genre, after all. I got about 150 pages in before it started to go downhill. It wasn't the similarity to Tolkien. In fact, The Tolkien comparisons aren't a huge turn off I really wanted to like this series. I started watching the TV adaptation because of Jed Brophy, and though the series has its faults, I was enjoying myself. I then learned the show was based on a book series, and I knew I had to read them. I bought this with high expectations--it had been heralded as a cornerstone of the fantasy genre, after all. I got about 150 pages in before it started to go downhill. It wasn't the similarity to Tolkien. In fact, The Tolkien comparisons aren't a huge turn off for me. Pretty much everything written post-LotR is done in the Tolkien tradition. Plus, I have to be honest, but even though Tolkien may have been master world builder, he was a mediocre writer. I think the timelessness of his work is the depth he gave Arda, not the strength of the novels' writing. Anyway, the Tolkien similarities aren't what made me quit the book. The complete lack of women (I got more than 200 pages in with no woman in sight) didn't turn me off completely. No... It was the characters and the writing. First, the exposition was often clunky. This was most apparent to me when Allanon is describing the history of the world (especially in the beginning). That was something I would have done while attempting to write a story when I was 10-16. Rather than letting the information come as the story unfolds or leaving information up to the reader's imagination, it feels like the history is being shoved down the reader's throat, like "Look!!! Backstory!!! The plot is so rich!!!" It's too forced. Another thing that bothered me was the overuse of adjectives and adverbs. I actually love adverbs and don't feel that they deserve the bad rap the get, but my god... It felt like every other word had to be described by three other words. Things that could have been said succinctly were dragged out. It felt redundant and trite. Moreover, the author seldom referred to the characters by name. Instead, they were often called "Valeman," "highlander," "Elves," etc. This got irritating after a while, and it reminded me of gay fanfiction, which is guilty of this. A lot of "the other man" and "the older man" and "the younger man" and "the [occupation, etc]." And for unpolished fanfic written for free & for fun, things like that can be forgiven. Not so much for a book considered to be one of the best in the genre. Finally, there were constant changes in point of view. It was neither clear nor neat as in ASoIaF or another I book I read as a kid, The Wanderer. I was actually confused when it happened mid-chapter the first time. These changes gave me no insight into the characters though, and that's why I have issues with the characters at all. I didn't feel invested in any of them. I didn't understand their motivations for what they were doing (beyond ~save the world~). I think that they were actually robbed of their complexity because the author kept jumping around. Honestly, it's a shame the series turned out to be such a disappointment. It's a shame that a show produced for MTV of all things has me more invested than its source material. It's a shame that this will be the third book in my life I haven't been able to finish. Maybe one day I'll pick it up again, but for now, it's going on the shelf.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Witt

    A mysterious magic user petitions a simple farming person to help save the world from the powers of darkness. Where have I heard this story line before? Anyhow, parts of the book were well-written, but that first line up there was just the first in many instances of what seemed to be direct rip-offs of one very famous fantasy trilogy which this author admits was a big influence on him deciding to become a writer. Witness, for example, the third book in the trilogy - in which the heroine must take A mysterious magic user petitions a simple farming person to help save the world from the powers of darkness. Where have I heard this story line before? Anyhow, parts of the book were well-written, but that first line up there was just the first in many instances of what seemed to be direct rip-offs of one very famous fantasy trilogy which this author admits was a big influence on him deciding to become a writer. Witness, for example, the third book in the trilogy - in which the heroine must take a powerful magical artifact and hurl it into a river of fire in order to destroy it. Yes. Seriously. Almost every element of the trilogy has some parallel from that famous trilogy, which is a shame, because the first several chapters of the Shannara trilogy started out pretty great and roped me in. The biggest difference is that LOTR's Gandolf was kind of a bad ass. And the Shannara parallel (the druid Allanon) is a total dick. Spoiler: Every book starts out with Allanon telling a Hobbit-parallel character about some mission they need to go on. Allanon pretty much can foresee the future, but he withholds information from the lead character because he's afraid that the Hobbit clone won't go on this quest if he reveals too much. So they go off, solve their quest, and then something horrible happens to them - like their sister dies or their mother is raped by ice goblins or something - and then Allanon shrugs his shoulders and says "Ya, but you saved the world. So that's pretty awesome, right?" I hate Allanon.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Derek Liggett

