Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (Shannara, #1-3)” as Want to Read:
The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (Shannara, #1-3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

(The Original Shannara Trilogy #1-3 )

by
3.94  ·  Rating details ·  19,301 Ratings  ·  394 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,
...more
Hardcover, 1200 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 1979)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sword of Shannara Trilogy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
John Leitzke It depends on your definition of "adult". If by adult you mean sex, then no. If by adult you mean: accepting your responsibilities, defending whats…moreIt depends on your definition of "adult". If by adult you mean sex, then no. If by adult you mean: accepting your responsibilities, defending whats right and good even though you aren't immediately involved, taking care of those in need, fighting for the greater good; then yes. These themes really come out in the 2nd book, Elf Stones. The Sword is your pretty much standard (at times silly) hero with a sword fantasy. Brooks has said he achieved a lot of maturity in re-writing Elf Stones from his initial draft.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Samuel
May 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Jackie
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Aoife
Feb 10, 2016 rated it did not like it


The Sword of Shannara 2.5/5 Stars
*************

Coming into this series, I had already watched and read a lot of mediocre reviews. I was well aware that this book was very heavily inspired by Lord of the Rings and I'm glad I was prepared for this because even though I knew it, throughout the book I found myself saying 'Lord of the Rings', 'Lord of the Rings,' and 'oh, more Lord of the rings!'

I wish I liked The Sword of Shannara more than I did because I do feel, despite being inspired by Tolkien's
...more
Sara Ⓥ
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, xl, reviewed
Finalmente è finito.
Mi dispiace per la valutazione poco generosa ma il palesissimo plagio a Il Signore degli Anelli e la totale prevedibilità della saga mi hanno talmente irritata che ho fatto davvero fatica a portare a termine il terzo volume, tralasciando anche ben più di qualche paragrafo qua e là.
Probabilmente se l'avessi letto da ragazzina - e magari prima del SDA -, l'avrei apprezzato molto più, ma dopo 6 mesi dall'inizio della lettura posso solo dire di essere parecchio contenta di lascia
...more
Amy
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
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 ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ 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
...more
Chris Witt
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
...more
joshigaya
Jan 16, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this series. I started watching the TV adaptation because of Jed Brophy, and though the series has its faults, I was enjoying myself. I then learned the show was based on a book series, and I knew I had to read them. I bought this with high expectations--it had been heralded as a cornerstone of the fantasy genre, after all.

I got about 150 pages in before it started to go downhill. It wasn't the similarity to Tolkien. In fact, The Tolkien comparisons aren't a huge turn off
...more
Derek Liggett
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Couldn't finish the third installment. It's basically a poorer version of Lord of the Rings. Scenes that are almost identical to Tolkien's but without the storytelling ability of Tolkien. Each book starts exactly the same way. Exactly. The. Same. Way. To be fair it was written awhile ago when Tolkien was basically the epic fantasy template and I have heard the series greatly improves as it goes on. Maybe someday I will continue it.
byAx
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Schematico

Trilogia che comprende l’intero primo ciclo di Shannara, così composto:
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 è riuscito a intrattenermi.
Le pietre magiche
Un po' meno coinvolgente del primo volume, nonostante la tematica di fon
...more
Shean Pao
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well nothing can equal Brook's stories when it comes to high fantasy. He is a master. You simply won't be dissapointed by any of his books. Who doesn't love elves, griffins, orcs and demons? (Ok not the demons but they are necessary for the story). If you want to be taken to another world and time - this is it
Sara
Jul 10, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
After seeing the trailer for this (new TV show on MTV!) I really want to read it!
Rick
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I first read The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara 30 years ago and a reread of them in this one volume trilogy (which includes The Wishsong of Shannara) has shown me that I remembered very little of these two fantasy epics. I recalled enjoying the books and for years have wanted to reread them, but the reread has left me wondering what exactly left such a powerful impression.

The Sword of Shannara - 4 stars - definitely introduced to me a more contemporary fantasy storyline that wa
...more
Shawn
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Sunrise
Jul 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
10% = Negative Stars?

