We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Sword of Shannara Audiobook

The Sword of Shannara: The Shannara Series, Book 1

Regular Price:$55.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.

©1977 Terry Brooks; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (5340 )
5 star
 (2434)
4 star
 (1526)
3 star
 (830)
2 star
 (345)
1 star
 (205)
Overall
4.0 (4243 )
5 star
 (1954)
4 star
 (1145)
3 star
 (671)
2 star
 (295)
1 star
 (178)
Story
4.2 (4219 )
5 star
 (2152)
4 star
 (1203)
3 star
 (546)
2 star
 (172)
1 star
 (146)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Cole 08-13-16
    Cole 08-13-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ehh"

    Well, it wasn't BAD. But it sure wasn't good either. It's a good adventure, but the characters are flat in the storyline predictable. I'm not convinced about reading the next in the series.
    It's too bad really, the world building had a lot of potential.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 05-26-16
    Brian 05-26-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "story of morons and drawn out scenes"

    Terry Brooks must have become a far better author considering the range of this series. as the first book, the characters all constantly miss the obvious, forget nearly everything they are told, and generally make moronic decisions.

    in this book, Brooks tries to draw out suspense by drawing out scenes without moving the story forward. this results in the reader painfully having to slog through chapters.

    I have read some of Brooks other books years ago and thought they were fun. Unfortunately, the sword isn't that great. of I would have known, I would have just read the cliff notes online and tried book 2 of the series where his skill as an author might have grown.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richmond Holly 05-13-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lord of the Rings"

    Very similar to LOTR. So much so it took away from the book for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sommer Russo 04-23-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Uninspired"
    Was The Sword of Shannara worth the listening time?

    I did not feel that the Sword of Shannara was worth the listening time. I started listening to it since the new series was coming to MTV and my dad was super excited about it since he had read all of the books. I felt like the story was uninspired and slow, not to mention full of tons of needless repetition. I could see how the basis of the story could be compelling but how it was put together just didn't show that off.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amycah 01-15-16
    Amycah 01-15-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very engaging story well presented."

    using 1 1/2 speed shortens the time required quite a bit yet doesn't detract from the story

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica 12-10-08
    Monica 12-10-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    189
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Good for newbies"

    I'd say that if you are new to this genre, you'll enjoy this book. To me --reading it for the first time in the year 2008--seemed like the storyline was too similar to others in this genre. And there were too many convenient coincidences for my taste. I've heard later books are more interesting so I might give them a try.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Brooklyn, NY, USA 05-23-08
    Elizabeth Brooklyn, NY, USA 05-23-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Painful Prose and Unoriginal Plot"

    This book borrows heavily from better books--the plot overlaps with Lord of the Rings practically enough to warrant a lawsuit. I almost wondered if the author was purposefully trying to copy Lord of the Rings to make some sort of artistic statement, but I don't think he was, which just makes him a plagiarist. Also, I think I would have enjoyed this book more in print because hearing the horrible writing in my ear for 24 hours only made the awkward prose more noticeable. I rolled my eyes on more than one occasion and probably would have given up on the entire book if I weren't on a long bus trip. So, listening to this book was better than staring out a window and listening to babies cry and people talk on their cell phones...but it was a close call.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas R. Moore 03-24-04 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "One of the best fantasy books of all time"

    This is finally release as unabridged! I have read 1000 books in the last 4 years and this is one I read every few years - again and again. This book and the prequel (first king) are his best work, then elfstones.

    29 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick ETTERS, PA, United States 05-21-13
    Patrick ETTERS, PA, United States 05-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Weak story, even weaker narration"
    What disappointed you about The Sword of Shannara?

    I've tried re-reading the paper version of the Sword of Shannara several times since I first read it in middle school, and the book has always seemed to drag so much that no matter how hard I can't finish these re-reads. Despite my hopes this did not change with the audiobook--it was just as boring and monotonous as the paper version. What really got me with this 'read,' however--since I was expecting it might drag--is how much the book lacks consistency and believeability. The narration or characters say something in an early part of the book, and then the characters do or say things in later parts that contradict this. The main characters have staunch opinions on concepts like government and society that you would expect from a scholar-taught, despite the fact that before the book they've never been more than a two-nights' journey from their small village, are the sons of an inkeeper, and grew up in a world where books are described as rare, precious things. I understand this was Brooks' first book when he was young, but I can't wonder whether his editor gave him any criticism at all, for all the inconsistencies.


    Has The Sword of Shannara turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Absolutely not. Fantasy can be an amazing genre, and while Brooks doesn't represent it well in this particular book, there are books of his that do, not to mention the many other fantastic storytellers in the Fantasy genre.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Quite honestly, out of the fifty or so audiobooks I've listen to, this was the worst narration I've heard thus far. It might very well have put the definition to "melodramatic." And, as others have mentioned, the characters' speech and thoughts were virtually indistinguishable from the narrative text unless followed up or preceeded by cues from the text. I had hoped that the audiobook would take out some of the lull of the middle parts of the part that always lost me when reading hard copies, but if anything the fact that Scott Brick's tone has two styles, "melodramatic" or "obscenely melodramatic," might have made those parts worse than in the paper copy. It certainly destroyed any parts of the book that were well-written. I'm disgusted by the fact that the unabridged version of the next book in the series is also Scott Brick--it was always one of my favorites in the Shannara world, but I simply cannot listen to another book with this narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend who hasn't already given Brooks' other books a try do so. While this one was certainly a disappointment to me--and seeing the comments, many others--I quite enjoyed the paper copies of many of the other Shannara books.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William USA 12-09-04
    William USA 12-09-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "One Sword to Rule Them all...."

    Nearly all fantasy books borrow from Lord of the Rings, at least a little. But this book is a blatant rip-off. Were you replace the ring with a sword replace a hobbit with a village idiot, you are 90 percent of the way there.

    A village knave finds a relic of immense power and it is the only thing that can defeat the powerful bad guy. But he has to bring it to the distant, evil land far away. Fortunately, he has a somewhat surly wizard companion to travel with him. Along the way, he meets adventuring companions. One of them is a human who is the heir to a kingdom. Oh look, elves and dwarves too. But alas! They are pursued by dark-cloaked wraith-like beings.

    Can our humble hobb...err village boy continue on his quest despite being seperated from his able-bodied protectors? Can he throw his sword into the volcano from when... no, wait. Can he stab the big bad guy with it?

    I would recommend this story only to someone under the age of 13 who doesn't have the attention span to make it through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is the same story, but squeezed into one book instead of three.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.