Shannara: what is it about?

Discussion in 'Terry Brooks' started by Brian G Turner, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    If I had not read Tolkien, no I don't think I would. But since I know that Brooks' storyline is plagiarized, I can't ignore it. Just because the crime was not committed against me should I ignore it?

    For example, say I am the president of XYZ Publishing House (the largest publisher in the world) and you submit a fantasy novel, The Winter Unicorn and the Tiger Princess, for review. You have worked for twenty years on the novel and you know it is a masterpiece... in fact you know it will still be hailed in a thousand years as pure genius. But my senior editor (an evil gnome), Mr. Brooks, reads your manuscript and immediately recognizes it's brilliance. He goes home, calls in sick the next day, and works for 36 straight hours to change the names and a few scenes... and then comes back to work with his version of The Winter Unicorn and the Tiger Princess, but now it's called Snow Pegasus and Catgirl. Upon his recommendation, I read Snow Pegasus and Catgirl, and I don't even know that The Winter Unicorn and the Tiger Princess even exists. I publish Snow Pegasus and Catgirl and it outsells Harry Potter, The Purpose Driven Life, and The DaVinci Code combined. Mr. Brooks quickly becomes a gajillionaire while you continue eating Ramen Noodles.

    When you complain to me, I say "I've never read you, but I've read Brooks, so I don't care."
     
  2. Balinor

    Balinor Why thank ye good sirs

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    lol, fair enough, but the shannara series hasn't and never will outsell tolkein so i woudn't be too worried:)
     
  3. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    Was just reading an interview with Charles N Brown of Locus:
    http://www.locusmag.com/2002/Issue09/Brown.html

    when I came across this interesting section:

     
  4. Allanon

    Allanon High Druid

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    ive just signed up to these forums and i am in the middle of reading the elfstones of shannara, its really good. i read tsos aswell, very good. i think allanon is amazing!

    if anyone can get me a better avatat that looks more like him i'd appreciate it, i'd find one but im kind of computer illiterate.
    cheers
     
  5. Parsimony

    Parsimony Bobsnox

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    Do you still want one?

    Shannara can't really be described in a paragraph - it started off as a LOTR copy-off, but has evolved into something much different. Brooks has taken Shannara from straight up Tolkien fantasy and turned it into a mix of fantasy and futuristic fiction. The storyline is quite complicated as it relates to the world in which the characters live.
     
  6. the_faery_queen

    the_faery_queen Well-Known Member

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    i duno, i find it all rather dull. i read 7, the first trhree, then the scions stuff. the scions were a bit of a bore to me. ok i liked them at the time, and the sword/wishsong/elfstones and so on, at the time, but now i can't get into them again because my tastes have evovled. i just find them far too dry, the characters dont rally inspire me enough to care about what they're doing.

    i will say the plot is pretty good, the idea of it all, but the writing style isn't for me. so i guess if you can handle the style you may as well give it a go. but i just find it all a bit dull now. *shrug*
     
  7. sassy1

    sassy1 Well-Known Member

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    i love the shannara series - well the 6 and a half i've read so far hehe i'm halfway through The Scions of Shannara at the mo

    when I first started reading the Shannara series I thought it was very much like The Lord of the Rings, I mean, take The Sword of Shannara (i'll try not to give too much away), it has Wizards (druids), elves, men, dwarves, a magic talisman, one big evil guy who is, apparently, undefeatable, one poor young man who has to go on the quest, he has no choice it is his inheritance... and thats just a few points. But when I stopped comparing the Shannara books with The Lord of the Rings, I realised they are actually really good books
     
  8. Parsimony

    Parsimony Bobsnox

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    I know a lot of people who came to the same conclusion.:)
     
  9. Orion

    Orion Well-Known Member

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    I bought the Prequel to the sword of shannara series. Is that a good place to start or should i read starting with The Sword of Shannara?
     
  10. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    I would personally start with Sword Of Shannara and the other 2 books which make up the first trilogy. Sword is still the best book in the series IMO.
     
