Saturday, October 20, 2007

Review - Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Yes I'm aware that I'm 31 years late reviewing this book. (Incidentally approximately the same amount of time I've been on this planet). Part of my goal of doing this blog was not only to read new fantasy but also to finally get to some of the classic series I missed along the way. You'll see from my "right now" listing I'm mainly reading new fantasy and listening to classic fantasy.

As I listened to the first few CD's of this audiobook I wasn't really sure I was going to like it. All I could think of the entire first quarter of the book was "This is just a copy of Lord of the Rings." It is very easy to just swap the names of the characters early on and you'll never know which books you're reading. Finally about halfway through the tale Brooks appears to find his own story and it picks up considerably from that point. The story is well paced, the world very detailed and the characters are your standard fantasy heroes, easily likable with above average depth of character.

There were a few things that bothered my, of course the parallels to Tolkien were annoying early. The number of times the druid Allanon appears as "mysterious figure shrouded in a dark cloak". After he makes his 15th appearance you'd think his companions would recognize him a little better. I mean he is seven feet tall. All said in the end I did enjoy the story and the characters. A sure sign of good storytelling is when a chase is happening in the book do I subconsciously accelerate my car while driving. Yes I did. (Luckily I didn't get pulled over. Try explaining this one to the police) . Final verdict: Enjoyed it but didn't fall in love with it. Though I'll bet I could have if I'd read it at a younger age.


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