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The Annotated Sword of Shannara: 35th Anniversary Edition

A Sword of Shannara Novel
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 27 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (286 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The phenomenal epic of good and evil like it's never been experienced before

Thirty-five years ago, Terry Brooks brought to life a dazzling world in The Sword of Shannara. Nineteen more Shannara volumes would follow, making the series one of the most popular fantasy epics of all time. Now comes a fully annotated collector's edition of the novel that started it all - featuring never-before-shared insights into the classic tale and an all-new introduction by the New York Times best-selling author.

Long ago, wars ravaged the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. Then the giant, forbidding Allanon reveals that 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. 

Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of a mighty evil, flies into the Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save his home, Shea must flee, drawing the Skull Bearer after him in menacing pursuit. 

Thus begins the enthralling Shannara epic, a spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and myth. 

©2012 Terry Brooks (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

" The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks's cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy. This was one of my favorite fictional worlds growing up, and I look forward to many return trips." (Karen Russell, New York Times best-selling author of Swamplandia!)

"Terry Brooks has been my constant companion over a lifetime of exploring my beloved fantasy genre. I say with all honesty I would not be writing epic fantasy today if not for Shannara. If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle." (Peter V. Brett, New York Times best-selling author of The Desert Spear)

"I can't even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks's books I've read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood." (Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times best-selling author of The Name of the Wind)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Annotations don't work in an Audiobook

Any additional comments?

Both the story itself and the performance are great. But the annotations simply don't work in an audiobook format. While such features might be a footnote on a written page, such that you could read them when convenient, here they are inserted right into the text in a way that totally breaks the flow the narration. It really interferes with the listening experience.

44 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a good version for the first time

Any additional comments?

This 35th anniversary edition was probably interesting for someone who loves and has listened to this book many times but for the first time you listen to this book I would go with the standard version. The author makes comments through out the story which is interesting but prevents you from getting into the story.

This is a pretty standard epic fantasy novel. There was nothing too exciting about the book for me but that also could be due to the version I listened to.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not a good version!

I wish I had my credit back. Great book and story but I wish I could swap it for a different version.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

annotation is annoying on audiobook

It's hard to get into the story when it stops every few minutes to read the notes. I read the book in print an excellent story, but the annotation ruins it for me.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

This is book one

Maybe it is my fault for just making a purchase based on audible stating that this is the next book in the series. it is not! the author felt a need to break the book down by nearating why he went about creating the book. I certainly would not have purchased the book had I paid better attention to the books discription.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A

The annotations are distracting and take away from the flow of the story. The reader is excellent.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What happened?

I am a huge fan of this author and this series. But I struggled to get through this book. The annotated portions were interesting. But the reader was extremely boring and I kept falling asleep while listening.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Boringly predictable

Would you try another book from Terry Brooks and/or Scott Brick?

No for Terry Brooks.. I did not care for the slow pace or the obvious foreshadowing that was clearly overlooked by the characters. The reading was ok.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not sure. I can say that I am done with this group and I will not watch the show on MTV either.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

I did not have any real favorites and I never will as I will not buy any more of these titles.

Did The Annotated Sword of Shannara: 35th Anniversary Edition inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to not finish the trilogy and go to different authors for my next purchase.

Any additional comments?

I was told this by a friend that this was their favorite fantasy series and that what started out as 3 books went to 20 volumes. I wondered why I had never heard of it. After this book it became clear - it is not very good. Terry Brooks admits he follows a script for fantasy epics as he wrote the trilogy. In this respect it is very cliche. Also, there is some obvious foreshadowing which makes the elements meant to be surprises very predictable. The worst part is that the characters in the novel do not pick up on these things! If you are looking to kill time with a book then go ahead and get this, If you are expecting to be blown away and want to know read every other volume, well, that will not happen.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Insulting

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I will leave what was interesting to the author to decide.

What could Terry Brooks have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The annotations were dispicable. They simply told the reader nothing of interest.

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

He did a fine job -

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Buy the correct book

While appreciate the author's insight, I was listening for the first time and had to pay again for the original book to not have the story interrupted by side commentary every few minutes.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful