Cait • A Page with a View's Reviews > The Elfstones of Shannara

The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
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bookshelves: high-fantasy

2.5 stars. I'm rounding up to 3 just because this was so much better than the first book (although I still wasn't very interested overall).

First of all, this one is what the tv show was based on. If you're just reading these books for that reason then you can totally skip the first book. It gets summed up well enough here and these events take place 50 years later with mostly new characters anyways. Basically, an ancient magical tree is dying and all of the Chosen are dead except for the exiled Amberle. A guy named Wil goes off to find her and Gandalf even comes back. Everyone is THE LAST HOPE and must fulfill their individual destinies etc.

I liked this one waaay more than the first book, but still think it should've been about half the length. The author certainly has a talent for dragging things out or explaining them in the most boring, repetitive way until even the most exciting plot points became mind-numbingly dull. The writing style just wasn't for me, I guess. (And Tolkien is one of my favorite authors, so I don't think this is the same kind of "slow & descriptive" style as LOTR. One is a work of art... the other is a waste of paper due to poor execution).

I don't think I'll be finishing the trilogy, but did enjoy the creative world for the typical fantasy elements. And I think this would still be a fun read if you loved the show!
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message 1: by Emandem (new)

Emandem I had tried to read this book, and kepted putting it down. It was just dragging to much for me. The tv show is what got me wanting to read this book. But I simply dnf it. I like the show better. Maybe down the line I will pick it up again, but for now. . . It's made it to the back burner. I'm glad you read it. Thanks for your review. It's nice to know 1 person on my good reads read it. Don't feel so alone now.


Cait • A Page with a View Emandem wrote: "I had tried to read this book, and kepted putting it down. It was just dragging to much for me. The tv show is what got me wanting to read this book. But I simply dnf it. I like the show better. Ma..."

Yeah, I think the show's more entertaining!


Brant Satala How can anyone like that show? It makes a joke out of a good fantasy story, and it’s nothing like the book. The nice thing about the book is that it calls on your own imagination to do the work and visualize the landscape and the characters.
The show looks like a crappy add for clothes from Macy’s, and hair product. There is no acting.
I read this book in 8th grade, back in 1983-ish. It was one of my favorites for a long time.
Also, it might be worth mentioning that in the first two or three shannara books, the whole apocalypse thing was barely mentioned and so underdeveloped that the setting felt much more like Middle Earth, and less like a rip off of The Hunger Games (like the show is trying to be).
Also, the whole tone of Brook’s novels changed after he wrote the Star Wars book. After that, all his character’s names started sounding more like Star Wars characters.
The first three Shannara books are the best of all he’s written (IMHO). They’re not perfect, and definitely not literary cannon material, but there’s an endearing quality to them, at least.
I tried to like the show, but it made me nauseous.


Cait • A Page with a View Brant wrote: "How can anyone like that show? It makes a joke out of a good fantasy story, and it’s nothing like the book. The nice thing about the book is that it calls on your own imagination to do the work and..."

I've actually only seen the first episode, so I don't really have an opinion there. But I'm glad you liked the series!


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