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Shadowmarch #1 Mass Market Paperback – Sep 5 2006


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; Reprint edition (Sept. 5 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756403596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756403591
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 4.4 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Booklist

Williams opens another of the intricate, intriguing sagas that are his stock-in-trade. In a once turbulently conflicted land of humans, elves, and dwarves, an old truce is starting to unravel. The frontier called the Shadowline, between the Twilight Lands and those of humans, is being breached. The first Marchlands kingdom in the path of Twilight invaders is in disarray, for its king is a prisoner, and not all accept his elder son's regency. What's more, the cruel empire of the south is moving north. So the Marchlands are caught between two foes while having to deal with internal intrigues and inexperienced rulers. When the prince regent is killed, apparently by one of his closest advisors, the surviving regents are an impetuous princess and a disabled prince. Trust at court and in the kingdom dwindles even as Twilight forces attack, and responsibilities the princess never dreamed of or prepared for fall upon her. A page-turner, if you can keep the who, where, and when straight (the appended lists of people and places help). Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Tad Williams is a New York Times and London Sunday Times bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction, with novels translated into more than twenty languages and a global readership. He hosted a syndicated radio show for over a decade, co-created the first completely interactive television program, and is currently involved in film, television, comic books, computer games and other multimedia projects. He and his family live in California. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CanadianMother TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 22 2005
Format: Hardcover
I just finished Shadowmarch. To be honest, I wasn't very impressed. Not that it was a bad book, but it wasn't up to par with Williams' usual quality of writing.
The Good Points:
-The prologue was excellent, mysterious and gripping, and really drew me into the book. The blind king and motionless queen were very intriguing.
-Williams did a good job of creating many more questions than answers in this book so you want to keep reading to solve the mysteries. Especially at the end of the book, the world is in upheaval, all the characters are embarking on journeys, and I would like to see what happens to everybody in the next book.
-The scenes describing the Qar were interesting and well written. I especially liked the descriptions of their main stronghold, where Williams really shows off his imagination and powers of description.
The Not So Good Points:
-VERY few of the human characters were exceptional or even interesting in any way. I didn't care about these characters nearly as much as I did about those from Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and Otherland. Indeed, a good half dozen of the characters seem like boring remakes of characters from MS&T. Barrick and Briony seemed to me like annoying versions of Simon & Miriamele, right down to the colour of their hair! I won't bother to mention all the others...The only human I really liked was Ferras Vansen--he's such a darn nice guy. Also, Chert and Opal Quartz were pretty endearing.
-I felt that there were a couple too many POVs. It diluted the story. Especially Quinnitan's story--if Williams was going to include her, shouldn't he at least have hinted by the end of the book what on earth she has to do with anything?
-The setting of Southmarch didn't seem very interesting to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "jingizu13" on March 27 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although not part of the review, I would like to respond for a moment to the two reviews above that mention George RR Martin's work. I adore Ice & Fire and think it the most exceptional fantasy out there at the moment. But really, Tad Williams most definately didn't borrow from GRRM, if anything, you can say (as said above) that GRRM borrowed from Mr Williams' first trilogy, Memory, Sorrow & Thorn, which I also don't believe. All writers of a genre, especially fantasy, have similarities.
Now to the review. I've read all of Williams' works and to a degree loved them all. MS&T was still the most poignant for me and the story to draw me in the most. Otherland was admittedly brilliant, but it didn't pull me emotionally the way MS&T did.
Anyway, Shadowmarch have the most overtones of MS&T with a bit of War of the Flowers as well, but not as good. Dragonbone Chair did start off slow, but not THIS slow for goodness sake! I don't like the (apparent) protoganists, the twins, but there's hopes that they will grow and develop. The Qar are very interesting and the prologue as well as the other references to them are intriguing and I wonder what they plan, exactly. The Funderlings are slightly reminiscent of the Trolls, just a bit more, err.. hobbit-like than the trolls were. I like them though and the foundling child is another great mystery. I was especially interested in the POV half a world away, for the very reason that it doesn't tie in with the story yet but knowing Williams, it eventually will. Captain of the Guard is a character I really liked and would like to read more about as well as Shaso. Chaven is slightly reminscent of Dr Morgenes from MS&T, but hopefully he will stick around longer and some of his mystery be cleared up.
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By Patrick St-Denis TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Feb. 9 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It marks the beginning of a new fantasy trilogy, Williams' first in about a decade. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is one of my favourite series of all time, and his scifi/technological series Otherland captivated me as well. So I was more than eager to start this book. Expectations were high, I must admit. But given the quality of his previous works, that's as it should be.
The odd thing, however, is that there is absolutely no buzz pertaining to this novel. And based on the fact that Tad Williams is a New York Times bestselling author, that is weird indeed. I always keep track of national fantasy bestsellers on the Locus Magazine website. Strangely enough, I could not find a trace of Shadowmarch. It's almost as if it had not yet been released. . .
Okay, so if you've read anything by Williams, you are aware that everything he does is always vast in scope and in details. Shadowmarch is no exception to that rule.:-)
Tad Williams' worldbuilding in this novel is again above and beyond what is currently the norm in the fantasy genre. And the fact that Shadowmarch offers us only a glimpse of what appears to be an impressive new universe makes me eager to read the next two installments!
As was the case with his other series, Williams starts rather slowly once again. But where the novel is lacking in action, it certainly packs a powerful punch in other respects. I got the feeling that Shadowmarch is one big introduction. And in Tad Williams' style everything appears to be secrets buried under riddles wrapped in mysteries.:-)
The characterizations, which are always one of the author's strong points, are at times brilliant and at times lacking. That was a disappointment, I must admit. Williams is always a master at building up characters.
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