    Couldn't finish the third installment. It's basically a poorer version of Lord of the Rings. Scenes that are almost identical to Tolkien's but without the storytelling ability of Tolkien. Each book starts exactly the same way. Exactly. The. Same. Way. To be fair it was written awhile ago when Tolkien was basically the epic fantasy template and I have heard the series greatly improves as it goes on. Maybe someday I will continue it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Will

    It's rare that I leave a full review on here. A book has to be exceptionally good or truly terrible. Unfortunately this was the Latter. I'm a huge fantasy fan and someone recommended this to me with the immortal tag line " If you liked LOTR you'll love this". Well of course I would. It's LOTR! A young hero is sent away from the home he loves because his life is in danger from an evil lords creatures ( Check ). He is joined on his journey to a safe haven by his stocky, stout and faithful companion It's rare that I leave a full review on here. A book has to be exceptionally good or truly terrible. Unfortunately this was the Latter. I'm a huge fantasy fan and someone recommended this to me with the immortal tag line " If you liked LOTR you'll love this". Well of course I would. It's LOTR! A young hero is sent away from the home he loves because his life is in danger from an evil lords creatures ( Check ). He is joined on his journey to a safe haven by his stocky, stout and faithful companion ( Check ). Along the way they meet another friend who the companion isn't very trusting of ( Check ). They have to go through a dark forest filled with danger where they are saved by a random stranger before one of them is nearly eaten by a tree ( Check ). Upon reaching the haven they must set out with a small group to save the world ( Check ). They have to go through the mountain and not over it because of the dark lords spies ( Check ). There's something evil lurking in the mountain..... I hope that you get the idea. even without being utterly derivative it lacks the scope of Tolkein, the ingenuity of Jordan, the sense of danger instilled by Martin or the character development of Eddings. It's a bit of a mess to be honest.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    I like fantasy based books. I didn't like this one. It basically tells the same story three times while switching the coveted object and the names of the characters... every chapter has a deus ex machina getaway. It was pretty obvious that the author tried to emulate Tolkien... tried and completely failed. How I even managed to read all three stories, I'll never know, and now it's something I'll never be able to erase from my memory. This book was given to me by a friend who obviously just wanted t I like fantasy based books. I didn't like this one. It basically tells the same story three times while switching the coveted object and the names of the characters... every chapter has a deus ex machina getaway. It was pretty obvious that the author tried to emulate Tolkien... tried and completely failed. How I even managed to read all three stories, I'll never know, and now it's something I'll never be able to erase from my memory. This book was given to me by a friend who obviously just wanted to get rid of it. I don't know if I have a friend I actually hate enough to give it to.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mars

    just 60 pages in so far, but it's already terrible. A rope appears out of nowhere, then disappears when one would expect it to still exist. Somewhat repetitive encounters with monsters. Pages-at-a-time of plot lifted almost verbatim from the Lord of the Rings. Reading this is a chore, which I might as well avoid.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shean Pao

    Well nothing can equal Brook's stories when it comes to high fantasy. He is a master. You simply won't be dissapointed by any of his books. Who doesn't love elves, griffins, orcs and demons? (Ok not the demons but they are necessary for the story). If you want to be taken to another world and time - this is it

