SPEAK wallpaper & Shannara question

Let the final revisions begin!

Before I dive back into the manuscript, I thought you’d like to know about the very cool SPEAK wallpaper that my Web God, theoblack designed. He is the best Web God ever, I swear. We hope you enjoy. If you reproduce the wallpaper any place besides your computer, please be cool and give Theo credit for his work.

One book thought before I go. I read First King of Shannara, by Terry Brooks, over the weekend. I’ve been wanting to read more fantasy and a friend recommended this. I was not impressed. It had some creative moments, but mostly I felt distant from the story. I was quickly bored with the journey/journey/battle evil/battle evil/journey some more/- plot line that was way too Tokienesque for my taste. Has anyone else read this book? Thoughts on it? Should I read others in the Shannara series?

108 Replies to “SPEAK wallpaper & Shannara question”

  1. Although Brooks has always denied it, the Shannara books are very derivative of Tolkien. The first ones in the series were good reads, but the voice and emotion aren’t sustained in the later books, such as First King, and the plots are essentially the same.

    I enjoy Tamara Pierce’s work, as well as Octavia Butler’s.

  2. Although Brooks has always denied it, the Shannara books are very derivative of Tolkien. The first ones in the series were good reads, but the voice and emotion aren’t sustained in the later books, such as First King, and the plots are essentially the same.

    I enjoy Tamara Pierce’s work, as well as Octavia Butler’s.

  3. Although Brooks has always denied it, the Shannara books are very derivative of Tolkien. The first ones in the series were good reads, but the voice and emotion aren’t sustained in the later books, such as First King, and the plots are essentially the same.

    I enjoy Tamara Pierce’s work, as well as Octavia Butler’s.

  4. Although Brooks has always denied it, the Shannara books are very derivative of Tolkien. The first ones in the series were good reads, but the voice and emotion aren’t sustained in the later books, such as First King, and the plots are essentially the same.

    I enjoy Tamara Pierce’s work, as well as Octavia Butler’s.

  5. Although Brooks has always denied it, the Shannara books are very derivative of Tolkien. The first ones in the series were good reads, but the voice and emotion aren’t sustained in the later books, such as First King, and the plots are essentially the same.

    I enjoy Tamara Pierce’s work, as well as Octavia Butler’s.

      1. 1) I second the Octavia Butler recommendation!
        2) Thanks for recommending Walter Dean Myers; his ear for dialog is marvelous
        3) I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Ted; i very recently wrote you via post (cuz i’m shy maybe?), and i aim to post here some, cuz i love your book(s). Hope you don’t mind

  6. Although Brooks has always denied it, the Shannara books are very derivative of Tolkien. The first ones in the series were good reads, but the voice and emotion aren’t sustained in the later books, such as First King, and the plots are essentially the same.

    I enjoy Tamara Pierce’s work, as well as Octavia Butler’s.

  7. I was underwhelmed by First King, but I love some of his other Shannara books. Elfstones of Shannara is lovely, but best is his four book set, starting with Scions of Shannara, Druid of Shannara, Elf Queen of Shannara and Talismans of Shannara. Those are fabulous.

  8. I was underwhelmed by First King, but I love some of his other Shannara books. Elfstones of Shannara is lovely, but best is his four book set, starting with Scions of Shannara, Druid of Shannara, Elf Queen of Shannara and Talismans of Shannara. Those are fabulous.

  9. I was underwhelmed by First King, but I love some of his other Shannara books. Elfstones of Shannara is lovely, but best is his four book set, starting with Scions of Shannara, Druid of Shannara, Elf Queen of Shannara and Talismans of Shannara. Those are fabulous.

  10. I’ve seen Terry Brooks in person, but I only read his adaptation of the Star Wars movie. Eventually I will pull out his popular books because people at the convention loved them and had tons of questions!

    I’m reading “Kushiel’s Dart” right now and am really liking it because it is really adult fantasy fiction. However, my favorite fantasy author is Juliet Marillier who uses historical events (like Irish and Pictish) and does her own take on it. Wonderful reading and very addicting! Tor publishes some great fantasy and I love to look for their logo on books.

