The Sword of Shannara is a classic fantasy novel with the basic theme of good versus evil. It is based in a post apocalyptic world that is populated by dwarves, elves, gnomes, trolls, humans and sub-races of each subverted by radiation from the great wars. The main character Shea Ohmsford is not special in any way. He is very unassuming but when thrust into this quest he is able to rise to the occasion, conquer his own demons and triumph. Shea had plenty of help throughout the quest but in the end he was forced to stand alone against great odds to complete the quest e was given.
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It is refreshing to have a book about an average person that accomplishes great things through perseverance. Shea Ohmsford is from Shady Vale, a quite village surrounded by forests on the southern most point of the Four Lands. He and his brother Flick assist their dad in the management of the local Inn. Their world Is turned upside down when they are visited by the dark wanderer Allanon. Allanon is the last of the druids who visits Shady Vale to find Shea. Shea is told of his lineage and is thrust into the quest of earching for and finding a lost talisman, The Sword of Shannara.
It Is the only thing that can defeat Brona, a former druid now known as the Warlock Lord. He has been gaining in power, growing his armies, and threatening the Four Lands with destruction. The quest truly begins when Shea and Flick leave their comfortable home in Shady Vale and seek the help of their childhood friend Menion Leah. Menion Leah is the brash and adventurous prince of Leah which Is the neighboring kingdom to Shady Vale. Menion’s uncanny hunter’s instinct is helpful on their Journey, though his ncredibly truthful and righteous nature put them in harm’s way more than once.
Later, they meet back up with Allanon and are joined by a couple of elves, a dwarf, and a human prince, on their quest to Paranor for the Sword. Paranor is a massive solid stone
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citadel with hundred foot walls. The Sword was believed to be within those walls. unfortunately, after reaching Paranor they discovered that they had come too late and the Sword had already been taken. The group is forced to continue their journey to Skull Mountain without the Sword in hopes of finding it along the way.
Shea gets separated from the rest of his group early on in the story and they end up being involved with separate tasks. Shortly after being separated Shea is captured by gnomes. He is saved by a thief named Panamon Creel and his mute, rock troll companion, Keltset while the gnomes are sleeping. Panamon and Keltset accompanied Shea for the rest of his journey. Shea’s little group then happens upon a gnome (Orl Fane) wandering through the wreckage left over from a battle between the gnomes and the elves. They decide to take him prisoner but cannot get him to leave behind his sack T wortnless “treasures . orl soon escapes ana leaves everytnlng Trom nls sack behind except for one lone sword. That is when they realize they had the Sword of Shannara with them the whole time. Shea, Panamon, and Keltset follow Orl and the Sword to Skull Mountain and the Warlock Lord. After Shea recovers the Sword of Shannara form Orl he realizes its true power. It is truth. Touching the sword reveals the whole truth about yourself. You can only master the Sword if you could handle the complete truth about yourself. For the Warlock Lord, the truth was one very mportant thing.
Death. The only thing keeping the Warlock Lord alive was his fierce belief that he was immortal and some sorcery keeping his decaying body mobile. When Shea touched him with the Sword, it forced the Warlock Lord to realize that he was dead, that he had been dead for a thousand years. He then perished. You see, the underlying theme of this book is simple. It is truth. Allanon never revealed the whole truth about the Sword’s abilities to Shea until the very end and as the reader we got to see how that both positively and negatively affected the quest.
On the other hand we have our dashing prince Menion Leah. His sense of righteousness and inability to do anything he deems less than honorable also put the quest at stake on more than one occasion. The truth is tricky in that way, too much of it can be equally harmful as too little. The undeniable and thought provoking message that this book paints is that the truth will reveal itself, and it will conquer evil. Shea did not have to use a weapon of war and destruction to vanquish the evil that plagued the Four Lands. All he had to do was accept and reveal the truth.See More on Ohmsford