This book was a definite disappointment. About half way through the story you begin to not even care about the main characters any longer. All, yes every single one, of the main characters are so hollow and shallow it's very difficult to care if any of them make it to their goals. The story goes along so quickly without any detail that the reader is left to desperately seek out the end of every single event in the story. I will say that the series has a potential, but the depth and the reality of this book simply isn't there.
I did the mistake of listening to this book after having read (probably for the 10th time) the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I couldn't help but notice that the Author has been drawing a little bit too much from Tolkien: the frail man, the druid appearing and disappearing, the elf stones (replacing the ring) and so on and so forth. The plot is pretty weak and the story is really predictable. However, there are some nice intuitions that, together with the fact that the story unfolds reasonably well, make the book a nice one-off reading. I also think the narrator did a very good job: it?s not easy to read something not particularly exciting for 26 hours, I guess...
Good book...wish I could listen to the next in Unabridged format, for that mater, the whole series. So far you have the prequel (First King of Shannara) the first book (The Sword of Shannara) and the third book (The Wishsong of Shannara). You also have the last book of another groups of books in the series but I do not remember the name. All these are Unabridged. Please get more of this series unabridged.
This was so stilted and trite. The title of the review is an actual quote which pretty much summed up my impression of the book. Usually Audiobooks come alive to me and I usually like formulaic coming-of-age sci fi fantasy novels, but this one, not so much. The narrator did a decent job. The author--eh. I bought this book years ago and never could figure out why I didn't read it--now I know. If it was not read to me, I would never finish it. There were certain parts that I was amazed and how repetitive the prose was, droning on and on, using the same phrases over and over again without variation. To be fair, I gave it 2 stars: 1 b/c although it was somewhat painful, I did listen to the whole thing & it was pretty long, and 2nd star because there was a plot although the characters were shallow and predictable.
Another quote that was mind-numbing in the extreme: "There was nothing to look forward to but more of the same and still more until one army or the other was destroyed." Sums it up. Definitely will not have to finish the series.
OK I might even say a good book, but for sure it was not a great book. I found my self loosing interest in the book from time to time as I was listening to it.
If you are diehard Fantasy fan and have a lot of time I would say go for it, but if you are looking for the cream of the Fantasy books then this is not the one.
O.K, so Brooks isn't Tolkien, but I thought it was worth buying again after 22 years. Its a fun fantasy adventure and I plan on buying more of Brooks work.
30 second version.
But then all is lost, we have failed in our quest, it is at an end!!
Oh hang on... no it isn't. Repeat and fade.
Reader tries hard but is limited by the shallow characters.
I read this as a child and loved it, perhaps there is a clue there.
I've been a big fan since book one and snap them up as soon as they come out. I enjoyed them all but my favorites were the Elfstones of Shannara and Wishsong of Shannara. You could read any of them individually but I highly recommend going in order (this book is the first), I think once you start you will want to read them all anyway. My least favorite was Morgawr and I started to think the series was declining but High Druid of Shannara came out and is one of the best yet so my faith is renewed. I hear Tanequil is coming out in August so I hope Audible will carry it. Unfortunately a lot of the books in the series are only available in abridged versions on Audible (which I don't like just out of principle), I highly recommend the unabridged versions when available.
I cannot believe that Brooks hasn't been sued over this novel. this is a complete rip-off of The Lord of the Rings. Every character in this novel has a counterpart in LOTR and even the situations are the same. For example the siege on the city, the destruction of the mountain at the end, the skull bearers (i.e. the wraith kings) looking for the sword. I mean come on, I can be the only one who noticed this!
In addition, Brooks' writing style is a little repetitive. He constantly talks about how all is lost and the whole thing is finished/dead/over, etc and then the next sentence something unexpected happens and everyone is saved. Blah! I hope the other books are better (although, I'm not going to read them) because this one was bad.
Read LOTR instead.
This is by far the most poorly written book I have ever come across in over thirty years of reading. Every character is actually a character cadged from another book, and the plot is so completely a rip off of Tolkien that I cannot understand how this book ever got to print. Most high school students are capable of more engaging, less insipid prose. A HUGE waste of time. I couldn't get past the fifth disc, but my husband managed to plod through the whole book, laughing at what utter rubbish it was. Anyone who has given this book a good review is either less than 14 years old, or has never read another book in his or her life. BE FORWARNED: I got this book because of all the good reviews here on Audible, but read the reviews on Amazon and you will soon learn that the people who think this book is trash VASTLY outnumber those who praise it.