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The Annotated Sword of Shannara: 35th Anniversary Edition by Terry Brooks
Review by Steve Sawicki
Del Rey Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345535139
Date: 13 November 2012 List Price $35.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

This is an annotated version. For those unfamiliar with such works, the author makes notes alongside the original text to give you additional insight into what is going on. There are 188 such entries here.

Sword of Shannara was Brooks breakthrough book and the first really embraced epic fantasy since the Lord of the Rings. Not that there had not been other fantasies published after LOTR but none had garnered the kind of praise both inside and outside genre readers that LOTR had. So, it is somehow fitting that, thirty five years after the first publication, that Brooks returns once more to that first book. He's also written a follow up trilogy that is now being published so the marketing end of it is a no brainer as well.

If you are a hardcore fan it is difficult to tell whether the 188 entries here will be enough of an enticement. Of course if you had planned to re-read the series then by all means get this book and enjoy. If, for some reason you have not read the book then also this is a good choice for you. The story itself is well worth reading and time has placed no scars on the text. It is as enjoyable, although quite different, than Lord of the Rings.

I was one of those who found the original Sword of Shannara to be quite enthralling as did many of the other readers I knew at the time. The writing was very good and the story was very different from what we had seen previously. Sure the standard tropes were there but they are in all books and it is how the writer handles those that makes or breaks a work. Brooks was a master at telling this story in a way that kept things moving forward while wrapping much of it in a mystery and the unknown. This book is definitely recommended.

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