Tag Archives: Shannara

Getting Immersed in a Book

There’s something I absolutely love, and that’s getting immersed in a book. It doesn’t matter where I am, as long as my mind is in the book, and everything around me is shut out, I feel like I can get lost in a book. If the book is especially good, I want to stay there a long time.

There have been some books I can’t get enough of, and I don’t want to stop reading. Usually, the ones that I want to keep reading are longer series. I think the two that I feel comfortable in are the Pern series and Shannara series. I love the worlds they’re set in.

But books aren’t the only thing I can get immersed in. There are certain TV series and movies that pull me, as well. In particular, the Star Trek movies and the later Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. Deep Space Nine does it to me, too.

How about you? Which books draw you in so much that you don’t want to leave? Let me know in the comments below.

Terry Brooks a Copy? – Authors Answer #2

Looks like my video version of Authors Answer will be posted every Saturday. I have a schedule! Well, if you remember the original question, you don’t have to go to the original post, but if you don’t remember, take a look. Find out all of our answers. Basically, it’s all about guilty pleasures. Is there an author that’s often criticised, but you still love to read?

Watch my answer, and enjoy the bloopers.

Have you ever read any of Terry Brooks’ books? Which author is your guilty pleasure? Let me know in the comments below!

Re-Reading Books

I’ve only ever re-read one book, and that’s Macbeth. There has been no other time I’ve re-read a book. But I think the reason is that for most books, I haven’t had enough time to miss them, I guess. However, there are a few that I would like to re-read. I made a video on this topic, so here is what I want to re-read.

What I forgot to mention is that I will be re-reading Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.

In that video, there are a lot of books. Most of them are parts of two series, Pern and Shannara. The others are mainly standalone.

What do you want to re-read? Let me know in the comments below.

The Shannara Chronicles Opening Sequence

The Shannara Chronicles is coming. MTV released the opening title sequence of the upcoming TV series based on Terry Brooks’ Shannara series of novels. I’ll say this before you see the video: It’s a fantasy novel series, but…

Interesting, isn’t it? They’re really pushing the post-apocalyptic part of the story. Throughout The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara (the first season of the TV series is based on Elfstones), we get small glimpses of current day Earth, but it’s never outright shown that it is Earth. The Wishsong of Shannara is much more explicit in this, though. And there are several novels that span from The Word & Void to The Genesis of Shannara and Legends of Shannara that actually show the world changing into the fantasy world. Is this a spoiler? Not really, it’s actually widely known, and you can guess as much just by reading the back covers of the books. Regardless, I’m pretty excited about this TV series. I can’t watch it in Japan, but should be able to see it in other ways in the future.

What did you think of the opening sequence?

The Shannara Chronicles Character Introductions

New preview videos for The Shannara Chronicles are out! MTV has released character introduction videos. So, here they are.

Manu Bennett as Allanon

Poppy Drayton as Amberle

Ivana Baquero as Eretria

John Rhys-Davies as King Eventine

Austin Butler as Wil

Of course, Eretria and Amberle look great. And I really like John Rhys-Davies as King Eventine. He’s always seemed like a fantasy actor to me. Wil looks to be good, too. But I’ve always wondered about this interpretation of Allanon. He looks nothing like I imagined, and looks nothing like the book description of him. But despite that, I’m very interested in watching this.

Do these videos get you excited about Shannara finally coming to TV?

The Shannara Chronicles First Look

I’ve been reading Terry Brooks’ Shannara series since I was in university. I started only about fifteen years ago, but read through his books in publication order. I started with The Sword of Shannara, which many people say is like Lord of the Rings. However, unlike Lord of the Rings, Shannara resulted in the growth of the fantasy genre. We have Shannara to thank for things like The Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire.

Well, MTV is adapting The Elfstones of Shannara into a TV series, which is being filmed in New Zealand. MTV released a video that shows many of the actors and some really beautiful-looking scenery. I love the look of it. Definitely will have this to add to shows I want to buy on DVD in the future.

Take a look at the video.

So, what do you think? Are you excited for this?

Fantasy Novel Settings Based on the Real World

A lot of fantasy authors are influenced by real history and locations. Some come out and say that they are a part of Earth’s lost history, and some are Earth’s future. And it seems like many are based on the European Middle Ages.

