The Sword of Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

I made a serious error in rereading these books. I don’t know why I picked them up — I remember devouring them as a kid — the same feeling I had when I first read The Hobbit (or later LOTR) or Ender’s Game.

Well, they say you can’t go home again, and I think that holds true for some of my favorite childhood books — reading them as an adult, they’re practically unreadable — I mean, there is so much in them that is awful. I’m still a bit of a sucker for giant mythologies, so liked that part, but man, tough to read, and I think I wish I had left the memory in place.

Sometime maybe I’ll do a post on the most influential books I read growing up — there are certain books that I can vividly remember where I was and what was happening as I read them. Some were great, some not so much. But they all contribute in some way to my world view now.


  1. I’ve read the same trilogy while I was a child and I did the same a few years ago (probably two or three) but I didn’t notice any kind of difference in my feelings for it. This trilogy is a must read IMO, I am sorry you couldn’t fully enjoy it as an adult reader. That’s a pity.

  2. I feel your pain on this one. I don’t even dare re-read the Brooks books (which I, too, loved growing up). It was the same thing with the Star Wars movies, however: it was amazing just how bad they were for acting, dialogue, etc. (Yes, they really are – just as bad as Phantom Menace, etc.)

    One thing that I absolutely love, however, is the rereading of true classics with my kids. I read to each of my four kids every night, and it gives me the chance to reread (4x) Island of the Blue Dolphins, the Narnia books, Phantom Tollbooth (gets ever more clever the more I read it), etc.

    Great literature gets better upon further reflection. I find that as a youth I read a lot of chaff (including all the Stephen King books, Terry Brooks up the wazoo, etc.), but it’s the wheat that remains with me, and that I reread with my kids. It has become a real bonding time for us, and a nice haven with the flurry of all my travel.

  3. I’ve actually been rereading the Belgariad recently, and it actually holds up really well. Eddings really nailed the characters, which is what makes it exceptional in a field of generally-lousy fantasy series.

    I haven’t found a recent fantasy writer (who is still writing new stuff) who I like – any recs?

  4. Enders game is required reading now in my kids high school…

    Mac Graduate ’83

    • Ever since Card went off the deep end in regards to his right wing politics and homophobia, I can’t recommend him to anyone. I cannot separate the art from the artist.