The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Yes, it has a lot of parallels to Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings, but honestly…Mr. Brooks created his own world and any book/plot/storyline where there is a quest and good fighting evil, etc., etc., of course, it’s going to remind the reader of Tolkien’s world. Face it, Tolkien’s world took from mythology and ancient cultures. What I’m trying to say is that yeah, it’s reminiscent of LotR, but it spins off in its own direction.
That being said, I liked the action parts and the characters were three-dimensional and I got to know them. What I found to be….annoying was all the ‘inner thinking’ the characters (especially Shea) did…ALL THE TIME. Shea could have arrived at the conclusion on how the Sword works in less than 22 chapters. (Okay, I just made that number up). Then again, I’ve never been one for analyzing every thought or feeling I have. Shea, on the other hand, has to do that on every page he appears. (I skip the parts of LotR where Tolkien spends too much time describing places and things
SPOILERS FROM HERE, STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE THEM
I have to admit that I loved the part where Flick saved Eventine. (I really would love Eventine to get his own book!) Shannara elves do not have eternal lives, and they don’t have “magic” like Tolkien’s. The magic is in the hands of the Druids (or single Druid, actually, Allanon) Allanon is the character that you love to hate. He’s a good guy, but he’s very dark and he keeps a lot of secrets. He thinks that keeping the secrets will make the mission successful and that he can guide Shea when it comes time to reveal the secrets. He’s not there at the end, and Shea has to figure it out for himself.
If you didn’t know there were more books–lots more books–in the Shannara world, you’d be happy with the non-cliffie ending. You could stop and feel satisfied that things are wrapped up. (You’d miss a lot if you didn’t continue to read the next two books at least!)
So I gave this one 4 stars because of all of the self-analysis that goes on with Shea. I’ll likely re-read it sometime though.
I’ll give it a 95, Dick. It has a good melody and it’s easy to dance to.
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