I barely got through the first half of this book because of its lack of originality. Almost every element of the plot was borrowed, probably unintentionally, from Tolkein. Shea and Flick (Frodo and Sam) leave their protected Shady Vale (the Shire), being hunted by wraithlike minions of the Dark Lord. The elfstones, like the Ring, reveal the bearer's position to the Dark Lord. A company made of men, dwarves, and elves joins together to travel with Shea (the Ringbearer) to find the Sword. Shea is poisoned and must be rushed to a the Anar (Rivendell)where are healed. Allanon (Gandalf) leads his company into the Hall of Kings, a cross between the Mines of Moria and the Paths of the Dead, where he fights a powerful monster that was aroused from the depths by their passing. Later Allanon fights with another creature, both fall into the abyss, and later Allanon reappears alive. Huge armies of Gnomes and Trolls are assembled by the Dark Lord just as Orcs are gathered in LOTR.
On the plus side, the second half of the book brings up a lot more original ideas. The subplot with Panamon Creel and Keltset was absolutely delightful, and gave me the only true emotional feeling of the whole book. Terry Brooks writes well, but much of it has been written before and, sorry to say this, better.