I don’t know about you, but I consider 700-page books pretty epic. This is probably the largest book I’ve read this year. It follows the journey of one Shea Ohmsford across this strange world with evil creatures lurking around every corner. It reminded me of when I read The Lord of The Rings and the Hobbit. I guess I’ll start with a recommendation that you should only read this book if you can read books like The Lord of The Rings.
Maybe it’s Brooks’s style, but I found when he mentioned a second person and called them “The other” etc. strange. It made sense, but it didn’t feel quite so natural and almost jolted me out of the story every time. I guess it’s because he wrote this in the 80’s. I haven’t read the next books so I can’t say whether he continues with the style.
From now on, I’m going to try work out the theme of each book. This is more an exercise for me to think slightly deeper about the book and reflect on what the book means to me. I believe the theme Brooks was trying to communicate in The Sword of Shannara is courage. Shea is a small-town boy who travels across a mysterious world, further than he has ever ventured before. That took courage for him to do. There are also other themes I see, such as trust, as the Druid doesn’t tell him everything and he must trust this man.
There are also (because this book is so long) other themes, such as never judge a book by its cover (quite a few characters have this trait), truth (could be argued that it’s the central theme of the book), and so much more.
I’m now starting to like books that have better characters. That means that the mannerisms are there and the little things that make a character unique. It’s a bit harder to show this in omniscient viewpoint because you’re always switching characters. I did notice some subtle differences in the characters, but mostly I got annoyed knowing everything that is happening everywhere.
Well, I thought it was a pretty good read for 700 pages. At times, it was a little slow and the paragraphs a little too long (it’s like looking at a wall of text). But overall, I believe I did enjoy the book and the story (it’s probably a bit overplayed now so the book doesn’t feel unique). I would recommend you buy this second hand because the new editions are expensive (sorry Brooks). I’ll get around the reading the next two in the original series later this year as it took me quite a few weeks to read this.