I just finished reading a really bad review of my next book, Witch Wraith.
The reviewer didn’t like it. Hated it, in fact. Made snide comments. Went out of the way to say gratuitously nasty things about it, even going so far as to say I was treading on sacred Tolkien ground.
Oh, that again.
I admit I was upset. After all these years and hundreds – maybe thousands – of reviews later, I still feel bad when someone publicly announces they don’t like one of my books. Or even all of them. I thought I was over that long ago. I was pilloried when The Sword of Shannara first came out. Lester del Rey even warned me it would happen. You can’t do Tolkien style books without being hammered from some quarters. Can’t please everyone. He suggested I not read any reviews and certainly that I don’t pay attention to them. Any of them. Remember, the person writing it represents the sale of a single book. It was good advice, but I read them anyway. I wanted to harden myself against the hurt it caused me. I thought I had gotten to that point, but apparently not.
Objectively, I know I shouldn’t let it bother me. I mean, what difference does it make if one person hates my books? Hundreds of thousands love them. What the heck do I want? For everyone to love me? Well, maybe. At least, I don’t want anyone to hate me. I avoid reading about myself online almost entirely. I do this because it can’t do anything to help. If you are raked over the coals, you feel bad. If you are lauded as the best thing since sliced bread, you start believing it.
Lester said it best. Remember who you are. Remember what you do. You are a plain old working writer who tells stories. If you are published and read, that’s as much as you are entitled to. All the rest is window dressing.
I think he got it right. I really do.
Repeat after me . . .
BrooksBlog Addition by Shawn Speakman:
Since Terry wrote this BrooksBlog, he has received numerous reviews from critics who loved Witch Wraith, one of the best being by fantasy blog A Dribble of Ink! Click HERE to read it.
112 responses to “BrooksBlog: When Bad Reviews Strike”
Mr. Brooks, I loved your Shannara books, they have a style all their own. I am impartial and just let me tell you your writing is great, and speaking of Tolkien, he was not without huge flaws. Rest easy.
Terry, give me that reviewers name and address and I will go beat him up for you!
I love your books, certainly the Shannara series, yes, I would liken them to Tolkien, maybe at first anyway with the sword of shannara but you have gone so far away from anything he wrote that I cant wait for each and every shannara book that comes out – I get them on my kindle now because I don’t have the room anymore but I am hooked. I would say that the reviewers don’t like your books because they don’t understand what it could be like to live after the holocaust – your hints to real life always leave me wondering, keep writing – you have far more fans than bad reviewers 🙂 ♥
You’re my favorite author. Don’t let ’em get to you. My copy of Witch Wraith can’t get here soon enough! All the best:)
I’ve had some friends say that your series have been a spin off of Tolkien’s books but I don’t believe them. I’ve read everyone of your books (more than once) and think it’s great. Not everyone will like your books but not everyone will like the Oscar type movies either but it doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Keep writing and I’ll keep supporting you.
Terry, I have been an avid fan since I was a young adult.
The fist book I ever read was Lord of the Rings, I did swear that Id never enjoy another book…. that was close mindedness – seems to be a common theme amongst some…
What I love about your work is the way in which you have used our world, technology, magic, good / evil, spirits and wonderful characters to create a magnificent story transgressing through thousands of years.
There are messages and themes in your work that many have read and learned from.
Why do you worry ? I have been reading your books for years and years, all author s have been criticized and accused of plagiarism at one time or another. Your style and world are NOT a remake of Tolkien’s . As the Arabic proverb says : the dogs bark, the caravan goes on. Please keep cool and lots of luck !
Thank you, Terry, for writing this. I’ve never been published, with the exception of my personal blog, and have several projects about half finished. I often second guess myself… thinking “maybe no one will like it”, or “why the heck and I wasting my time”. I must admit I’m a bit fearful of letting anyone read what I’ve written. I try my best to be a lady and take criticism gracefully, but there’s always this frightened mouse within ready to burst into tears at the first mention of a missing comma… It’s very humbling to know that someone such as yourself experiences the same thing.
I keep thinking back to a college creative writing class, where the professor stopped me on the way into the classroom, and asked if she could read my paper to the WHOLE CLASS… really? Wow… Clearly this woman must be stopping the wrong student…. Nothing like some self-doubt to go with your coffee in the morning, eh?
So, from me to you… I love your books. I had my first Brooks experience fifteen years ago with “Magic Kingdom for Sale -Sold!”, and never regretted a moment…I can’t help but think of Landover when I find myself driving through Lexington/Natural Bridge 🙂
I know I’m just one person, but THIS person has gotten four others to read your works… and, they love it, too. (My 14 year old daughter is my next candidate)
It hurts when someone doesn’t like what you have to say and let’s you know. It hurts more when someone comes across your path who hasn’t learned how to separate who they are from what they do. When someone doesn’t have the life skills to be constructive in criticism it shows they live in their own little place of hurt and pain. We are all wired differently. Most of us rewire ourselves because experience shapes us that way. Some of us have shorts in our circuits because our life experiences have shaped us that way instead. I have found that the only way to deal with people who are closed off in how they can see and express what they feel about what they see is to not engage them by what they express. Live in the knowledge that what you see encompasses so much more than what they ever will be able to achieve on their own. You ARE a great author. You are not afraid to learn from what others express. Only a very marginal few have the compunction to strive towards self expression in this way. I do envy you for your acute empathy with such a vast and impoverished mass of dreamers. You have done so much for oh so many. You guided my dreams and helped me escape so many self depravities of psyche. For every single person you have helped to shape is one less who may yet refuse to understand. Take peace in the insight that we all learn together or not at all. What do you think Tolkien meant? Roads go ever ever on. What greater road than empathy?
I have always been a bit baffled by the reviewers who criticize Terry as somehow ripping off Tolkien. Personally, I think being compared to Tolkien is a compliment, not a criticism. I’ve read all of Tolkien’s books and all of Terry’s and while I find similarities between the two I think Terry’s stand on their own quite nicely. This is one reader who is eagerly awaiting next Tuesday for Witch Wraith, as well as the book after that and the one after that, and the one . . .
I’ve not read Witch Wraith, but I have the prior two. Hell, I’ve read nearly everything you’ve put out. The problem with Fantasy writing is people will see similarities where the want to. Oh, there’s a halfling? Tolkien rip off. Dwarf? Total C. S. Lewis thievery!
The other problem is with reviewers. I’m not one, because I choose to enjoy and completely immerse myself in the story; whether it’s a movie, book, or video game. I’m sure I’ve made the comparisons, but isn’t that why they call inspiration?
I can say, of Terry Brooks’s works, I’, more a fan of anything related to Shannara, than other works, but I’ve enjoyed them too. No one can make 100% of their readers happy, and when you throw a reviewer into the mix, chances are their comparisons to previous authors are bound to be made. You simply cannot enjoy the complete book if you’re constantly being critical. If you must, I suggest a read through as an entertaining read, then read it to criticize. Unfortunately, a professional reviewer cannot do this if their review is to be written and posted by the time to book comes out.
