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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 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    35
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    17
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Sort by:
  • Overall

Good Book, Bad Abridgement

This book is very good, I have read it. This abridgement is bad, it elimates most of the character development. The result is that you have a great story that is filled with strangers you hardly know. It makes the abridgment hard to connect with. Brooks is a talented author and very good at developing his characters so you know and love them. This abridgment is a huge disservice to his talents.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Get the unabridged version...

Not a bad reading, but much is lost in the telling with this abridgement of the story. Get the unabridged version!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Amazing Narration!

I read this book many years ago and it was long. So listening to the abridged version was a nice way to become re-acquainted with the story and characters. I forgot how much I loved Balinor, Hendel, Keltset and Menion Leah; and how much I loated Stenmin, the awful mystic who caused so much trouble. The best part of this audiobook is that Charles K. is the narrator. His voice is like smooth, swiss chocolate for your auditory pleasure. I will be listening to the next two of the original trilogy with his reading of it. I cannot imagine listening to anyone else tell the story abridged or not. Overall, great listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • 08-07-05

Where's the dialogue?

This barely rates a 3 for me. There's almost no dialogue among the characters. It's almost like listening to a fable or myth, except this is much too long to take the form of a fable. The characters are nearly dimensionless. There's a great deal of description of the story going on, but you feel very disconnected from it. The narrator also doesn't help by giving almost all the characters the same Irish accent. If you are into action and not into character development, then you may enjoy it. There's plenty of Jason and the Argonauts type stuff going on. However, if you want a more interactive world, then hunt elsewhere.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

never abridged

Why dont these great authors do like Stephan King and never release an abridged version. This is one of my all-time favorite books but I have happened to hear this version and I will never buy any abridged readings again. For this author you just have to read the books. His best ones are sword, elfstones, first king, and the new high druid is good too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Don't bother...

As one reviewer already said, The Sword of Shannara is a retelling of The Lord of the Rings. Despite that, I liked the book. But, as has also already been said, this adaptation took out pretty much all of the character development and even some of the best action sequences. If you liked the book, don't bother with this abridged adaptation. If you've never read the book and don't care if you know next to nothing about the character's involved then you might like it, but there are better ways to use your book credits.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good...but not as good as The First King

I thought the previous book was better. I also like the narrating better. I thought both stories were good though some details and sequencing weren't in place as well as I would have liked. But still recommended to anyone with science fiction interests

  • Overall

Poorly Abridged

I must preface by stating that I hate abridgements. This story just solidified my stand. The story was dull with most of it taking place in passive voice. Character development was not really there (not sure if this was the author's fault or the abridgers).

  • Overall

Sword of Shannara

I've always liked Terry Brooks novels and Charles Keating fits the mood of these stories very well

  • Overall

A tedious listening

Where do I begin, well first this could have been a taken right out of Lord of the Rings series. Terry Brooks,starts out as if we already have known them all our lives, We really don't find out much about the main characters history in the beginning. He describes the sun, the moon, the stillness, a walk on a path and on and on and on, at times I fell asleep, But the entire was just like the Lord of the Rings. I will not be buying any more of Terry Brooks books.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Margaret
  • 04-25-07

Fantastic

Read the books years ago, but was gripped with audio book. Couldn't stop listening. Terry Brooks is fantastic in either print or spoken. A MUST.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peter
  • 01-25-10

Start of Great Things to come

This was one of the 1st audio books I brought. I was hooked when I read the book years ago and the audio version did not disappoint. Give it ago.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Marta
  • 03-24-17

This book is incomplete

I compared this audio to the real book and I found it different from the original. huge difference. looks for me as if big fragments of the story were cut off. not impressed....

  • Overall
  • KayP
  • 04-08-13

Review by Kay (Leeds, UK)

Read this book first about 18 years ago and enjoyed it so much I ended up buying all the books in the series. Now enjoying it all over again but this time in audio form. Terry Brooks has a gift for bringing his characters to life from the wonderful descriptions he gives. At times the storyline becomes complicated and it can be difficult to keep track, but once past the first few pages it's difficult to put the book down. For lovers of fantasy books the Shannara series is one of the best.

  • Overall
  • Crawf
  • 06-14-12

much better if unabridged

I had high expectations for this book since it was a favourite when first published. This audio version has been abridged very badly.
Important elements missing or glossed over so that overall effect was to produce an audiobook that seemed to be rushed and fragmented.
MANY small sections that made the characters come to life in the book were missing.

  • Overall
  • Nicholas
  • 10-10-10

awful boring

I apologise if this was actually meant to be a children's book..... I'm a 30 year old bloke and found it just about the most boring fantasy novel ever. Perhaps its because its abridged? I don't know- it was just so juvenile and obvious.

Sorry Terry- but I guess I should have realised this would be as bad, if not worse, as the Phantom Menace!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sandra
  • 05-31-09

Poor LOTR Imitation

I really wanted to like this book and ploughed through to the end in the hope it would improve but it never did. It would actually be only a third of the size it is if the author didn't seem to be entering a competition for the largest number of unnecessary adjectives and adverbs in one novel. Apart from that it is a poor Lord of the Rings imitation. The reader didn't help matters either - I suspect that if he was reading a train timetable he would make it sound as if he was announcing the onset of Armageddon.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful