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The Sword of Shannara Trilogy Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 27, 2002
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The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch
“If Harry Potter has given you a thirst for fantasy and you have not discovered the magic of Terry Brooks, you are in for a treat.”
–Rocky Mountain News
“[Ilse Witch] finds Mr. Brooks’s power ascending . . . The action and creatures come fast and furious.”
–The Dallas Morning News
The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Antrax
“Antrax is great, and it confirms Terry’s place at the head of the fantasy world.”
Author of The Golden Compass and The Amber Spyglass
“An engaging read . . . Fine storytelling . . . Antrax is a satisfying story.”
From the Inside Flap
years ago, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks wrote a novel that brought to life a dazzling world that would become one of the most popular fantasy epics of all time, beloved by millions of fans around the world. Ten more Shannara books would follow. Now, for the first time in one elegant collectors edition hardcover, and featuring an introduction by the author, here are the first three novels of that classic series: The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara, and The Wishsong of Shannarathe beginning of a phenomenal epic of good and evil.
The Sword of Shannara
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
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This kindle edition is excellent, though lacking the gorgeous Brothers Hildebrandt illustrations in my old paperback. A must read for any fan of fantasy.
The Sword of Shanara trilogy written by Terry Brooks is about a mythical world rooted in the tension between old-world-magic and, what could be seen, as rational thought. We are taken on an expansive trip through the three separate generations of the Ohmsford family. This is a family of elven children who are actually teenagers, who unknowingly possess magical skills that can unlock some of the great events threatening the world they hold dear. The adventures in this quasi-medieval world involve the conflation of the races of men, elves, dwarves and, yes even trolls and gnomes. All of the inhabitants of this world are pawns in a struggle between the forces of magic and the books present, which smacks of an emerging modernity. Forged from an intricate history involving ancient wars and what we could see as geo-political conflicts, there emerges a sprawling epic not too different from what we experience in our own world. The author uses the character of Allanon, a man symbolizing a race of men called the druids, to parcel out historical lessons to these protagonist young people as he leads them through dangerous adventures. At one time the druids mastered the mysteries of using magic to try and better the human condition, but the intertwining epics of three generations makes the reader understand that the wielding of magic and power can have devastating effects. Absolute power tends to absolutely corrupt.
I found the work, although somewhat wordy, a wonderful read. Brooks’ power of description to the many environments, the descriptions of character emotions, and the varied monster and beast creatures, made this a treasure-trove of description. Although the two maps provided general locations to the many rivers, mountains, cities and castles, I did wish, however, that the map could provide more detail to the narrative. I believe the work was worthy of some illustrations and relief maps. I wanted to follow the treks, particularly of Jair Ohmsford’s party and his sister Brin Ohmsford and her party.
The power of the work was manifest in how the protagonist’s inner-monologue worked while confronted with flagrant evil. The young adults were driven by restraint and circumspection about what they felt they needed to do to save their selves and their kind. Their self-doubt, introspective thoughts were refreshing in an age of computer games where kids feel that destructive force is always justified. Make no mistake violence forces are afoot, but so is the power of reason. I found the young protagonists were governed by a higher power mitigating against blind rage and thoughtless action. Our protagonists in all three epics do what we all should do, question ourselves, gather some facts and have the courage to carry out our mission. We all face forces that loom bigger than what we are capable of handling.
Of course, sometimes the nature of faith enters in as well. There are no theistic components here that I can see, but there doesn’t need to be. Faith in a common good, free will and understanding that there is good and there is evil pervades these stories. The characters learn to trust one another and value each other’s purpose. There is the threat of holocaust, destruction and chaos at every turn, but this world is also governed by the forces for good. The players have stakes, experience death, separation and suffering, but all for the welfare and preservation of family and tribe.
This is a must for your library. There is a powerful imagination residing in this work. I am entertained, but I am also edified by the lessons that are so abundant in this work.