As mentioned in my first entry I will be doing movie and book reviews as well as video games. To start off on my book reviews, I shall be going back to 1977 when fantasy and science fiction were nearly extinct genres of fiction. I don't exactly know why this was, but from the 60s to the mid 70s both of these genres seemed to be non-existent in the media world with only a few exceptions like Lord of the Rings or 2001: A Space Odyssey. I've heard speculation that this was because of the Vietnam War and people were more interested realistic fiction and anti-hero movies and books but this was before my time. Regardless of the exact why, both genres saw a revival in 1977. The revival for fantasy is what I'll review today. This is The Illusive One's The Sword of Shannara Review.
When it was first published by Del Ray books in 1977, the book remained on the New York Best Seller List for five months. It has spawned 12 sequels, 7 prequels over the past 33 years and the author, Terry Brooks, has at least 5 more books planned for the series and many have been best sellers. But for all that it spawned, was the book itself really that good?
Well, to tell you the truth, it's a collection of fantasy cliches. An ancient creature known as the Warlock Lord has returned and is planning on conquering the world with his unstoppable army. The only one who can stop him is the half-elfin, son of an innkeeper, Shea Ohmsford, who's told by a seven foot druid that he is the last of an old elfin royal bloodline, the Shannaras. The only way to defeat the Warlock Lord is for him to use an ancient sword against him that only Shea can use.
My first thought was, “Oh my God! It's The Legend of Zelda!” How wrong was I. To sum it up in single sentence; It's a Lord of the Rings rip off that borderlines plagiarism. Any hardcore fan of the books will hate Sword of Shannara for this reason and probably only this reason. That aside, it's actually, in a lot of ways, better then Lord of the Rings. And before you get pissed off at me, allow me to evaluate.
Anyone who has read Lord of the Rings knows that the book is ridiculously drawn out and boring. It seemed like it described every step the characters took in vivid detail while the parts you actually care about, (the battles), are vaguely described, give almost not detailed, and just seem to tell you the results of said battle. Sword of Shannara, however, seems to add everything Tolkien missed.
With that aside the book itself is well written and worth the time it took to read it. It has not, however, aged well at all and seems like the founder of fantasy cliches and that's what it is. It's good verses evil, no vague lines for the characters to trip over and no middle ground. My advice is to skip this one and read The Wheel of Time series or the books by Joe Abercrobie. The initial sequels are better but this one only worth reading for them and is outdated and ignorable.