Around this time last year I posted a blog about my first Supanova tour and I mentioned that on the way back to the airport, I shared a car with the actor, Manu Bennett – photo attached here again, just because… :-)
We were probably in the car for 30-40 mins (ish) and during that time he told me about his most recent role as a druid on a new, upcoming MTV show called The Shannara Chronicles. He explained that it was based off Terry Brooks’ The Elfstones of Shannara and what he told me about it sounded ridiculously awesome and right up my alley. I’ve been waiting all year for it to come out so I could see for myself if it was as good as it sounded.
Now, about a week ago I learned that I’m speaking on three panels over the Easter weekend at Contact 2016, and one of those panels is called “Everyday magic: from Harry Potter to Shannara“. I don’t think words can describe just how excited I am to be on this panel, not just because I’ll have a legitimate excuse to gush about Harry Potter, but also because both Kate Forsyth and Juliet Marillier will be on it with me—both of whom I had the honour of meeting last November for the Adelaide/Brisbane Supanova tours. Kate and Juliet are brilliant authors, so I’m stoked that I get to spend time with them again (AND talk about Harry Potter!!!!!!) – and given the title of the panel, I figured it was the perfect time to learn more about The Shannara Chronicles in order to at least bring something other than Harry to the stage.
So! Given that the launch of Raelia is coming up in less than a fortnight and between now and then (and definitely afterwards), life is a little hectic, I knew I wouldn’t have the chance to read the books before the Easter weekend, so I decided to hit a friend up to borrow the series. Turns out it was perfect timing because season one literally just finished and she was able to give me all 10 episodes.
That was last Sunday, and I had every intention of watching an episode here or there over the next fortnight and slowly but surely making my way through it enough to have at least some basic knowledge in time for the panel.
What I didn’t plan on was sitting down and watching the first episode, then the second, then the third, then the…. well, okay, time for an honesty moment: I literally binge-watched the entire 10-episode season in one sitting last Sunday. (Despite having deadlines that I really should have been working on.)
Shannara was THAT good.
It was literally like watching 10 episodes of The Lord of the Rings. From the setting (soooooo Middle Earth) to the characters (elves, humans, trolls, “demons” – which just reminded me of orcs with dark magic)… to the epic scope of the story and character arcs. I seriously LOVED it. It was like a fantasy TV show dream come true!!!
The casting was beyond brilliant – Manu’s character (the druid, Allanon) was AMAZING, but so too were the three young leads, the elven princess Amberle, the human “Rover” Eretria—both seriously kickass female leads—and the half-human-half-elf “Chosen One” Wil.
Then there was the elven king, Eventine, played by the always wonderful John Rhys-Davies (*cough* Gimli *cough*,and both the elven princes Ander and Arion were absolutely brilliant!
The special effects and cinematography were way better than I would have imagined – like, movie quality awesome. And so too was the music, etc. I mean, I’m totally fangirling here, but I just really, really enjoyed it.
BUT. I will state for the record that there is quite a lot of heavy fantasy violence in it. Kinda like the messy, icky battle scenes from The Lord of the Rings, but sometimes a bit more than that, too. Nose-scrunching yuck at times. So I wouldn’t recommend this for younger people. But for those who love fantasy, great characters, an intriguing world and an epic story, then all I can say is, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?!?!? Go grab a physical copy or download it from the Apple store or Amazon RIGHT NOW!!!