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Hardcover Shadowmarch: Shadowmarch: Volume I Book

ISBN: 0756402190

ISBN13: 9780756402198

Shadowmarch: Shadowmarch: Volume I

(Book #1 in the Shadowmarch Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The maze-like castle of Southmarch stands sentry along the border between the human kingdoms and the land of the immortal Qua. Now, the darkness from beyond that border has begun to enfold Southmarch - or Shadowmarch - the Qua's ancient home. To stop the darkness falling, the Southmarch royal family must face their human enemies, supposed friends and the family curse. Twins Barrick and Briony shoulder impossible burdens as their father is imprisoned...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Very Long, But SO Worth the Time

In the northern continent, a lurking danger awaits the perfect opportunity to wreck havoc. The Qar--immortal, angry, powerful--resent humanity's domination. Even after retaking the northern March kingdoms, they want it all back, especially a sacred place directly below the ancient castle of Southmarch. After the kidnapping of their father, King Olin, and the brutal murder of their older brother, teen twins Barrick and Briony are thrust into power. As Prince and Princess Regent, they are literally forced to grow up overnight. They must face more than court politics if they are to survive betrayal, impending war with the Qar, and the additional threat posed by an insane god-king. Meanwhile, a mysterious boy arrives in Southmarch with an agenda no one can guess. Tad Williams has created an intricate fantasy world populated with fascinating characters and settings readers can see, feel, and hear. With all the elements of high fantasy, Williams presents his world on a grand scale. Plots within plots and many surprises will keep the reader rapt with apprehension. Well-placed doses of humor help break the tension in order to allow readers to catch their breathe for what follows. Fantasy fans will find a lot to love about SHADOWMARCH. Be sure, however, to make time for the long read. At almost 800 pages, it's a beast, but it is oh so worth your time. Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer 03/04/2007


Let me preface this review by saying I've read Tad Williams's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (The Dragonbone Chair, Stone of Farewell, To Green Angel Tower), but haven't read the Otherland books. I've found those books to be difficult reads, but ultimately rewarding. This one I wasn't so sure of until the end. I enjoyed it but not to the degree of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. I do look forward to Shadowplay, which I believe is the second part of this series, but to the new Tad Williams reader I have to say that Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is the better place to start.

Williams is made for epics

Having read everything by Tad Williams to date, I have come to the conclusion that he does best with epics, be they fantasy or sci-fi. 2003's _War of the Flowers_ left me a little cold, as did his breakout debut, _Tailchaser_. His Otherland and Memory, Sorrow & Thorn sagas, however, are some of the most satisfying reads you will ever avail yourself of. I won't rehash the plot; that's been done plenty elsewhere. What I will say is that Williams take familiar elements and does wonders with them. His plotting and pacing are relentless, compelling you to read more in one sitting than is good for you. The only thing I could have done without was one character's time underground, which reminded me a bit too much of Simon's escape in _The Dragonbone Chair_. But that comes late in the book, and by then you'll be hooked. If you're looking for some excellent fantasy while waiting for George R.R. Martin's _A Feast for Crows_, this is just the thing.

Great Start

Great start to what promises to be a great series. The story revolves around a handful of central characters and plots; the crippled Prince Barrick and tom boyish Princess Briony, the halfling like character Chert, and the loyal guard captain Vansen. There are also multiple lesser storylines that enrich the main storyline and/or have potential to turn into major storylines. The book is also not your typical fantasy where a group is on a quest for some mystical treasure that will set the lands to right. Most of the action takes place at Southmarch and deals primarily with the struggle of the Prince and Princess to gain control of their fathers court. This is a nice departure from the fantasy norm. The only thing people might have problems with is the slow start that is typical to Williams novels. If you are familiar with William other two series you know he took the entire first book just to get the reader inside the Otherland system and it was almost half of "The Dragonbone Chair" before Simon left the castle. If you like a fast paced story that breaks right out of the gate you'll probably be disappointed at first, but in typical Williams fashion the last third of the Book blasts by leaving you desperate for the next book. If you're simialar to me and liked the Otherland books but thought the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books were superior, you'll be happy to see Williams solidly back in the realm of fantasy.

Tad's Return to Epic Fantasy

With his MEMORY, SORROW & THORN series Tad Williams has written one of the modern classics of the fantasy genre which helped breathing new life into many old and tired tropes. Now, eleven years after the publication of "To Green Angel Tower" Williams returns with the first volume of a brand-new fantasy trilogy. And "Shadowmarch" has everything you could ask for in an epic fantasy novel. An interesting cast of characters (the royal twins Briony and Barrick are particularly well done), a strong and mysterious plot that moves along quite nicely, and detailed world-building. "Shadowmarch" started out as a television treatment and then morphed into an online serial that was published in bi-weekly installments. Now, Tad has re-written the whole storyline and added a lot of new material. However, with two more volumes to come this is just the beginning of the story. Anyway, I am sure this will become yet another winner for Tad!
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