My final take on The Sword of Shannara trilogy is one of mixed feelings. Sword was an unforgivable ripoff of Lord of the Rings. At the same time, however, I felt it was far more enjoyable then Lord of the Rings. The Elfstones of Shannara was easily the strongest of the three in plot and protagonists. Wishsong of Shannara was very close in quality as Elfstones but went back to that campy, feel good, everything’s going to be ok type ending. At the same time it had some of the greatest characters ever put in a Shannara book.
They all also seem to be among the founders of all the modern fantasy cliché. These include, but are not limited, to a protagonist with royal ancestry, average Joe’s becoming heroes, and, the worst fantasy cliché ever, the protagonist getting captured. In nearly every Shannara book this happens with little to no purpose, other than having an elaborate escape, or to introduce new supporting characters. This tradition would carry on to nearly every fantasy franchise that exists and is one of the most unforgivable things about the series. Lord of the Rings may have been the first, but these were the books to really popularize these clichés.
If you're a hardcore fan of old Tolkien style fantasy then I say give these books and others by Terry Brooks a read. If not, then skip them and go for books by Joe Abercrombie or Robert Jordan. Until next time, this is The Illusive One saying “Thanks for Reading.”