Monday 2 May 2016

Terry Brooks, it's not you, it's me

Terry Brooks is an author whose work I'd love to read but I just can't get into it. I say this having just given up on The Sword of Shannara at the 58th page, and that's an improvement on last time.

Consider this another nail for me to drive into the coffin of “objective” review because, ultimately, I can't call The Sword Of Shannara a bad novel. It's a New York Times bestseller; its remained constantly in print for nearly forty years; and, Terry Brooks is still making a living writing books in the same series. It is, in short, an utter classic of modern fantasy.

An utter classic that I just can't get on with. There's nothing functionally wrong with it, even the dense info dump Allanon gives to Shea and Flick Ohmsford in the second chapter is no worse written than the literal history lesson David Eddings opens the Belgariad with and I love that series. There's just something about Brooks' writing that doesn't click with me, not just here but also in The Scions of Shannara and Magic Kingdom for Sale – SOLD!. Yes, this is basically an author who I try to read every couple of years and have the same lack of success with every time.

Why? Because I feel like I'm missing something. Now, I don't subscribe to that whole “you're not a proper fan of X unless you've done Y” gatekeeping bullshit but this series is such a massive part of fantasy's history that I feel odd not having experienced it.

Oh well, suppose I'll try again in a couple of years, we'll see how it works out then. 

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