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Heritage of Shannara, The by Terry Brooks

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Submitted by David McCormick 
(Oct 05, 2006)

Terry Brooks has a distinctive style of writing - I think you either like it or hate it. I've read the Shannara set a couple of times, and I've just finished Druid, will be starting Elf Queen tomorrow. Itís true, the characters are always well developed, and Brooks has great storytelling, exciting style. But I do have a few queries. Why, oh why do all the characters have to refer to each other with there first and last name! I mean, I would go up to a close friend and say "Hi John Smith, how are you?", then "so, John Smith, what have you been up to?" The amount of times that Walker and Morgan get the full name treatment is total excessive. Also, the description that Brooks gives for Shady Vale is as a quiet village hardly noticeable, stuck away from prying eyes - yet everyone you meet knows about "Valemen"! There must be signs for Shady Vale stretching from Mount Doom (sorry, Skull Mountain) to Lothlorien (sorry, Arborlon). My last issue is with the general society of the cultures in this post-apocalyptic world. In the near 2 thousand years since the Great War, not one invention has been made. No washing machines, double glazing, internal combustion engine, shower gel. How is it they have stayed in the same age for, well, ages! Surely man would have evolved to think of something to improve their lifestyles - unless the radiation caused IQ meltdown. As an afterthought, doesn't anyone ever go to the toilet in that world?

This all aside, they are still a great read. The characters evoke emotion and feeling. You warm to the lemming like philosophy of the Ohmsfords and their cohorts, and Brooks sure can write an action scene. Well worth going back and reading them twice.

Submitted by Gerald Lillywhite 
(Nov 30, 2003)

I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre and the Heritage of Shannara series is the best I have ever read.

I my opinion, every line of it is refreshingly original and the idea to set up the plot with the first book but then to focus primarily on the quests of certain characters was great, and never lost sight of the original goal.

I am a lit student and it was great to find that the series wasn't all that complicated to understand or read, but was different to other novels of the same genre.

Ultimately what I found most wonderful about the series was the incredible way each character was characterised. Starting with Par and finishing with Matty Roh, each character was given a sense or belonging in the text and a genuine identity. Each character played some role in the ultimate ending and you weren't left wondering about what had happened to them.

In addition to this, the settings the series contained were described in such detail that you actually felt like you were there. Every time the plot crossed back to a particular setting Terry Brooks would redescribe it, which helped in this effect.

At the end of the day I was greatly impressed with the series, mainly because it was fun to read, compared to some other novels of the genre which can become boring after a time, because with so many twists and turns it becomes hard to remember some details.

I would definitely give this series five out of five and Book four of the series, (The Talismans of Shannara) was the best because I thought Walker Boh's development as a character was the most beneficial part of the series.

Submitted by Kirsty 
(Jul 23, 2001)

Hi I'm 13 and am reading The Talisman of Shannara, from the moment I read the first page of the first book I was hooked. Brooks writes in a way so that you are eagerly reading through the chapter of one persons adventure to get to the next chapter and the next persons adventure.

Submitted by karel popelier
(Jul 06, 2000)

hey I'm 19 years old from belgium and I'm reading (the dutch translation) the heritage of shannara serie I'm now almost halfway the second one(the druid), and I've read the Shannara serie already.
I must say that Brooks' books are excellent.

Although the storyline(a quest, first with a united group, then seperated groups) is almost always exactly the same, but it never gets predictable and you stay thrilled by the book.

My other favourite author is Terry Pratchett btw

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