Shannara: what is it about?

GOLLUM

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I think I've outgrown the traditional fantasy forumla tbh, I like to be surprised by an ending not see it coming from page 1.
If that's the case I could recomend several authors to you that are antyhing but traditional inlcuding Ted Chiang, Steven Erikson, China Mieville, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, M John Harrison, Jeff Vandermeer, Italo Calvino and the list like the road goes ever on and on....:)
 

Grimward

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I have only read The Sword of Shannara. It struck me as LoTR lite (and dangerously close to a straight rip off). I never went back. However, having read this thread it seems they get a lot better, if so what would you recommend to give it another go?

Thanks

AVS
Hi AVS.

If you want to give Terry Brooks a completely fresh start, pick up his Word and Void series (Running with the Demon, A Knight of the Word, and Angel Fire East). If you can find more than the most basic good&evil comparisons to LOTR in that series, well, you've keener eyes than mine!

If you're looking to try something in the Shannara vein again, Elfstones is great, but if you want a little distance from Sword, pick up the Jerle Shannara series. As you probably have seen, both are listed here under the flagship thread for Brooks' sub-forum, http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/3592-bibliographie-terry-brooks.html

Good luck, and hope you enjoy them! ;)
 

Tansy

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If that's the case I could recomend several authors to you that are antyhing but traditional inlcuding Ted Chiang, Steven Erikson, China Mieville, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, M John Harrison, Jeff Vandermeer, Italo Calvino and the list like the road goes ever on and on....:)
Thanks Gollum

Already like Gaiman and have Gardens of the Moon on order. I will look into the others :)
 

Landroval

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Sword of Shannara is without question heavily influenced by Lord of the Rings. If you haven't read LOTR, read it first because there is no comparison in terms of writing quality!

However, SoS is still a decent book and can be enjoyed at it's own level, so long as you can stomach the author's blatent audacity!

Elfstones of Shannara is even better in my opinion and is proof that Terry Brooks can write decent original stuff.
 

Bob S

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The Sword of Shannara is the worst case of plagiarization I've ever noticed. The first part of Sword has a gross amount of specific plot points/elements taken directly from LOTR. Imagine if Tolkien had handed Brooks an outline/draft and told Brooks to rewrite it in his own prose. The book does diverge later but still has so many copied elements that it's (literally) ridiculous.
 

svalbard

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If done properly, Elfstones should be a brilliant movie.
I shudder to think what it might be like if done poorly though.
Just rereading this thread and this post resonated because it came to pass. The TV series was an abomination.

I came across Brooks when I was a teenager and devoured original Shannara trilogy and would rate The Elfstones of Shannara as a classic of the genre.

However it was his Knight of the Word series that truly captivated me.

An honourable mention goes to Magic Kingdom for Sale as well.
 

AndrewT

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@Brian G Turner Did you ever read TSoS?
A lot of people say their a LOTR rip-off but that was only true of the first book. The rest are quite original. I really liked a few of them but mostly when I was younger. They have a young adult feel to them. There is a lot of equally good fantasy now although no one has touched Tolkien, but not for want of trying.
 

The Big Peat

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Sword of Shannara is about the one book that truly beginning to end deserves the title Tolkien rip-off, but I'm inclined to believe the theory that was the publisher's idea to see whether fantasy heavily influenced by LotR was viable. Turns out it was, although virtually nobody went as close again.
 

Venusian Broon

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Sword of Shannara is about the one book that truly beginning to end deserves the title Tolkien rip-off, but I'm inclined to believe the theory that was the publisher's idea to see whether fantasy heavily influenced by LotR was viable. Turns out it was, although virtually nobody went as close again.
The theory I remember from the dim and distant past of Usenet days (days of lore, way before even the start of Chrons - do we do time before Chrons, i.e. BC now? - Anyway I can't find the theory on today's internet, so now undoubtedly lost....) is that Terry Brooks read LotR, got a bit obsessed then came up with, in his eyes, a cracking sequel. Perhaps tentatively asked if he could attempt it - completely rebuffed by Tolkien and everyone else, so...had to write a LotR 'rip-off' that had enough differences from LotR, but enough similiarities to connect to this sequel idea.

That it also tapped into the market for Tolkien-esque epic fantasy I can believe too.
 

The Big Peat

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The theory I remember from the dim and distant past of Usenet days (days of lore, way before even the start of Chrons - do we do time before Chrons, i.e. BC now? - Anyway I can't find the theory on today's internet, so now undoubtedly lost....) is that Terry Brooks read LotR, got a bit obsessed then came up with, in his eyes, a cracking sequel. Perhaps tentatively asked if he could attempt it - completely rebuffed by Tolkien and everyone else, so...had to write a LotR 'rip-off' that had enough differences from LotR, but enough similiarities to connect to this sequel idea.

That it also tapped into the market for Tolkien-esque epic fantasy I can believe too.
Looking at his wiki, that theory seems closer to what's there... I'm trying to remember where I first read the theory that the publisher heavily pushed for a more LotR direction. Suspect it was SFFWorld.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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The theory I remember ....is that Terry Brooks read LotR, got a bit obsessed then came up with, in his eyes, a cracking sequel. Perhaps tentatively asked if he could attempt it - completely rebuffed by Tolkien and everyone else, so...had to write a LotR 'rip-off' that had enough differences from LotR, but enough similiarities to connect to this sequel idea.
I believe you are confusing Terry Brooks with Dennis McKiernan Dennis L. McKiernan - Wikipedia

Easy to do. At least with their first books.
 

Venusian Broon

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I believe you are confusing Terry Brooks with Dennis McKiernan Dennis L. McKiernan - Wikipedia

Easy to do. At least with their first books.
I distinctly remember the usenet post, circa 1993, discussing sword of Shannara and that 'conspiracy theory', however that poster may have made the initial confusion as well! :)
 

Teresa Edgerton

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however that poster may have made the initial confusion as well! :)
Or read it somewhere on the net him/herself. These things do get around.

But if you compare The Elfstones of Shannara with McKiernan's second book it is easy to see which one was originally intended as a sequel to The Lord of the Rings.
 

Bren G

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Just rereading this thread and this post resonated because it came to pass. The TV series was an abomination.

I came across Brooks when I was a teenager and devoured original Shannara trilogy and would rate The Elfstones of Shannara as a classic of the genre.

However it was his Knight of the Word series that truly captivated me.

An honourable mention goes to Magic Kingdom for Sale as well.
Me as well and I agree 100% with everything you said svalbard!
 
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