Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Contributor
Rachykaych
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-09-2009

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks


paulgoatallen wrote:

 

1. Do you consider The Sword of Shannara to be a "rip-off" of LOTR or do you look at it as an homage?

 

2.  How does Brooks world-building (of The Four Lands) stack up against more contemporary reads, say, like Sanderson's Elantris or Scholes' Named Lands?

 

3. How far, in your mind, has epic fantasy evolved since 1977 and The Sword of Shannara? Does this read stand the test of time?

 

4. I love the old cover art (below). Do you?

 

Paul 

  

 


I think the first question Paul posed has been dealt with. From what I have gleaned from the various posts most of you agree that "rip off" is not a fair assessment of The Sword of Shannara. In fact everyone seems to think that inspiration would be a better description of its relationship to Lord of the Rings.

As to the second question, now that we're further along in the book, I find the world of the Four Lands to be well realised and its history and societies unfold very well in the story. There are a few "info dump" pages but it's in the context of setting people straight (in particular Shea) so that the significance of the Sword is understood.

As I haven't read Elantris or the Named Lands, I can't really compare the world building there. As The Four Lands is opposite to Middle Earth, that is it's in our future where ME is our past, there is less "from scratch" world building. I think Brooks has the balance right for the story and as so many Shannara books have been published, I think it's safe to say the world he has built has solid foundations ( not to mention crenellations, flying buttresses and curtain walls!).

The third question, I personally will leave to another time.

And the fourth, actually of the original Shannara trilogy, this is my least favourite cover, however I prefer it to the updated one as I always like to see people in the artwork.

"He's winding up the watch of his wit. By and by it will strike."
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Posting from Shannara

 

I can't think of any way to continue to pick out reading sections and with the way things work in this book, it is probably best if we just read to the end and post as we go along. Unfortuately that could mean spoilers for new readers.

 

When we post, why don't we put the chapter number (I wish they had titles) prominently before our post. That way, people who are still reading and are not up to that point can save reading the post until they there and it won't spoil it for them. Things start happening quite rapidly from Chapter X (10) on, and a post just a chapter ahead (or even within the chapter) can spoil the resolutions of the cliff-hangers and the twists and turns in the plot for those who have not reached that point.

 

Anyone with a better idea, please make a suggestion! This is my first time reading this trilogy and I'm totally blind.

Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

[ Edited ]

I'm not sure what the best way is.  Posting specific chapter numbers will be a problem for me, because I usually post from work, where I don't have the book to refer to, and in my mind I don't have it all memorized as to exactly which things happen in which specific chapter.

 

Maybe it would still work out best to divide the book up into sections, but not necessarily find cliffhangers to base that on; just figure out how many chapters we can handle at a time.  I think there are 35 chapters?

 

I know that this is obviously not the way that you do things on this board, but on other boards they frequently have a separate thread for each section, so that people who have not read that section yet can just read the earlier threads.  This helps with spoilers.  Here, where there is just one thread for the entire novel, if people are at different points in the novel, they have to either decide not to read and participate at all until they get farther, or risk spoilers.  Especially if you don't break it into sections and read the whole novel, people may read at different paces and be at totally different points.  I think it is difficult to be reading a thread and trying to skip certain posts without seeing anything in them.

 

Anyway, I managed to get through chapter 14 last night, so I am at least caught up to the first section selected!  Sleep-deprived, but caught up!  Now I might start to fall behind again, as I take a break for a few days to read another Agatha Christie novel for the Mystery board and PBS Masterpiece.

Message Edited by dulcinea3 on 07-16-2009 11:37 AM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Just a thought that I had while reading a passage that described how Menion Leah had come to respect Balinor and consider him a leader: Balinor is a perfect role model for Menion.  They are both princes from the Southland, but Balinor has had to actually act like a prince.  He has been tested for one thing, by the fact that his father's kingdom is so close to the border with the Northland, so there are opportunities to prove oneself in battle.  Even though Balinor has apparently fallen out to some extent with his father and younger brother, he knows the responsibility that comes with royal blood and the obligation to one's people.  Menion, coming from a smaller kingdom much further into the Southland, and therefore more stable and peaceful, has not really had to take much responsibility so far in his life, even though he is an only son and his father's only heir.  He's had an easygoing lifestyle and is apparently not particularly dependable.  Somewhere deep down, he knows that this has to change sooner or later, and now he has the example of Balinor in front of him.  Modeling himself on Balinor, this can be a life-changing and positive experience for him.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks


dulcinea3 wrote:

I'm not sure what the best way is.  Posting specific chapter numbers will be a problem for me, because I usually post from work, where I don't have the book to refer to, and in my mind I don't have it all memorized as to exactly which things happen in which specific chapter.

 

Maybe it would still work out best to divide the book up into sections, but not necessarily find cliffhangers to base that on; just figure out how many chapters we can handle at a time.  I think there are 35 chapters?

 

I know that this is obviously not the way that you do things on this board, but on other boards they frequently have a separate thread for each section, so that people who have not read that section yet can just read the earlier threads.  This helps with spoilers.  Here, where there is just one thread for the entire novel, if people are at different points in the novel, they have to either decide not to read and participate at all until they get farther, or risk spoilers.  Especially if you don't break it into sections and read the whole novel, people may read at different paces and be at totally different points.  I think it is difficult to be reading a thread and trying to skip certain posts without seeing anything in them.

 

Anyway, I managed to get through chapter 14 last night, so I am at least caught up to the first section selected!  Sleep-deprived, but caught up!  Now I might start to fall behind again, as I take a break for a few days to read another Agatha Christie novel for the Mystery board and PBS Masterpiece.

Message Edited by dulcinea3 on 07-16-2009 11:37 AM

Tell me about it! From Chapter 10 on it is successive cliff hangers. This isn't LOTR anymore! Brooks is in full swing. You don't want to put it down. I'm almost through Chapter 13 and will be starting Chapter 14 -- like there are other things I should be doing right now!

 

We have 19 chapters more to go and I'll work out some sort of "section" schedule -- as soon as I finish Chapter 14. I guess that will be easier, especially for people who are reading other books at the same time and need a stopping point.

 

I have some comments I want to make on this second section and some that pertain to the overall book. I also want to address Paul's question about the world creation. 

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks


dulcinea3 wrote:
Just a thought that I had while reading a passage that described how Menion Leah had come to respect Balinor and consider him a leader: Balinor is a perfect role model for Menion.  They are both princes from the Southland, but Balinor has had to actually act like a prince.  He has been tested for one thing, by the fact that his father's kingdom is so close to the border with the Northland, so there are opportunities to prove oneself in battle.  Even though Balinor has apparently fallen out to some extent with his father and younger brother, he knows the responsibility that comes with royal blood and the obligation to one's people.  Menion, coming from a smaller kingdom much further into the Southland, and therefore more stable and peaceful, has not really had to take much responsibility so far in his life, even though he is an only son and his father's only heir.  He's had an easygoing lifestyle and is apparently not particularly dependable.  Somewhere deep down, he knows that this has to change sooner or later, and now he has the example of Balinor in front of him.  Modeling himself on Balinor, this can be a life-changing and positive experience for him.

I totally agree. Balinor is the born leader and far more mature than Menion. Menion is hot headed and impulsive. Menion is also very idealistic. He is very loyal and has a strong sense of morality. He has difficulty killing even though it may mean the survival of the group. I think Balinor might become a mentor for Menion. It is wonder that Brooks has taken two very similar characters (at least situation-wise) and turned them into very distinct and different personalities.

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara: Chapter 8-14

Brooks is still basically following the LOTR plot and chapter 8 & 9 are obviously comparable to the Council of Elrond. Brooks, though, has split the information and activity line of this council into two different encounters and chapters so that one chapter isn't overwhelmingly  overloaded with information. In chapter 8 we learn of the threat, establish a plan of action, and form a team that will combat the problem. One unusual occurance I found in this was the end of the chapter. Menion obvious has accepted his responsibility as a prince and representative of his kingdom and volunteered to go on this very dangerious mission. But then he does something unexpected to my way of thinking. He tricks Shea into volunteering (Page 146-7) as well by dangerously confronting Allanon. I don't know why he decided to include his totally inexperienced friend on such a dangerous mission.

 

Note here that Allanon is a very dangerous and mysterious person. Not the nice and friendly Gandalf. I think this is a significant defference.

