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De Schaduwgrens (De schaduwwereld, #1)
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De Schaduwgrens (Shadowmarch #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  7,173 ratings  ·  346 reviews
Als de koning van Zuidermark wordt ontvoerd uit het noordelijkste deel van de markkoninkrijken, staat zijn jeugdige nageslacht een onzekere toekomst te wachten. Zo heeft de kreupele en humeurige prins Barrick nauwelijks oog voor zijn plichten. Zijn tweelingzus, prinses Brionie, vol leven en koppig als geen ander, vat haar nieuwe taak juist heel serieus op.
Paperback, 799 pages
Published March 29th 2006 by Luitingh Sijthoff (first published 2004)
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Jordan Halsey
This book puts all of Tad Williams strengths and weaknesses on display. Whether the strengths or weaknesses dominate is a matter of personal taste I suppose. As for me, I enjoy his work, but his weaknesses definitely detract from that enjoyment.

First off, the strengths. As a fantasist (by which I mean creativity, ideas, inspiration and the use of pre-existing concepts - in a fantasy setting) and a world-builder, Tad Williams is very good. Perhaps the best we've got right now. None of the other n
Didn't finish. Got about a fifth of the way in and got tired of reading about all kinds of details but not having the story go anywhere. Skipped to end, and discovered that after six hundred some pages, nothing much more happened. Though I imagine there were lots of details.
This is epic fantasy at it's absolute best, but I should also warn you: it is DARK. So if you're not a huge fan of dark epic fantasy, this might not be for you. If you don't mind a little dark, though, I really can't see how you will be disappointed.

What I Have to Say:
Lately, I have been rediscovering epic fantasy, and I don't know how, but I seem to pick only the most amazing books with which to rediscover it. Because that is exactly what Shadowmarch is. Amazing. Tad Williams has constructed a
I had high hopes for this book, after reading and liking The Dragonbone Chair series by the same author. Unfortunately, this book suffered from distracting disconnect and fragmentary storytelling. The book constantly switched between plotlines and characters, often multiple times in a single chapter. Just as I'd start to 'get into' a story I'd find the point of view switched to another character, or another country entirely! Then when I was interested in that story, it would be switched again. I ...more
The middle of the book is intriguing. The first and last quarters are not that great. I don't really like any of the characters; I think Tad's verisimilitude lapses get worse as the book goes on, the bit about Yasammez and the mirror in particular; there is no reason for Quinnitan to be in this book at all; and she contributes to the choppy, nauseating flipping between viewpoints. Worst of all, as the last half of the book grinds on you realize that Tad is NOT going to give you all, or even any, ...more
I'm a fan of Tad Williams. I've read his Memory of Sorrow and Thorn series twice, and plan to read Otherland again someday. But this one is just not for me. It's definitely in the category of Dark Fantasy, and I'm not ready to read 2500 pages of bleakness, hopelessness, and madness.

I know when it starts out bad only to get worse, when everything that could go wrong does, and everyone who started out solid begins to fall apart and twist into something else, that it's not going to improve through
Mickey Hoffman
This is the first of a trilogy. Tad Williams is the best writer of fantasy or Science Fiction today. That's my opinion. He is a master of invention and description. If you haven't read his "Otherland" books, you could start there. Anyhow, Shadowmarch is a fantasy novel and the cast of characters is vast and incredibly seductive. The plot, as usual with his writing, is intricate to the extreme and keeps you turning the pages. If there were 6 stars for his books, I'd give them.
First of all, I hate when authors write with "you"-perspective. "You travel across the land and notice its blue waters and chrystal clear waters" etc. No, I don't, you can't make me! So I was reading the beginning of the book with gritted teeth, determined to at least get past the couple first chapters. Luckily the point of view changed.

It was quite a job to get the book read. There were so many people in so many different places and too much of nothing important. It just kept going on and on an
I liked “Shadowmarch”, but I wasn’t crazy about it.

Here’s why it earned the three stars: (1) Williams writes beautifully and descriptively. I love when he described a full moon as the top of a skull looming in the sky. He really knows how to place the reader in a setting. (2) Williams is astonishingly creative. I thought the whole concept of the Shadowline has great. (3) His opening storyline with the Qar returning a mysterious boy back to the humans for some unknown yet war-sparking reason rea
I was about six hundred pages into this book - roughly 75% - when I looked again at the back of the book and noticed the word that I so horribly feared: TRILOGY.