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    After seeing the trailer for this (new TV show on MTV!) I really want to read it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    I first read The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara 30 years ago and a reread of them in this one volume trilogy (which includes The Wishsong of Shannara) has shown me that I remembered very little of these two fantasy epics. I recalled enjoying the books and for years have wanted to reread them, but the reread has left me wondering what exactly left such a powerful impression. The Sword of Shannara - 4 stars - definitely introduced to me a more contemporary fantasy storyline that wa I first read The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara 30 years ago and a reread of them in this one volume trilogy (which includes The Wishsong of Shannara) has shown me that I remembered very little of these two fantasy epics. I recalled enjoying the books and for years have wanted to reread them, but the reread has left me wondering what exactly left such a powerful impression. The Sword of Shannara - 4 stars - definitely introduced to me a more contemporary fantasy storyline that was unlike anything since The Lord of the Rings. The type of characters were creative and their personalities interesting. While the storyline has been done before for me, as a person that had really only read The Lord of the Rings books prior to picking this up, it just felt like a very enjoyable contemporary rendering Tolkein's books. So, I liked it an awful lot. The Elfstones of Shannara - 4 stars - I recall liking this book more than The Sword, but this time around I liked it a little less. Elfstones is very much a book full of the movements of the various armies and divisions as good versus evil. To me it lacked the more personal character development, but for what it was it still was very good. The Wishsong of Shannara - 5 stars - THis was my favorite of the trilogy. The idea of song as a weapon was great and how the party grew and what they encountered on their mission kept the story evolving and interesting. Slanter, the Gnome, was a favorite cranky character to follow.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    I admit that it took me a few years to get around to actually reading this one all the way through—I was constantly acquiring new books and could not focus on the first book of the series; it was slower than most and had difficulty holding my attention. I recently decided to take up this famous work again, and this time I would not stray until it was completed. The similarities between The Sword of Shannara Trilogy and another famous body of work can be found at every turn while searching the in I admit that it took me a few years to get around to actually reading this one all the way through—I was constantly acquiring new books and could not focus on the first book of the series; it was slower than most and had difficulty holding my attention. I recently decided to take up this famous work again, and this time I would not stray until it was completed. The similarities between The Sword of Shannara Trilogy and another famous body of work can be found at every turn while searching the internet. I can understand how one could find many likenesses in the two, but then again the same can be said for any epic written after the time of Tolkien. Anyone dismissing this as just an imitation is truly missing out on an entertaining adventure. THE SWORD OF SHANNARA The quest of an unexpected human searching Earth for a Talisman of great strength—the only object to wither the power and grasp of an ancient evil. It has been centuries since the fall of the modern world. Technology as we know it has fallen and has sent Earth into a time similar to the medieval era. The story begins with a mysterious, forbidding, cloaked man arriving in a small village with a message of warning. That message is intended for a young boy by the name of Shea Ohmsford. Turns out he has a much greater purpose in this new world than anyone could have foreseen. There is an ancient evil—once banished—that has returned to the Earth, and Shea alone holds the key to unlock the power to defeat it. And thus begins an exciting adventure, following this young boy who has been thrown into an all new world from the likes he is used to—with dangers at every turn and new, relatable allies to aide the cause of his journey. The characters are well imagined—some more-so than others—and are believable in their actions and growth. There are some slow parts throughout, but if you can break through those then you are in for a treat. THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA It has been fifty years since the events of The Sword of Shannara. All has been calm and peaceful, until the mysterious, forbidding, cloaked man once again arrives with dire news. The ancient Forbidding—created long ago by the elves—that has locked away the demons of history has been breached. The only hope for salvation rests in the unsuspecting hands of a young elven girl. Joining alongside her is Wil—grandson of the renowned Shea Ohmsford—equipped with a Talisman once wielded by his grandfather. This is a much faster read than it's predecessor—no slow parts here. The protagonists are constantly on the run from an unrelenting entity that is hell-bent on their destruction. I developed feelings for these characters in their pursuit of a cure for the races. Heart thumping through harrowing chases of uncertainty. The characters are greatly imagined and their growth throughout the journey is believable and relateable, as seems to be the case with any character created by Terry Brooks. THE WISHSONG OF SHANNARA Starting out in much the same way as the previous two titles, this one did not readily grab my full attention. The pace reverts back to the slower parts of The Sword of Shannara; very disappointing after finishing the much faster paced second book in this series. The characters are well perceived, as usual; however, the secondary characters seemed to take center focus over the main protagonists. That being said, it wasn't a bad thing at all, seeing as the two main characters were the most annoying of the group. I really felt as if—minus the last thirty pages or so—this book really served no purpose to the overall story. Sure, by itself it would be a good read, but as the conclusion to a trilogy it was really a letdown.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)

