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The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1-3 )

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  12,965 ratings  ·  234 reviews
THE SWORD OF SHANNARA: Long ago, the world of Shea Ohmsford was torn apart by war. But the half-human, half-elfin, Shea now lives in peace - until the forbidding figure of Allanon appears, to reveal that the long dead Warlock Lord lives again

THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA: Ancient evil threatens the Elves and the Races of Man. For the Ellcrys, the tree of long-lost Elven magic,
Hardcover, 1200 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Del Rey (first published February 1st 1986)
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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
39th out of 2,324 books — 16,469 voters
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Best Fantasy Series, Trilogies, and Duologies
29th out of 1,778 books — 7,475 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 10, 2008 Jackie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Shelves: fantasy, epic

The world of Shannara (the Four Lands) is reminescient of Tolkien's LOTR, not in style but in the classic struggle of good vs. evil on an epic scale. An easier read than Tolkien, Shannara has it's merits. Loveable characters, mysterious characters, characters to despise. A quest and all it's inherent dangers.
This original trilogy is by far my favorite in the enitre series.
THE SWORD OF SHANNARA: Two stories interwoven, one follows the protagonist Shea Ohmsford on his quest to obtain the Sword of
My bleeding goodness...

I was recommended this book by my sister a few years ago. I started reading it and then switched off, but I decided that must be because I was tired or something else...basically. I gave the book a second chance. I'm a school teacher; you get a second chance, but you ain't getting a third.

I started reading it, again, hoping it could be one of those books I could read a few pages a day because of my busy work schedule. I was hoping I wouldn't have to dedicate lengthy perio
I went specificly looking for an Epic Fantasy series that could engross me as much as A Song of Ice and Fire, The Lord of the Rings, or The Wheel of Time. I found this highly reccomended and went into it expecting to love it. I was very surpised to find it so disappointing. I am unsure why this gets listed as being on par with the other series I listed. The writting is really sub-par. You don't care about the characters, it's narrated like somone decided to write out their DnD adventure, it seem ...more
Melissa Martin
This book is a trilogy so I'm going to break it down into each book. There will be ***SPOILERS***

The Sword of Shannara:

This is the beginning of many books in the series. A Druid named Allanon comes looking for the half elf Shea so he can get the sword to destroy the Warlock Lord. Shea's brother Flick comes along for the journey. They have to fight for their lives with all sorts of evil creatures. They pick up some friends along the way and Allanon recruits more to help. Menion Leah is a friend o
Zack Parks
I really enjoyed this ride through the Four Lands. At the very beginning, I did think it felt kinda like a Tolkien rip-off, but that fairly quickly subsided. What struck me the most was the character development. I really liked and related to the main characters in all 3 books of the trilogy. Brooks seems to really love jumping around during exciting moments though, to other story threads, to keep you reading 'till the end. I think I'm invested now in moving on to the Heritage of Shannara four-v ...more
I picked up this collection to finish the series after having read Sword. I read Elfstones and, while I thoroughly enjoyed it, decided that I needed to take a break before reading Wishsong. While Elfstones was a good read and much better written than Sword, it had many of the same plot devices and many of the characters from Sword were recycled into "new" characters in Elfstones. I'm guessing that Wishsong will be similar and I'm afraid that if I read them all at once, I'll get annoyed at the si ...more
I admit that it took me a few years to get around to actually reading this one all the way through—I was constantly acquiring new books and could not focus on the first book of the series; it was slower than most and had difficulty holding my attention. I recently decided to take up this famous work again, and this time I would not stray until it was completed.

The similarities between The Sword of Shannara Trilogy and another famous body of work can be found at every turn while searching the int
Jul 28, 2008 Chad rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who thot Tolkien was too long winded.
This is like a weird acid-tripped reader's digest version of The Lord of the Rings. Replace "The Ring" with a sword, the wizard with a druid, and hobbits with humans and apparently that is enough to not get sued for copyright infringement.

On the other hand, even though the plot is stolen whole cloth from Tolkien, Brooks is much better at characterization. I remember Allanon and Menion Leah more fondly than Gandalf and Aragorn. The characters definitely carried me through what was an annoyingly
Chris Witt
A mysterious magic user petitions a simple farming person to help save the world from the powers of darkness.

Where have I heard this story line before?

