Sword Of Shannara

by Terry Brooks

3 avg rating
Book 3 of 37 in the Worst Fantasy Books Ever
657 votes 13 comments
Living in peaceful Shady Vale, Shea Ohmsford knew little of the troubles that plagued the rest of the world. Then the giant, forbidding Allanon revaled that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord was plotting to destory the world. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness was the Sword of Shannara, which could only be used by a true heir of Shannara--Shea being the last of the bloodline, upon whom all hope rested. Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of Evil, flew into the Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save the Vale, Shea fled, drawing the Skull Bearer after him....

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Anonymous | 2012-10-01 01:31:04
A lot of Brooks's other stuff is better. This is too much of a Lord of the Rings clone. His other work isn't as derivative.
Anonymous | 2012-10-27 11:35:21
I used to like Brooks when I was 11. The original Shannara series was good (I haven't read LotR yet at that point), didn't really like Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold, absolutely loved Word and Void. Then he just keeps churning out more and more Shannara and nothing new. I mean, seriously? The first sequel (can't remember the name, the one to do with the scions of shannara) was ok, I gave up on the rest. And he's still writing Shannara. For the sake of Word and Void, I don't think he deserves to be in the bottom list, but neither does he belong in the top either
Anonymous | 2012-11-23 08:11:33
Terry Brooks does not deserve to be on any "worst ever" list, his books are amazing. That being said I liked this book the least out of all of the books he has written but it is definitely not "bad"
Anonymous | 2012-11-29 07:59:35
We have to give our thanks to Brooks for all epic fantasy passed Tolkien. If not for him no authors or publishing companies would've acknowledged the market of post Tolkien fantasy giving room for Fiest, Williams, Jordan and Martin. Given that Sword of Shannara was basically a LOTR copy but used as a foundation for something much greater.
Daevor | 2012-12-06 12:39:46
The Shannara books were highly entertaining (and scary! I remember being freaked out) when I was 10~13 years old. It's a good (early) teenage read.
Anonymous | 2013-01-23 12:34:50
His writing style is not terrible, but it is such a Lord of the Rings rip off!
Anonymous | 2014-12-31 06:40:47
While I am not a fan of the Sword of Shannara or any of his newer manufactured Shannara crap, I would recommend people to check out his Talisman series and the Elfstones.
Anonymous | 2015-01-28 11:20:11
I actually liked the first two books in the series. Granted I read them when I was in high school and in love with all fantasy. I recently tried to re-read the first book again and realized it is not all that good, so this series definitely does not age well compared to Tolkien or Martin's works. Or perhaps it is better suited to someone who likes a good read but is not well-versed in the fantasy world so they can enjoy it as is and not compare it to better books.
Scott | 2015-03-11 02:42:14
As a kid I finished LOTR and I wanted something else that would give me the same feeling as LOTR. The Sword of Shannarah did it for me. I thought I'd try reading it again as an adult, and I made it about 40 pages into the book and gave up. I can't believe I didn't see just how derivative these books are. Just read all the existing Kingkiller Chronicles books--now that's some good writing. Wow!
Ron | 2015-11-03 01:47:34
The Sword of Shannara was published in 1977 and triggered the whole 80's craze in the first place because it was so successful. At least get your facts straight when you rip a book.
Anonymous | 2016-10-18 11:59:12
I know that I have read the Shannara trilology, but I honestly don't remember a single thing about it. There was some elf girl and they were looking for something...possibly.
Anonymous | 2016-11-24 12:37:51
Is Terry Brooks interested in the struggles alcoholics face? I was put off by the fact that one of the main characters is named Alanon, short for Alcoholics Anonymous. Even at tyhe age of 12, I found his writing ability to be extremely bad. In fact, this book is used as a case study in a writing course. It is presented as an example of painfully bad writing and passages are discussed in terms of what NOT to do when writing.
Anonymous | 2017-07-13 05:28:29
More of a rip off of Tolkien than the Iron Tower Trilogy (which often gets put into that category), I still think the series is good. The amazing thing to me with Terry Brooks is to read Sword of Shannara, and then read his latest Shannara book, or even better the ones that were written in the 90's that were the first three in the chronological series of Shannara (I'm blanking on the names now). They read like they were written by two different people, mainly because he got a whole lot better at writing. I am totally on board with criticizing the writing for the Sword of Shannara, his first book written for the series. It is not great writing, and it can be hard to follow sometimes. But I think there are several reasons for that. He was contracted to write a "readable" Lord of the Rings trilogy for "modern" (1970's) readers. He did that. I think that's the big reason that a) it is a LotR rip off, and b) the writing is not very good (he's trying to write about something and like someone that is not coming purely from his creativity). This is very hard to do. I think Brooks needs to be celebrated beyond the fact that without him we wouldn't have the same amount of high fantasy to read now that we do. You have to hand it to the guy, to start handcuffed with the LotR as your fantasy world for your first book, and to take one important element difference (that being that Brook's world is a post-apocalyptic earth) and then run with this one difference to turn the series as a whole into this post apocalyptic/magic combination of Western ideas of "good vs. evil" that has more to do with Stephen King's "The Stand" than it does with LotR. That is pretty incredible I think.
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