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara: Chapter 8-14

Chapter 9 gives a very good history of how everything got to this point. I find it very interesting that Allanon is an Historian. Allanon is only telling this to "fellowship" group and not the whole council. On pages 164-5 there is an explanation of how the Sword of Shannara got its power and that this power can only be used by the person who believes in it and believes he is the one who can use the sword. This promted an odd thought in my mind. Allanon, who is obviously holding back a lot of significant information from the group, makes it very clear that only someone who "truly believes" can utilize the sword. But follow these words carefully:

 

"When Bremen gave the sword to Jerle Shannara, he made the mistake of giving it directly to a king and to the house of a king -- he did not give it to the people of the lands. As a result, through human misunderstanding and historical misconception, the universal belief grew that the Sword was the weapon of the Elven King along and that only those descended of his blood could take up the sword against the Warlock Lord. . . . The ancient tradition that only such a one can wield it will make all others doubt -- and there must be no doubt."

 

Now that leaves me with two questions:

 

1. Is Shea actually a descendant of Shannara and the only one who can wield the sword? Or has Allanon just picked a possible vague candidate and convinced Shea he is the sole descendant of Shannara to make him believe?

 

2. Can someone else wield the sword if he truly believes he can make it work? Could that person end up being another person like Menion?

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

This is the best I could come up with. Read at your own pace but when you post, make sure the chapter numbers are in your header so those who have not read that far yet can hold off reading the posts until they have finished that section. I am sure many of you (included me) will not finish the book before the end of the month. The thread isn't going anywhere. Just post when you are ready.

Reading Schedule for The Sword of Shannara

Part 1: Chapters 1-7 (pg. 128)
Part 2: Chapters 8-14 (pg  270)
Part 3: Chapters 15-20 (pg  388)
Part 4: Chapters 21-27 (pg 556)
Part 5: Chapters 28-34 (pg  726)
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

2.  How does Brooks world-building (of The Four Lands) stack up against more contemporary reads, say, like Sanderson's Elantris or Scholes' Named Lands?

 

--------------------

 

I think I may be able to address this question now.  I would say he does an exceptional job, especially since I am studying very detailed maps and reading a whole separate book on the history, geography, and creatures that inhabit The Four Lands. Elantris and the Named Lands are nowhere near as well realized! But a direct comparison is not quite fair so let me say a "few" more words. :smileywink:

Tolkien was very specific in that fantasy should be grounded in a possible and real world like our own. The sun is our sun, plants are plants we know, the geography is the type of geography that is familiar to us and has rivers, hills and valleys like we already know, Tolkien was so fussy about this that he made sure the stars were accurate for our stars and throughout LOTR made sure the moon phases fit. His fantasy elements and creations are derived from our own mythological stories. Malicious trees are very acceptable in our own mythology. Magic was in a form also consistent with our own mythology, usually done by wizards, witches and sorcerers, casting spells, reciting magical words or in magical talismans -- traditional magic. Tolkien first created his mythology, the Silmarillion (and felt strongly that the Silmiarillinon and LOTR should be published together). Well it never worked out but still that is where he was coming from.

Brooks pretty well followed the Tolkien model He wasn't into mythology or into languages for his world creation. But he did create a very detailed geography, a past and a more logical development of the present situation as far as the development of different species and why the world was the way it was than Tolkien did for my very logically oriented Leo mind. There was much in Tolkien I had difficulty accepting and understanding. I will probably comment more on these things specifically later on. Also, Brooks' world creation makes a lot more sense to me. But it does follow the rules that Tolkien set up.

Sanderson's world creation is totally different. It is not a fantasy world in the Tolkien model but more like a world created in Science Fiction and I would even say Hard Science Fiction. Elantris is a totally urban world and the fantasy world is, for the most part, contained within the city of Elantris -- the rest of the world seems pretty normal to me (well except for the Seons). In the Mistborn trilogy we have a totally foreign world. There is very little that is familiar -- the sun and planet are possibly some other and the vegetation and atmosphere are totally foreign to us. The various creatures or species seem to be more created than evolved (well Lord Ruler did do most of the Terriforming and creature creation come to think of it) and that mainly by embedded metals of the magic system. The magic system is more like hard science fiction. Though it was inspired by Alchemy the magic system does not follow the rules of alchemy. It is totally unlike the medieval-type magic and reminded me more of Krypton powered Superman. I'm not far enough into Warbreaker to comment a lot on that system but it too is unique and foreign to the Tolkien model.

