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I've been a Brooks fan since I read Sword of Shannara at age 12 in 1991 on vacation. I didn't put the book down the entire drive. I love the world and the characters.
Some years later I discovered books on tape and my audio book life began. Since I discovered Audible, I've been hoping this four book Heritage of Shannara series would receive the full, unabridged treatment (an abridged book is an appalling blasphemy).
I couldn't be more pleased with the results. If you wish to pick apart some oft-used or too-familiar fantasy tropes in this series, you can certainly do so. Good on you and I hope it makes you feel smugly pleased with yourself. But, if you genuinely love Brooks's Shannara world with all its rich life and wonderfully familiar groups like the Leahs, Ohmsfords, Druids, Elves, Rock Trolls, Dwarves and all the familiar landscapes, lineages and a beautiful and reliable narrative with enough changes to stand apart from past series, then you owe it to yourself to listen to these books and immerse yourself in the stories.
The narration is just right, neither dominating the tone nor detracting from the story. It is inviting and at no point forces you out of the Four Lands.
I always loved this series for the separate but equal storylines followed in the four books. I can't wait to begin The Druid and follow it immediately with The Elf Queen. This is a must-listen for Brooks fans.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Definitely a bit dark but a wonderfully written story that is very well read by John Lee. The story is clearly a setup for the reminder of the books in this series but sets up the characters and the storyline nicely. Unlike a lot of YA books in this genre, these characters have depth and are very vulnerable at times. The author's world building is pretty good and continues to develop as the story and series continues. It is the classic good versus evil but a very good story with interesting plot twists and main characters struggling with their own doubts and whether they have the courage to do the right thing. Very well done, especially for a first book in a new series.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
In printed format, Yes, I would recommend this and the other books in the series. In Audio format, NO. Not unless they re-recored them with a different, more capable narrator.
Who was your favorite character and why?
It has been decades since I read these books, and I didn't listen long enough to this audio version, to either make a decision, or remember any of the characters from the books.
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of John Lee?
Andrew Wincott. Rupert Degas. Simon Vance. There are many good narrators out there. In my opinion Mr Lee isn't one of them..
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Not sure. It would depend on the cast.
Any additional comments?
This is just one more of my favorite books tortured to death by an awful narrator. Its depressing to think of all the books I would have loved to listen to, that I just can't stand to hear, thanks to the wrong people reading them. I've already tried and returned the first three books of the Shannara Series, as they too were ruined by another poor narrator.
The flavour and intensity of the previous books maintained, and I like the fact that the exact underlying cause of all the scion troubles is kept concealed.