  11. I’ve seen Terry Brooks in person, but I only read his adaptation of the Star Wars movie. Eventually I will pull out his popular books because people at the convention loved them and had tons of questions!

    I’m reading “Kushiel’s Dart” right now and am really liking it because it is really adult fantasy fiction. However, my favorite fantasy author is Juliet Marillier who uses historical events (like Irish and Pictish) and does her own take on it. Wonderful reading and very addicting! Tor publishes some great fantasy and I love to look for their logo on books.

  12. I’ve seen Terry Brooks in person, but I only read his adaptation of the Star Wars movie. Eventually I will pull out his popular books because people at the convention loved them and had tons of questions!

    I’m reading “Kushiel’s Dart” right now and am really liking it because it is really adult fantasy fiction. However, my favorite fantasy author is Juliet Marillier who uses historical events (like Irish and Pictish) and does her own take on it. Wonderful reading and very addicting! Tor publishes some great fantasy and I love to look for their logo on books.

  13. The Shannara books bored me – even back when i read almost anything at a brisk clip. I liked his Magic Kingdom for Sale books better. But i was 15 when i read them, so . . . I recommend Terry Pratchett. Any Terry Pratchett, but start with one of these 3: Wyrd Sisters, Guards Guards or Reaperman.

    H

  14. The Shannara books bored me – even back when i read almost anything at a brisk clip. I liked his Magic Kingdom for Sale books better. But i was 15 when i read them, so . . . I recommend Terry Pratchett. Any Terry Pratchett, but start with one of these 3: Wyrd Sisters, Guards Guards or Reaperman.

    H

  15. The Shannara books bored me – even back when i read almost anything at a brisk clip. I liked his Magic Kingdom for Sale books better. But i was 15 when i read them, so . . . I recommend Terry Pratchett. Any Terry Pratchett, but start with one of these 3: Wyrd Sisters, Guards Guards or Reaperman.

    H

  16. Sounds like maybe the recommendation was based on what the friend liked, rather than your likes? What’ve you read in the field that you liked? It’s a pretty broad spectrum, running from the “darn, there’s only so many Tolkein books out there and I want more of the same” type books to urban fantasy / magic realism types, all under the “fantasy” umbrella…

  17. Sounds like maybe the recommendation was based on what the friend liked, rather than your likes? What’ve you read in the field that you liked? It’s a pretty broad spectrum, running from the “darn, there’s only so many Tolkein books out there and I want more of the same” type books to urban fantasy / magic realism types, all under the “fantasy” umbrella…

  18. Sounds like maybe the recommendation was based on what the friend liked, rather than your likes? What’ve you read in the field that you liked? It’s a pretty broad spectrum, running from the “darn, there’s only so many Tolkein books out there and I want more of the same” type books to urban fantasy / magic realism types, all under the “fantasy” umbrella…

  19. 1) I second the Octavia Butler recommendation!
    2) Thanks for recommending Walter Dean Myers; his ear for dialog is marvelous
    3) I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Ted; i very recently wrote you via post (cuz i’m shy maybe?), and i aim to post here some, cuz i love your book(s). Hope you don’t mind

  20. 1) I second the Octavia Butler recommendation!
    2) Thanks for recommending Walter Dean Myers; his ear for dialog is marvelous
    3) I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Ted; i very recently wrote you via post (cuz i’m shy maybe?), and i aim to post here some, cuz i love your book(s). Hope you don’t mind

  21. fantasy reads

    Are you looking at YA fantasy? Here are 2 I’ve currently read:

    Hilari Bell’s Farsala Trilogy (only 2 books thus far)
    Patrick Carman’s The Land of Elyon series (2 books thus far)

    I am a huge fantasy reader and a librarian so these are my recommendations (adding another reminder I am fantasy fanatic):

    My Favorite author is George R.R. Martin. Similar to tolkien but without they fey creatures. Very epic like. Love him!

    Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody Trilogy
    Robbin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy
    Harry Turtledove did a fantasy/historical fiction series on World War 2 that I really liked.

    There are many more but I wouldnt want to overwhelm you. Hope you enjoy!

  22. fantasy reads

    Are you looking at YA fantasy? Here are 2 I’ve currently read:

    Hilari Bell’s Farsala Trilogy (only 2 books thus far)
    Patrick Carman’s The Land of Elyon series (2 books thus far)

    I am a huge fantasy reader and a librarian so these are my recommendations (adding another reminder I am fantasy fanatic):

    My Favorite author is George R.R. Martin. Similar to tolkien but without they fey creatures. Very epic like. Love him!

    Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody Trilogy
    Robbin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy
    Harry Turtledove did a fantasy/historical fiction series on World War 2 that I really liked.

    There are many more but I wouldnt want to overwhelm you. Hope you enjoy!

      1. Re: fantasy reads

        the last three aren’t YA authors, I don’t think it’s clear. 🙂

        And I’ll throw in 2 more authors:
        David Eddings’ Belgariad
        Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant Series

  23. fantasy reads

    Are you looking at YA fantasy? Here are 2 I’ve currently read:

    Hilari Bell’s Farsala Trilogy (only 2 books thus far)
    Patrick Carman’s The Land of Elyon series (2 books thus far)

    I am a huge fantasy reader and a librarian so these are my recommendations (adding another reminder I am fantasy fanatic):

    My Favorite author is George R.R. Martin. Similar to tolkien but without they fey creatures. Very epic like. Love him!

    Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody Trilogy
    Robbin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy
    Harry Turtledove did a fantasy/historical fiction series on World War 2 that I really liked.

    There are many more but I wouldnt want to overwhelm you. Hope you enjoy!

  24. hello

    hi im audrey and i am a student from hatboro horsham high school i was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me…

    1.When writeing speak were u comparing to a real life situation that u had delt with in the past?

    2.what inspired you to write speak?

    3.

  25. hello

    hi im audrey and i am a student from hatboro horsham high school i was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me…

    1.When writeing speak were u comparing to a real life situation that u had delt with in the past?

    2.what inspired you to write speak?

    3.

  26. hello

    hi im audrey and i am a student from hatboro horsham high school i was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me…

    1.When writeing speak were u comparing to a real life situation that u had delt with in the past?

    2.what inspired you to write speak?

    3.

  27. hello

    hi im audrey and i am a student from hatboro horsham high school i was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me… if you have time can u e mail the answers to these few questions to me at audrizzle04@yahoo.com

    1.When writeing speak were u comparing to a real life situation that u had delt with in the past?

    2.what inspired you to write speak?

    3.were you always interested in writing books?

  28. hello

    hi im audrey and i am a student from hatboro horsham high school i was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me… if you have time can u e mail the answers to these few questions to me at audrizzle04@yahoo.com

    1.When writeing speak were u comparing to a real life situation that u had delt with in the past?

    2.what inspired you to write speak?

    3.were you always interested in writing books?

    1. Re: hello

      1. A little bit, but most of the book is fiction.
      2. I had a bad dream in which I came across the main character. I also had two girls about to enter adolescence.
      3. Nope. I was always interested in reading them. I didn’t really think about trying to write a novel until I was 30.

  29. hello

    hi im audrey and i am a student from hatboro horsham high school i was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me… if you have time can u e mail the answers to these few questions to me at audrizzle04@yahoo.com

    1.When writeing speak were u comparing to a real life situation that u had delt with in the past?

    2.what inspired you to write speak?

    3.were you always interested in writing books?

  30. um i don’t know about that book but fantasy wise besides harry potter there is the once and future king by t.h. white merlin is the man in that book lol and of course the chronicles of narnia there wouldn’t be books like harry potter if it wasn’t for C.S. lewis who i regard as the father of fantasy

  31. um i don’t know about that book but fantasy wise besides harry potter there is the once and future king by t.h. white merlin is the man in that book lol and of course the chronicles of narnia there wouldn’t be books like harry potter if it wasn’t for C.S. lewis who i regard as the father of fantasy

    1. I adore Once and Future King (and Merlin!)… C.S. Lewis wasn’t my favorite, but I read him dutifully. I really enjoyed all of Susan Cooper’s books.