Scholes' Named Lands (its people and system) are based more on the Brooks system and grounded more in our real world. It also, like Brooks, hints that it is the result of the disastrous venture of our time too far into science. It doesn't have other species (so far) only intelligent automations created by science nor does it have the complex magic of a Sanderson model. Its "magic"is simpler like invisibility dust and augmented vocal chords.

 

This is not being critical of the worlds created in these books, just that they are a totally different model.

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara: Chapter 8-14

Now here is a puzzlement! I've looked at the overall maps at the front of the books and the Eastlands map in the Wishsong (all of which are very tiny), the map in the book The World of Shannara and the online Map of Shannara (the best), And they all seem to have the Pass of Noose looking like an east-west pass. It doesn't make sense when following the book narrative since the next route they take is the Pass of Jade, also an east-west pass. It seems to me that The Pass of Noose would have to be a south-north pass leading through the Mountians. I'm assuming that they traveled the eastern side of the mountains through the forest, since I gather no one in this land would want to travel through the spirit-creature filled Wolfsktaag. And if they did why would they go east through the mountains and then double back west?

 

Does anyone have better information on this?

Contributor
Rachykaych
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-09-2009

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara: Chapter 8-14

[ Edited ]

Nadine wrote:

Now here is a puzzlement! I've looked at the overall maps at the front of the books and the Eastlands map in the Wishsong (all of which are very tiny), the map in the book The World of Shannara and the online Map of Shannara (the best), And they all seem to have the Pass of Noose looking like an east-west pass. It doesn't make sense when following the book narrative since the next route they take is the Pass of Jade, also an east-west pass. It seems to me that The Pass of Noose would have to be a south-north pass leading through the Mountians. I'm assuming that they traveled the eastern side of the mountains through the forest, since I gather no one in this land would want to travel through the spirit-creature filled Wolfsktaag. And if they did why would they go east through the mountains and then double back west?

 

Does anyone have better information on this?


I'm afraid I don't.

I read the books (all of them) and the first Shannara trilogy many times and the geographic anomaly has never made sense to me.

I might bring it up on Terry Brooks website. He answers questions about his books there every month   http://www.terrybrooks.net/

  I've just posted the question, actually and it won't be answered (if at all) til next month. I'll keep you posted on any developments

 

Message Edited by Rachykaych on 07-18-2009 01:28 PM
"He's winding up the watch of his wit. By and by it will strike."
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara: Chapter 8-14


Rachykaych wrote:

Nadine wrote:

Now here is a puzzlement! I've looked at the overall maps at the front of the books and the Eastlands map in the Wishsong (all of which are very tiny), the map in the book The World of Shannara and the online Map of Shannara (the best), And they all seem to have the Pass of Noose looking like an east-west pass. It doesn't make sense when following the book narrative since the next route they take is the Pass of Jade, also an east-west pass. It seems to me that The Pass of Noose would have to be a south-north pass leading through the Mountians. I'm assuming that they traveled the eastern side of the mountains through the forest, since I gather no one in this land would want to travel through the spirit-creature filled Wolfsktaag. And if they did why would they go east through the mountains and then double back west?

 

Does anyone have better information on this?


I'm afraid I don't.

I read the books (all of them) and the first Shannara trilogy many times and the geographic anomaly has never made sense to me.

I might bring it up on Terry Brooks website. He answers questions about his books there every month   http://www.terrybrooks.net/

  I've just posted the question, actually and it won't be answered (if at all) til next month. I'll keep you posted on any developments

 

Message Edited by Rachykaych on 07-18-2009 01:28 PM

Great site! Thanks! I spent some time reading some of the stuff, especially Brooks' answers to questions. Since I'm only on the first book a lot didn't mean much to me, but probably does to someone who has been reading the Shannara books and is looking forward to some more.