The fans are what matters. They are the one’s buying the book. Like movies that review low and end up making box office records, reviews cannot be the be all end of a purchase.
Terry, I have loved your books since I first found “Sword of Shannara” in the library when I was 12 years old. I spent hours of a somewhat difficult childhood immersed in your books. Amberle and Brin were like sisters to me. So, one schmuck doesn’t like your books. What is important are all the people who LOVE your books.
Well said, Rick and I couldn’t agree more! I’m raising a glass to all my brothers and sisters in literature who love Terry’s characters like family!
Wise advice from Lester, although I would expect no less.
I wonder if the reviewer also lambasted Tolkien for treading on the stories of Gilgamesh, Beowulf, Siegfried, Perseus, Odysseus, Arthur, et al.
Personally, I love them all and can hardly wait to get my hands on Witch Wraith!
“I wonder if the reviewer also lambasted Tolkien for treading on the stories of Gilgamesh, Beowulf, Siegfried, Perseus, Odysseus, Arthur, et al.”
Well played, Doug. Well played.
your books are as good if not better than Tolkien’s, and having read them all I don’t remember many rings in yours !! wishsong has to be my favourite, and stop writing blogs and worrying about critics, some of us are waiting for the next book, get writing !! please !! mr brooks , sir
You are my favorite author. I have enjoyed every one of your books and i cannot wait to read Witch Wraith. I am sorry that you will not continue writing this series, but I can’t wait to see where Shawn will be taking us on this new chapter of our journey.
I understand why people compare your work to Tolkien but i really don’t think it’s a fair comparison. You are an excellent writer and i enjoy the wonderful and often scary “new world” that you have created…..not to mention the wonderful and rich characters that we all grow to love and root for through out the entire series. I am really looking forward to see where we end up…and I say we because i have bee through so much with these characters that i fell like i am part of it in a way…it is my favorite escape from reality!!! Thank you so much for all you have given and continue to give your fans!!!
Rosemary, I believe the whole Shawn taking over was an April fools joke…
was it?? oh..lol no offense to Shawn..but i love the way Terry writes and was sad to think he wouldn’t anymore!!..guess the joke was on …and i’m happy about it!!!
I think that Lester has it exactly right. And as I’ve heard you state before, anytime you write about fantasy, you run the risk of treading on Tolkien ground. He basically started fantasy writing and no matter how it is from then on out just about everybody treads on that ground in some way shape or form. Do you have Goblins in your books? You must be copying Tolkien then. Regardless of what 1 or even more than 1 person says, you are still an amazing writer. I still hang on your every word of all your books.
One thing that you will have that Tolkien will never have (even if unintentional on your part originally) is that your books are still tied into our reality. To me, and this is just my opinion, this makes each and every one of your books touch a little bit closer to home as I look all around me day to day and think about how the stories in your books could happen right where I’m standing. I am from Washington state not far from Vantage and if I recall a battle in the Gypsy Morph happens at the dam right near there, and so every time I drive by there I say to my wife and daughter “that’s where a battle in my book happened.”
Sorry for the long winded response, but I am a fan.
Lester seems like he was just one of those incredible people you meet once in a lifetime. That quote is something that everyone who writes would do well to remember.
I for one, cheer him everyday knowing that he helped make Terry Brooks a fantasy standard. You’re writing has sparked inspiration in us plain old working people. When you came down to Austin there were at least two aspiring authors who said as much.
(I can only imagine how often that happens)
If it makes you feel any better I would take a bad review of my work at this point, as opposed to no reviews.
Because you know what, to hate it, he still had to read it.
Days, months, maybe years from now he’ll be sitting in his chair, and in will pop Witch Wraith. Suddenly his issues will seem petty, and he’ll finally understand what you were doing. He’ll murmur to himself “You know, that book was pretty good. That Terry Brooks, he got me.”
So I say you still win. (Also, I have full faith that this will happen.)
Thank you for being a plain old working writer who tells stories, because that is exactly all some of us want to be.
It must feel like a personal attack when someone gives one of your books a bad review. Even though it is hard, I think you should stand by what Lester told you about the rest being window dressing.
I have been reading your books since 1999 when I first read ‘Wishsong of Shannara’; I have been hooked on your books ever since. I look forward to one of your books coming out like a child looks forward to Christmas morning. I have started collecting your books in paperback with the intention of eventually collecting them in hardcover too.
I know I am just one of thousands of people who love your stories; we far outnumber the people who dis your writing. So when you read a bad review, put it where it belongs – in the trash and out of mind. Remember there are way more of us out here waiting for their next ‘Christmas’ to come along.
Terry’s style is fundamentally different to Tolkien. Shannara is continually pleasant and exciting to read for me, while Lord of the Rings is hard for me in places. Surely that indicates a clear difference.
I suggest to all those people who say fantasy is all a spin off from Tolkien – go and actually spend the time to red some of these books properly. They are well written, interesting books with a brilliantly posed ethical message. That is all the books have in common.
Don’t worry about the haters. How many positive reviews do you have dwarfing the number of negative ones? Even J.K. Rowling has haters and people who want her books banned from schools and libraries. That aside, maybe Mr. Snide is full of poo, or maybe there is something to learn from his complaints. I’d run ideas by you if I knew what s/he said (hopefully that’s not too bold/egotistical to say).
I wish people would stop comparing everything to Tolkien. Should authors have to avoid epic journeys in a fantasy setting just because Tolkien did it, too? It makes a reviewer sound as unoriginal as they’re accusing the author of being when they jump to such a conclusion. As for how it makes you feel, of course it feels bad to hear that someone not only dislikes your work, but outright hates it. It’s hard not to care what other people think about your work no matter how much you don’t want to care, and you can’t avoid their opinions forever. But you know what? It’s just one person. Here’s another person: I was a very lonely nerd in school and your stories got me through it. They were some of my worst years, but I could retreat into the worlds you’ve created. I even wrote you a letter once, and when you sent me a reply I can’t tell you just how much it meant to me. I don’t know who this reviewer is, I probably haven’t heard of them and I feel like they’re just trying to build their fame on yours. But regardless of all that, thank you, Terry Brooks, for doing what you do.
Don’t let it bother you! You have one fan right here that thinks everything you have wrote is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. Your books are amazing! I told my wife that you just happen to be in Minneapolis for a book signing in a couple weeks. Coincidently, our honeymoon vacation includes the state of Minnesota on our way to Montana. She wants to stay an extra day just to give me a chance to finally meet you in person. Looking forward to it. Thank you for being an author and giving us a way to escape the real world for a time. Always in your debt for all your hard work and passion putting these great books on the shelf for people like me to enjoy reading. Look forward to shaking your hand. Keep your head up no matter how cruel people can be.