  32. um i don’t know about that book but fantasy wise besides harry potter there is the once and future king by t.h. white merlin is the man in that book lol and of course the chronicles of narnia there wouldn’t be books like harry potter if it wasn’t for C.S. lewis who i regard as the father of fantasy

  33. I adore Once and Future King (and Merlin!)… C.S. Lewis wasn’t my favorite, but I read him dutifully. I really enjoyed all of Susan Cooper’s books.

  34. I adore Once and Future King (and Merlin!)… C.S. Lewis wasn’t my favorite, but I read him dutifully. I really enjoyed all of Susan Cooper’s books.

  35. Re: hello

    1. A little bit, but most of the book is fiction.
    2. I had a bad dream in which I came across the main character. I also had two girls about to enter adolescence.
    3. Nope. I was always interested in reading them. I didn’t really think about trying to write a novel until I was 30.

  36. Re: hello

    1. A little bit, but most of the book is fiction.
    2. I had a bad dream in which I came across the main character. I also had two girls about to enter adolescence.
    3. Nope. I was always interested in reading them. I didn’t really think about trying to write a novel until I was 30.

  37. Aggghh, not Brooks, not for the author of SPEAK and CATALYST! Aggghh.

    Excuse me, it’s all Sharyn’s fault I’m here.

    Susan Palwick, Nicola Griffith (especially SLOW RIVER), Steven Leigh’s DARK WATER’S EMBRACE, Will Shetterly’s DOGLAND, Emma Bull’s anything, if you can find it. Ursula Le Guin, Patricia MacKillip. John M. Ford: GROWING UP WEIGHTLESS, THE LAST HOT TIME, THE DRAGON WAITING, anything, really.

    P.

  38. Aggghh, not Brooks, not for the author of SPEAK and CATALYST! Aggghh.

    Excuse me, it’s all Sharyn’s fault I’m here.

    Susan Palwick, Nicola Griffith (especially SLOW RIVER), Steven Leigh’s DARK WATER’S EMBRACE, Will Shetterly’s DOGLAND, Emma Bull’s anything, if you can find it. Ursula Le Guin, Patricia MacKillip. John M. Ford: GROWING UP WEIGHTLESS, THE LAST HOT TIME, THE DRAGON WAITING, anything, really.

    P.

  39. Aggghh, not Brooks, not for the author of SPEAK and CATALYST! Aggghh.

    Excuse me, it’s all Sharyn’s fault I’m here.

    Susan Palwick, Nicola Griffith (especially SLOW RIVER), Steven Leigh’s DARK WATER’S EMBRACE, Will Shetterly’s DOGLAND, Emma Bull’s anything, if you can find it. Ursula Le Guin, Patricia MacKillip. John M. Ford: GROWING UP WEIGHTLESS, THE LAST HOT TIME, THE DRAGON WAITING, anything, really.

    P.

  40. hatboro horsham

    Hi I am mark Abbonizio and i am reading your book my school. (hatboro horsham high school) I really like the book so far. I just want to know what influenced you to write such a great back.

  41. hatboro horsham

    Hi I am mark Abbonizio and i am reading your book my school. (hatboro horsham high school) I really like the book so far. I just want to know what influenced you to write such a great back.

    1. Re: hatboro horsham

      I don’t think an author can ever really understand what influences her. I don’t want to – it would take away the mystery for me.

  42. hatboro horsham

    Hi I am mark Abbonizio and i am reading your book my school. (hatboro horsham high school) I really like the book so far. I just want to know what influenced you to write such a great back.

  43. Re: hatboro horsham

    I don’t think an author can ever really understand what influences her. I don’t want to – it would take away the mystery for me.

  44. Re: hatboro horsham

    I don’t think an author can ever really understand what influences her. I don’t want to – it would take away the mystery for me.

