|I love staring at fantasy maps. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because|
my mind fills in all the possibilities for adventure that lurks in places.
Or maybe it just has to do with the fact that I played too much
Dungeons and Dragons growing up.
What I'm talking about in THIS post is that Brooks' Shannara books are getting a t.v. series. You can read about it at the VARIETY LINK HERE. And I'm excited about it. Yes, I am :) Does that surprise you?
See, I read The Sword of Shannara as a teenager right after finishing my first read of The Lord of the Rings. Did I notice the startling similarity? Yes, I did. Was I upset by it? A little, but not enough to stop reading. Let's face it, I was a nut for fantasy. I didn't care, and I particularly don't care as much now. I wanted to see monsters and wizards. Sure Allanon was just Gandalf and a druid instead of a wizard, but he could throw fire from his hands. In other words...he was a more "kickass" version of Gandalf.
And here's the thing, once Brooks moves past the first book, the series really starts to carve its own niche. Elfstones still had some similarities to Tolkien, but I loved the two witches that fight to the death. And the reaper made for some chilling scenes.
And then of course we get Wishsong, which started a whole new trend of cool abilities and places to go.
One of the strongest things I've seen is Brooks' ability to reinvent himself with Shannara. Just when things get stale, more map unfolds. Just when you think he doesn't have another villain, he recreates one from the ashes of the witches and puts that in a later book. He gives us flying ships with parse tubes and strange glowing crystals and entire islands made from computers. And really badass creatures as big as barns crawling through places like Japanese Kaiju.
I really liked in the later books how he even explores the other side of the Forbidding (a thing only hinted at in the Elfstones book).
Casting for the series is going to have to be redone with every new book. I think that's another hidden strength. Because characters featured in one rarely turn up in another. That means nothing ever gets stale, and new actors have the chance to get jobs.
So yeah, I'm excited about this series, despite my misgivings at how the very first one got published. In retrospect, I'm glad it DID get published, because I think Brooks is one of the greatest fantasy authors who has ever lived. Maybe he just needed Tolkien to get started. Everyone needs a place to start, right? I forgave Brooks a long time ago. And, I still buy his books.
Hopefully, this series doesn't run congruent with "A Game of Thrones." I want my fantasy fix all year long.
Have a great weekend.