• First King of Shannara

  • The Shannara Series, Prequel
  • By: Terry Brooks
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 19 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (2,488 ratings)

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First King of Shannara  By  cover art

First King of Shannara

By: Terry Brooks
Narrated by: Scott Brick
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Publisher's Summary

In this prequel to The Sword of Shannara, in which many details of the Four Lands' history are revealed, Druids, horrified by the misuse of magic, have eschewed it in favor of science. But Bremen the Druid studies magic, and becomes an outcast on its account. Bremen discovers that an invincible army of trolls are fast conquering all that lay to their south. Before them come the Nazgul-like Skull Bearers, disfigured and transformed Druids who have fallen prey to the dark arts. And at their head is an evil archmage and former Druid called Brona. Bremen realizes that if the peoples of the Four Lands are to evade slavery, they will have to unite. But to defeat Brona, they will need a mighty weapon: the Sword of Shannara.
©1996 Terry Brooks (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.

What listeners say about First King of Shannara

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A True Pleasure

I have read and listened to a great number of books, this book in particular is one of my favorites. I find the desire to listen to it several times a year. I find that Scott Brick has a voice like no other clear, strong, precise, PERFECT.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • W
  • 06-13-04

Meandering...

I listened to the audio version of Firstling of Shannara, and while I enjoyed the narration, I found the story a little boring and predictable. For some reason the plot failed to grab me. There are elves. There is a dwarf. There is a druid muttering some mystic mumbo-jumbo. They are out to find/forge the sword of Shannara, and everyone is reluctant. Reluctant to become involved, reluctant to believe, reluctant to wield the sword properly. Reluctant to fall in love.

Relationships are passionless and handled poorly. The three major romantic relationships featured in this book are quite dysfunctional. The only person I actually really liked was Bremen. I felt sorry for him and the pain/sacrifice he bore at times. But the rest of the characters had as much personality as department store mannequins.

Look. If a story is going to have romance in it. Make it ROMANTIC. The romances were hasty and very contrived.

Not quite up to par with the rest of the books. And what?s with all the female character?s being called ?girl?? The author refers to Preia as ?the elf girl? and Merrith as the ?druid girl? but the male characters are all called ?men? come on now. These characters are WOMEN. Lets call them such, shall we?

The narrator was excellent 'tho. Good job with what he had to work with.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Precitable and Fun, a Typical Brooks Fantasy

Any additional comments?

All of Terry Brook’s novels, at least the Shannara novels, follow the same basic template. You have a character who finds himself (or herself), typically through circumstances beyond his control, suddenly thrust into a quest with an assortment of companions of varying races to travel to ____ in order to find the mythical _____ so that he or she can usually do something to save the world. As a result, most of Brook’s novels tend to feel similar and are of a similar tone with characters that stray very little from the norm. That said, once you lower your expectations and accept the fact that these stories aren’t likely to stray very far from the template, this extended series can be quite enjoyable, particularly if you enjoy good, escapist, low risk fantasy (the diametric opposite of George RR Martin). As a prequel to Terry Brook’s original Shannara series, this book feels quite at home and does round out the story, the world, and the events of those first three novels. There’s some novelty here, revisiting familiar territory and a few familiar characters, and a decent adventure. As an audiobook, expertly narrated, this presentation is great, escapist fun, well worth a month's credit.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A winning combination!

I was drawn to this author by my desire to listen to Scott Brick... what a find it turned out to be... every book in this series, read by Brick is simply outstanding... Brooks draws a picture and Brick fills in the color! You won't regret this purchase - or any of the others read by Brick.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

disappointed.

The character Gerril Shannarah was a huge disappointment.The author paints a picture of him as one thing then spends the rest of the book contradicting what he described him to be throughout. It felt like he became this big baby who needed a tissue box for all his encounters.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Annoying Narration Ruins Book

What would have made The First King of Shannara better?

This book needs a different narrator. I made it 4 hours in but couldn't handle the performance any longer.

How could the performance have been better?

Each sentence was overly flourished and exaggerated as though coming from a bad theater actor trying to pay the bills by reading books. I can imagine the narrator being breathless and exhausted after nearly every sentence. It turns even the most casual conversation between characters into a boisterous exchange that's difficult to listen to. I only made it through about 4 or 5 hours before I gave up. I will have to be more careful when picking books in the future.

Any additional comments?

I don't know how the narrator was hired for this series of books. Must of had a really low budget.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

predictable

the story filled in a few blanks but it was much too predictable and I really don't like the narrator. He puts in way to much emotion into passages that really don't need it

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I could not get into it

Would you try another book from Terry Brooks and/or Scott Brick?

I love Terry Brooks and I love it but I personally could not get invested in the story

Any additional comments?

I know this is suppose to be an amazing book and I normally like these kind of books but this was really not worth my time

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

I stopped listening

The book may be great but I could not stand the reader. I stopped listening about 90 minutes into the first part.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

An unimaginative rehash with an poor narrator

This book was basically a rehash of other, better written fantasy works. This, coupled with an unimpressive narrator, made the listen hard to get through. I must admit that I may be a bit biased, after having listened to the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin, which was excellent and consequently put this attempt at fantasy to shame.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • susan sinnott
  • 09-03-16

first king of shannara

loved this book as I do all the others in the series. Didn't enjoy American reader but got used to him.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 12-21-16

Good book with really bad narration

It it probably good book no doubt about it but Narrator is soooo boring thats make you actually sick

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • K Oliver
  • 01-12-21

For completionists only

I listened to this book already knowing the ending, as it is a prequel. That's fine. I enjoyed the Silmarillion, for example. But this is not a lovingly crafted fantasy history. Nor is it a complete novel in its own right. It is the worst of both. There are none of the engaging plot twists typical of Brooks' writing. The character development failed to reach the fairly low bar expected in the genre. No characters, enemies, creatures or perils captured my imagination as did e.g. the Changeling, the Maelmord, Uhl Belk or the Wisteron in other Shannara works. The book just feels like a vehicle for low effort backstories for Allanon, Bremen, Jerle Shannara, the Sword of Shannara and the Black Elfstone, none of which are especially interesting. The narrator's voice takes some time getting used to, but he did a good job.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-16-18

Good but not as good as the others

it was good but not as good as the others I have read. still good though!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • k
  • 10-26-17

awsome book

i loved this book couldnt stop listening .big story strong friendships awsome story.cant say more

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • llewellyn lewis
  • 04-27-17

...AMAZINGLY GOOD...

Thank you for this complex and compelling story set in a time and place you will never forget.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Saffo
  • 02-08-17

Excellent.

I read the book years ago and now listening to it being read is just as good. Would recommend this to all fans of these books.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben probert
  • 11-09-22

always an adventure

I'm a huge fan of Terry Brooks and if you are like me you will love it

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Tm
  • 04-15-22

Great book to read, very disappointed

narrated very badly no feeling to the story,no emotion can't get into it . needs more dramatic feelings

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-27-22

Great Fantasy Story.

I really enjoyed this book, but preferred the original trilogy. A good story none the less and good narration.

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  • Paul
  • 02-06-15

great story. good narration

narrater is great. story is very good.I enjoyed ihis story. its well writen and read

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hilary E Upston
  • 03-16-22

First audible experience

My first audible experience. Not quite what I was expecting. Would prefer straight narration, not strange fake accents for some of the characters. Saves me reading, I can sew, knit, & crochet whilst listening and I’m not constantly watching the bad news on the tv. I will persevere.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • suzanne
  • 07-22-20

Best writer ever

This book I could not put down. Listen to it even when cooking. Thank you for a great book. Looking forward to the next one.