Why is Terry Brooks so popular?

#1
Hi I am new to the fantasy genre (only read Harry Potter, LotR, american gods and some books by Trudi Canavan).
Some time ago i bought Terry Brook's Shannara trilogy because the cover looked fine and there was a quote by paolini saying "If u havent read Terry Brook, u havent read fantasy". After reading the first two books i just couldn't understand why Brooks was so popular, the Shannara world seemed empty, there existed no character development whatsoever and there were no surprises or plot twists in the book. After discovering this great site i ordered the four books from "A song of ice and fire" over amazon (which will arrive in a week or so). I grew tired of waiting and wanted to give the 3rd book in the shannara trilogi a chance. But after reading 2 chapter i realised that it begins exactly like the other 2 books in the series! The "mysterious" druid comes and warns of great danger, the kids must again venture out to save the world...
My question is: Why is Brooks so popular? Some people on amazon are praising him as if he is a genious. The Shannara books are definitely the most boring books i have ever read.
(sry for my bad English spelling and phrasing, and sry if i offended anyone, I just feel as if Brooks cheated me.)
 

btkong

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#2
I agree with you. Terry Brook's Shannara trilogy is terrible. I think it's popular because Brooks was one of the first authors to offer something similar to LOTR. The series is pretty old (20+ years or so). It may have been one of those "right time, right place" situations, but whatever the reasons, Brook's Shannara books have become popular. And now, since Brooks has been around so long, he is well recognized. I guess he's become sort of like the "Starbucks" of fantasy books. You know what you'll get everytime. I do think that most people who read Brooks are still pretty new to fantasy or not very well-read in the fantasy world. One you start feasting on George Martin and his like, it's really hard to go back to the crumbs Brooks offers.

To be fair some of Brook's books are decent, like his Word & the Void (his best) and Magic Kingdom For Sale books. But if you want a better (and far more origional take on) rewrite of Lord of the Rings, try Tad WIlliams's Memory Sorrow & Thorn instead of Shannara.

In regards to the Amazon reviews: you cannot trust them. Anyone can write anything. Indeed, it's quite common for publishers/authors to write lots of fake reviews pumping up the ranking and increasing revenue. I look at amazon to get a general idea the ratings, but unless there are like hudreds of rankings, I don't really "believe" the rating. It can and is regularly tweaking by publishers and authors.

Cheers!
 
#3
Thx for the reply and thx for this great site.
1 question: Why was Word & the Void better? Did Brooks improve his writing over the years? Or did his improve his imagination? Or both?

cheers!:D
 
#4
All i know is that i read the first Shanara book and it felt like i was reading the lord of the rings with different names for all the characters and places with a sword instead of a ring, it seemed really ridiculous that it was published when it was such a rip off from LOTR, it seemed almost like plagarism. I haven't read any books by him since then and I don't plan to.