First King of Shannara

Terry Brooks, Author
Terry Brooks, Author Random House Inc $23.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-345-39652-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-0-345-39653-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-41192-1
Open Ebook - 978-0-345-44463-9
Prebound-Other - 435 pages - 978-0-606-17127-4
Prebound-Glued - 435 pages - 978-0-7807-9375-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-93336-2
Paperback - 534 pages - 978-1-84149-547-7
Open Ebook - 227 pages - 978-1-299-05720-3
Hardcover - 496 pages - 978-1-85723-655-2
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You can't find the Four Lands on any map of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth; but, given all the elves, dwarves, warlocks, trolls and gnomes that run rampant in the setting of Brooks's many Shannara novels (The Talismans of Shannara, etc.), readers can be forgiven for trying. Tolkien's influence is so strong in this prequel to The Sword of Shannara (1977), which launched the series, that many of the events here seem predictable or repetitive. Set 500 years before the events of Sword, the novel chronicles the destruction of ivory-towered Paranor and its Druid scholars, tracing the subsequent adventures of the outcast Druid-magician Bremen. With a handful of companions, he must find and hide the Black Elfstone from the Warlock Lord and forge a magic sword for Elven King Jerle Shannara to wield against the warlock. Brooks's prose generates a breakneck pace, but it lacks depth of characterization and also the wealth of linguistic invention that the most satisfying high fantasy offers. As an allegory of the eternal struggle between good and evil, the vital basis of fantasy, Brooks's mythical universe also suffers from a crucial dearth of those magical moments of heart-stopping revelation when, against all hope, against all reason, against all the forces of evil, salvation comes at last. Author tour. (Apr.)
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