 

It is interesting to note that, though Brooks has written many books in the world of Shannara, it isn't an endless series. You can read single books or trilogies as self-contained units. I like that idea. You get the best of both worlds. I'm surprised that more authors don't follow this pattern. And it seems marketing-wise this would reap more money. The fan base must dwindle as time goes on for a lengthy series. New converts have to start at the beginning and a bad reviews of drawn-out books is likely to discourage those. With limited series within the same world, fans can keep getting new material, newcomers don't have the daunting task of reading long series with discouraging reviews, and a bad book or even trilogy in the limited series doesn't ruin interest in the other books.

 

Inspired Scribe
carmen22
Posts: 988
Registered: ‎01-12-2009

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

[ Edited ]

Hey Everybody I'm Back and with a Tan too:smileywink:!

 

However, I'm seriously way behind! I'm only 108 pages in (sorry, not much time to read, but I'll catch up the best I can), and I see we are moving on to chapter 14, so I'll continue on after I hit chapter seven to catch back up. I'll make a few comments though while I'm on.

 

Chapters 1-7

 

I am really liking this book so far and it's intriguing realm and characters. We have Allanon our mysterious traveler, Flick the caring brother, Shea the long lost Elf King(heir), and Menion a to die for best friend. It seems to me that Brooks has set us up with some really fantastic characters that seem to all have there own special qualities.

 

Flick, he's a strong character it seems. Shea is not his true brother, but that doesn't mean he doesn't love him as such. You can really feel his love for his brother, because he won't let Shea take this daring quest to fend and fight on his own. (I can see the comparison here to Frodo and Sam's characters in LOTR and ones love for one another, however, I still really enjoy it!) Flick shows heart and bravery even though at times he is absolutely terrified and I'm really liking this character so far. ( Something I love about Brooks is so far his characters seem to get scared and even terrified at times and shows it, it makes the characters more real to me.)

 

Shea, we have an Elf King, or heir to the throne, who didn't know he was such until recently and even now he's not so sure he believes it or not. Shea makes for a really brave and caring character to leave at the first sign of danger, not for the fact of being a King or getting his hands on the Shannara Sword, but for the saftey of others even though he was scared stiff and didn't want to leave his father. He also seems grateful for the love his brother has for him and joining him on this dangerous quest.

 

Menion, I have to say he is my favorite character so far. Menion makes for a wonderful friend that anyone would die to have, and I find him to be quite funny as well. He's right there beside his friend to help him on his quest even though it could mean certain death and nothing in return for the hassle. Even though old cautious Flick doesn't trust him (though I do! :smileyhappy:) he still ends up saving them when they needed it, though he could've run. He seems to be a quick thinker and a fast reactor, and has saved Shea and Flick a few times already (and I'm only 108 pages in) and I'm excited to see what becomes of him and his Sword (weapons).

 

Krista

Message Edited by carmen22 on 07-18-2009 04:22 PM
_______________________
"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Krista wrote:

Hey Everybody I'm Back andwith a Tan too:smileywink:!

 

However, I'm seriously way behind! I'm only 108 pages in (sorry, not much time to read, but I'll catch up the best I can), and I see we are moving on to chapter 14, so I'll continue on after I hit chapter seven to catch back up. I'll make a few comments though while I'm on.

 

 ------------------------

 

Great to see you back, Krista. I'll just put back on my Shannara hat and add my comments to your comments!

Bibliophile
Melhay
Posts: 2,062
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks


dulcinea3 wrote:
Just a thought that I had while reading a passage that described how Menion Leah had come to respect Balinor and consider him a leader: Balinor is a perfect role model for Menion.  They are both princes from the Southland, but Balinor has had to actually act like a prince.  He has been tested for one thing, by the fact that his father's kingdom is so close to the border with the Northland, so there are opportunities to prove oneself in battle.  Even though Balinor has apparently fallen out to some extent with his father and younger brother, he knows the responsibility that comes with royal blood and the obligation to one's people.  Menion, coming from a smaller kingdom much further into the Southland, and therefore more stable and peaceful, has not really had to take much responsibility so far in his life, even though he is an only son and his father's only heir.  He's had an easygoing lifestyle and is apparently not particularly dependable.  Somewhere deep down, he knows that this has to change sooner or later, and now he has the example of Balinor in front of him.  Modeling himself on Balinor, this can be a life-changing and positive experience for him.

