Listen free for 30 days

The Scions of Shannara

The Heritage of Shannara, Book 1
Narrated by: John Lee
Series: Heritage of Shannara, Book 1
Length: 17 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

New York Times best seller 

Since the death of the Druid Allanon, the Four Lands have changed profoundly, with magic strictly forbidden in the Southland, now under totalitarian rule. Yet Par still has some power of the Wishsong. When he accidently brings a mythic horror to life, a man calling himself Cogline drives it away. Cogline brings a message from Allanon: venture to the dread Hadeshorn, along with the other Scions of Shannara. For in the future, all life in the Four Lands will be destroyed. To prevent this terrible fate, Allanon commands Par to recover the long-lost Sword of Shannara, a task that is next to impossible. 

Thus continues the enthralling Shannara epic, a spellbinding tale of adventure, magic, and myth....

©2000 Terry Brooks (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"If Harry Potter has given you a thirst for fantasy and you have not discovered the magic of Terry Brooks, you are in for a treat." (Rocky Mountain News)

"If you were delighted and entranced by Michael Ende's The Never Ending Story, you will definitely want to sample one of more of Terry Brooks' books." (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    67
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    66
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Listen to a sample first

I had to quit this audio book after barely 5 minutes of listening to the narrator.
Sadly to me at least, it was a jarring and stilted performance that hugely detracted from the book itself.
Listen to a sample first to decide for yourself.

1 person found this helpful

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

Killed By Narrator.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

In printed format, Yes, I would recommend this and the other books in the series. In Audio format, NO. Not unless they re-recored them with a different, more capable narrator.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It has been decades since I read these books, and I didn't listen long enough to this audio version, to either make a decision, or remember any of the characters from the books.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of John Lee?

Andrew Wincott. Rupert Degas. Simon Vance. There are many good narrators out there. In my opinion Mr Lee isn't one of them..

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Not sure. It would depend on the cast.

Any additional comments?

This is just one more of my favorite books tortured to death by an awful narrator. Its depressing to think of all the books I would have loved to listen to, that I just can't stand to hear, thanks to the wrong people reading them. I've already tried and returned the first three books of the Shannara Series, as they too were ruined by another poor narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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

Awesome book but the narrator isn't great.

The book is as great as I remember, the series one if my favourites of all time, but the narrator isn't great. He has essentially two character voices and read the lines in a quick matter of fact way with a pause in between but no emphasise on any part of the sentence. you do get used to it after a while, or maybe he gets better over time but it still comes in way short of what other narrators on audible manage.

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

stunning listen

Terry Brooks has always been a firm favourite author of mine. And, like with most of his works, this was an enjoyable and exceptional book. It was also narrated beautifully.

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

Another great book from Terry Brooks.

The book is just great. The pace, descriptives and the overall story can't be faulted.

The performance let it down though. Although John Lee has a lovely tone to his voice the pause on commas was a bit excessive which made it hard to follow in places as it sounded more like a new sentance pause. For example a sentence could read "they were exhausted, too tired to speak. Par laid there...." but it sounds like "they were exhausted. Too tired to speak par laid there...". Although this is a poor example it did, at times, make following the story difficult as sentences took on new meanings. And some sentences were over punctuated and emphasised. By this I mean each word was pronounced almost,, as a separate sentence. One. Word. At. A. Time. It became very tedious. I really want to listen to the rest of the series but am not sure I can put up with the performance, such a shame.

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

What goes around comes around

The flavour and intensity of the previous books maintained, and I like the fact that the exact underlying cause of all the scion troubles is kept concealed.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Neill
  • Neill
  • 12-07-16

The best of Shannara.

I've been a Brooks fan since I read Sword of Shannara at age 12 in 1991 on vacation. I didn't put the book down the entire drive. I love the world and the characters.

Some years later I discovered books on tape and my audio book life began. Since I discovered Audible, I've been hoping this four book Heritage of Shannara series would receive the full, unabridged treatment (an abridged book is an appalling blasphemy).