I just wanted to say that I grew up hearing the Shannara books,and am now rereading them. I LOVE how you merged the time of today(Word & Void,etc.) to the time of Shannara. It blew my mind that the Elves were living in Oregon(figures ;p), but I Love all of your books and am slowly making my way through all of them. Thank you for all of the time and effort you put into your books.
Why is it that there is this “holier than thou” air about Tolkien? His books are written rather weakly and read like a history lesson. I’m not saying that I’d want a Dan Brown version of Lord of the Rings, but they were pretty boring at the end of the day. He didn’t invent fantasy, and didn’t invent elves and dwarves so I fail to see why he serves as the “gold standard” by which all fantasy novels are compared. He created a world with races and rules and history. Great. So does everyone else that writes a fantasy novel. Middle Earth is not the be all end all world which fantasy is based upon.
Free yourself from the narrow mindedness of thinking Tolkien is the source and inspiration for everything. Its a popular series that defined the modern genre and was really all that people had for 30 years until the D&D universe came long. Fantasy writers should not be compared to Tolkien, but rather Tolkien compared to them so that they may see what it is he lacks.
I have never understood why people would get mad over the Tolkien thing. I love Tolkien have bought and read just about all of it, he was my “first love” – Terry Brooks books my second. So what if people can see similarities, if someone is worried about this sort of thing he should be mad at JRR for “stealing” from Icelandic & Anglo-Saxon sagas ect ect. Great stories are great stories it is a shame people can’t just enjoy something for what it is and leave their misguided attitudes out of it.
It is sad that there are those who are closed minded and want to label your work. While yes it does have some Tolkien qualities (there are elves, human, dwarfs and trolls), your books have a unique story to tell. As I have learn over the years, there are those who are just closed minded and can only see via tunnel vision. Thank you for sharing your thought with us about your reviews and how you handle the bad review. I don’t blame you for being upset, I would be the same way. The bottom line is your Shannara series is a unique story and I highly recommend it to all who ask for a interesting book to read.
Terry, all i can say is that you brought me into this fantasy world of reading. My Harley (Nest/Vin) is appreciative too. When i go on rides i have a book of yours to read. Your books takes me places that i love to be. I can hardly wait for Witch Wraith. The world needs Quickenings touch. Bring back Nest in some way? Pleeezeeeeee lol
There are always those who are looking for a reason to hate someone or something. Everyone will be at the mercy of such individuals at least once in their lives. When you are in the spotlight as a famous author, actor, etc, you run across such toxic individuals more frequently. Like you said, hundreds of thousands love your books, so one doesn’t matter. But it does. It’s part of human nature to want to be loved and liked. And at least you know the sting will eventually go away.
Personally, I love your books. Every single one. They occupy the top and second shelves of the bookcase that contains my favorite books. They are the books that visitors to my house see displayed in my living room. And they are the books that helped begin my relationship with my husband whom I’ve been married to for nearly 12 years now. He said when he asked me who my favorite author was and I replied, “Terry Brooks,” he knew we were meant to be. So there you go. My kids exist because of your books.
First of all, it’s just hard for me to believe that anyone would criticize your writings. Rubbish. Second. I know that not everyone is going to like you even though I don’t want to believe it. I know that you are an admirer of Tolkien and a lot of writers use his works as a template. There are many well known writers that use his works as a template. You have the right attitude Mr. Brooks. Keep it up! You inspire us just as Tolkien did.
Terry, I have read every one of your books, and make it a point to have them delivered the day they come out so I can get started reading as quick as possible! Sorry to hear that the reviewer didn’t enjoy your book, but I am greatly looking forward to it, as are many other fans like me. Don’t let a hater get you thinking about anything except the thousands of us that look forward to the release day of your next book!
Critics in the print medium are like the critics in the music medium. I’m a big music fan but hardly anything I like to listen to would be considered acceptable by most critics. Any day of the year I would rather listen to a Styx album than a Bruce Springsteen album. Their music captures my imagination and is more in tune with the rhythm of my soul than most music the elite critics would tell me is “cool.”
When it comes to novels, these critics are paid to be edgy, come up with cutesy phrases to denigrate, and create conflicts with many authors and their works (sometimes just for the sole purpose of boiling up a tantalizing conflict). Conflict sells to many in today’s pop culture society. A critic who likes everything would be considered “boring” and lose his job in no time. The big thing to remember is that they are not fans. They don’t connect with entertainment as a fan would – they don’t enjoy things as a fan would.
I’ve read all of Mr. Brooks’ novels. They captured my imagination and I was thoroughly entertained by every page. And all the while, I didn’t give a rat’s rearend what any professional critic had to say on the topic. Still don’t.
you’ve introduced me to the world of fantasy with “Kingdom for sale – sold!” some 25 years ago and I liked it much more than any Tolkien and I am thankful every day that you opened that door to me to worlds I never would have imagined. Always remember: The best critics are your readers.
Don’t worry about one review we all love your books. I love them so much I started giving them to other people as gifts seems so selfish to keep them all to myself. I now have 4 others waiting for me to give them the next book. Keep up the good work. We will keep reading.
There are some authors that you read, knowing that if you ‘hang in there’, you finally get their rhythm and the book will be good. Terry Brooks catches your interest in the first page, if not the first sentence, and keeps it through the entire book. You hate getting to the last few pages because you know the story will end and it will be months before you find out what happens next, but you also know it will be worth the wait.
I’ve read a lot of book in my time – bought enough to stock a library or two. When I retired and moved I knew I would have to par my personal library down. There are only a few authors that I continue to buy and keep. Terry Pratchett and Terry Brooks are two that I buy, sight-unseen, pre-publication. I’m never disappointed.
I can totally understand the whole Tolkien thing, I read the Sword and seethed but I fell in loce with anyway because,yes there is a Tolkien air to your stories but you have created a depth his work maybe failed to do. Anyway in the day we live in we have all obtained our inspiration from somewhere else, how many people have purposely written a Brookesque book since reading your work. My English tutor once told me give up being original because nothing you can say has never been said before. He was 100% right. As for the criticism, every piece he gave me hurt, made me angry, even irrational, yet taken away and dwelled upon every bit of negative comeback he gave me made me stronger, taught me a lesson or better still strengthened my writing in a need to do it my way but do it better. I am at the beginning, standing where you stood in the summer before you went to university, I have many hard knocks and disappointments to come, maybe I am no person to comment, however, what I truly love about this is what I love about everything in connection to you, a humanity, a truth, a realness. Your books give me escape, wonder and joy and you Mr Brooks give me inspiration and I belief that I can, like you have, bring a world to life upon a page, you have a gift and a love to your readers that it magical and above all for this you should be so proud.
