The Sword of Shannara

I just finished reading Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara. I found it to be an excellent book, much in the style of Lord of the Rings. The problem though, is that I am reading this book now, after reading a bunch of other books which probably copy the style from Brooks and Tolkien. I am sure back in the late 70s, this would have been great to read and some of the things would not have been so obvious.

Do not get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, and cannot wait to start reading the next book in the series The Elfstones of Shannara, which I am glad moves to descendants of Shea, instead of using the same characters and putting them into another adventure. When I finished the book, my first thought was “well what could Shea and his band of friends do now? Where could this story go?”

One of the coolest things about the book happens to be that instead of being set in some different world, like Middle-Earth, it is set here. In the future, after a nuclear/biological holocaust has decimated the planet. Instead of science ruling the land, magic does. I pictured the scene where they find the ruined city of the people from our era as Shea uncovering some of the buildings and we see something familiar, like the Lincoln Memorial or something.

Anyways, below is a picture I found online of the city of Kern from the book, which is almost how I pictured it.

2 thoughts on “The Sword of Shannara

  1. That story wasn’t just in the style of Lord of The Rings, it was at least in part a copy. The Sword of Shannara is often criticized for exactly that. A wizard… err… I mean druid who shares a name with a certain Alcoholics organization comes to a very small village and pulls seeming nobodies off on a world-saving quest. If that were the only book, Terry Brooks would’ve had no career. The only thing that saves the book is that Terry Brooks is a great writer. To put in briefly, my take on the book is: Bad story, great writing. Thankfully, the sequels get much much better. The Elfstones of Shannara is perhaps my favorite of the entire series. Strangely, it’s also the first one I read.

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