Lord of the Rings is based on Europe, and I think Tolkien admitted that. I believe it’s supposed to be Europe, but long before recorded history.

A Song of Ice and Fire (or Game of Thrones) is also based on Europe, but not actually in Europe, but a fictional world. In fact, the entire war is inspired by the War of the Roses.

Shannara is quite different, though. It’s based in a world that had gone through an apocalypse. I’m not exactly sure of the precise location, but it is North America.

What are some other Earth-based fantasy novels and series?

Doing Marathons. TV and Movie Marathons

I used to do movie marathons a lot.  Sit down with food, drink, TV, and several video tapes or DVDs, then watch for hours.  I really don’t have the time for that anymore, but if I did, there are several movies and TV series I’d love to include in a marathon.  Some of these may last several days, so I think I’d have to split them up and do them over several weekends, or just watch an episode or movie here and there.

This is what I’d like to watch.

Chronological Star Trek Marathon

Being a big Star Trek fan, I’ve seen almost all of Star Trek (all but the latest reboot movie).  I would start with the Star Trek: Enterprise TV series, then move on to the original Star Trek.  After that, I’d do the original 6 movies, then on to Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Then it’s Star Trek Generations.  Now, since I’d be working on the Next Generation series, I think I should do the movies next, but I really should just sandwich movies in where season breaks happen for the following series:  Deep Space Nine and Voyager.  Once I’ve done all of that, I can go on with the reboot movies, which are a separate timeline as a result of actions following Star Trek: Nemesis.

Doctor Who

I’d start off with old episodes, thought it seems that they’ve been released on DVD in a rather haphazard and random way.  I’d progress from doctor to doctor in order, all the way up to the current doctor, though I can watch the newer seasons online.

Battlestar Galactica

I mean the new one.  I’ve already done the old one on Hulu.  I want to watch all of it.

Stargate SG-1

First I’d start off with the Stargate movie, since it leads directly into the series, although with different actors.  I want to see all of SG-1, which I actually haven’t done.  I’ve seen parts of seasons here and there, but not whole seasons.  I have the first 2 seasons on DVD, so I can do those.  Maybe after those, I’d move on to Atlantis and Universe.

James Bond

I’ve watched a lot of James Bond, but not all of the movies.  I’d like to go through all of the Bond movies in the order they were made from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig.  But my favourite is Roger Moore.

Robin Williams

Starting off with Mork and Mindy, I’d like to go through all of Robin Williams’ TV series and movies.  Just because he’s that great.

Bonus! Reading

There are some series of novels I’d like to reread.  Of course, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and the other publications.  However, this is still a work in progress for me, because I still have to read The Children of Hurin, which I have.

Another is the Shannara series.  This is also currently in progress, as I’m going to start reading the Genesis of Shannara sometimes later this year or next year.  I also haven’t read the latest couple of series.

And finally, there’s the Dragonriders of Pern series.  I originally read it in chronological order, something I’d like to do again.  I love the setting of these books, and I really want to get back to it.

How about you?  What would you like to marathon or reread or rewatch?

Living in a Fantasy World

Have you ever read a fantasy novel and thought to yourself, “I’d love to live there!”  I have, but I think most fantasy worlds would be terrible to live in.

Westeros

The main continent of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin is the hot topic these days with the Game of Thrones TV series being very popular.  But is it a good place to live or even visit?  This is pretty obvious. It’s a war zone.  Everywhere you go is unsafe.  People are getting killed all the time, and there doesn’t seem to be any single place you can live in peace.  Would I want to live there?  Not a chance.  Would I like to visit?  Maybe in peacetime.

The Four Lands

This is the main setting for Terry Brooks’ Shannara series of novels.  It’s a pretty standard fantasy world with elves, dwarves, and magic.  It seems quite fantastic.  I’d love to visit the Ellcrys in Arborlon, the city of Kern, and run around in Leah.  Shady Vale is a nice, peaceful place.  But would I want to live there?  Probably not.  Throughout the novels, some pretty bad things happen, and pretty much no one is safe during those times.  Visit, yes.  Live, no.