I couldn't be more pleased with the results. If you wish to pick apart some oft-used or too-familiar fantasy tropes in this series, you can certainly do so. Good on you and I hope it makes you feel smugly pleased with yourself. But, if you genuinely love Brooks's Shannara world with all its rich life and wonderfully familiar groups like the Leahs, Ohmsfords, Druids, Elves, Rock Trolls, Dwarves and all the familiar landscapes, lineages and a beautiful and reliable narrative with enough changes to stand apart from past series, then you owe it to yourself to listen to these books and immerse yourself in the stories.

The narration is just right, neither dominating the tone nor detracting from the story. It is inviting and at no point forces you out of the Four Lands.

I always loved this series for the separate but equal storylines followed in the four books. I can't wait to begin The Druid and follow it immediately with The Elf Queen. This is a must-listen for Brooks fans.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David
  • David
  • 27-08-16

Exiting, very well paced epic story

Definitely a bit dark but a wonderfully written story that is very well read by John Lee. The story is clearly a setup for the reminder of the books in this series but sets up the characters and the storyline nicely. Unlike a lot of YA books in this genre, these characters have depth and are very vulnerable at times. The author's world building is pretty good and continues to develop as the story and series continues. It is the classic good versus evil but a very good story with interesting plot twists and main characters struggling with their own doubts and whether they have the courage to do the right thing. Very well done, especially for a first book in a new series.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jesse
  • Jesse
  • 26-05-19

Scions of Shannara

I first read this book when I was a teenager. I grabbed a book off my grandparents shelf (it could have been anything) and it was this. I was so pleased to see this finally unabridged. I stayed up all night when I discovered Shannara and did it again with this. John Lee is a great narrator, each character is brought to life and had a unique voice. 10/10.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 18-10-17

Great book.

Marvelous story. Narration not so much. His inflections were all wrong. Bring back Scott Brick!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Donnelle
  • Donnelle
  • 15-05-20

Reader's cadence

The story was great but I didn't care for the pacing and cadence of the reader's voice. He sounds like Merlin from the old movie Excalibur when he tells the soldiers to "Be Still! Be silent!" . The reader paces the entire story that way so there is no rise and fall of the action, only a constant tension in the reader's voice that makes a general conversation in the story feel as urgent as a great battle or confrontation so the story feels muddled. I had to re-listen to several areas to catch subtle details.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 16-04-20

The narrator is so badI couldn't complete the book

Again l loved the book. Hated the narrator. The reading was stakkato and reminded me of a robot. should have taken the time to check out the narrator before the purchase. Lesson learnt

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bruce
  • Bruce
  • 11-04-20

Good, solid book - but not a stand-alone

If I had not already wanted to know more about the whole world built by Brooks, this book would not have drawn me in on its own merits. Too long for that. But then again, most adult fantasy is prone to wordiness; I've read much worse. I may revisit this review after moving on, and wanting to move on in the series is evidence that the book fulfills its purpose.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Estelle Gilliam
  • Estelle Gilliam
  • 10-02-20

One of the best series openers for Terry Brooks, and this is one of my all time favorites.

This is the start of a great series that keeps you entertained from start to finish. I have read and re-read this book many times the narration was spot on.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kristi
  • Kristi
  • 31-08-19

Soooooo long

1 simple sentence would be drawn out into an entire paragraph with exhausting descriptions and descriptions of the output prior explanation of things such as breathing. Who can write 3 sentences to describe someone's breathing?? This book ends with a cliffhanger for the next book. This story could've been condensed to maybe 3-5 hours and combined with book 2 as 1. Love the entire Shannara series so I am glad I endured it

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joseph Atkins
  • Joseph Atkins
  • 22-01-19

great story, audio not so much

a great story, and the speaker is great, the audio cuts off his words and makes it hard to understand sometimes, like the last syllable is super quiet.