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Topic: What do YOU do?? Terry Brooks and Shannara

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Subject: What do YOU do?? Terry Brooks and Shannara
Date Posted: 2/1/2009 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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Okay...let's suppose that I'm going to embark on Terry Brooks' "Shannara" series. 

It started out as a trilogy...then he added four more (give or take), then he wrote a prequel.

Would you read the prequel first?  Or would you read this series in the order of publication?  Which would be best?

 

Subject: Don't read them in chronological order the first time
Date Posted: 2/1/2009 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2008
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I work in a library and we usually don't recommend the prequel if you are new to the series.  I haven't read them myself but I know several people who say start with the trilogy.

Here's a good link to check out

http://www.terrybrooks.net/readingorder.html

Date Posted: 2/2/2009 7:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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Karen...thanks! That link was exactly what I needed! 

Date Posted: 2/2/2009 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
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Wow great link! I loved the original Shannara trilogy but kind of stopped after the second series. I may have to go back and read them all again and then pick up the newer ones!

Date Posted: 2/2/2009 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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Bren, that's what I'm doing.  I read the original trilogy...and that was it.  That was a great link, wasn't it??

Date Posted: 2/2/2009 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2005
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Don't read the prequel first.  I got through it only once, after blasting through the original trilogy and then the next four in a "must read all things Shannara" binge in high school.  I have never been able to get "into" it any other time I've picked it up since, and I'm usually a big re-reader (I think I've read through Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series about 5 times now, for comparison).

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 6:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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Hmmm...that's good to know, Nicole.  I have Martin's series on hand too.  I also have Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books.  I've "hoarded" these three series to read again all the way through (except for Martin..haven't read his yet).

I like it when the author recommends a reading list.  I tend to be anal about reading things in order, and when I can't decide if it should be in chronological order or order of publication...well, the angst!!  LOL...that's why I've never started Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books...arrrgghhh!!

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 2/7/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
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When reading a series the first time I always read the books in the order they were written.  If you think about it, no matter how much an author tries to write a prequel as a new starting point to an existing series, there is still an expectation that the reader will already know basic things about the world and characters - taking time to explain everything from the original book(s) all over again would be redundant and probably annoy the fans by telling them things they already know.  Shannara is one of these that I would definitely recommend reading in publication order, expecially now that Brooks has tied in his Word and the Void series with the Shannara books.

If I read a series a second time, then I'll read it according to the story chronology.  (Which I actually intend to do with Shannara one day...)

For me the only exception to the rule is with multi-media mass-market stuff (like Star Wars, Star Trek, etc.) where there is just so much of it, and all written by different authors, that reading order is almost meaningless.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2007
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Great link. I love Terry brooks I am reading them in order of publication.

Date Posted: 2/9/2009 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2009
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I wouldn't read the prequel first, there are things that you 'are supposed to know' before the 'First King...' book.  There is even a pre-Shannara series about befroe the Great War (our time) that looks good....

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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I'm about half-way through Sword of Shannara right now.   What an amazing rip-off of Tolkien!  I'm hoping the other books get more original...but right now, all I can say is thanks to Peter Jackson, I can perfectly picture each scene in Sword. 

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
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I also recommend reading in publication order.  And don't be put off by the Tolkien ripoff nature of the first book.  They definitely do get better and more original.  The Elfstones and Wishsong are better, and the second series is where things start getting really good.  Sword of Shannara is probably my least favorite of the bunch.

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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JB G....thanks!  I appreciate your thoughts on the series.