I apologise for the typos, that’s pretty bad and partially not wholly down to the autocorrect on my IPhone ! But here is to Terry from someone that spreads your praise further than any one negative critic can.
Terry, I am a self employed IT consultant with a great family and a humble but fulfilling life. I have my detractors from my work too, but I realize that my work is just a reflection of me. Not only can those detractors only see the shadows of me in my work, they do not see my entire work and the threads that run through it. They have little knowledge of context and less knowledge of me personally.
I feel like this is true for your work too. I have followed your work since I was young and it has grown with me and addressed issues that I was struggling with as I grew in ways that made it easier for me to grapple. I have appreciated it in context.
I will say that Sword had a rather Tolkien-esque feel to it, but since then, your world has diverged so far that there is no comparing the two. After all, Tolkien never had airships that fire magic lasers. Don’t let one bad review dissuade you from writing, Terry. Please, for the hundeds, if not even hundreds of thousands, of good reviews that you’ve gotten, keep up the good work.
I have a handful of authors whose books I read that have never failed to entertain me with impressive writing and storytelling. Terry Brooks is one of those. I have enjoyed his fantasy works and his book on writing, “Sometimes the Magic Works.” I have had writers who make the best seller’s list, sell massive amounts of books, who haven’t met this standard. However, I won’t be negative and name them.
In the end, it is whether the author is happy with his product and makes the majority of his readers happy that makes a book successful. Paraphrasing Honest Abe, you just can’t make everybody happy all the time. and Sometimes, critics seem to lay in wait just to find something/anything wrong with the book, whether it is based on legitimate logic (i.e. poor storytelling, limited characters, plot full of holes, etc.) or on just a personal (and very limited) opinion. Logical critics could be beneficial to help a writer improve their work in the future, while some opinions seem so limited as to be meaningless to the majority of readers who don’t share similar opinions.
I am hoping that someday in the near future, movie goers might be able to also enjoy one of Mr. Brook’s excellent stories in a different medium.
Hello Mr. Brooks,
You know it’s a funny thing, reviewers are the scum of the earth. To take something that took you a year to create, and trash it in a few paragraphs, is truly despicable. Something I will never understand. And I even get offended when books or movies I really like get trashed by some idiot who doesn’t have a creative bone in their body.
But the greatist artist of all time, just keep on doing what they do. The truly great works of art were all at some point criticized. And it’s not until time goes by that we see what will stand and what will be forgotten. I can say with certainty that your books are not forgotten. When I picked up “Sword of Shannara” in 8th grade back in 1996, it was the best reading experience I ever had in my life up to that point, and still to this day. I’ve read all of your books at least twice since then.
So, just realize that you have made people’s lives better with your great stories. Do what you love, write from the heart, and I will always be a fan no matter what.
Terry relax. I have been reading your books since i was 17 back in 1985… Fast forward to 2013, 26 years later, at 44 I still re-read all of the Shannara books along with the entire Knight of the Word series and am about to start your Magic Kingdom books for the first time. Every month I always check to see if there are any books coming soon from you!! I use to hate reading as a teen. It was the Sword of Shannara that got me started. Now i read 4 to 5 books per month. Keep up the great work. I am also a Tolkien fan and I do not find your work to be similar at all. Keep the books coming!!!
Bill in Florida
Terry, Just look at the number of comments already left here. There is a retired pop star who keeps commenting on the number of people who hated his music. I feel this devalues his true fans who actually love his songs, and who turned up for every show he did. It seems its easier to notice the negative minority rather than appreciate the fan-base who absolutely adore your work and cannot wait for the next record / book. Don’t let the odd negative comment distract you from your fan base who buy the books and turn out to see you when you tour – these are the opinions that count.
I personally know a dozen people who love your books. Your books sit on the top shelf of my bookcase. The richness of the world you created and the characters that reside within are nothing short of amazing. I have spent many hours within the confines of Shannara and loved every minute of it. Thank you Mr. Brooks for the gift you have given me.
“Treading on dangerous Tolkien Ground” hahahaha. I have studied Tolkien quite extensively in college and he was so good precisely because he borrowed so much of his work from mythology and classic literature. No one should be accused of such a silly thing as plagiarizing from the expert plagiarist, Tolkien.
That being said, I look forward to catching up on Shannara and I’ll see you when you’re in Minneapolis this month.
well i have loved all of your books and ive read most of them, i’m a plain old working reader but as far as i’m concerned your up there with Tolkien.
so I agree keep up the good work,
That reviewer clearly had some sort of agenda for whatever reason. He sounds like a close minded fool that thinks only Tolkien can write epic fantasy. I guess we will let him hold his LOR trilogy ever so gently and say “My Precious” all night long!!
As you always say in your panels and book signings…..You have the best fans!! We love your work and love getting to see you on your tours for each masterpiece. If Tolkien were alive today, he would be a Terry Brook fan! I am certain of it!! You are a wonderful creative soul and rest assured, for that one negative review of your work, there are a million positive reviews!! So keep up the groundbreaking work and forget about it!!
If Tolkien were alive today, he would be a Terry Brooks fan! I am certain of it!!
Well, I’ve read the whole Shannara series so far, and I’m not about to stop with Bloodfire Quest. Good reviews of your books are nice to glance at, but for me, they don’t matter. And bad reviews are just one person’s opinion, since all that matters is the community of the writer and readers. Keep sending us your stories, and we’ll keep digesting them.
What a great compliment I would have if a reviewer said my book was treading on sacred Brooks ground! Thank you Terry for being a phenomenal inspiration!
Honestly, I don’t read books. Hardly ever. I have my MBA now and pretty much only read books required for the program. With ONE exception. I recall 1994 when I was in a bad accident. I was bed bound and my father went to the book store to find a book that he thought I would like to read. He picked the Sword of Shannara. I opened it up with little enthusiasm. But let me tell you, when I read the first chapter, I could not put it down. Read cover to cover and then back to go over some areas twice or three times in 2 days. After that, I asked my father to see if the author had any other books. He came back from the store with 2 more in the series. Terry Brooks is the only author that has ever held my attention and kept me yearning for more. I’m going back now and re-reading the Armageddon books. What I find interesting is how while reading them, the mental pictures paint so vividly that it’s almost akin to watching a movie as I go page to page. Terry Brooks, please never stop writing. You were with me through my accident and continue now 20 years later. In order to shorten the wait for the next book coming soon, I restrict myself to 2 chapters a night to limit the gap.
I haven`t read Witch Wraith yet, so I can`t comment on the book. I have read all the other Shannara books though – some of them more than once, and I haven`t been disapointed yet. I very much doubt I will hate Witch Wraith.
