The Sword of Shannara
Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.
The Elfstones of Shannara
The magical Ellcrys tree is dying, loosening the spell that bars the Demons from enacting vengeance upon the land. Now Wil Ohmsford must guard the Elven girl Amberle on a perilous quest as she carries one of the Ellcrys’ seeds to a mysterious place where it can be quickened into a powerful new force. But dark on their trail comes the Reaper, most fearsome of all Demons, aiming to crush their mission at any cost.
The Wishsong of Shannara
An ancient Evil is stirring to new life, sending its ghastly Mord Wraiths to destroy Mankind. To win through the vile growth that protects this dark force, the Druid Allanon needs Brin Ohmsford—for she alone holds the magic power of the wishsong. Reluctantly Brin joins the Druid on his dangerous journey. But a prophecy foretells doom, as Evil nurses its plans to trap the unsuspecting Brin into a fate far more horrible than death. (goodreads.com)
The Sword of Shanara Trilogy by Terry Brooks is an easy to read, engaging fantasy adventure. The author’s writing starts of rather poor with annoyingly short sentences and repetitive descriptions that disrupt the flow of the story, but it gets better after the first book. He doesn’t use any bad language or write anything obscene in these first books. However, his characters do become more intimate in later books.
Brooks’ creates an amazing in-depth world for his books, writes fantastic battle scenes (a few in each book), and the story is well paced, intriguing, and not very violent. Even though his story is rather predictable he still managed to keep me interested.
It is said by many reviewers that this trilogy is similar to Lord of the Rings. I believe that Tolkien was his inspiration and he wanted to attract the readers who loved Tolkien’s fantasy. Many fantasy books written after Tolkien are going to have some likeness to Lord of the Rings. It’s to be expected.
His characters are not as well developed as they could have been. I learned to like his characters and they were believable, but I did not absolutely love and care for them as much as I would have liked. An interesting aspect of his books is that many of the characters after the first book are decedents from characters in the previous book. It was unique to keep characters in the same family line for hundreds of years within his series. Even though I only liked his characters, I loved his creatures, especially the Moor Cat and the creatures from inside the forbidding.
I really enjoyed these books and many of the ones that followed. If you enjoy this trilogy, then I would suggest reading through his series until after the Jerle Shannara books. The books that follow are not as good and seem to be the same plot written with different characters. I also skipped any pre-shannra books and just read Sword, Heritage, Jerle, and some others. These first three books are very suitable for anyone 12 or older, but some consideration should be taken for the others in the series. Although I liked these books, I believe I would have enjoyed them a lot more as a teenager since it seems to be more for early fantasy readers. I tend to like more unpredictable and in-depth stories.
My Rating: 5/5 stars!
terrybrooks.net is a great place to learn about the author and his books. This is where you can also look up the preferred reading order for his series (I did not read Word&Void, Genesis, Legends, or anything after Dark Legacy)
World of Shannara is the companion book to the Shannara series. It includes maps, pictures, and more information about places, events, and people. It is a must have! I loved it!