Anyhow, parts of the book were well-written, but that first line up there was just the first in many instances of what seemed to be direct rip-offs of one very famous fantasy trilogy which this author admits was a big influence on him deciding to become a writer. Witness, for example, the third book in the trilogy - in which the heroine must take
This was a great trilogy. The Sword of Shanarra I actully read back in 1979/1980 time frame and I have to say it drew me into the story just like it did 30 years ago.

This time I noticed that Terry Brooks seemed to like the word awesome alot. I didn't notice this so much the first time I read it probably because I was a teenager and that was literally a major part of my own vocabulary.

The use of awesome did not distract from the story at all and I mean nothing negative by it. It's just an observa
Difficult one this - I read these books as a teenager and really liked them. It's actually 3 books, and the first - the sword of Shannara is really just a thinly veiled knock off of Lord of the Rings. Re-reading it as an adult was a bit of a disappointment to be honest, but the next book (Elf stones) is actually really good... (still half way through the final book wish song).

Some of Brooks recent books are brilliant, but mostly seem to be based on the same world as his first book. I do think it
Niharika Mudgal
I read this book years and years ago and really enjoyed it. Now, picking it up as an adult, I enjoyed it less for two very distinct reasons.

First, the similarities between The Lord of the Rings is too striking. Some of this book seemed taken directly from Tolkein - from a mysterious wanderer appearing to warn the main character of hideous danger and how the main character must suddenly flee from his peaceful existence to try to save the world to the fellowship of different races, each with thei
A commonly recommended series, I wouldn't disregard it since it has some interesting aspects, such as the role of druids as leaders and various ancient talismans used by characters who are forced to develop in order to prove their worth. (This does not mean that you grow to like the characters, though.) However, the future/add-on series that eventually loop into a yet another, seemingly unaffiliated, further series slowly degrade in the quality vs. quantity of publishing. Quite sad.
by Ax

Questa trilogia comprende l’intero primo ciclo di Shannara.
- La spada di Shannara:
Fantasy classico con la cerca, la compagnia, e l'oggetto da recuperare. Lo stile scorrevole accompagna l'intera storia e la trama risulta semplice ma estremamente visiva nelle descrizioni e nelle caratterizzazioni dei protagonisti. Godibile e nulla più, lo riconosco, ma mi ha intrattenuto piacevolmente.
- Le pietre magiche:
Un po' meno coinvolgente nonostante la tematica di fondo sia interessante. N
This is the begining of the Shannara series. I have read the three (so far) in this series one after another and am only just reviewing all three.

The Sword of Shannara
The Bloodfire Quest
Witch Wraith

In all honestly this is not the best of the three, but it is worth reading as it gives background information and sets the scene for the other two books.

Only 3 stars
Ben Stern
I read this book years and years ago and really enjoyed it. Now, picking it up as an adult, I enjoyed it less for two very distinct reasons.

First, the similarities between The Lord of the Rings is too striking. Some of this book seemed taken directly from Tolkein - from a mysterious wanderer appearing to warn the main character of hideous danger and how the main character must suddenly flee from his peaceful existence to try to save the world to the fellowship of different races, each with thei
Chris Casler got me into this series. It's awesome, and I've enjoyed all of them so far. Keep in mind if you're going to start it that it's a very long series. This is only the beginning.
Isabella Cavallari
Recensione completa qui: http://boscodeisognifantastici.alterv...

Devo dire che il primo approccio con questa ambientazione è stato piuttosto strong: arrivai a leggere metà libro e, poi, lo accantonai. L’ho poi ripreso daccapo dopo diversi mesi, lasciandomi così coinvolgere dalla storia e cercando quindi di proseguire laddove faticai la prima volta.
Risultato? Arrivai sino alla fine, soddisfatta, contenta e lieta del finale che, tra l’altro, non mi aspettavo.
Forse la narrazione è un po’ lenta, for
Joshua Redlich
Although the first book is basically a rewrite of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with a fellowship made up of halflings (one of which is the lead character), men, elves, dwarves, and a wizard, and a magical item that is the only thing that can defeat the evil Sauron-like enemy (who also has black cloaked riders on black horses that serve him), the series gets more original with the second and third book, and it's still a good read throughout. It moves fairly quickly for such a long book, the his ...more
*Spoiler Alert*
So I re-read this trilogy recently and have to say I was very disappointed in this trilogy. It seemed like when I had read it years ago it was better, however my tastes may have improved since then. Why was I disappointed with this trilogy? There are a number of reasons. The premise is great, LoTR in the future? Give me more! Unfortunately the author's writing style kills the trilogy, and after you've read the first book, the other two are the same. Let me summarize the whole tril
Michele (Mikecas)
da: (dove vi sono i link ai riferimenti, che non possibile riportare qui) Ho detto altrove in questi commenti, che se anche leggo fantascienza dai primi anni sessanta, mi sono avvicinato alla fantasy solo pi tardi, negli anni ottanta. Questo perch non mi piaceva la sword-and-sorcery, ma non mi piacevano nemmeno maghi, folletti, gnomi etc, specialmente in versione fiabistica. Certo ho avuto anche io i miei Conan il Cimmero, e non mi mancato Elric di Meln ...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
I read these books as a teen. Should be interesting to read them now.