Keep up the good work. Some guy in Norway is addicted to your books.
i have always liked reading books and i’d say one of the most enjoyable books i read were those of the Shannara series.. the fantasy world could have a lot of similarities with every author but no one writes fantasy better than Mr. Brooks.. You could immerse yourself into the world of shannara and forget every thing for awhile, you could experience the world of faerie and live your fantasy dream by reading his books.. the style, the way the book leads you to travel every journey undertaken by the elves, humans and even the trolls gives you a very wonderful life you could only live out in your dreams.. with every chapter you finish, you strive to finish reading not only the current shannara book but most importantly every last one or the entire collection written by Mr. brooks.. I’m very happy there is an author who showed us and help us live the shannara way..
I adore your works sir. I owned most of them until a fire took my home, seven pets, car, and all my belongings (including your books) in January. I hope one day to be able to afford to buy them again. xo
first let me say how excited I am to get my hands on Witch Wraith. I was an avid reader as a small child, but lost that somewhere along the way. That was until I was introduced to the wondrous world of Shannara at age 16 by my, then, girlfriend. I was hooked. That was 22 years ago and I am still riveted by your work. I have re-read your works several times. In fact, I just finished Elfstones for the 4th or 5th time. As for the nasty review you received, do not let it discourage you in any way. People who write these types of reviews are not doing so as a true literary critic. They tend to be small, miserable people with sad lives and want others to be as unhappy as they are. I am also a Tolkien fan, but have not re-read his works as often as yours. I truly believe that, if Tolkien was around today, you and he would be great friends.
I love your books!! I can’t tell you how many hours of enjoyment they have given me. Please don’t let those negative reviews upset you!! You’re a great storyteller! Thank you! 🙂
Around age 12 I was wandering through the second hand bookstore’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy section and stumbled across a book that I thought had my name on it. I looked again and The Sword of Shannon became The Sword of Shannara. I picked it up anyways and never turned back. I’ve read and collected every single one of your books and am anxiously awaiting Witch Wraith. I think everyone knows that if a movie critic pans a movie it is sure to be the Summer Blockbuster of the people. One lone opinion cannot override the love and awe in which your readers hold your works. I still have that 1977 copy of Sword of Shannara. I will have it until I pass it along to my son and his children to become a part of their libraries. Keep it up Mr. Brooks. We, the people, love you.
Terry, I have read every one of your books and have enjoyed each and every one of them. I am impatiently waiting on the next book. When I first discovered your books, I had already read Tolkien’s and your similarity caught my attention. The big difference though is that your books don’t bore me with all the minute details that Tolkien included in his books. Thanks for being such an excellent and interesting writer. I almost can’t lay one of your books down until I have finished reading it. It is always that good. Keep up the good work.
Terry I would not let that person bother you, all of your books are the greatest I read and re read all your books, some people just have to be unhappy and love to drag others down their road, as a fan your books will always be number 1 and I am sure all your fans feels the same way.
Growing up, my older brother was the fantasy/ sci-fi nut – and huge Tolkien fan. But he was also a Terry Brooks fan (among others). My choice of reading material at that time was limited to mostly historical romance – authors like Victoria Holt/Jean Plaidy, or Madeline Brent. And then one day, out of sheer boredom, I picked up his copy of Sword of Shannara… That was my introduction into the world of fantasy, and Oh God I was hooked. I’ve read everything Brooks has published since… the one who made me want to read Tolkien, and then many others. I haven’t got a copy of Witch Wraith yet, but trust me – That is on my to-do list!
I personally have grown up reading your books. I re read them…I get to the latest one and then start up again with Running with the demon. As far as being Tolkien-esque you really aren’t that much like him. The sword of Shannara was a bit…but that’s only because of the races involved. All the fans I know agree that you very quickly set yourself apart from Tolkien by avoiding too much allegory and not leaving bus sized plot holes in you work.
That being said I still love Tolkien to, so don’t assume I’m just being biased, it’s just that your stories as are much more easier to relate to because while being pure fantasy, they are still very realistic in the way that characters react to their environment and to each other, even through the fantastic setting.
I’m thinking that this reviewer felt challenged and slightly heart broken at the end of Witch Wraith, as one usually does after a series of yours. While I can’t be sure what this person actually said, and having not read the book myself, I still am looking forward to it, and I can’t imagine that it could be so bad as this guy made it out to be.
Your books take us to a place were the battle versus good and evil takes place, the challenge to do the right thing in the face of huge odds. I now share your books with my children, and we all love them very much. Thanks for doing what you do, it means so much to all of us.
Many authors these days are in touch with their audience on tumblr, facebook, author websites, etc. I find it very interesting that one of my favorite authors wrote a blog on his own website that he was upset. Hmmm. He didn’t like many of the things the reviewer said but the thing that stood out was a Tolkien association? I’d like to know the rest of the review. Why even post that kind of blog? Why slag people who have an opinion? As fans who read the Brooks blog, I thought Brooks would know that we will read anything he writes, and care less for Amazon reviews. Many of the responses I’ve read are about how people Love the work, I’ve been a fan for so long. Yes, me too, sir.
I think this blog is short sighted and could be something much more other than the praise of fan responses. If you slag personal critque on a blog, all you are asking for is both postive and negative responses. Is Brooks looking for an audience engagement? Not sure.
Love your work. Keep doing what you are doing.
Mr. Brooks love reading your books. Have read all of your Shanara Books except for the short stories and just getting ready to start the Landover ones.
I love your books Mr. Brooks! I have been reading them since in was 15(27 years now) and I can hardly wait to read each and every new one you roll out. My husband hates you because when I get one of your books I cant put it down until its done. lol. Keep up the spectacular work!
Being influenced by Tolkien, as an insult to a writer’s craft, would sound to me like a Greco-Roman epic being insulted for being influenced by Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. That’s what great writers DO, and what storytellers in general are all about – they participate in narrative traditions. I admit, it’s difficult to find any fantasy that measures up to Tolkien, but just measuring up to an elite standard is not the true reason to write. I have read all of Tolkien’s work, and all of yours, Mr Brooks, and I enjoy both of you thoroughly on your own merits. I am loving the new trilogy, and as a literary critic by trade I think the cries of derivation about your work are both ignorant of the craft of genre fiction and ignorant of the real value in your stories. That’s my two cents anyway.
Terry you are without doubt the best fantasy writer there is or who has ever been and their is no way you books can be compared to Tolkien.Your battle scene descriptions are far superior to Tolkien as are your descriptions of magic as are in my opinion your characters both heroes and Villians.Also one of the main things that sets u apart from Tolkien is you aren’t afraid to let main characters die.In the whole quest for the ring one of the fellowship died and the least loved character of the fellowship in my opinion.Look at the whishsong of Shannara of Jairs companions only Slanter and himself survived.The peerless Garet Jax died as well as Allanon.That is the what we get with your books great characters who u love but they are ripped from u in every book because on dangerous quests people die cause your books make us believe in the story .the books are both reslistic and spellbinding.since I bought the Talismans of Shannara in hardback
I have got every one of your books on the day they are released cause you are the best by far.Gemmel
Ra Salvatore Goodkind come close but none compare to u.Thanks for giving me characters like Allanon,truls Rock,Garet Jax,and the many more just like to say keep up the excellent work from your biggest fan.
