Not one of Tolkien's best. Oh, wait...

The Sword of Shannara - Terry Brooks

I loved this when I was thirteen.

I loved it when I was sixteen. And probably at least once in between there.

When I was thirty-six I picked it up, made it about a chapter and a half in, and threw it against the wall.


It left a dent.

This book was written before fan-fic was quite so mainstream. There were no fic websites out there then – there were no websites then. There was still fan-fic, printed in little fanzines and passed around among friends and such. And then there was this sort of thing, perpetrated on a public that had been introduced to wonder in the form of elves and wizards and quests. I've read here and there that bad as this one is, the rest of the series improves – it couldn't get much worse, I have to say. But this: this is shameful.