©1996 Terry Brooks; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.
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All of Terry Brook’s novels, at least the Shannara novels, follow the same basic template. You have a character who finds himself (or herself), typically through circumstances beyond his control, suddenly thrust into a quest with an assortment of companions of varying races to travel to ____ in order to find the mythical _____ so that he or she can usually do something to save the world. As a result, most of Brook’s novels tend to feel similar and are of a similar tone with characters that stray very little from the norm. That said, once you lower your expectations and accept the fact that these stories aren’t likely to stray very far from the template, this extended series can be quite enjoyable, particularly if you enjoy good, escapist, low risk fantasy (the diametric opposite of George RR Martin). As a prequel to Terry Brook’s original Shannara series, this book feels quite at home and does round out the story, the world, and the events of those first three novels. There’s some novelty here, revisiting familiar territory and a few familiar characters, and a decent adventure. As an audiobook, expertly narrated, this presentation is great, escapist fun, well worth a month's credit.
I have read and listened to a great number of books, this book in particular is one of my favorites. I find the desire to listen to it several times a year. I find that Scott Brick has a voice like no other clear, strong, precise, PERFECT.
I was drawn to this author by my desire to listen to Scott Brick... what a find it turned out to be... every book in this series, read by Brick is simply outstanding... Brooks draws a picture and Brick fills in the color! You won't regret this purchase - or any of the others read by Brick.
I read it before reading the Sword of Shannara since I already played its adventure game version on the PC a few years ago and finished it.
The novel was simply a masterpiece. I could not believe how much emotions were involved in the story. It kept me on the edge of my seat (or bed :) ) most of the time. It's got wars on the scale of the wars in Return of the King and bigger. If you like Lord of the Rings, you'll love this novel.
As much as I love music, I'd rather listen to a book. I love being taken far far away while doing everything.
This book answered a lot of questions about the history of many of the characters in Sword of Shannara. Great prequel! Had to go back and re-listen to the original Shannara novels again.
I like listening to Scott Brick, he is able to make different characters sound like different people. He's a great narrator; his female voices are very believable.
I've read the entire series many years ago, but I have to say that in revisiting the series, I think that the prequel, "The First King of Shannara" is a perfect refresher to prepare you for the journey ahead. I love that it set you up for "The Sword of Shannara" and introduces you to the characters and the history of the story line in a sense.
As a previous Brooks fan it is always a joy to jump in to his worlds. It isn't a question of what I like best because .. I enjoy it all!
Jerle is portrayed well and with his richly written cohorts are a joy to learn, but I have to say that Bremen and Kinson take the day ;)
In the dark .. an utter evil returns!
The first Terry Brooks novel i read was The Sword Of Shannara and i was forever attached to the four lands. Of course i immediately got my hands on all of the books i could! The First King really takes a good look at the past leading up to the series. Alot of prequels do not link themselves with the future of the series as greatly as First King. Its a wonderful read and an emotionally/intellectually stimulating book/series!
Id have to go with Bremen of course! He's the "dark avenger" style character that everyone looks up to yet hesitates to back at the same time! Always thinking of others over himself even if sometimes it doesnt seem like it.
Consistent with the characters voices, thats a big plus! Also, a good range between them, very distinctive emoting and you could almost feel that he was enjoying reading the book as much as we loved listening!
Wonderfully written book being wonderfully read! Cant ask for more!
I don't find the detailed descriptions and background uninteresting as others have reviewed, it helps make a full bodied story. Characters are well developed, and the story fits nicely as a prequel to the series. Listening was a true pleasure.
I listened to the audio version of Firstling of Shannara, and while I enjoyed the narration, I found the story a little boring and predictable. For some reason the plot failed to grab me. There are elves. There is a dwarf. There is a druid muttering some mystic mumbo-jumbo. They are out to find/forge the sword of Shannara, and everyone is reluctant. Reluctant to become involved, reluctant to believe, reluctant to wield the sword properly. Reluctant to fall in love.
Relationships are passionless and handled poorly. The three major romantic relationships featured in this book are quite dysfunctional. The only person I actually really liked was Bremen. I felt sorry for him and the pain/sacrifice he bore at times. But the rest of the characters had as much personality as department store mannequins.
Look. If a story is going to have romance in it. Make it ROMANTIC. The romances were hasty and very contrived.
Not quite up to par with the rest of the books. And what?s with all the female character?s being called ?girl?? The author refers to Preia as ?the elf girl? and Merrith as the ?druid girl? but the male characters are all called ?men? come on now. These characters are WOMEN. Lets call them such, shall we?
The narrator was excellent 'tho. Good job with what he had to work with.
This and all of Terry Brooks books a wonderful, I just wished that all of the unabridged versions of his book were on audible. Well they have been getting more, but I highly recomend this book.
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