Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Sword of Shannara
Author - Terry Brooks
Series - The Original Shannara Trilogy #1
Genre - High Fantasy
Pages - 726 

Description from Goodreads 

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.

As I read reviews for this book I noticed that people took two different but distinct direction when writing about it. One was those that generaly liked the book like me, the others where those that said it was too reminiscent of Tolkien and thus, a bad book. Both sides have ther merit and both are correct and true. It IS a good book and it IS Toklien-esque.

 At first glance you may be daunted by the sheer length of this novel, 700+ pages is quite a bit to read (it took me six days!) but the content delivered within will keep you hooked until the very last pages. Granted the story is nothing new: Good guy goes on quest to find magical artifact that is the only thing that an destroy the big bad evil bent on world destruction. 

While some of the descriptions were overbearing and far too long the world that Brooks has created is lovely. Sprawling grasslands, misty, dreadful marshes and wastelands were nothing can grow or prosper, it was marvelous. The races of the world are also vast and noteworthy. I especially loved the dwarf Hendel, he was my favorite character. There are the enemy gnomes and trolls, the skull bearers, elves and of course, humans. 

 One of our main characters is just that. Flick the human along with his half elf brother Shea are our tasked heros. The must find the Sword of Shannara (big suprise there right?) before the Warlock Lord can amass and send his armies toward the the innocent people of the southlands. 

While the characters themselves do not really have descriptive backgrounds they are well endowed with thier own personalities. You have the loyal Flick, the adventurous Menion Leah, the steadfast Hendel, the elf brothers Durin and Dayel who are both serious and boyish and more. 

Altogether even though it brings nothing new, the package is a complete and well rounded out epic fantasy.