Terry, if a pointy headed book critic doesn’t like your book then it only makes me want the book all the more. I’ve been a fan of your books for over 30 years. I own a boat load of hard covers and a small dingy of your paperbacks. I was able to meet you and get several of them signed. Hundreds of thousands of fans can’t be wrong. If you keep writing I will keep buying. I hope you live to 187 years old.
My mom read the large trade paperback of Sword of Shannara out loud one night. Or started to anyway. I got bored because she was going to slow. I then proceeded to read that, The Elfstones of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara. I made it halfway through Wishsong before I went to bed. That was in one day. You helped kicked off my love of reading and my “library” (I think I have 4,000). Epic fantasy is epic fantasy and if the critics cannot understand something so classic and fundamental as that then they need to relearn what a specific genre is about.
I am 38 years old and have read every one of your books. I have enjoyed them all, and always look forward to your next publication. Don’t let the negative reviews get to you. Keep writing and I promise I will keep reading.
I don’t know… Just read the review Shawn linked to above and it seemed like a backhanded praise of Witch Wraith. Wasn’t impressed, especially by mix ups in trilogies the reviewer was describing, or the numerous typos. I, for one, have enjoyed all of Terry’s books. Loved them all. Not sure what people are reading, or if they’re even reading what they’re supposedly reviewing, but I know Witch Wraith will have me on pins and needles… Dying to read it!!!
Tolkien – that again! Mr Brooks. You have written more books, you have created at least three original ideas, the wish song, knight of the word and flying ships, to name a few. Ok sword had similarities to Tolkien however… personally I never could get into Lord of the Rings. My favourite books are the Word and Void, which I have said many times before. What I will say is, as an artist, which you are an artist of words, maybe its time to write something completely different. Maybe a murder mystery in a strange world with completely different morals and values? You have written a whole series in under two years, clearly you are a master of your craft. As a massive fan I would actually love to read something different? But what ever you do I will read why. Because I know I will be able to sit back and enjoy it. Also you are good to your fans, I’m in England but with your hard work and shauns you really make us all feel valued. That’s rare. So Mr Brooks I salute you and always look forward to the next… now I’ve said that please read my work sometime lol! No you have enough to do as it is. All the best!
I just wanted to throw my two cents in. I have been an avid reader of yours since 7th grade (about 15 years ago), and have enjoyed everything you’ve put out. I will admit I enjoyed the High Druid of Shannara trilogy less than the others, however. I wouldn’t say the books were bad. Far from it, in my opinion. But the feeling I had while reading that series was just…off.
I should preface that by saying The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara is my favorite trilogy. I disagree with the review Shawn linked above, because I didn’t find the ending of Morgawr to be flat, nor am I frustrated by the unanswered questions. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but from my point of view at the trilogy’s conclusion, that was the whole point. From the final pages of Antrax to the closing of Morgawr, I took the events as crippling punches to the heart because, other than Bek and Grianne, nothing was really accomplished. Everything they had suffered, they had done so for nothing. And I found that to be a really powerful realization.
While reading The Dark Legacy of Shannara, and
watching characters drop like flies, I have found myself suffering the same punishing blows I felt during the latter half of the Voyage series, and I have enjoyed every page.
At this moment, I have yet to read Witch Wraith, but I have a feeling that once I’m done, I will have a new favorite.
Thanks so much for all you do!
If the negative review is the one I think it is, I have to call into question the professionalism and objectivity of the critic (they apparently lowered their review score in retaliation of your blog).
Regardless, when all is said and done, the only opinion that will matter ‘to me’ about your latest novel is mine. You said it best Terry in that the stories you tell are a journey undertaken by both the author and reader. If my past imaginings through the world of Shannara are any indicator, Witch Wraith will certainly be a wondrous experience.
Mr. Brooks, to me and many others, you are an amazing writer and one I’ve enjoyed for years. I live in Salt Lake City & can’t wait to meet you tonight @ Barnes & Noble! I Agree with Anthony that being influenced or compared to Tolkien, or any other great writer, is a compliment and not insulting. Nor would it be insulting to the many writers who have been influenced by ‘Brooks’. You already have an amazing legacy of inspiring new writers, so why fuss about Tolkien…in my opinion, you’re right up there. Please keep writing.
I love your books as well, Sir. I would say that you did, as you yourself acknowledge, use Tolkien themes and plot structures in *Sword* way back at the start of your career. But, I respond to the critics of you, so what? *Sword* is still a terrific book, one of my favorite fantasy novels, and the post-apocalyptic setting is really neat. Also, your books have gone far beyond Tolkien from *Elfstones* onward, so that person just doesn’t know what they are talking about. Finally, I will listen fairly, though I will heartily disagree, to anyone who trashes *Sword* as “too derivative” of Tolkien if they also are willing to treat *The Eye of the World* (which is arguably even MORE derivative of Tolkien) the same way.
Sir, your publisher was right. I will never be an author like you, as I don’t have the same talent for narrative, but I do write reviews of works. I’ve had to ignore the comments on my reviews because some are so incredibly mean-spirited and hurtful. I’m not comparing my situation directly, but just giving encouragement that you are a great author. I would say you are right up there with Brandon Sanderson as two of my fave fantasy authors. Each of you presents a different view of how magic works so I have interesting variety in plots.
God bless, Mr. Brooks, and keep up the good writing work. Many more years to you.
I was fortunate enough to grow up as the child of a Terry Brooks fan. I remember getting ready for bed and having my mother read The Sword of Shannara to my brother and me. I read the first three in middle school and then the heritage series in high school. When I high school I became a library assistant and started reading the Landover series and finished the whole series in close to a week. I’m not a fast reader so I felt quite accomplished. If i wasnt reading one of Terry’s books I was usually reading something by Dean Koontz, John Saul, or Stephen King. It wasn’t until my senior year that someone told me I had to read Tolkien. I’d heard of The Hobbit before, but had never given it much thought. So, I read it. I hated it. I know Tolkien is sacred for so many people but reading it, for me, was like being forced to eat incredibly thick oatmeal with no milk. I love the movies, but there is something about his style of writing that makes my brain hurt. I’m a lifelong Terry fan and his books give me something to really look forward to.
I have read and re-read the Shannara books. ALL of them – except Bloodfire and Witch Wraith – I’m working on Bloodfire now. I LOVE your books and I own at least one copy of most of them. I’ll have them all soon! I’ve bought multiple copies and donated them to the local school and public libraries as well as given whole sets as presents to other readers. I’ve never heard a bad word about any of them.