    I read these books as a teen. Should be interesting to read them now. I'm going to rate this trilogy one a time just after I read them and then give an overall rating for the three. I just finished the "Sword of Shannara" last night on Jan. 13, 2010. I would give it about 3 1/2 stars. I had a hard time getting in to this book. It was the ending that gave it the 1/2 star boost. Shea is half human and half elf. He finds that he is the last surviving heir of the elf Jerle Shannara. It is his legacy to I read these books as a teen. Should be interesting to read them now. I'm going to rate this trilogy one a time just after I read them and then give an overall rating for the three. I just finished the "Sword of Shannara" last night on Jan. 13, 2010. I would give it about 3 1/2 stars. I had a hard time getting in to this book. It was the ending that gave it the 1/2 star boost. Shea is half human and half elf. He finds that he is the last surviving heir of the elf Jerle Shannara. It is his legacy to use the legendary sword of shannara to bring an end to the evil Warlock Lord. It becomes a war of the races. Human, Elf and Dwarf against the Gnome and Troll. This book is set in the distant future of Earth. We have destroyed the Earth and left a primative life for our descendants. Instead of science becoming the dominant force of research, the people turn to magic. The gnome, dwarf and troll species have always lived on earth hidden from man, the book never explains where the elves come from. Maybe that will be explained in a future story. ________________________________________________________________________ In the "Elfstones of Shannara", Wil Ohmsford, the son of Shea is called upon to take up the elfstones and save the world from the invading demons. The Ellcrys is a special tree that has long held the demons in a special holding place away from the world of man, but the tree is now dying. The caretakers, the Chosen, have all been savagely murdered by a few demons who have escaped. One of the chosen, Amberle, left service and is now the last. She must take the seed of the Ellcrys on a perilous journey and Wil must be her protector. I liked the second book better than the first. As in the first, it becomes a story of self discovery and how best to use the magic. ________________________________________________________________________ In the "Wishsong of Shannara" brother and Sister, Brinn and Jair have been born with elven magic. They both have the wishsong. This came from their father, Wil, when he used the magic of the elfstones. I am giving this book 4 stars. Jair and Brinn, learn the true gift of the wishsong, and that the power is more than it appreas to them. They both have their own journey, seperate, but both are parrallel. Their journeys will save the world from the dark power of the ancient book, the Ildatch. This book taught the dark villains in the past books, and this one,how to weild the destructive power. Again, all is not how it appears, Allanon has withheld information, and makes the characters discover for themselves how to defeat the dark powers and change their lives and the world. This book also brings to a close the age of the Druids.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melody Daggerhart

