Sword of Shannara is a fast paced start to the Shannara series,
which when it first appeared in the late 1970's was the first bestselling fantasy
series after J.R.R.
Tolkien's original Lord
of the Rings. I found this book to be a decent read and enjoyable,
although I have yet to finish it (I tried to read it during a school semester,
which wasn't a good idea).
I would still recommend it because it stays closer to Tolkien's vision of fantasy
than most of the darker material written since. It doesn't top Tolkien's works
in my opinion, but is far better than most of the junk that is called fantasy
nowadays. I will say that it had more than a few passing parallels to Tolkien's
story and it was hard not to compare characters to Tolkien's characters.