If you don't know these books, you missing out on everything great storytelling is about. This is the reason I fell in love with fantasy books. I think Brooks is the best ever. I've read these three a hundred times over. Highly recommended!
Not Too Bad
By Original Sajoe
The underlying story is pretty good and kept me turning pages. The descriptions of surrounding details was clear and painted good pictures. However, the extreme and utter failure of distances and travel times left me terribly disappointed and really took away from the story. The maps are horrible as well. Olden moor is described as being two to 3 days walking distance west of the Ravenshore mountains. Yet every map i can find shows them north east. As i come to those traveling parts of the book i skim forward as fast as possible without reading too much so i can get to the next description or action scenes.
A must read for any fan of epic fantasy!
"The Sword of Shannara", is a very well written series reminiscent of "Lord of the Rings", but comes at it's story telling from a different view. Like traveling across country, but this time taking an alternate route. You may be going to the same destination, but the scenery along the way will be different.
Once Upon a Time
By Other sci-fi guy
Once upon a time I might have given this book a higher rating until I encountered some far better fiction by the likes of Patrick Rothfuss. The characters are engaging if not believable and the stories are interesting but repetitive and predictable. That is not to say that Brooks is not a good writer. There are many well written action scenes separated by quite a bit of nicely crafted prose... Miles and miles and miles of it. There are so many descriptions of landscape, soliloquies, and reprises of the story line than the reader can skim through an entire chapter in a minute or two and miss none of the plot. I believe the Shannara stories are too long for children and most to simplistic for adults. I'm grateful not to have to wallow through the extreme graphic violence that makes up lots of the current crop of adventure stories but i would appreciate a little more in the way of adult relationships.
As with most of Brooks books this is a fantastic read.
Love Them All
I first began this series back in '01-'02 and at the time I'd had a hard time getting into it because I hadn't really been trying. Also, I was beginning in the middle of a set in the middle of a series.
The next year I went and read through all the Scions of Shannara set and then went out and bought the Sword of Shannara set and from there it was hook, line, and sinker.
For the most part, Terry's story lines are the same throughout all the books. It's a basic set-up but it works well for him and it's really the characters which bring the book to life and I always find myself loving at least one of the characters if not more.
If you're on the fence about this series, don't be. It's well worth the time and the money.
Hated every character but 1
By bugger off2
Very disappointed with this first book after seeing these rave reviews. Only the character Menion Leah was tolerable. The other heroes were scared and witless or stern and imposing--all annoying. The overly long descriptions were repeated a million times. I scanned the last 150 pages to get it over with faster.
Unfortunately, I bought this trilogy, so I will try to read the other two books.
Might be a great series...
But I can't stand the author's writing style. This is the first book I've bought off of iBooks without reading the free sample. And unfortunately, it is the only book I've bought off of iBooks that I feel was a complete waste of money.
I'm not saying this series isn't a great story, i'm sure it is, but I can't stand how terry writes. So whatever...if you're interested in these books, I would definitely recommend you read the entire sample before you make the decision to buy them. Pay attention to how he describes things/people. I'm almost halfway through the book and he still uses over abundant and annoying descriptions of how strong, or lean, or handsome, or whatever, the main characters are. It's like...I get it already. The elves are lean and tall. Enough...
In response to snapper-Z, who probably have not even read the books is making a big mistake by not reading terry brooks' work. His writing style is completely different from Tolkien. If have read the hobbit over 20 times and lord of the rings over 10 times. I have also read sword and heritage of shannara many times and.....your missing out on one of the great fantasy fiction writers out there. He is a pioneer.
An unabashed Tolkien ripoff
Terry Brooks has taken every single major plot point from Lord of the Rings, stripped out all the poetry, the love of Middle Earth, and the sense of wonder, and he has replaced them with mediocre prose suitable for sixth graders. I was warned in advance that there were "close plot similarities." But I just had no idea. And I truly wonder how, knowing this, Brooks manages to look at himself in the mirror every morning without feeling a sense of burning shame.
If you have read and love Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, you will want to run as far away from Terry Brooks' series as it is possible to get.