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Reading Update/Half-Baked Book Review: August 1, 2019

The Sword of Shannara vs. The Lord of the Rings

I’m not really sure I understand The Sword of Shannara. I gave it my best shot.

It’s a New York Times bestseller. And it has a lot of stuff going for it, including a new TV series. I wasn’t ever really interested in it, but I saw it at the library, grabbed it on a whim, and took it home.

It started pretty slow. I was okay with that. Lots of terrific books don’t start in media res. So I stifled my yawn and kept reading through the “Enter Mysterious Stranger” and introduction of actual main character. Big wizard-y guy. Kind of like Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings, at least in role, if not in bushy eyebrows. Oh, and then the wizard-y guy leaves with a warning to leave the Shire–er–Shady Vale, as quickly as possible.

“Like The Lord of the Rings with Frodo?” some little part of my mind wondered.

Oh, and then there’s this creepy thing chasing them through the night that can fly.

Like a Black Rider and Nazgul.

Hush, the book seemed to say. Keep reading.

I kept reading. Met Menion Leah and watched the little band travel through a creepy forest.

Me: Like the Old Forest on the other side of Crickhollow?

Book: Hush.

Me: While we’re talking, Flick does behave a lot like Samwise, don’t you think?

Book: Hush already.

I kept reading. Menion Leah fights this ugly tree that has a temperament remarkably similar to Old Man Willow, got to this haven of dwarves that seems a great deal like Rivendell, oh, and then there’s a council where a Fellowship is chosen to take a group on a quest…

Yeah. If it had been The Lord of the Rings over again, I couldn’t have complained. I love that book. But Terry Brooks isn’t Tolkien. I wasn’t feeling much of anything for the characters, and his long historic/political lectures didn’t really seem to fit.

So I probably won’t even make it to the Sword the book is named after. Which is a shame.

I’d really like to be wrong about this.

If anybody’s out there who knows and loves the book, please, please tell me about it. I’d hate to give up on something good before it really got going. I just can’t really see what’s ahead.

And there are other beautiful books bewitching me with their voices like mythical sirens, calling my name.

Writing Status: Unblocked

Word count for the last 24 hours was something like 4,000 plus words. Which I don’t usually see outside of NaNoWriMo season. Unless writing is going very, very well.


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