Book Review: “The Sword of Shannara”
Here’s for all the “Lord of the Rings” fans out there. Another epic fantasy is waiting on the bookshelf. “The Sword of Shannara”, written by Terry Brooks, is a favorite among fantasy lovers. With its incredible narrative and potent characters, the world of Shannara takes readers on an unbelievable journey.
Shea and Flick Ohmsford are the protagonists of this tale. Adopted into the Ohmsford family, Shea is part elf and has no interest in adventures or his extraordinary past. When a mysterious Druid named Allanon appears, he tells the brothers about a Warlock Lord who has achieved immortality and now threatens their world with a fiendish army.
Allanon tells the brothers that Shea is the only one who can destroy the warlord. Because of his Elvish background, Shea is the last of a long line who can wield the sword of Shannara, the only weapon of any power against the Warlock Lord. This immortal enemy has sent assassins to hunt down Shea, and he must leave to recover the sword to save their world.
Chased by demonic assassins called Skull Bearers, Shea and Flick flee their home and travel to confide in Menion, a friend and prince of a neighboring kingdom. Menion is willing to join in the group, and together they set out on a seemingly hopeless task of defeating an enemy who has had more than a lifetime to prepare for them. The trio are joined by two Elven brothers—Durin and Dayel, a war-hardened Dwarf—Hendel, a dethroned prince—Balinor, and Allanon.
The plot splits to follow the group who pursues the sword of Shannara and the band who races to reclaim Balinor’s throne from his insane brother before the demon armies of the Warlock Lord attack the kingdoms of Shannara.
Along the way, they must brave a horde of suspicious gnomes, fabled monsters and finally the army of the Warlock Lord. Led by a man their hardly trust and forced to believe in a tale they don’t believe, the little band must learn to rely on one another and find within them the strength to carry on against impossible difficulties, especially when Shea disappears halfway through the journey.
“There are scenes of single combat, deadly peril, great battles, picaresque adventure, shy love and a final confrontation between the Warlock and Shea which comes up to its promise,” praises Algis Budrys of Bookswest. “It sweeps and it resounds.”
“The Sword of Shannara” is the first in a large collection of stories all about the land of Shannara. There are a few prequel books explaining the history of Shannara, and some that continue the adventure into the far future. The second book to the Original Shannara Trilogy series is called “The Elfstones of Shannara”.