The Sword of Shannara - Shannara 1 Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Sword of Shannara - Shannara 1

Shea Ohmsford is just an ordinary tavern-keepers apprentice who is visited by a mysterious druid. The druid tells him he's got to leave in order to evade pursuit from a skull bearer, who he says is a servant of an evil warlock. He and his half-brother Flick do what he says after actually encountering the creature mentioned. They are joined by Menion Leah, a good-for-nothing prince.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Later they meet up with the druid Allanon, who tells them they've got to go to Paranor to recover the Sword of Shannara, a special blade that belonged to Shea's father, who died a long time ago, and that the sword is the only way of slaying the Warlock Lord. They are joined by an some elves and a dwarf and a prince in their attempt to recover it, and pretty soon they get seperated and are each involved in seperate tasks.

Shea and Flick are captured by a troll and a one-handed bandit, which temporarily halts their progress in their quest, after which bandit and troll in question release them from bondage and they find a sword on the body of a dead gnome that just happens to be the Sword of Shannara. With the help of this sword, they pass through a deadly fog and Shea kills the Warlock Lord, and meanwhile, the rest of the group winds up trying to stop the evil Druid Stemnin, a servant of the Warlock Lord.
The review of this Book prepared by Steve Arthur

This engrossing book deals with several issues at once: First of all, there's a young person who doesn't know who he really is & once shown, cannot accept the truth of it. Next, you have a villain who also cannot accept the truth of the very core of his existence. Once both accept the truth about themselves, the plot of the book resolves itself. On the journey to these truths (eventually revealed by the legendary Sword of Shannara) you have a mix of dedicated adventurers brought together by their concern over the darkness sweeping the land into chaos. Allanon, a powerful, concerned druid, (the last of his kind dedicated to good), is the glue that holds the little band together, despite their opinions, good & bad, of him & his intentions. Magic plays a large part of the backbone of the book; rather, it is the source from which all the other elements grow. A mixture of mental & physical battles permeate the ebb & flow of this powerful book. It is a book of realization of one's self & destiny, and the selflessness that comes with maturity.
The review of this Book prepared by Vandor

Chapter Analysis of The Sword of Shannara - Shannara 1

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 30%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   sensitive (sigh....) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   great warrior Tech./$$$/Info hunt    -   Yes Stealing/recovering/destroying    -   magical weapon Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman    -   blue collar worker Age:    -   a teen    -   20's-30's


Terrain    -   Mountains    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times    -   distant future A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society    -   inhabited by friendly aliens    -   unfriendly aliens    -   primitive aliens Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Sword of Shannara - Shannara 1

Terry Brooks Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian