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Is the Sword of Shannara worth reading?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Mythic Scribes, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Mythic Scribes

    Mythic Scribes Acolyte

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    Someone gave me a used copy of the Sword of Shannara. I know that it's thought to be a classic by some, but I've also heard lots of negative things about it. Some people say it it is a complete Tolkien ripoff. Is it worth my time?
     
  2. Legerdemain

    Legerdemain Troubadour

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    Depends on how you value your time. I read VERY quickly so not much time wasted, and I found it enjoyable but completely derivative of Tolkien.

    Lin Carter, a fantasy editor who wrote a review when it came out said "Brooks wasn't trying to imitate Tolkien's prose, just steal his story line and complete cast of characters, and did it with such clumsiness and so heavy-handedly, that he virtually rubbed your nose in it" in his review, and called it "the single most cold-blooded, complete rip-off of another book that I have ever read."

    I agree with Linwood, but many authors copy the best, and because he copies so much, it's not bad for an afternoon read. You may just find yourself with a pencil scratching out character's names and writing "Aragon" or "Gimli" here or there.
     
  3. Aqua Buddha

    Aqua Buddha Scribe

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    Sword of Shannara is pure ass. Shameless literary thievery. His writing did improve in later books, though.
     
  4. Dwarven Gold

    Dwarven Gold Minstrel

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    It isn't too bad. I liked the dwarf with the mace. He reminded me of my cousin.
     
  5. Vita Numinous

    Vita Numinous Scribe

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    It is very derivative of LotR, but some people seem to like the comfort and familiarity of that, so maybe that's not always completely the worst thing ever. My son liked it, but I just couldn't manage to get into it, and I'm a speed reader.
     
  6. Is it worth reading? Short answer, no. Long answer, nooooo!

    I first read it in my early teens and enjoyed it. At the time I didn't pay too much attention to how insufferably generic it was, I just got caught up in the story. Years later I returned to it and couldn't believe quite how poor it was. Not merely in terms of plot, but in terms of the basic nuts and bolts. The story may be a shameless rip-off, but it's a positive triumph when compared to the prose. I had come back to it with vaguely-fond memories: I walked away promising myself never to read anything the author published ever again. It's one of the few vows I've ever managed to keep.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  7. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Sword of Sha-Na-Na? Hey… Dusk and I found something we're in complete agreement on. Cool.;)

    About the only thing positive I can say about this book is that I've actually seen something that's an even bigger ripoff of LoTR. (No, I can't remember offhand what it was; if I find it again, I'll warn y'all off it.) Brooks might make a good intro to fantasy for a ten-year-old… though I can think of better. Other than that, avoid it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  8. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

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    Personally I can't read anything Terry Brooks has written. I don't know what it is, I just can't read his particular style. I'd love to leave my opinions on the Sword of Shanarra itself (the weapon not the book) but I'll refrain in case anyone here hasn't read it. I don't want to spoil the surprise for you.
     
  9. I think that's probably a sign that the world is about to end.:)

    He has a style? I always imagined he just threw alphabet fridge magnets around his kitchen and submitted whatever they spelt out.:D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  10. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

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    Lol quite possibly. I don't feel qualified to say since after reading the sword of Shannara I boycotted him and now I can't dumb myself down enough to understand what his crayon scribbles are trying to say.
     
  11. To some degree I feel bad for knocking an author. Brooks had a go, which is more than I can say for myself. I can even forgive his slavish devotion to Tolkien (though wiser minds than mine have deemed him a cynical opportunist). The actual way in which he commits words to the page, however, is the far greater crime in my eyes. I'm barely literate, but even I could compose better sentences than he put to paper in SoS. Some crimes aren't worth forgiving, howevermuch the individual has redeemed himself in later life.

    Judgemental? Moi?:D
     
  12. ZealPropht

    ZealPropht Dreamer

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    I came upon the Shannara series early in life; my mother was a fan. I tried to read the first book, but honestly, I found it to be kind of boring. I thought maybe I was too young to enjoy the complexities of it, so I recently tried to re-read it. I found that, no, my first assessment was correct. It's a dull, dry story, at least what I managed to slog through of it. Supposedly, his style improves in later novels, but I couldn't bring myself to be that patient to find out.

    On the flip side, I sort of enjoyed his "Magic Kingdom of Landover" series. I'm not much of a fan for the whole "person from our world goes to a fantasy world and becomes a Person Of Importance" plot, but the books weren't terrible.
     
  13. Legerdemain

    Legerdemain Troubadour

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    I would not knock him as an author. However, his writings deserve every hard look that is made toward them if they are appropriate. He as a writer is fine, as I have not written as well as him. But likewise, there are many great writers writing "Potter and Malfoy: The Love-Story of Two Lost Boys" which will be awful, not because it is poorly written, but because of that the writing itself is.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2011
  14. My fiancee thinks it is LOL. I don't find Terry Brooks to be that good a story teller.. I've read several of his books.. the only one I actually liked was the black Unicorn which is the second in a different series. And that was just because of the concept the story had, not the story itself which was dry and unimagined to say the least. Though I do so love Unicorns LOL, so I've actually read that book more then once... But I never bothered to read the rest of that series, and the Sword of shannarah never in all my years of seeing it, caught my eye or made me feel the need to read it... I think I'll stick with my Drow and dragons o_O
     
  15. Mdnight Rising

    Mdnight Rising Minstrel

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    Swor d of shannara is a very good book....... but if you read this one start with First King of Shannara the prequel it fills in alot of questions you will of Sword of shannara that are let out if you read Sword of Shannara first . This series is also one my personal favorites and i have read them all ...my personal favorite of the shannara series was wishsong of shannara again definitiely a good read!!
     
  16. Malarky!!!!! I won't read it... get me a new copy of the Black Unicorn and I'll consider looking at a few chapters of this series >.>
     
  17. Mdnight Rising

    Mdnight Rising Minstrel

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    lol want want want .. got other thigns to pay for fist but we will see about a new copy
     
  18. I know but we can get a CHEAP copy online somewhere.. and nu I don't want to read THAT series either -.- I just want THAT ONE book >^.^<
     
  19. Mdnight Rising

    Mdnight Rising Minstrel

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    lol i think we can find it at book worm for just a cpl bucks no need to go online and wait fo i to be shipped when we can get a copy right up the street .
     
  20. C'mon now, you know it isn't. Apart from the fact that Brooks has acknowledged he ripped of LotR, his actual writing style is poor beyond belief. He repeats himself numerous times within the same sentence, never mind paragraph, and his breadth of diction makes Goodkind seem like a master of the language. Surely you've read better? Donaldson? Martin? Peake? Throw me a bone, will ya?:D
     
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