I also own the Landover series. I thought that one was too young for my tastes, but since I’ve bought and donated a copy of the series to the Jr/Sr High School Library here they are almost never on the shelf!
As with all readers, everyone has their own tastes. I’m personally a huge sci-fi fantasy series fanatic, and you have always been my favorite author. Of course I read others, but I always look for a new Shannara book. 🙂
There is no way you can please everyone. Quite frequently the most negative reviewers will set out intending to hate what they read, or will go into it with expectations for something that doesn’t even make sense given what they’re reading. Occasionally you’ll find a case where it’s a long-time fan who’s upset, but usually it takes a significant departure from the series norm for that to happen.
You’re writing for your audience, no matter what you write. The important thing is to recognize who that audience is, and to not worry so much about the ones whom will never be satisfied with anything you do.
I have been a fan of yours since I was in the 4th grade. My 4th grade teacher read “Sword of Shannara” and from then on… I have been hooked. I have so much enjoyed and love your work even now at 43 years old. You are my favorite author and I’m a huge fan. I know it must hurt when someone publicly criticizes your work. Don’t let that person get you down. For that person is not the voice of your fans. You are so loved and admired. Always looking forward to your next fantasy masterpiece.
Mr. Brooks your books are incredibly written works of art that have honestly been my therapy after my craniotomy seven yrs ago , I had only read the first king , sword , elf stones and wish song at that point , after my surgery I re read them and at first had to read each page about 10 times to have an memory of it , so I kept reading them all and after a few months I could remember everything from page to page after only reading it once , so I say thank you for the magic you bring to the world with each one u publish and the way they have helped me to recover and live a normal life that I don’t believe I could have done without your work , nothing else has helped me like your books did
As so many who have written you here, I am writing to encourage you as well. When I first picked up Sword of Shannara 14 years ago i did find many similarities to Lord of the Rings,but you have since created a world that can only be described as your own.. Being Compared to Tolkien (good or bad) to me simply means you have done something write. As it has been mentioned above your work has its history in our world. I am from Wenatchee Washington. I remember reading in Genisis Series you describing different Areas of this state, and just having my imagination captured. Especially the way you had described Seattle and picturing everyone in Safeco Field, and the destruction of Seahawks stadium (Century-Link field). And the just the general condition that Seattle, and the rest of Washington was in. As someone who drives Truck across Washington, and sometimes into Oregon, I often just find myself thinking on where everything fits into the four lands. No other writer has captured my imagination such as yourself.
So as with anything, you will always have your critics. And while I do believe that some criticism is good and can grow you as a person (and in your case a writer), You also have a very faithful allegiance of fans who you have captivated, who love your writing and will continue to read and recommend your work to others. You have a gift Mr. Brooks and I thank you for sharing it with myself, and so many others. I can only hope that I will have the opportunity to thank you in person some day for this.
Now if you would excuse me, I am only on Chapter 7 of Witch Wraith and your book is calling my name.
I remember Ken Kesey wrote back to a reviewer in an Oregon newspaper when I was a child. He said, “At least what I wrote won’t be lining the bottom of a bird cage tomorrow.” That made me smile.
Your books made me a better reader as a child and I have enjoyed re-reading them as an adult. I hadn’t heard about the second series and I can’t wait to check them out.
Thanks for sharing this…it helps us others struggling with critique of others, in whatever we endeavor…and to have the words of Del Rey that you have relied upon gives us strength too.
I just finished Witches Wraith, often my eyes teared again, as with all of the Shannara books because your characters become real and the conclusion always ends up a “good-bye” of sorts for a fond friendship that develops through the experiences, heartaches and empathy I feel…that grow from the life of each character born.
Like normal with Shannara, and your other works, it is what you say “between the lines” that weaves your tales and compels me to wait by the proverbial “fireside” to wait for another great oration of triumph through perseverance, integrity, and intestinal fortitude…when all seems lost.
I’ve got my marshmallows, my franks and a good long branch that I’ll use to pass the time…I’m not waiting alone either! We’ll wait patiently…we’ll save you some s’mores!
Thanks for being you Terry!
Hi Terry, I’ve been reading your books since 1982. I along with my nephew met you at a book signing in Ft. Wayne, IN. Big highlight in my life. I’m a fan. Terry….you’ve heard all this noise before, why are you letting it bother you this time? I haven’t read the review in question but it’s been my experience that generally when people are extremely harsh there is usually another motive other than the obvious. The easy criticism of any fantasy author is to accuse them of copying Tolkien, I would bet the reviewer either didn’t read everything or he’s just pushing buttons. Terry… you’ve made countless people happy with your books and are a master of the craft, you have nothing to apologize or answer for. I remain a fan, keep up the good work!! 🙂
Mr Brooks i love your books and can’t wait for what you got in store for us next
Just a quick word to say that you have my father to thank for getting me into the Shannara series. He was browsing a bookshop in london and saw the Elfstones cover. Thinking it might be something I might like he bought it not knowing it was the middle of a trilogy. Thoroughly enjoyed it and the rest is history. In fact I think I read the trilogy as 2,1,3! From there led to Landover (with The Black Unicorn being a christmas present)and the rest is history. So here’s another grateful reader saying a long over due thanks for all the entertainment.
I loved the whole series, the final book especially, and, in my humble opinion, it is the best trilogy you have ever written, even better than the original three books. We all have our detractors, but you have a huge, loyal fan base, who love what you write and wait expectantly for your next book, like me.
Nobody is going to achieve universal acclamation, but I think anyone that thought, objectively, that the Witch Wraith was not a superb book, has another agenda.
Please keep doing what you are doing.
All the best.
Terry has our whole hearted support. Who is the muppet who dissed him in the first place ?
Let me know, please.
True fans unite.
All the best.
I really enjoyed Witch Wraith, though there were a few questions left unanswered! I hope they’ll be addressed in a future book! 🙂
I was first introduced to the Shannara series when I was about 13. I took The Elfstones out on loan from my high school library. It wasn’t until I got the book home that I realised I was reading the sequel to The Sword of Shannara, but the story instantly enthralled me. Since then I have delved deeper & deeper into the world of Shannara. Keep up the great work.
Having been an enormous fan of your work for 30 years, I find the idea of relating all fantasy material as being “Tolkein knockoffs” absolutely ludicrous. In fact, when I began reading Sword of Shannara back in 1982-83, I would not have been capable of enjoying the overly complex writings of Mr. Tolkein. In fact, it is through your work that I have been able to branch out and read a variety of fantasy and sci fi from numerous authors, enjoying each for their particular literary style. So my take would be that you are an asset to all members of the fantasy genre. I appreciate you, and thank you for your tireless efforts.
I remember the first time I picked up The Sword of Shannara. The book literally absorbed my imagination into its pages, where I would live until the story was fully told. The same thing happened when I picked up The Elfstones.