Pern

Okay, so Anne McCaffrey’s Pern is technically a science fiction world, but with the lack of technology due to low resources and the abundance of dragons, it’s very fantasy-like.  So, I will include this world.  Some of the engineering feats seem incredibly fascinating to me.  The Holds are built into mountains, and I’d love to explore around them.  The Weyrs are incredibly interesting.  I’d also love to see them.  I want to see the dragons, too.  This would be an amazing place to visit.  But would I want to live there?  Actually, yes.  I know life can be difficult, especially during threadfall, but the society there is fascinating to me.  I’d get into some kind of Crafthall and study, hopefully becoming a Master.  Living in a Weyr could be interesting, too.

So, there we have it.  Westeros is no on both living and visiting.  Awful place, even though I can’t seem to stop reading it.  The Four Lands are a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.  Pern would be a very interesting place to live and visit.

How about you?  What is a fantasy world you’d love to live in?  How about one you’d never want to visit?  Or one you’d like to visit, but not live?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Book Review – Angel Fire East

angelfireeastAngel Fire East

Author: Terry Brooks

Series: The Word & The Void #3 (Shannara prequel)

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Published 1999

Review Copy: Paperback bought new

Overall Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Goodreads Description

As a Knight of the Word, John Ross has struggled against the dark forces of the Void and his minions for twenty-five years.  The grim future he dreams each night– a world reduced to blood and ashes–will come true, unless he can stop them now, in the present.

The birth of a gypsy morph, a rare and dangerous creature that could be an invaluable weapon in his fight against the Void, brings John Ross and Nest Freemark together again. Twice before, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, the lives of Ross and Nest have intersected. Together, they have prevailed.  But now they will face an ancient evil beyond anything they have ever encountered, a demon of ruthless intelligence and feral cunning.  As a firestorm of evil erupts, threatening to consume lives and shatter dreams, they have but a single chance to solve the mystery of the Gypsy morph–and their own profound connection.

Review

Angel Fire East is the third and final part of The Word & the Void trilogy, which itself is a prequel series to the larger Shannara series.  It’s unclear as to how they’ll connect, as I have yet to read the following Genesis of Shannara series.  But this can be read without any knowledge of Shannara.

In this installment, we revisit Nest Freemark and John Ross as they battle against the Void.  This time, it’s ten years later, and Nest is a woman in her late 20s, having retired to a calm and comfortable life in her hometown.  She’s a more confident woman who hoped everything was behind her.  In comes Bennett Scott with a young daughter, Harper, and things start to get complicated.  A demon shows up shortly after wanting John Ross.  And then finally, John himself shows up.   This is probably the deadliest and darkest book in this trilogy.  The bad guys are more dangerous, this time several demons.  The lead demon, Findo Gask, is a cold and calculating demon who is doing a lot of this for his own enjoyment.  Everyone seems to have their own problems and the demon just creates more.  John has come with the Gypsy Morph, a magical being that has a short lifespan, and they need to figure out the mystery of what it wants before Findo Gask can find it.

The story gets off to a comfortable Terry Brooks style pace, but soon becomes extremely serious.  There’s a lot of pressure from Gask throughout the book, and lots of pressure to get the Gypsy Morph problem solved.  I found myself wondering what was going to happen through much of the book, especially about what this Gypsy Morph is supposed to do.  I felt a sense of uncertainty about who was safe and who wasn’t.  Who would die and who would survive.  The ending was a surprise.  I didn’t expect the Gypsy Morph to become that, but it makes me wonder how this will play out in Genesis of Shannara.

The characters are much the same, though Nest is far more confident and mature.  John seems to do not much of anything throughout the story, until the end.  For once, he seems at a loss at what to do.  Bennett Scott was a child in Running With the Demon, but she returns here as a complete mess, and with a young daughter, too.  Pick is the same as always.  Larry Spence, the deputy sheriff was quite irritating, though.  His feelings for Nest and Nest’s indifference to him made me just want him to go away.  Of course, he played a major part in the story.

The town of Hopewell is much the same as before.  It’s well-described, and I can imagine it well.  However, I think it required some previous knowledge of the town, as it was described well in Running With the Demon.  There was less attention to detail, I thought.  It could just be my memory.  But I could still imagine myself there as before.  Just not as vivid.

What I felt like we have with Angel Fire East is a better product overall.  The tension was greater, the story was stronger, and I felt more into the action and characters.  It was the best of the trilogy, and I’m excited to see what happens in the future.  I give this 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.  Solid book.