I really do agree with Menion looking up to Balinor and respecting him as a leader.  I also think he does see some resemblences between them and could possibly be a of a stature of Balinor, and actually want to be of the same stature.

 

Part of me thinks Menion knows that he will have to do Kingly duties when the time comes, but why not enjoy life and what you can now before that time comes and you are then not able to do it.  Also, in a strange way I think Menion is learning things that may not be courtly but of battle and wilderness things that could help him in other ways and times of needs.

 

I think Menion knows that his time will come and he will have to take the position on King and calm down and do what needs done, therefore enjoying what he can of his life now even if it is careless.

_______________________
"There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us." From Nyphron Rising, By Michael J. Sullivan

My Blog Spot: http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/
Bibliophile
Melhay
Posts: 2,062
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Nadine wrote: 

I totally agree. Balinor is the born leader and far more mature than Menion. Menion is hot headed and impulsive. Menion is also very idealistic. He is very loyal and has a strong sense of morality. He has difficulty killing even though it may mean the survival of the group. I think Balinor might become a mentor for Menion. It is wonder that Brooks has taken two very similar characters (at least situation-wise) and turned them into very distinct and different personalities.

____________________

Balinor and Menion almost seem like two sides of the same coin.  They are so different yet so the same.  I do think by just the few examples you gave Nadine, that Balinor and Menion could learn a lot of things from each other.  Even though Balinor is a stronger and more mature character, he could learn a few things from Menion also, the killing thing.

 

They are both very loyal to their people.

_______________________
"There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us." From Nyphron Rising, By Michael J. Sullivan

My Blog Spot: http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks


carmen22 wrote:

Hey Everybody I'm Back and with a Tan too:smileywink:!

 

However, I'm seriously way behind! I'm only 108 pages in (sorry, not much time to read, but I'll catch up the best I can), and I see we are moving on to chapter 14, so I'll continue on after I hit chapter seven to catch back up. I'll make a few comments though while I'm on.

 

Chapters 1-7

 

I am really liking this book so far and it's intriguing realm and characters. We have Allanon our mysterious traveler, Flick the caring brother, Shea the long lost Elf King(heir), and Menion a to die for best friend. It seems to me that Brooks has set us up with some really fantastic characters that seem to all have there own special qualities.

-----------------------------------

 

I totally agree. The strong point of Brook's writing is his well defined characters. Each one of the characters in the quest group have past lives and very distinct personalities. Also, I noted several of them seem to have doubts or other issues beyond the quest that they are dealing with. This means we are going to see some development in each of the characters and my guess that each will come forward in the story has a significant character in their own right beyond just a companion with certain skills to get Shea to his destination. This becomes more apparent as the story moves on.

 

Much of this takes place after they leave Culhaven and you have just arrived there, so I will wait ot comment on the individual quest figures when you get to the next stage of the Journey.

 

Nadine

==============================

 

Flick, he's a strong character it seems. Shea is not his true brother, but that doesn't mean he doesn't love him as such. You can really feel his love for his brother, because he won't let Shea take this daring quest to fend and fight on his own. (I can see the comparison here to Frodo and Sam's characters in LOTR and ones love for one another, however, I still really enjoy it!) Flick shows heart and bravery even though at times he is absolutely terrified and I'm really liking this character so far. ( Something I love about Brooks is so far his characters seem to get scared and even terrified at times and shows it, it makes the characters more real to me.)

 

Shea, we have an Elf King, or heir to the throne, who didn't know he was such until recently and even now he's not so sure he believes it or not. Shea makes for a really brave and caring character to leave at the first sign of danger, not for the fact of being a King or getting his hands on the Shannara Sword, but for the saftey of others even though he was scared stiff and didn't want to leave his father. He also seems grateful for the love his brother has for him and joining him on this dangerous quest.

 

Menion, I have to say he is my favorite character so far. Menion makes for a wonderful friend that anyone would die to have, and I find him to be quite funny as well. He's right there beside his friend to help him on his quest even though it could mean certain death and nothing in return for the hassle. Even though old cautious Flick doesn't trust him (though I do! :smileyhappy:) he still ends up saving them when they needed it, though he could've run. He seems to be a quick thinker and a fast reactor, and has saved Shea and Flick a few times already (and I'm only 108 pages in) and I'm excited to see what becomes of him and his Sword (weapons).

