Dirk Grobbelaar's Reviews > The First King Of Shannara

The First King Of Shannara by Terry Brooks
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Sep 01, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, books-i-own
Read from August 26 to September 01, 2010

There has been a fair amount of criticism floating around against The Sword of Shannara for drawing too many parallels with The Lord of The Rings. Much of this I felt was unfounded. I love The Lord of The Rings and I love the Shannara series. They're not the same, folks. Any resemblances end with the first Shannara book, and the series really picks up from book 2 (The Elfstones of Shannara). Anyway, that's neither here nor there, but just a way to set up my review of First King of Shannara.

Terry Brooks is a very good descriptive writer, a trait which is well suited to writing fantasy and describing worlds the reader is likely to be unfamiliar with. He also excels in character development. This has held true for all of the Shannara books I have read, which is everything up to and including the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy. In my opinion, Walker Boh is one of the most fascinating characters in fantasy literature. But I'm straying off the path again.

Back to First King of Shannara. This is not a 'must read' by any means and will likely appeal more to existing Shannara readers as it fleshes out the back story and history prior to the first book in the series (The Sword of Shannara). That being said, I really enjoyed the book, although it took me some time to finish. It was fun to, at long last, meet Jerle Shannara, to whom the whole series owes its name. And Bremen, who has such close ties to Allanon. So, if you're interested in Shannara lore, read this novel. It visits familiar ground insofar the Shannara books are concerned and as such isn't groundbreaking reading. Yet, the magic prevails.
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Vanessa Hoyan Agree on your point re Terry Brooks' character development talents. Loved the whole series. Lord of the Rings is a different book entirely and the constant comparisons are not warranted.


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