    Notes of Interest: I have never read any Terry Brooks books until now, but they have kind of always been on my “someday/TBR” list, so last year I bought The Sword of Shannara Trilogy. Over the course of the past year, I have read each of the books and just finished the last one as my last book for this year. I have decided to review all three books as a set this time, rather than reviewing them individually. This is partly to save time for me. But it’s also partly because I bought them together, Notes of Interest: I have never read any Terry Brooks books until now, but they have kind of always been on my “someday/TBR” list, so last year I bought The Sword of Shannara Trilogy. Over the course of the past year, I have read each of the books and just finished the last one as my last book for this year. I have decided to review all three books as a set this time, rather than reviewing them individually. This is partly to save time for me. But it’s also partly because I bought them together, and my feelings regarding all three books are the same. They are very similar in style and content, but where I noticed differences, I will point that out. I decided to buy this trilogy after watching the Shannara Chronicles TV series — one of the few times that I’ve purchased a book after watching a visual media production. So, let me say here that they are very different. The TV series is based on the books, but it doesn’t follow them. The TV series is mostly based in the second book of the trilogy, The Elfstones of Shannara. The books are, of course, more intricately detailed with more content. But the TV series makes good use of the main content in its visual adaptation. What could have made it better for me: The one big fault I found with the series, particularly the first book of the trilogy, was telling more than showing. Brooks even mentioned this in the forward of book 2 or 3, admitting this was something that had to improve with time. I happen to be big on character interactions and backgrounds, so I really wish I had seen more showing than telling when it came to character interactions. As a result, the characters are developed with potential for standing out as unique personalities, but except for a few, most are more like archetypes for the hero quest. We are told about their actions more than we see their personalities drawn out by interacting with their travel companions. This makes for a good action-adventure story, but I, personally, need more character dialog and interaction to prevent stories from being “just” hero quests. Also, my favourite aspect of this series, is underplayed: the setting of the world itself. These are high fantasy stories that take place on an earth where modern civilization as we know it has had a great war that spawned new races and reshaped the land itself. Some of those races (elves) are from the age of myth and magic, but have magic no more. Some of the races come from evolved forms of humanity. A few references are made to things like torches with no fire or earth magic in the form of a black powder. But the TV series makes better use of this concept for a post-modern earth, in my opinion. Again, I see so much potential, so it’s a little disappointing more wasn’t done with it. Without emphasizing fallen freeways, steel towers in ruins, or rusty cars in overgrown streets the books feel like an ordinary “Medieval/ Middle Earth” type fantasy setting full of dark forests, bleak mountain passes, and foggy swamps … which works well for any fantasy adventure story. Lastly, book 1, The Sword of Shannara, was a bit confusing with the point of view for the narrative. What I liked about it: One of the characters that stood out to me the way I like characters to stand out was the dark druid Allanon. He appears in all three books as a mystic druid that raises more questions than he offers answers for. So though he doesn’t say or reveal much, the lack of background or intent from him suits his personality and purposes well. Another character that stood out to me was a minor character, Cogline. He’s a crazy old coot with a penchant for explosives, and if that doesn’t set him apart right there, his dialog will do it. Brooks has a talent with describing scenery well. A lot of the word count is dedicated to setting the atmosphere of the settings, so you get a real feel for the changes of the seasons, the darkness of the abandoned keeps, the bleakness of the mountains, the horror of the monsters encountered, etc. The descriptions of the monsters as evil incarnate are particularly well done, so the challenge for each set of travelers is never underestimated. The plots are fairly straight-forward, so pages turn quickly; but in each plot there is a price to pay for victories had. That’s not to offer spoilers, but to say Brook’s world is one in which magic itself is something rare and to be reckoned with. It does not come easily or freely to those capable of wielding it … which I think is a nice touch we don’t see very often in fantasy. In most fantasy worlds, magic is a given staple. Which brings me back to my comments about the new earth setting. It reminds me a bit of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, in which a modern civilization fell to ruins and humanity divided and evolved into different races of predators and prey, both of whom have lost important, forgotten knowledge about their past. I love these kinds of concepts because of the way they blend dystopian and paradisaical elements of a new civilization rising from the ashes of something that literally destroyed the world as we know it today. These survivors often must hunt down something of great value that we take for granted in present times because it’s so common we don’t see the value in it, but in the case of the Shannara series it is the attempt to reclaim magic from before the age of man while living in the ruins of the age of man. I am disappointed this setting wasn’t milked for everything it was worth, but it’s a brilliant concept that I adore. I found very few errors in these books; technical distractions were not a problem. The plots are solid. The style is fluid and easy to follow. These are good, basic heroic fantasy genre books that offer the adventure quest, escapism into new lands, and battles between good and evil that high fantasy and epic fantasy tales are best known for. Recommendation: If you like Tolkien-style, epic, high-fantasy quests, but have a hard time muddling through the old-fashioned wordiness of Tolkien’s overly detailed world building, Brooks might be more your style. The characters are solid, the quests are challenging, and the journey itself is a large part of each story. But the poems, song lyrics, fictional languages, and histories of whose fathers were fathers of fathers and so on is minimized. I’m glad I bought the trilogy because over the course of all three books, Allanon’s life is presented as more of an arc over three mortal lifetimes. It was also nice to see how previous generations affected the futures of those who left with the consequences of their actions. In this way, it builds the world history as you read and see it happening. I liked these books. They’re a good “classic” addition to my bookshelf.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    I picked up this collection to finish the series after having read Sword. I read Elfstones and, while I thoroughly enjoyed it, decided that I needed to take a break before reading Wishsong. While Elfstones was a good read and much better written than Sword, it had many of the same plot devices and many of the characters from Sword were recycled into "new" characters in Elfstones. I'm guessing that Wishsong will be similar and I'm afraid that if I read them all at once, I'll get annoyed at the si I picked up this collection to finish the series after having read Sword. I read Elfstones and, while I thoroughly enjoyed it, decided that I needed to take a break before reading Wishsong. While Elfstones was a good read and much better written than Sword, it had many of the same plot devices and many of the characters from Sword were recycled into "new" characters in Elfstones. I'm guessing that Wishsong will be similar and I'm afraid that if I read them all at once, I'll get annoyed at the similarities and won't enjoy it. Enough of being critical, on to the good parts. Brooks expands on the amazing world he created in Sword and brings a new depth to many of the characters from Sword. He has an undeniable talent when it comes to writing battle scenes and does one hell of a job with building suspense. While the plot was similar to Sword and many of the characters similar if not the same, he does such a damned fine job of telling his story that you have no choice but to get wrapped up in it. I stayed up late last night to read a bit, and found myself reading for a solid three hours before forcing myself to sleep. I finished it this evening and found myself very satisfied. I'll definitely read Wishsong.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    This is like a weird acid-tripped reader's digest version of The Lord of the Rings. Replace "The Ring" with a sword, the wizard with a druid, and hobbits with humans and apparently that is enough to not get sued for copyright infringement. On the other hand, even though the plot is stolen whole cloth from Tolkien, Brooks is much better at characterization. I remember Allanon and Menion Leah more fondly than Gandalf and Aragorn. The characters definitely carried me through what was an annoyingly This is like a weird acid-tripped reader's digest version of The Lord of the Rings. Replace "The Ring" with a sword, the wizard with a druid, and hobbits with humans and apparently that is enough to not get sued for copyright infringement. On the other hand, even though the plot is stolen whole cloth from Tolkien, Brooks is much better at characterization. I remember Allanon and Menion Leah more fondly than Gandalf and Aragorn. The characters definitely carried me through what was an annoyingly familiar story. The other two books in the trilogy are more original than the first, though repetitive plot-wise: must find in order to SAVE THE WORLD! The writing and storytelling improve with each book, however, and the next series (Heritage) is much better, but probably wouldn't make much sense without starting from the beginning.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zack Parks

