Many years ago, during a misspent youth, I read this first of the novels, The Sword of Shannara. Even as a callow youth, I could see that it was so shamelessly stolen from the Lord of the Rings that it seemed nearly unbelievable that no legal action had been taken.
The Elfstones is better, if not exactly original (‘Bloodfire’ beneath an ancient mountain in an evil land sounds remarkably like the fires of Mount Doom). I found a reasonable amount of enjoyment from the story. Like LOTR, there is a main quest and then a more military story. Here, the main quest feels surprisingly tension free and unstressful. On the other hand, the battles and the work if preparing for war and defense is pretty thrilling and tense.