  45. Shannara and its relatives

    The only book in Shannara that I ever particuarly liked was “The Elfstones of Shannara” (next in the series). And in that one, I skipped over about 1/4 of it because it was a rather boring battle. The rest of the series was ok, but I wouldn’t put it on the “must read” list.

  46. Shannara and its relatives

    The only book in Shannara that I ever particuarly liked was “The Elfstones of Shannara” (next in the series). And in that one, I skipped over about 1/4 of it because it was a rather boring battle. The rest of the series was ok, but I wouldn’t put it on the “must read” list.

  47. Shannara and its relatives

    The only book in Shannara that I ever particuarly liked was “The Elfstones of Shannara” (next in the series). And in that one, I skipped over about 1/4 of it because it was a rather boring battle. The rest of the series was ok, but I wouldn’t put it on the “must read” list.

  48. Speak

    Hi, my name’s Jen and I’m from Hatboro-Horsham High School. “Speak” has been a favorite of mine when I first read it about a year ago. But I was wondering as I read it, what made you want to write about Melinda so much? How did she form in your mind from a nightmare to a girl who was in a horrible situation? I love writing, and I am thinking about entering the writing field after high school, so I would love to hear from you!

    Take care,

    jeni*

  49. Speak

    Hi, my name’s Jen and I’m from Hatboro-Horsham High School. “Speak” has been a favorite of mine when I first read it about a year ago. But I was wondering as I read it, what made you want to write about Melinda so much? How did she form in your mind from a nightmare to a girl who was in a horrible situation? I love writing, and I am thinking about entering the writing field after high school, so I would love to hear from you!

    Take care,

    jeni*

    1. Re: Speak

      Hey Jen – I found Melinda’s character and her situation to be incredibly compelling. That’s why I wanted to write about it.

  50. Speak

    Hi, my name’s Jen and I’m from Hatboro-Horsham High School. “Speak” has been a favorite of mine when I first read it about a year ago. But I was wondering as I read it, what made you want to write about Melinda so much? How did she form in your mind from a nightmare to a girl who was in a horrible situation? I love writing, and I am thinking about entering the writing field after high school, so I would love to hear from you!

    Take care,

    jeni*

  51. Re: fantasy reads

    the last three aren’t YA authors, I don’t think it’s clear. 🙂

    And I’ll throw in 2 more authors:
    David Eddings’ Belgariad
    Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant Series

  52. Re: fantasy reads

    the last three aren’t YA authors, I don’t think it’s clear. 🙂

    And I’ll throw in 2 more authors:
    David Eddings’ Belgariad
    Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant Series

  53. Re: Speak

    Hey Jen – I found Melinda’s character and her situation to be incredibly compelling. That’s why I wanted to write about it.

  54. Re: Speak

    Hey Jen – I found Melinda’s character and her situation to be incredibly compelling. That’s why I wanted to write about it.

  55. noooo

    Hi Laurie,

    I just finished reading Speak. I’m in my third year of college and I have to say I loved it! Thank you for such an honest voice.

    Shannara was a disappointment to me. I read one and it was painful. I wouldn’t recommend any more of the series, just because it’s more of the same – long-winded, distant, and full of fantasy stereotypes.

    “The Body of Christopher Creed” is a great YA book, with a slightly fantasy /horror overtone that is truly chilling and evocative.

    “Good Omens” is by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, who are both amazing fantasy authors. It is one of the funniest books I’ve ever, ever read.

    “Enchantment” by Orson Scott Card. It’s a beautiful fantasy update of old Russian fairy/folk tales, and enthralling. In fact, anything by Card is enthralling.

    Hope these suggestions help! None of them are hardcore fantasy, but they are some of the most original pieces I’ve ever read.

  56. noooo

    Hi Laurie,

    I just finished reading Speak. I’m in my third year of college and I have to say I loved it! Thank you for such an honest voice.

    Shannara was a disappointment to me. I read one and it was painful. I wouldn’t recommend any more of the series, just because it’s more of the same – long-winded, distant, and full of fantasy stereotypes.