    I really enjoyed this ride through the Four Lands. At the very beginning, I did think it felt kinda like a Tolkien rip-off, but that fairly quickly subsided. What struck me the most was the character development. I really liked and related to the main characters in all 3 books of the trilogy. Brooks seems to really love jumping around during exciting moments though, to other story threads, to keep you reading 'till the end. I think I'm invested now in moving on to the Heritage of Shannara four-v I really enjoyed this ride through the Four Lands. At the very beginning, I did think it felt kinda like a Tolkien rip-off, but that fairly quickly subsided. What struck me the most was the character development. I really liked and related to the main characters in all 3 books of the trilogy. Brooks seems to really love jumping around during exciting moments though, to other story threads, to keep you reading 'till the end. I think I'm invested now in moving on to the Heritage of Shannara four-volume set. I thought that the third story was going to be basically a repetition of the first story when it began, and it kinda jokes about that, but it does branch off and it makes more sense as it goes on. These stories may not make you have some sort of epiphany about life, but they are still highly entertaining. The first book is a little heavier in the dialog and skips along a little bit at first, while the other two books are heavier on the descriptions, although not TOO heavy. I'd recommend this trilogy to anyone, especially those into epic/high fantasy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This was a great trilogy. The Sword of Shanarra I actully read back in 1979/1980 time frame and I have to say it drew me into the story just like it did 30 years ago. This time I noticed that Terry Brooks seemed to like the word awesome alot. I didn't notice this so much the first time I read it probably because I was a teenager and that was literally a major part of my own vocabulary. The use of awesome did not distract from the story at all and I mean nothing negative by it. It's just an observ This was a great trilogy. The Sword of Shanarra I actully read back in 1979/1980 time frame and I have to say it drew me into the story just like it did 30 years ago. This time I noticed that Terry Brooks seemed to like the word awesome alot. I didn't notice this so much the first time I read it probably because I was a teenager and that was literally a major part of my own vocabulary. The use of awesome did not distract from the story at all and I mean nothing negative by it. It's just an observation and seemed kind of funny for characters in a setting similar to Lord of the Rings to be using the word awesome so much. Probably showing my age now. LOL. However this did decrease throughout the trilogy from almost every page in the Sword of Shanarra to quite a bit less in the Elfstones of Shanarra to only a couple times in the Wishsong of Shanarra. I really loved the books and would recommend them to anyone who enjoys magic and awesome heroic quests.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Difficult one this - I read these books as a teenager and really liked them. It's actually 3 books, and the first - the sword of Shannara is really just a thinly veiled knock off of Lord of the Rings. Re-reading it as an adult was a bit of a disappointment to be honest, but the next book (Elf stones) is actually really good... (still half way through the final book wish song). Some of Brooks recent books are brilliant, but mostly seem to be based on the same world as his first book. I do think it Difficult one this - I read these books as a teenager and really liked them. It's actually 3 books, and the first - the sword of Shannara is really just a thinly veiled knock off of Lord of the Rings. Re-reading it as an adult was a bit of a disappointment to be honest, but the next book (Elf stones) is actually really good... (still half way through the final book wish song). Some of Brooks recent books are brilliant, but mostly seem to be based on the same world as his first book. I do think it's a shame he shackled himself to a book which he wrote as a journeyman author....