I know that I am in the vast minority when it comes to these books but I didn't like them and it was slight torture reading them. Maybe my expectations were too high, that is very possible.

Anyway, labeling this as 'Not my cup o' tea' because obviously some large group of people enjoyed this one.
Melody Daggerhart
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Notes of Interest:

I have never read any Terry Brooks books until now, but they have kind of always been on my “someday/TBR” list, so last year I bought The Sword of Shannara Trilogy. Over the course of the past year, I have read each of the books and just finished the last one as my last book for this year. I have decided to review all three books as a set this time, rather than reviewing them individually. This is partly to save time for me. But it’s also partly because I bought them together,
...more
Ben
Nov 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Will
Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
It's rare that I leave a full review on here. A book has to be exceptionally good or truly terrible.

Unfortunately this was the Latter. I'm a huge fantasy fan and someone recommended this to me with the immortal tag line " If you liked LOTR you'll love this".
Well of course I would. It's LOTR! A young hero is sent away from the home he loves because his life is in danger from an evil lords creatures ( Check ). He is joined on his journey to a safe haven by his stocky, stout and faithful companion
...more
Zack Parks
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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
Chad
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Mary
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Paul
Nov 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
I like fantasy based books.
I didn't like this one.
It basically tells the same story three times while switching the coveted object and the names of the characters... every chapter has a deus ex machina getaway. It was pretty obvious that the author tried to emulate Tolkien... tried and completely failed. How I even managed to read all three stories, I'll never know, and now it's something I'll never be able to erase from my memory.
This book was given to me by a friend who obviously just wanted t
...more
Robin
Jan 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Lori
Mar 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, series, fiction
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.
Damien Sulla-Menashe
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fun series and so easy to read. Each book is a slightly different but similar adventure describing an against all odds battle between good and evil. While I enjoyed the first of these the most, the world Terry Brooks has invented is full of interesting characters and has a well developed backstory. One thing that's very interesting is to see his development as a writer since these were three of his earliest novels before he pursued writing as a full time career.
Mars
Nov 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
just 60 pages in so far, but it's already terrible. A rope appears out of nowhere, then disappears when one would expect it to still exist. Somewhat repetitive encounters with monsters. Pages-at-a-time of plot lifted almost verbatim from the Lord of the Rings. Reading this is a chore, which I might as well avoid.
Tina Sossomon
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you can force yourself to sit through the first half of the book, the rest of it is awesome! The first half is very slow because it has a lot of set-up for the rest of the series.
Josh
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Jessica Baker
Terry Brooks never fails

Terry can write one hell of an epic fantasy.
This book was a great ending to an amazing trilogy!
I had some much fun reading these books!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Sword of Truth Gift Set (Sword of Truth, #1-5)
  • The Belgariad, Vol. 1: Pawn of Prophecy / Queen of Sorcery / Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad, #1-3)
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #1-3)
  • The Riftwar Saga (The Riftwar Saga, #1-4)
  • The Wheel of Time: Boxed Set  (Wheel of Time, #1-8)
  • The Elric Saga Part I (Elric Saga, #1-3)
  • Dragonlance Chronicles (Dragonlance #1-3)
  • The Complete Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #1-3)
  • The Icewind Dale Trilogy Collector's Edition (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #1-3; Legend of Drizzt, #4-6)
  • Legends of the Dragonrealm, Vol. I
  • The Fionavar Tapestry (The Fionavar Tapestry #1-3)
  • The Complete Chronicles of Conan
64,264 followers
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

Other books in the series

The Original Shannara Trilogy (3 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)
“Love supplies a kind of strength that can withstand even death.” 10 likes
“We are friends, Brin, and friends do for each other what they see needs to be done,” the girl had explained in the late hours of the previous night when all talk had drifted into weary whispers. “Friendship is a thing sensed inwardly as much as a thing pledged openly. One feels friendship and becomes bound by it. It was this that drew Whisper to me and gained me his loyalty. I loved him as he loved me, and each of us sensed that in the other. I have sensed it with you as well. We are to be friends, all of us, and if we are to be friends, then we must share both good and bad in our friendship. Your needs become mine.” 1 likes
More quotes…