--------------------------------

 

I'm finding Menion tghe most interesting character so far. I think he will be playing a major role in this saga, and will come out of it a far more mature person.

 

Nadine

 

========================

 

Krista

Message Edited by carmen22 on 07-18-2009 04:22 PM

 

Bibliophile
Melhay
Posts: 2,062
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara: Chapter 8-14


Nadine wrote:

Chapter 9 gives a very good history of how everything got to this point. I find it very interesting that Allanon is an Historian. Allanon is only telling this to "fellowship" group and not the whole council. On pages 164-5 there is an explanation of how the Sword of Shannara got its power and that this power can only be used by the person who believes in it and believes he is the one who can use the sword. This promted an odd thought in my mind. Allanon, who is obviously holding back a lot of significant information from the group, makes it very clear that only someone who "truly believes" can utilize the sword. But follow these words carefully:

 

"When Bremen gave the sword to Jerle Shannara, he made the mistake of giving it directly to a king and to the house of a king -- he did not give it to the people of the lands. As a result, through human misunderstanding and historical misconception, the universal belief grew that the Sword was the weapon of the Elven King along and that only those descended of his blood could take up the sword against the Warlock Lord. . . . The ancient tradition that only such a one can wield it will make all others doubt -- and there must be no doubt."

 

Now that leaves me with two questions:

 

1. Is Shea actually a descendant of Shannara and the only one who can wield the sword? Or has Allanon just picked a possible vague candidate and convinced Shea he is the sole descendant of Shannara to make him believe?

 

2. Can someone else wield the sword if he truly believes he can make it work? Could that person end up being another person like Menion?


 

I am glad you mentioned this section Nadine.

 

I think Shea is a descendant that can yield the sword.  Yet, my questions went to the other side.

 

There is mention on pg 164:

 "...Its power is petent only when it is believed, for it is power over the mind which can neither be touched nor seen through human senses.  If the mind does not truly find some basis for belief in its existance, then it can have no real effect."

Then the line on pg 165:

 "Only the blood and belief of a descendant of Shannara can invoke the latent power of the great sword."

 

I was wondering if Shea will have problems getting the sword to work at first because he does not believe in himself or in the sword stories (mostly because he doesn't understand enough of his elven history).  Of course the sword would have to work in the end in some way to end the book, but maybe not in the way it is to work.

 

I did wonder however like you Nadine, if the sword could be used by someone such as Menion if he believes enough in himself being able to yeild it.

 

I have also been wondering why Shea is not getting sword lessons from Balinor or Menion in the travels.  If he knows he is going to have to use a sword why not learn how to?  Or does he already know how to use a sword, he and Flick only have hunting knives?

_______________________
"There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us." From Nyphron Rising, By Michael J. Sullivan

My Blog Spot: http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/
Bibliophile
Melhay
Posts: 2,062
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: JULY FEATURE #3: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

2.  How does Brooks world-building (of The Four Lands) stack up against more contemporary reads, say, like Sanderson's Elantris or Scholes' Named Lands?

______________

 

I read through Nadines post on this question and everything written I do agree with.

 

I was thinking along the writting styles of the different writers. 

 

  Sanderson has a very unique style of giving you the history without giving you a history lesson of the world.  This is a wonderful style of giving you the current standings in the world for the people, government, and everything through the current happenings in small sections through out the book.  (I just have to say I have grown to truely, really love this style.)

  Scholes has kind of the same style of Sanderson in his writting that just keeps you moving forward without having to really look back to the past to see what is going on and why.

  Brooks has a style different of the other two.  He builds his world in current standings starting small.  Just with the Valemen.  Then along the way the current world grows very big with the other people you come across.  Then you get you small history lessons of the way of the world past and present as one person sees it (the wise one who has done the traveling).  You only get what that one person is willing to give up when they are ready to share it.  Yet, even at this point of chapter 13, the world is very complex and detailed that I have the history pages marked so I am able to go back and refresh my memory. 

 

I do think even though it is a different style Brooks has built a wonderous world with great detail and so much more to come.

_______________________
"There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us." From Nyphron Rising, By Michael J. Sullivan

My Blog Spot: http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/