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    A commonly recommended series, I wouldn't disregard it since it has some interesting aspects, such as the role of druids as leaders and various ancient talismans used by characters who are forced to develop in order to prove their worth. (This does not mean that you grow to like the characters, though.) However, the future/add-on series that eventually loop into a yet another, seemingly unaffiliated, further series slowly degrade in the quality vs. quantity of publishing. Quite sad.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Damien Sulla-Menashe

    This was a fun series and so easy to read. Each book is a slightly different but similar adventure describing an against all odds battle between good and evil. While I enjoyed the first of these the most, the world Terry Brooks has invented is full of interesting characters and has a well developed backstory. One thing that's very interesting is to see his development as a writer since these were three of his earliest novels before he pursued writing as a full time career.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tina Sossomon

    If you can force yourself to sit through the first half of the book, the rest of it is awesome! The first half is very slow because it has a lot of set-up for the rest of the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessyy

    Terry Brooks never fails Terry can write one hell of an epic fantasy. This book was a great ending to an amazing trilogy! I had some much fun reading these books!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    7/14/18 on sale for Kindle for $2.99

  28. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Chris Casler got me into this series. It's awesome, and I've enjoyed all of them so far. Keep in mind if you're going to start it that it's a very long series. This is only the beginning.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Trey Weller

