Wow, this book was a really nice little break from some of the more gritty, serious, dark fantasy I've read lately. It's hard to classify this one exaWow, this book was a really nice little break from some of the more gritty, serious, dark fantasy I've read lately. It's hard to classify this one exactly. I don't want to say it's simple or dumb, but that's how it sounds when you say a book is light or moves quickly, or is an easy read. That's just it, though. I devoured it like a bag of peanut butter M&Ms (my favorite candy). I think what was interesting or different about this story from some of the other fantasies I've ready lately, would be that the story itself is somewhat complex with all its little twists and turns, but that it doesn't really make you sit and wait forever to get to the twists and turns. I also love the dialog, and am looking forward to busting open the second part of "Theft of Swords." I'd continue turning pages right now, if I didn't have work to do on my own story that I haven't touched yet today (silly day job getting in the way!). This is a nice, fresh fantasy story, and I will recommend it to all my friends....more
This trilogy had it all! The writing flowed very well, the story was unpredictable and interesting, and the characters were awesome. I think too manyThis trilogy had it all! The writing flowed very well, the story was unpredictable and interesting, and the characters were awesome. I think too many people now are focused on having tons of backstabbing and gritty negativity in a story. At the same time, it can get boring eventually to read about some child of destiny being "mister perfect" and riding off to save the world and slay the big evil bad person. Don't get me wrong; sometimes I DO want that, but not all the time.
This series seems to hit the sweet spot. You've got good guys and bad guys, and a little bit of prophesy, but ironically, the prophesy is not ALL that helpful to the characters and doesn't really give anything away. This way you don't feel dragged along by it. The heroes or main characters were essentially good folks, but obviously had their flaws. Think about "criminals with a heart of gold." This provided a lot of colorful, hilarious dialog and situations. Something else cool about the story, is how you didn't know exactly who to blame for things until you got to them. You may get hunches, and sometimes they're correct, and sometimes they're not. It just pulls you in more, rather than telling you, "thou must slay the dark lord, who kills simply because he gets up in the morning and eats EVIL FLAKES with EVIL MILK, with a glass of EVIL JUICE on the side for breakfast." There are of course some bad folks encountered here and there, but you at least see why they're doing what they're doing.
I could go on and on, but I'm in the middle of reading my next book, and don't get a LOT of reading/writing time these days, sooooo yeah. GET THESE BOOKS AND READ THEM NOW! :)...more
The Emerald Storm was awesome. The first half or so of the book was admittedly a little slow for me, because there was quite a lot of sailing jargon tThe Emerald Storm was awesome. The first half or so of the book was admittedly a little slow for me, because there was quite a lot of sailing jargon that got a little redundant, and I didn't understand it all... However, the book definitely picks up and becomes extremely fast-paced and exciting. I think this book had the best ending I've read in a long time, for a book that's in the middle of a series. A lot of "ah-hah!" was had at the end, but it also sorta pointed us toward the impending last chapters of Riyria. I immediately wanted to start on the next book, but my lunch break from work was over... The second half of this was about as awesome as the first book was to me....more
This book may be considered "cliche" by some people, but it started Dragonlance and is kinda old. It feels like calling Tolkein "cliche." I had a lotThis book may be considered "cliche" by some people, but it started Dragonlance and is kinda old. It feels like calling Tolkein "cliche." I had a lot of fun with this book, as it was a light-hearted adventure with fun characters. It had just enough description to paint a good picture of the world, without drowning you in it, and there was some good character development, along with just the right amount of pacing. It's first in a trilogy, but it had some good closure at the end, which is nice. Loved Autumn Twilight!...more
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 suI 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-volume set. I thought that the third story was going to be basically a repetition of the first story when it began, and it kinda jokes about that, but it does branch off and it makes more sense as it goes on. These stories may not make you have some sort of epiphany about life, but they are still highly entertaining. The first book is a little heavier in the dialog and skips along a little bit at first, while the other two books are heavier on the descriptions, although not TOO heavy. I'd recommend this trilogy to anyone, especially those into epic/high fantasy....more
You could say the Sword of Shannara does have a ton in common with Lord of the Rings, but I think the second book in the series definitely moves awayYou could say the Sword of Shannara does have a ton in common with Lord of the Rings, but I think the second book in the series definitely moves away from that comparison. The descriptions were much more vivid in this book, which made it easier to get lost in the world of Shannara this time. There were some geographical references that confused me a bit, especially early on, but I ignored them and enjoyed the story anyway. The characters really developed well throughout and I feel like we got to know Allanon a little better this time around. Now I'm itching to pick up the next book and dive in!...more
This second book in the series totally redeemed the lousy ending to the first entry. The pacing and character development was perfect, after the firstThis second book in the series totally redeemed the lousy ending to the first entry. The pacing and character development was perfect, after the first few chapters. The last ten chapters or so were exhilarating, as the multiple threads were racing together, and the descriptions of the big final grandiose scenes in this book made you feel like you were really there. Now I have to jump into Book 3: The Dragon Reborn!...more
This story starts out almost identically to how the first story starts out, and it had me worried a bit at the beginning. However, it soon does revealThis story starts out almost identically to how the first story starts out, and it had me worried a bit at the beginning. However, it soon does reveal itself to be more than that, and there is a reason why there is somewhat of a re-occurrence of problems this time around. The pacing in this book is a little faster, and there's a good balance of description to dialogue this time. I remember one excellent description of a forested valley in the Westland that really caught my attention late in the book. This story is a little unforgiving with regard to the loss of some of the characters, which makes the struggle seem that much more real. Like the two books before it, this novel won't "change your life" necessarily or be used as some sort of literary benchmark in college English classes or whatever, but it is very entertaining and engrossing, so I'd recommend it to anyone, especially fans of epic/high fantasy....more
I'll go ahead and say that I enjoyed this book because it was a bit different really from the others thus far in the series. Essentially, the other stI'll go ahead and say that I enjoyed this book because it was a bit different really from the others thus far in the series. Essentially, the other stories revolved around a particular protagonist being sent to find/destroy a particular object. Technically, Wren (the main character) is charged with finding something - the Elven people. The difference however, is that it's not as if she's just to find some magical rock or weapon or something and use it to kill some nameless evil. There was a bit of ambiguity from the get-go, which made things interesting in the beginning. At first, you don't know where they could be or what Wren will even do to figure any of this out. However, as things progress, you do learn a lot about her past, as she is learning for herself. Because of this, there is a ton of character development in this story.