  11. EmpressAyla

    EmpressAyla Member

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    hell yeh, i did exactly the same
     
  12. ghost8772

    ghost8772 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry guys and gals, but I would actually say Sword was the worst as far as I felt the books were. yeah its good for back story of characters, but brooks didn't really start writing until elfstones. yeah its worthwhile to read Sword, to get the characters, but I'm gonna SOOOOOOOO agree with earlier posts. Brooks grabbed the outline of LoTR, changed names, but left the characters the same (bordermen-rangers, heir to royalty going along to more prove himself worthy of inheritance than anything else) even kept the NUMBER of death riders the same. now if he happened to take a previous legend that tolkien did also and rework it about the same then we could spit venom at them both for taking intellectual ideas from somebody before. however too many similarities in my mind for Brooks to have had Sword as unique material. Elftsones and on through talismans, those were decent. the idea that this is all going on on Earth, but at a time where science has faded to be replaced by magic, and the cycle continues...... that is now unique enough. good to know that some others out there saw too many similarities as well. I plowed my way through sword, then enjoyed the rest of the first 7 books, but did not get into the prequels at all.
     
  13. DMFW

    DMFW Member

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    I agree more or less completely with the previous post (and many others on this thread). The first book is SO derivative of LOTR it's untrue... Despite feeling strongly that the series threatened to be a complete rip off, for some reason which I can't work out now I did continue to the later books in the first trilogy and was pleased to find these somewhat better written and with a more original plot. I quite enjoyed Elfstones without expecting too (because my expectations had been lowered so much by the first book!). Despite that I still have strong reservations about this series and I've never been tempted to read any other Terry Brooks since.
     
  14. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm...interesting coments. I really liked Sword the most despite it being derivative. Then again I'm a fan of LOTR so maybe that is why I liked the book so much.
     
  15. Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    At this point I should confess that I remember liking Panamon Creel and Keltset alot.

    At the time, I thought the idea of Frodo going off with Han and Chewie was great... and I still do!
     
  16. doc123

    doc123 Doc

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    ...if you would like to try the itunes podcast: He
    .....stop all your crying....here is some tissue....they are going to make Elfstones into a movie....why? because Terry Brooks has said himself that he read the Lord of the Rings just before he wrote The Sword of Shannara....(who isn't influenced by what they read and watch as movies?)stop the crying.....the movie studio is making Elfstones into a movie because it is more of a stand alone story....even Sword of Shannara is a different tale...but it is too similar to The Lord of the Rings(so the studio is going for the second book)....for whatever reason....and who cares....i enjoyed it more than 20 years ago....as i enjoyed The Lord of the Rings Books and the Hobbit....please tell me that everyone is not influenced by something....Terry Brooks already told his life story.....maybe before a rock is thrown...you should cover up that glass house....all authors are influenced....here is another tissue....here...take the whole box...i hate to see grown men cry...
     
  17. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    There is influenced - and then there's out and out rewriting, which I believe Shannara is long held to be. :)
     
  18. doc123

    doc123 Doc

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    ...if you would like to try the itunes podcast: He
    ....that is heavy handed....i have read both....and do not believe that to be the case....Tolkein himself took from many things to produce his books...just like everyone does....the bottom line is if people enjoy it....then people enjoy it....a lot of fantasy is similar to tolkien....i can name many....but instead i enjoy them....enough said....
     
  19. Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    In ROTK's appendices, Tolkien tells a quick tale of Boromir and Faramir holding the bridge at Osgiliath that is a copy of Horatio and the Pons Sublicius. He copied a myth of ancient Rome. The story was two thousand years old... no copyright laws.

    If I wrote a story about a magic student named Perry Hatter and his best friends Don Beasley and Imin Danger, I'd be sued from here to kingdom come. Claiming the Miss Rowling only influenced me or that people enjoy it would not save me from the law.

    Anyway, I just dropped in to say I saw the latest Brooks plagia... err, book at Barnes and Noble. It's titled The Silmari... oops, I mean The Genesis of Shanarra.
     
  20. Falsteed

    Falsteed Well-Known Member

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    I must say reading through this thread, Boaz's comments were quite entertaining. The stories are more of less a rip-off (though maybe I would just say they are not so imaginatively original because my memory does not allow me to be so critical), but as to the actual writing, it is shallow, simple and very repetitive. Still, I read the series years ago when I was young and had not been exposed to much literature and did not read so often, and it completely engrossed me.

    What is it about? Nothing you haven't read before, and while I loved the books, as far as literary works go, I cannot take them seriously. I wouldn't recommend these books to anyone over the age of 12.
     
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