Opinions about the Shannara Series

Discussion in 'Terry Brooks' started by Creabots, Oct 23, 2007.

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    Creabots

    Creabots New Member

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    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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    ray gower

    ray gower New Member

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    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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    Creabots

    Creabots New Member

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    I think it is more likely the formulaic fantasy, as you suggested, Ray.
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    bookfan

    bookfan New Member

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    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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    Thor_Doomhammer

    Thor_Doomhammer God of Thunder

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    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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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    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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    ghost8772

    ghost8772 New Member

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    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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    kaneda

    kaneda Did you not know?

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    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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    Sire Of Dragons

    Sire Of Dragons New Member

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    Are the latest books any good or is it becoming overkill?
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    Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    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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    dekket

    dekket New Member

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    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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    Wiglaf

    Wiglaf New Member

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    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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    ghost8772

    ghost8772 New Member

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    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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    theophanides

    theophanides my hand writes my dreams

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    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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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    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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    yngvi

    yngvi I am not a Malmsteen

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    I read SOS when it came out then the sequel then didn't bother because of the law of diminishing returns. I came back last year, driven by bad experiences of thick fantasy novels which were barely worth reading. Terry Brooks has inhabited the world of Shannara much like Anne McCaffrey has Pern and Ursula le Guin, Earthsea. He has explored it much to his credit in my opinion and produced many works well worthy of the read. I'm glad I came back to his work and will gladly read other stuff by him.
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    theophanides

    theophanides my hand writes my dreams

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    yes,i nkow what you mean but i also said
    since i have read part of the series i have found other books which are better such as wilbur smith,ian irvine,julie bertagna,christopher paolini etc.but in their own way,the shannara series is still pretty good.
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    Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    Haven't read the others, but on Paolini, at least, I'm afraid I can't agree. Brooks' stuff has levels, back-doors and hidden passageways in the building of his stories, Paolini (to me, at least) seems rather like a one-room flat, although I did sort of give up on him after the first Eragon book.
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll probably enjoyed Irvine's books more than Brook's.
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    Tansy

    Tansy Northern Monkey

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    I am enjoying Brook's stuff but I do prefer Irvine.

    I think the Word and the Void are his best work that I have read so far but I am working mhy way through the rest of Shannara.

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