One of the things I found a bit bittersweet about this book was the traveling aspect. It was fun and exciting to follow along on the adventure that Wren and her companions embark upon, but it does sometimes feel a bit tedious and perhaps a little too dark. Quite a few steps are necessarily re-tread, and it makes sense for the story, but though it starts out providing a sense of wonder and suspense, it eventually kind of drags.
I still loved the story, and the end of it races along very quickly with some very emotional moments. It's worth it to read through the whole book, regardless of how you perhaps feel about the story, up until Chapter 27. I don't want to spoil anything, and will just say that it was one of the more emotional moments I've read in the fantasy books that I've enjoyed.
Good job, Mr. Brooks! I'll be opening up the last of the Heritage of Shannara series immediately. :)...more
This was a wild, fun, quick read! I liked most of the story, save for the cheesiness of Cody as a character, but in general, the plot was fun. I didn'This was a wild, fun, quick read! I liked most of the story, save for the cheesiness of Cody as a character, but in general, the plot was fun. I didn't see one of the revelations at the end coming, and that made the ending even cooler. I read the preview chapters of the next book at the end of this one, and I can't wait for it to come out! Teens and adults alike will both like this series....more
This book was highly enjoyable. It's not Charles Dickens or something, but I wasn't looking for some kind of high-brow "literary" fiction. This is jusThis book was highly enjoyable. It's not Charles Dickens or something, but I wasn't looking for some kind of high-brow "literary" fiction. This is just straight-up fun. What's great about this book is that although it's a light, fast read, it's not stupid or some sort of re-hash. You genuinely don't know what's going to happen next, and the characters are really interesting. It's also one of the few fantasy books that has made me burst out laughing aloud from the dialog. I'd been reading a few stories that were a LITTLE bit dark lately, and this was just what I wanted. Now on to reading the next in the series!...more
Now that I've read both the initial trilogy and now this 4-book series, I can say that I personally enjoyed the initial trilogy more. However, this waNow that I've read both the initial trilogy and now this 4-book series, I can say that I personally enjoyed the initial trilogy more. However, this was still fun to read. I really enjoyed the first three books in this second set, but the final story just seemed to kinda drag, and then wrap up very quickly. Sure, it tied up the loose ends and whatnot, but it just seemed too predictable. The story about Walker trying to bring back Paranor and the book about Wren going to find the Elves were both great, but the stories revolving around the Ohmsfords just felt like a constant internal struggle that began to bore me. I still had to know what happened in the end, and so I finished it.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable 4-books-in-one giant tome, even if the ending wasn't quite up to snuff at least for me. At the end of some of Terry Brooks' stories, I'm like, "wow!" However, this time it was just kinda worth a "hm, well alrighty then," and setting it back up on the shelf. It was just due to the tedium of the characters' constantly rehashed internal struggle in the 4th book...
Anyway, I'm rambling. This is the worst review I've written thus far, I'm sure! Read all of Brooks' work. :)...more
What hasn't been said about this book and its series? So many reviews are out there for this now, that I can make mine short and sweet. Jordan did a gWhat hasn't been said about this book and its series? So many reviews are out there for this now, that I can make mine short and sweet. Jordan did a great job of world-building with this, and I can tell he was trying to just create the atmosphere and setting for the rest of the series that he had dreamed up in his head at the time. I enjoyed all the characters, who developed a pretty good bit throughout just this one book. Sure, people will point to the "farm boy finds out he's part of some big world struggle and goes on a journey with a group of people" trope or whatever (I hate the word trope), but that's the genre. It was pulled off very well here.
I thought the descriptions were just enough to give me a good idea of how everything appeared in the world, though some people could be put off by some of the possibly extraneous details. I don't remember being totally blown away by Jordan's prose, but his story and characters were great.
The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars, was the ending. Obviously it is leading you into the next book, but the last 5th or so of the book seemed rushed and kinda random. The very last part especially felt like it was just pulled out of thin air, and was highly confusing. That being said, it's still well worth reading, but you will certainly want/need to read on to the next book after finishing this one....more