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The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #1)
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Archive [Retired Buddy Reads] > The Sword of Shannara [April 2019]

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message 1: by Angela, I'm Silverfox lost (new) - added it

Angela | 3555 comments Mod
Buddy read 10th April.


message 2: by Gary (last edited May 28, 2019 10:11AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary Sundell | 105 comments I might have to play catch up on this one. I started a reread a while back, but set it aside to read other stuff. I initially read this when it was first released in that glorious trade paperback with the cover and interior illustrations by the Brothers Hildebrandt I have 4 books left in various challenges this month. Then I will be ready to go. I am currently partway into Chapter 6.


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments Spot!


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments Anyone started yet? I've got my copy and will begin to read tomorrow.


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments I will start tomorrow as well 😊!


message 6: by Anni (new)

Anni | 5020 comments I will try to finish some of my other books first and will only start next week, but I already picked it up from my shelf and placed it on my book pile beside my bed 😅


Shaitarn | 1931 comments I'm going to be a bit late, but I will start this as soon as I can!


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments No rush ;) I hope to finish 'Warcross' today and then start tomorrow.


MorteTorment(Unofficial World's Fastest Reader) | 386 comments 3 days in and no one's started?

Well then again no one said that they were in on this either.


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments @Morte: There are a couple of us that are in for this...There's not always time to put a post.


Shaitarn | 1931 comments I've finally started and am burrowing through like a particularly hungry bookworm! I like the three leads - Flick, Shea and Menion - and the friendship between them, particularly the bickering there promises to be between Flick and Menion.


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments Haha, you're further than I. Still on chapter 1, but I like how there is not much dialogue. It's written like LotR, more describing.


MorteTorment(Unofficial World's Fastest Reader) | 386 comments Saar The Book owl wrote: "Haha, you're further than I. Still on chapter 1, but I like how there is not much dialogue. It's written like LotR, more describing."

Oh yeah, I've been told that Sword of Shannara is a total rip-off of LOTR.


message 14: by Saar The Book owl (last edited Apr 19, 2019 10:16AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments Thanks for the info, Morte. I'm on page 50 and all I could think was: that's so LotR. But the books were published shortly after LotR, I thought.
You can't miss that this is high fantasy.
So far there is (view spoiler)
I must say that it reads a bit slow. Maybe because of the lack of dialogue.


message 15: by Shaitarn (last edited Apr 19, 2019 10:47AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shaitarn | 1931 comments 'Rip-off' is harsh; is that your personal opinion, Morte, or just what other people have told you?

To me Brooks is like Eddings and Feist - they all started writing when Tolkien was just about the only epic fantasy on the market so naturally they used him as the blueprint:

The epic quest, the innocent youth who turns out to be the chosen hero, the mysterious wise advisor the magical McGuffin - these are all classic fantasy tropes that have become clichés so naturally these books haven't aged well.

In my opinion this is the worst book in the trilogy (I've read all three several times); Brooks really hits his stride with Elfstones, when he starts writing his own stories.

The (view spoiler) is interesting, and pretty unusual.

Characters: (view spoiler)


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments I think a lot of epic fantasy/high fantasy has it's roots in LotR and that's not bad at all. Tolkien is seen as 'the grandfather of epic fantasy'.

About the characters: (view spoiler)


Shaitarn | 1931 comments I'm sorry if I'm giving you spoilers, Saar! I'll try to include chapter numbers in the future.


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments That's no problem, Shaitarn. I don't think that the chapter numbers are equal to the translation I'm reading.


message 19: by Adam (new)

Adam | 1 comments Shaitarn wrote: "'Rip-off' is harsh; is that your personal opinion, Morte, or just what other people have told you?

To me Brooks is like Eddings and Feist - they all started writing when Tolkien was just about the..."


I'm glad you mentioned that this volume felt slow. I've tried several times to read through but, never got past half. I will re-read this time with more determination. I see so many Terry Brooks novels that all seem great. I kind of like starting at the beginning of a writers world building. I'm going to give it the ole college try again. ty


Shaitarn | 1931 comments Adam wrote: "Shaitarn wrote: "'Rip-off' is harsh; is that your personal opinion, Morte, or just what other people have told you?

To me Brooks is like Eddings and Feist - they all started writing when Tolkien w..."


If you find it too hard going again, my advice would be give up and skip onto the second book, The Elfstones of Shannara. I personally consider it a better book and I don't think you need to read this one to appreciate it.


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments I am up to Ch. 10... This is my first time reading this series, so I am brand new. The Druid giving the history, apparently this is our world after obviously a war, most probably with atomic bombs, destroyed the world as we know it and the need for survivel created the different races, except for the humans and Elves. A different way to look on the origin story 🙂. Otherwise, a lot of traveling, typical for the traditional quest Fantasy genre. I am glad you guys decided to read it, so I could finally get to read it. Thank you!


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments Shaitarn, I completely agree with you. Many of the traditional writers of Fantasy are accused of ripping off LoTr, but they, just as most everything in all ganres of writing, music or art, are variations on a theme and all of them bring something different. I am a huge fan of the traditional Fantasy, and the only thing I want is for it to be well written and thought out. Similarities are unavailable.


Shaitarn | 1931 comments Thanks Choko! Thinking about it, given this book's age (it's over 40 years old!) I wonder if there was any pressure from the publishers to make it 'standard' fantasy? At the time Tolkien was probably just about the only big-name fantasy around, and the publishers would want something like LotR that they knew would sell, so it had to be a heroic fantasy quest-type book, just as now everything's compared to GoT.

