Opinions about the Shannara Series

Clansman

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I loved Brooks as a teenager, and although SoS's main plot line was a rip-off, my fellow Wurtsian Horseman Grimward pointed out quite properly that there was a lot in SoS that was dramatically different from LOTR. In the seventies, there were a lot of Tolkien ripoffs. The other big one that comes to mind is Dennis McKiernan's Iron Tower series, which is so close to LOTR it is sickening. He, like Brooks, got much better.
Shannara was much more american (note the small "a") than LOTR, which was, of course, quintessentially British.

Elfstones, to me, was the height of Shannara. Though all the stories were compelling, to an extent, their formulaic nature tired me, and I gave up at FKoS. But Elfstones, that was special. The ending floored me, and even now when I think of my first read, I'll never forget that feeling. Elfstones ended with so much sacrifice, that it made the story come alive. The sacrifice of the characters really made the book special.

Given the above comments (I trust Gollum and Grimward implicitly), I will have to try The Word/Void books.
 

Who's Wee Dug

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I also enjoyed the Magic Kingdom of Landover series they were a fun read, and the first books he had written after the Shanarra ones.
 

dekket

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I have heard that there is a new landover book coming soon (after the Word/Void-Shannara tie in series is finished). Ben Holiday is an interesting character.

Clansman, the Word/Void books are good, I will also chime in with my recommendation that you read them.

I am currently re-reading Elfstones, and the amount of loss and sacrifice in this book is amazing when compared to the rest of the Shannara books.
 

Joseph Swope

Author of Need for Magic
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May 19, 2008
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I thought the series was great. Of course, I read them many years ago and the whole genre was relatively new. Now, much of the genre is cliched. Orphan/stepchild comes across a mysterious guide who shows him there is more to the world than his simple village/shire. Halfway through the story/saga, the guide is separated, Obi Wan, Gandolf, Zedd, Allenanon, and the ill prepared hero must proceed and against all odds and wiht the last minute help of a magic sword, ring, stone force or whatever, the peasant boy or girl saves the world.

Yes, it is formulaic and predictible but so is Rock & roll, Rap, and other styles of art. Within the boundaries of the genre there can be an infinite number of variations.

This is my first post on this forum and I kind of went off, so my apologies if I offend. When you buy a fantasy novel, you should know what you're getting.
 

theophanides

my hand writes my dreams
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i enjoy food and i enjoy reading,im writing my own
They might be predictable but it all really depends on the authors style of writing and how well they can pull it off. if the author can pull it off, then the story souldn't be as preictable even if you guess.some authors add twists and turns here and there to try and throw you off like pretending that one main character is dead or actually killing them off slowly:O.its ll down to their ability to write.
 

Tansy

Northern Monkey
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I do think Terry Brooks tells a good story regardless of his formulaic approach, he is easy and enjoyable to read
 

dreir

Flamer of Udun
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Oh yes, Clansman, you should definitely get the Word and the Void series.

From my experience with Shannara, I get the feeling that the first several books appealed more to me when I was still only a teenager. If you asked me then, I would definitely start babbling excitedly (and very biased-ly) about just how good the series were. But now that I'm all grown up (I wouldn't call it 'old'), I find that books like Running with the Demon suit me more. I think this problem of books losing their sense of wonder with age is not exclusive to Brooks. And so saying, I disagree with ghost that the Shannara books are for the 'older than young adults' category. I think they're perfectly suited for them.
 

Antubis

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Oct 17, 2008
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As posters have already mentioned in this topic, it is formulaic fantasy. When I read it at a time, when I had not read a lot of adult fantasy novels, I thought it was fine until I reached Wishsong. I stopped reading pretty quick. The same sort of stuff being re-used; a chosen one(s), with a group adventurers, a evil force trying to stop them from accomplishing their goal, Allanon again..

I never thought it was a great story, but decent. I lost my interest in it, especially with the knowledge that there were more Shannara books to go through, with most likely the same formula used again.

It just becomes a little stale, when you read a book series, packing a decent amount of pages, in which nothing very surprising or that different from the previous book happens. To be fair, I guess reading other fantasy books who have somewhat similar set-ups, made it easier for me to get tired of Shannara as well.

I enjoyed Landover and The Word & Void more.
 

Grimward

Where matter vanishes...
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Interesting, Antubis; most of those who've given up on Brooks tend to like Wishsong the most. If you didn't make it to the ending, you may have missed a significant departure from "the formula".

The last two Shannara series (Jerle Shannara/High Druid) before the current one that started with Armageddon's Children seemed darker to me, and I personally did not find them to be as formulaic, either. The current series, of course, marries the Word/Void and Shannara stories, and really can't be described as formulaic so far.
 

schpat

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Oct 15, 2008
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The last two shanara series just follow the same formula as the first book, but spread out over a trilogy.

I did enjoy the first book of word/void the best of all though, something about the childlike atmosphere but the deadlt serious matter.

Am also really enjoyin AC
 

Antubis

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Interesting, Antubis; most of those who've given up on Brooks tend to like Wishsong the most. If you didn't make it to the ending, you may have missed a significant departure from "the formula".
Just my luck, I stopped at the one Shannara book which I should have read :eek:. Re-reading my post, I made it sound as if Wishsong was so bad, that it made me stop reading, which wasn't really the case. It wasn't because I thought Wishsong was a bad story, but because it started out the same as the previous two, which made me think that I was going to be reading something too similar again.

I thought I'd just explain myself a bit better, in case people misunderstood :)
 

Grimward

Where matter vanishes...
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No, I got your meaning on the first read, chief, and it does look very much the same at the beginning. My vote would be to read on, but I'm a little biased because I like his stuff...;)
 

Antubis

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Oct 17, 2008
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Everyone is biased to some extend ;) I am not much of a Brooks fan (though I might have been at some point..I remember repeated visits and posts on his forum), and it has been years since I last read something of him. But I might pick up Wishsong if it is worth the read. And check out which books he has written in the meantime.
 

sassy1

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Apr 14, 2007
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I remember when I started reading the Shannara Series I thought they were very much like the Lord Of The Rings, and that each book was very similar to the last one, though they were still very enjoyable. But then when I read the Voyage Of The Jerle Shannara Trilogy and the High Druid Of Shannara Trilogy I was blown away. they have to be my favourite books out of the whole series. I would definately recommend reading those to anyone who thought the first few books were getting a little stale.
 
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