    “The Body of Christopher Creed” is a great YA book, with a slightly fantasy /horror overtone that is truly chilling and evocative.

    “Good Omens” is by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, who are both amazing fantasy authors. It is one of the funniest books I’ve ever, ever read.

    “Enchantment” by Orson Scott Card. It’s a beautiful fantasy update of old Russian fairy/folk tales, and enthralling. In fact, anything by Card is enthralling.

    Hope these suggestions help! None of them are hardcore fantasy, but they are some of the most original pieces I’ve ever read.

  57. noooo

    Hi Laurie,

    I just finished reading Speak. I’m in my third year of college and I have to say I loved it! Thank you for such an honest voice.

    Shannara was a disappointment to me. I read one and it was painful. I wouldn’t recommend any more of the series, just because it’s more of the same – long-winded, distant, and full of fantasy stereotypes.

    “The Body of Christopher Creed” is a great YA book, with a slightly fantasy /horror overtone that is truly chilling and evocative.

    “Good Omens” is by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, who are both amazing fantasy authors. It is one of the funniest books I’ve ever, ever read.

    “Enchantment” by Orson Scott Card. It’s a beautiful fantasy update of old Russian fairy/folk tales, and enthralling. In fact, anything by Card is enthralling.

    Hope these suggestions help! None of them are hardcore fantasy, but they are some of the most original pieces I’ve ever read.

  58. did you say you were not looking for YA books? i recommend both patricia c. wrede and robin mckinley if you have not experienced them before, but they write more to the YA side of things… but still quality. robin mckinley’s “deerskin” is much more adult, and one of my favorite books.

    i have to say, i started reading terry brooks “sword of shannara” (i think it was) and didn’t finish, for some of the reasons you described. adult fantasy that is cliche and uninspired frustrates me no end. why, why, why must you stick to an overused tokienesque plot with sterotypes for characters?! why?!

  59. did you say you were not looking for YA books? i recommend both patricia c. wrede and robin mckinley if you have not experienced them before, but they write more to the YA side of things… but still quality. robin mckinley’s “deerskin” is much more adult, and one of my favorite books.

    i have to say, i started reading terry brooks “sword of shannara” (i think it was) and didn’t finish, for some of the reasons you described. adult fantasy that is cliche and uninspired frustrates me no end. why, why, why must you stick to an overused tokienesque plot with sterotypes for characters?! why?!

  60. did you say you were not looking for YA books? i recommend both patricia c. wrede and robin mckinley if you have not experienced them before, but they write more to the YA side of things… but still quality. robin mckinley’s “deerskin” is much more adult, and one of my favorite books.

    i have to say, i started reading terry brooks “sword of shannara” (i think it was) and didn’t finish, for some of the reasons you described. adult fantasy that is cliche and uninspired frustrates me no end. why, why, why must you stick to an overused tokienesque plot with sterotypes for characters?! why?!

  61. First King of Shannara

    I agree. The plot of The First King of Shannara was very bland. Today, however, I came upon one of your books I hadn’t read:Catalyst. I’m only on about page 20, but I’m already totally hooked!I have already read Speak and Fever 1793. I LOVE those two books. My copies of both are well worn, and I read them often.Thank you for writing great books! -Ali

  62. First King of Shannara

    I agree. The plot of The First King of Shannara was very bland. Today, however, I came upon one of your books I hadn’t read:Catalyst. I’m only on about page 20, but I’m already totally hooked!I have already read Speak and Fever 1793. I LOVE those two books. My copies of both are well worn, and I read them often.Thank you for writing great books! -Ali

  63. First King of Shannara

    I agree. The plot of The First King of Shannara was very bland. Today, however, I came upon one of your books I hadn’t read:Catalyst. I’m only on about page 20, but I’m already totally hooked!I have already read Speak and Fever 1793. I LOVE those two books. My copies of both are well worn, and I read them often.Thank you for writing great books! -Ali

Comments are closed.