Dirk Grobbelaar's Reviews > The First King Of Shannara

The First King Of Shannara by Terry Brooks
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's review
Aug 26, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, books-i-own

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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Reading Progress

August 26, 2010 – Started Reading
August 26, 2010 – Shelved
September 1, 2010 – Finished Reading
June 24, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy
August 7, 2011 – Shelved as: books-i-own

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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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.

message 2: by King Possum (new) - added it

King Possum should I start with the sword of or the first king of? I have recently purchased the first king,sword of , elf stones and two more that are farther down in the series. I like to start from the beginning in the timeline of the world and lives I am reading but if it would be better to read the first book written ( sword of ) to make King of make more sense then I will do it that way. I have read somewhere else about a something and void that takes place before king of, maybe I should start with that? any help on reading the series would be greatly appreciated. I started the legend of Drizzt from R A Salvatore from Homeland, where Drizzt was born, instead of the crystal shard and am glad I did or I might not have gotten into the series.

message 3: by Dirk (last edited Sep 01, 2017 03:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dirk Grobbelaar King Possum wrote: "should I start with the sword of or the first king of? I have recently purchased the first king,sword of , elf stones and two more that are farther down in the series. I like to start from the begi..."

Sorry for the rather late reply but I was off goodreads for a long time. I normally read books in the sequence that they are published (as opposed to internal chronology). That's just me, but it's how the author wrote and envisioned his stories, and it's often interesting to see how things evolve from there. I've been reading both Shannara and Drizzt this way (although I'm a bit behind on both at the moment). Start with Sword, if only to get the whole LOTR thing out of the way, if it should be the type of thing that distracts you.

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