It’s been over twenty years since I have read either of these books, but they still have a lasting impression upon me to this day. They helped to shape me into the man I would become: a dreamer of worlds.
I have read many other fantasy books over the years, but none so fantastic as these two and I hope to one day return to continue the adventure.
i think that if the person who reviewed your book badly was in a room full of fantasy writers…he might not get out alive. Tolkien is the architect and the legend. In the world in which we live, the fact that he will be copied and admired is a given, how could you claim to be an actual “critic” of fantasy work and not know this? For those of us who salivate for new work in this genre, it is also a given that we would like to be able to write the things that we read. If those who can’t DO teach then i guess those who can’t teach criticize. Fuck that guy, just like every girl wouldn’t.
Any story that grabs hold of my brain the way Witch Wraith did and permanently rearranges my brainwaves has got to be good – please God say there will be more of these
It’s hard to give an honest review of Brooks early novels without mentioning Tolkien, but I came here half-way through Witch Wraith to see if my suspicions had already been supported. Suffice it to say, I agree with Moher. I’m not exactly sure what’s happening as I absorb this new material, style and spin on Shannara and the conclusion to the latest sub-trilogy but I like it; I like it a lot.
Even my least favorite Terry Brooks books (which are very few!) are still better than any other author’s books that I’ve read! Because even my least favorite (once again, very few!) I read within a week! And yes, I’ve read Tolkien.
My son, always in trouble, got in deep trouble as a young teenager, his dad grounded him to his room for a week. I gave him my most favorite book of all time to read. The Sword of Shannara. To this day, he loves that book.
In all honesty, I never read the reviews on any books. I feel they’re pointless. The back of the book or side cover should be able to speak for itself and all of Terry’s books do just that. All the reviews are just like make up. You take it all away and the story is still there for everyone to see. And besides, we pay to read the story, not the reviews. Whoever that person was that wrote the review may have just had a bad day and didn’t have anything else to take out his frustration on. That or he really likes making people feel bad.
That being said, even if the stories are similar to Tolkein, I don’t care. All of Terry’s books stimulate my interests in sci fi and fantasy and no matter what I’m always going to buy his books and read and reread them until the pages fall out and I have to buy another one of his books. The same goes for any author I read. And that’s the other thing, if you don’t like the book, don’t read it. You don’t have to leave a bad review for everyone else and the author to see. That’s just rude.
Terry you have not written a bad book yet. I have loved the world you created and go back to revisit old friends every time I reread a volume. Thanks for all of your work.
Terry, just finished The Witch wraith and I thought it the best book of the trilogy. I couldn’t put it down. Read it in record time for me. I’ve read all your books and have been thoroughly entertained over the years. My only complaint is you don’t write them fast enough. Please make The Bearer of the Black Staff a trilogy. I felt like I was left hanging for a ending.
I’m a devoted fan. I’ve loved every book/tale you’ve ever written. You tell a heck of a good story and I’m definitely hooked. One of the things I truly love about your writing is that you don’t use a lot a sappy romance or even sex to ‘spice’ up your writing. You don’t have to. That there are elements of all those things is as it should be, but it’s not gratuitous. You have a way of fully fleshing out the characters, worlds and storyline that is entirely engrossing. As long as you write them, I’ll read them.
I never could understand the Tolkien references made towards your work, At the age of 8 I was given the hobbit, I read it and it quickly got buried deep in the depths of my closet, alas this foray into fantasy was a complete blunder and so I stuck to rereading Jack Londons “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” a year later and my dream as a dog sledder still unsuccessful, seems my dog “Duke” a cross between Norweigan Elkhound and Black Lab felt pulling me on a GT snow racer was utterly a waste of his time. Anyways I digress, So there I was in 7th grade(1987) I had forgotten to bring a book for a half hour reading period that had been compelled upon our school, a close friend of mine seeing my distress at another potential detention, quickly slipped into my hands a battered and beaten copy of “Sword of Shannara” I remember shaking my head at this horrible circumstance. Do I read some book that will probably annoy me as badly as the Hobbit or do I take my 20th detention of the yr an it was just the beginning of October…Well with a heavy heart I flipped open the first page….the rest is history, like a fish with a hook in its mouth you Mr.Brooks reeled me in, From there my love of mystic lands, gallant hero’s, dastardly villans began and I thank you for not being anything like Tolkien!
Hi there Terry,
I have loved every one of the novels and series you have written like many hundreds of thousands of others. A bad review? Well it can’t be helped if one single reviewer doesn’t have the capacity to recognise a masterpiece – and anyway who cares? I don’t and neither should you. I cannot wait for the next instalment of your imagination – keep writing please…..
I just want to let you know that my dad and I have shared a deep love of your books for a long time, and still do. There is not a single book that you have written that hasn’t absolutely floored me. Honestly, by the time the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara books came out, I thought that I knew what to expect. I expected greatness, and a book that I couldn’t put down. Even expecting that, I was still absolutely blown away in ways that I could never have foreseen. I have other favorite authors, too, but none of them, not a single one of them, has ever held a candle to your books.
I’m sad to hear that you got such a bad review, and I’m a little confused as to how anyone could not fall in love with your writing, but when you are feeling down about that, please remember that your books have been a big bond between my dad and me, they are something that is passed down generations simply because of their greatness. You have so many adoring fans, and you have them for a reason: because you are an amazing writer.
I hope that you feel more cheerful soon. 🙂
Yeah, that’s always tough. I always say that the creative process is very much like giving birth, and no one wants to be told they have an ugly baby. What a person writes and creates is an extension of themselves, and even though we know it’s crazy, we want everyone to love us. But that just isn’t how it works. They say you shouldn’t believe the good or the bad reviews. Just stay true to yourself. But the bad reviews still sting. What I like to do is read bad reviews for things that are almost universally considered to be among the greatest works of all time. Like “Moby Dick”. When it came out, even Melville’s friend wrote a scathing review. It reminds me that opinions are just that — opinions — and furthermore, they have a tendency to change over time. Today’s book that no one looks twice at could be tomorrow’s timeless classic. You never know. So just keep writing what’s in your heart. There will always be plenty of people who love what you write as much as you do.
I am busy reading Sword at the moment and even though there may be slight similarities to Lord of the Rings, they are pretty slight IMHO, and I don’t care if they are there anyway. I am just enjoying your book immensely! I prefer the more quest/adventure with large worlds and many races and creatures type fantasy compare to Game of Thrones. I have read Game of Thrones and I felt very depressed after reading it. You books take me on adventures where bad and good things happen to the heroes. You make it fun and lively not depressing and dreary. I am 35 and still feel the best fantasy is what I mentioned already.
[…] “Remember who you are. Remember what you do. You are a plain old working writer who tells stories. If you are published and read, that’s as much as you are entitled to. All the rest is window dressing.” – Lester del Rey, via terrybrooks.net […]