    For me, Terry Brooks' Shannara series is the epitome of "comfort food" fantasy. Reading these adventures is the literary equivalent to putting on a Snuggie, eating ice cream, and watching reruns of Seinfeld. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. While Brooks' stories, particularly the three in this volume, aren't among the most "challenging" works of fantasy, they absolutely have a time and place, and they're worth a read. 1. The Sword of Shannara, published in 1977 (a banner year For me, Terry Brooks' Shannara series is the epitome of "comfort food" fantasy. Reading these adventures is the literary equivalent to putting on a Snuggie, eating ice cream, and watching reruns of Seinfeld. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. While Brooks' stories, particularly the three in this volume, aren't among the most "challenging" works of fantasy, they absolutely have a time and place, and they're worth a read. 1. The Sword of Shannara, published in 1977 (a banner year for genre fare, as it also saw the release of Donaldson's first Thomas Covenant book and the first STAR WARS movie), helped cement the genre of modern fantasy as a commercially viable one outside of Tolkien. It was on the bestseller lists for MONTHS, and it spawned a series of what will become at least 32 volumes when finished. It's a big fat epic about Shea and Flick Ohmsford and their quest to claim the fabled and titular Sword in the struggle to overcome the evils of the Warlock Lord. It's pretty boilerplate stuff, and it's clear pretty quickly why this book sold so well: people wanted another Lord of the Rings, and The Sword of Shannara IS this-- to a fault. It's VERY familiar, and there's no way it would be published today. It feels a lot like a first book, something an author writes to see if they really can write a book, and its success speaks to two factors: the hunger for any fantasy on the market, and the quality of Terry Brooks' writing. And yeah, Terry Brooks knew how to write, even at the beginning. Despite the story's many familiarities, he populates the Four Lands with a likable cast of characters, and his prose is fun and easy to read, and yeah, the climax is satisfying. It's a great way to spend some hours in another world-- although it probably would have been forgotten if not for... 2. The Elfstones of Shannara: Published several years after Sword, this sequel makes the bold choice of starting fresh, with a mostly new cast and no Warlock Lord in sight. (Apparently, the reason it took so long was that Brooks tried to write a different story and he couldn't bring himself to finish it, and his editor advised him to just start over. Give his editor a hand, because without it, we wouldn't have gotten this book.) The Ellcrys tree is dying in the elven realm of Arborlon, and when its last leaf falls, the Four Lands will be overrun with a horde of terrifying demons. It falls to Wil Ohmsford to use the Elfstones Shea acquired in his adventures, save the elven princess Amberle Elessedil, and figure out the secret to preserve the Ellcrys, all while a demon army amasses and threatens the world with nightmares. What is there to say about this one? It's a modern fantasy classic, an example of what can happen when a good writer really puts his nose to the grindstone. The prose is lovely, the action is tense, the new characters are enjoyable, and the ending is near-iconic. It fulfills the potential of what Shannara can be, and is a must-read. 3. The Wishsong of Shannara is the third volume in Brooks' long running series, and it's a really solid entry (and a good indicator of the steady, assured quality of later volumes). It was the book whose sales convinced Brooks to quit his day job, which allowed him to produce sequels, prequels, and other series on an annual basis. Oh, and yeah, it's a really fun read. The shortest of the three volumes in this collection, if only by a little, The Wishsong of Shannara deals with the repercussions of Wil's use of the Elfstones in the previous volume, and the effects it has passed on to his children, Brin and Jair. You know it's going to be an interesting day in the Four Lands when the Druid Allanon shows up on your doorstep, and this quest is a doozy, a desperate quest to keep the Ildatch, a dark bit of magical such and such, from falling into the wrong hands. So far, so familiar, but Brooks throws a few wrenches into the proceedings. The split between Brin and Jair's POV sections means Brooks can keep juggling cliffhangers and give different perspectives on some of the same situations. And on top of all that, there's the implication that one of the Ohmsfords could be turned to evil. It's also got some of his most endearing one-off characters, and serves as a fitting farewell to some beloved faces. The Sword of Shannara Trilogy isn't a trilogy in the most traditional sense. There isn't one major plot that goes through all three books, and the cast keeps changing. But there's a definite progression of the world from one book to the next, and it's a lot of fun to see how the repercussions of one adventure bleed over into subsequent ones. By the end of Wishsong, all of the major elements of the world are introduced, and Shannara cements itself as one of fantasy's most enduring retreats.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Peekablue

    Having now read all three books in this edition, I give the series three stars. I had to plod through the first book (I think it actually took me a couple of months to complete). It was just so much like LOTR but not nearly so well written that I was a little outraged for a while. The book got better closer to the end and redeemed itself, a little. I think I gave the first book by itself ☆☆ (two stars). If you've never read or didn't like the Lord of the Rings, you might enjoy this book more tha Having now read all three books in this edition, I give the series three stars. I had to plod through the first book (I think it actually took me a couple of months to complete). It was just so much like LOTR but not nearly so well written that I was a little outraged for a while. The book got better closer to the end and redeemed itself, a little. I think I gave the first book by itself ☆☆ (two stars). If you've never read or didn't like the Lord of the Rings, you might enjoy this book more than I did. The second book was much, much better. Honestly, you could probably skip the first book and go straight to book two without missing much. There are some of the same characters but their part in the previous book is explained enough that you'd probably be able to catch on. The story of the tree was pretty unique and the ending was so bittersweet. The third book was better than the first but not quite as good as the second. I was annoyed that after all Allanon had done to help, people still didn't seem to trust him. Overall, it's an okay series. I probably won't be rereading any of these books, not even the second. I'm in my thirties and I think I might have enjoyed it a lot more back when I was middle school or high school age (that was also well before I had read LOTR), so I think that is the age group I would recommend this to. Also, I think each book can be read without necessarily reading the others. Each book's adventure is completed by the end of that book. There are some characters and plot devises that carry over but it's not essential to know the complete history to understand what is going on.

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