I mean, there are no surprises in this book, and sure you can see the influence but I think this is Brooks own world and Brooks own characters, and that's important.

Aside from that I agree with you - how well the tale is told the real important thing. Otherwise, no one would read the re-telling of fairy tales!


message 24: by Gary (last edited Apr 23, 2019 10:18AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary Sundell | 105 comments Some background. Sword was the first major release by DelRey. DelRey basically was the imprint for Ballantine's sf and fantasy line. The prior fantasy line was responsible for publishing Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books, Jo Walton, Joy Chant when the Adult Fantasy Line was edited by Lin Carter.
The book was clearly aimed at JRR Tolkien fans, they hired the Brothers Hildebrandt, best known at the time for their Lord of the Rings calenders, to do the cover and interior art.

Looking forward to getting back to this book and the "taciturn dwarf". Now exactly when does the group Sha Na Na show up?


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments Haha! Great reminder of the times😃! Thanks Gary!

So, I am about 35% in and got to meet the Big Bad.... A bit slow in going, but enjoyable nonetheless. I do get frustrated with Menion and his rashness, but I love the dwarf!!!


Shaitarn | 1931 comments I love the small twist that in this world the dwarves are used to living in the open forests and really quite claustrophobic - they hate going underground!

Incidentally, I really dislike the original Hildebrandt Brothers cover - it doesn't look like any of the characters in my head!


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments I do love those covers of the time though, they are soooo cheesy😎


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments Choko wrote: "I am up to Ch. 10... This is my first time reading this series, so I am brand new. The Druid giving the history, apparently this is our world after obviously a war, most probably with atomic bombs,..."

I didn't know that it was post - war. I'm not so far into it. I'm around chapter 6, so it's interesting to know that. I think that the term 'accusation' is miss used by a lot of fantasy readers, because high fantasy is a limited genre when it comes to resources, ideas,...It's much narrower then other genres.

Thanks for reading this together!


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments It's my pleasure, Saar! We will take it seriously so we can enjoy it together 😊!


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments So I just finished and I have to say, it was a bit darker than I expected... So many deaths, couple of them made me really sad... Otherwise, it did put the Epic in Fantasy for sure. The sword had an interesting idea behind it and the world building was awesome. Once again though, TB proved that good Epic Fantasy authors suck at any attempts at romance :-) Particularly the guys. I am glad we started the series and am looking forward to the next one!


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments Romance in epic fantasy is always a bit weird, I think. I'm glad you've liked it, Choko and it's interesting to know that the story is getting darker. Now, it still feels like an introduction or some river that is floating really calm.
I'm not a fast reader, but I'll make work of it this weekend to end on time.


Shaitarn | 1931 comments Choko wrote: "So I just finished and I have to say, it was a bit darker than I expected... So many deaths, couple of them made me really sad... Otherwise, it did put the Epic in Fantasy for sure. The sword had a..."

Yeah, that romance was sort of 'I've spent two days with you, now I know I love you and we should get married!' wasn't it? But it could've been worse - it could have been a love triangle!


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments G-D forbid! Love triangle *shudders*... It can always be worst! It gets down right tragic when those guys try to write a love scene! I am glad that they know to stick with what they know 🙂


message 34: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I read this book so long ago, I've mostly forgotten it, but I remember enjoying it enough to read at least the first couple of sequels.


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments I don't know if you guys are up for it, but is it possible to re - chedule? I still have a lot to read, but want to finish. I thought for the second book the 1st of June?


message 36: by Anni (last edited May 07, 2019 03:44AM) (new)

Anni | 5020 comments I wouldn't mind... Like at all 😅 I started Book 1, but only read the first few chapters, don't know why, but it takes me really long to read this...

But don't mind me, if everyone else want to keep the schedule, I'm fine reading the books later on my own. Sometimes...


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments Same here, Anni. I read a couple of chapters yesterday, but with this book I need time to really dive into it.
I'll wait on what the others say, but I don't think there would be a problem.


message 38: by Anni (new)

Anni | 5020 comments Saar The Book owl wrote: "Same here, Anni. I read a couple of chapters yesterday, but with this book I need time to really dive into it.
I'll wait on what the others say, but I don't think there would be a problem."


If they want to continue immediately, we could still have a second BR for the snail-readers 😂


Shaitarn | 1931 comments If you want us to re-schedule so we read The Elfstones of Shannara on 1st June and The Wishsong of Shannara on 1st July that's no problem with me (I seriously over-committed to reads this month!).


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments It is good with me too...


Choko (chokog) | 6783 comments I actually finished book one, but I will wait for the second one...


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments I'm definately a snail - reader on this one, haha!
Okay, thank you, guys, I'll ask to put it on the first.


Shaitarn | 1931 comments Tell you what, how about just posting a 'put back to 1st June/July'? On the original threads now? That way we don't need to bother the mods and anyone who's interested in reading them can see when it's happening.

I'll go do that now.


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments Thank you, Shaitarn, that's a better idea.


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments I've come at page 100: everytime it seems that doom will strike, the three of them get saved.


message 46: by Gary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary Sundell | 105 comments Partway into Chapter 9.


Saar The Book owl | 2012 comments What do you think of it so far, Gary?


message 48: by Gary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary Sundell | 105 comments Enjoying it so far. I knew I would eventually get to the taciturn dwarf...🙄.


message 49: by Gary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary Sundell | 105 comments Wow, I had completely forgotten about Keltset. Of course I last read this in 1977.


message 50: by Gary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary Sundell | 105 comments Is it just me or does the book start moving at a snail's pace when Keltset and his thieving friend show up?


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