I'm going to rate this trilogy one a time just after I read them and then give an overall rating for the three.

I just finished the "Sword of Shannara" last night on Jan. 13, 2010. I would give it about 3 1/2 stars. I had a hard time getting in to this book. It was the ending that gave it the 1/2 star boost.

Shea is half human and half elf. He finds that he is the last surviving heir of the elf Jerle Shannara. It is his legacy to
"What if Tolkien's magic and fairy creatures were made a part of the worlds of Walter Scott and Dumas? What if the story took place somewhere timeless and placeless, a somewhere that nevertheless hinted strongly of our own world in the future?" Terry Brooks

I personally believe this statement in the forward of the Trilogy puts this story line in perspective. I must admit, I contemplated burning this novel as a Tolkien rip off all the way through the Elfstones. But, in finishing the novels, I foun
The Sword of Shannara (TSS) is considered a modern fantasy classic. Suffice to say, I was very excited by the prospect of reading this novel when I first purchased it.

However, during my reading I could not help thinking of how similar the main characters and plot were to [[book: The Lord of The Rings] (LOTR).

For instance, there were elves, dwarves, trolls and men who populate Terry Brook's fantasy realm. Again, these races are nearly identical to those of Middle Earth. The main antagonist of the
The Sword of Shannara practically screams for a copyright infringement suit from J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. So familiar was the story and the characters I find it tempting to interchange the character names, but in the event you have read the mentioned books I will trust that you can do this for yourself.

Shea Olunsford is the last remaining son in the Shannara line and thus must undergo a journey rife with life threatening dangers in order that the Warlock Lord be destroyed by
Francine Plant
I enjoyed reading the first two books, although i had little trouble putting them down to do other things, unlike many fantasy books I've read. This surprised me, considering the trilogy's popularity. I found that the characters weren't quite as developed as some, and descriptions of terrain were overblown and a little long, doing little to help me "be there" along with the characters. The plots were fairly representative, neither Incredible nor awful. I'd say, Good enough to hold my interest.

Nov 28, 2007 Daniel added it
I'm going to have to be completely honest here... I have only read one book in this series in its entirety, and that one, the second, I think is the best. It's fortunate, then, that the books are only loosely connected and it's not necessary to have knowlege of earlier ones to start on any book you wish.

I read a good chunk of the first one, and the thing is, even now my recolection of it is just STANDARD. Do you want to see the modern fantasy formula in pretty much its rawest state? Read Sword.
Randy Bryant
While I had high hopes for this after reading many of the reviews out there, I don't think this lived up to my expectations. This should have been right up my alley like LOTR and The Sword of Truth novels, but I found it lacking.

Overall, a very good concept with some really interesting ideas, but the thing that I took away most was the way the author almost telegraphed what was coming. His characters would deliberately tell you part of the background story and then go say, "No, I can't tell you
Jan 12, 2015 Wanda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who care more about plot than about writing
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” Herman Melville

Melville was not speaking about Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, but his words sum up my feelings about the trilogy very well.

Writers have to begin somewhere and learn somehow. If they can get paid for that learning experience, good on them. Brooks was apparently attending law school while he wrote the first book, The Sword of Shannara. The double focus (law school and writing a novel) may the reason that so much of
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Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944, where he spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same park that would eventually become the setting for his bestselling Word & Void trilogy. He went to college and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and he received ...more
More about Terry Brooks...

Other Books in the Series

The Original Shannara Trilogy (7 books)
  • The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1)
  • The Elfstones Of Shannara  (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #2)
  • The Wishsong of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #3)
  • Мечът на Шанара. Част 1
  • Das Schwert von Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #1, part 1 of 3)
  • The Druids' Keep (The Sword of Shannara, #2)
  • Der Zauber Von Shannara. ( Fantasy)
The Elfstones Of Shannara  (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #2) The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1) The Talismans Of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara #4) The Wishsong of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #3) Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #1)

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