I like Tad Williams. I think he's a lot of fun, and creates fascinating worlds that are well-built, deeply historical and full of complicated characters. But his stories are so. Damn. Long. They require a huge investment of time and energy, and by the end of this book I was mentally editing out passages that could have made it a lot shor
Tad Williams's first novel "Tailchaser's Song" was the first book I was ever sent to review (for the defunct Fantasy Review, back in the mid-'80s) and I was so lucky; it was such a great book! Then I discovered he was writing another book, a trilogy! called "Sorrow, Memory, and Thorn" (I think that's the right order), which was also a great book, even greater because it went on for hundreds and hundreds of pages! The 4-book "Outland" series I had to drop during the first book, because it just go ...more
Crazy Uncle Ryan
This is the first book in the second series of Tad Williams that I have read. One of the things that distinguish Tad Williams’ books is that they are rather long. Another thing that I have noticed about his stories is that they tend to include numerous groups of characters who are having their own adventures. It takes a while for the reader to see how the stories of the various groups of people relate to each other. This is actually a strength in that it makes you want to keep reading to find ou ...more
Milli Linnea
I've read other books by Tad williams that I liked more, so I expected more from this book and now I'm a little disappointed. The story just failed to grip me fully. It's just too 'ordinary' to me. Maybe it isn't the book's fault, maybe it's me. I have found myself preferring urban fantasy and other 'different' fantasy, in the past couple of years.

None of the characters are really likable. I can't identify with or fall in love with anyone. The only character I sort of like is the young Captain
Jeffery Moulton
I really like Tad Williams' writing style. I can't say exactly what it is, but I really enjoy how he puts words together. Also, he has some impressive ideas for stories. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that everything he writes is golden. He has a tendency to drag things out and his characters are often less-than-likeable and on occasion, he is a bit disjointed while telling various threads of a story that have yet to come together. Shadowmarch, unfortunately, is a good example of all of his st ...more
I had a couple of false starts on this book - until this latest time, I hadn't gotten past the first five chapters. I'm not actually sure why, I think possibly I was just reading some more captivating books at the time and Williams' books are nearly inevitably slow-burners.

As always I find myself drawn to the mysteries and history of the world to which we've been introduced. The Qar seem like a fairly typical faerie folk, but the Shadowlands definitely pique my interest, as do the "Mysteries" b
I've read some of Tad Williams' other fantasy novels and generally thought he was a competent author, certainly better than many in the field. When this new series came out, I eagerly checked it out of the public library. Unfortunately, after 180 pages or so, I lost interest and stopped reading. The first major problem with the book is that it moves at a snail's pace, without letting the reader in on various secrets hinted at in the story. This might suit people who are into mysteries, but not m ...more
With the return of bestselling author comes a transcendent, spectacular new trilogy that is ambitious and breathtaking!!

After a decade Tad Williams returns with a new trilogy that takes the fantasy genre to new heights, with the most ambitious and impressive work that I have encountered this year. Unlike ‘the memory, sorrow and thorn’ series Shadowmarch is totally original, unique and set within a distinctive world that is on one hand so far removed from his other works but which contains just
the online Shadowmarch project was an amazing idea: Tad Williams originally pitched this world and storyline for a tv show, but it wasn't picked up by a network, and ultimately he decided to do it as an online serial book, with a fan community to revel in world creation along with him and perhaps influence the story by their speculation and combined creativity. i'm sorry to have missed it, i only found about it once it was winding down(2002) so i can't compare. but still i picked up this book wi ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Another library book...straight to the head of the "currently reading" list.

This is the first book/series by Mr. Williams I've read since his Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy ( The Dragonbone Chair, Stone of Farewell, and To Green Angel Tower ) which I liked very much. I have his Otherland books on my shelves but haven't gotten to them...long term "to be reads". I truly hope that they are better than this series.

About chapter 5 it became apparent to me I wasn't going to be able to ingest enough
Making the lead book in a huge fantasy series as relentlessly scene-setting as "Shadowmarch" is quite a risk. Most people will give Tad Williams a pass because his previous fantasy series, "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" was so astonishingly great (and I do mean all-time great). "Shadowmarch" is good, but there is considerable spinning of wheels as the various plot vehicles generally refuse to reveal themselves completely even while lumbering slowly toward what one imagines is a wonderful destination ...more
This book was entirely set up for the rest of the series, making it difficult to get through. I was emotionally invested in what happened to the characters or I likely would not have continued long enough for the action to start. The action did not start until the last 100 pages of the books when all the main characters were suddenly forced to flee their respective situations.

I don't even really know how to explain this book. Briony and Barrick are twins who find themselves Princess and Prince R
The thing I love about Tad Williams' work is that he takes so much time to create worlds with full backstories and mythologies. It's also kind of the thing that drives me crazy about his work: sometimes those backstories are so well-developed that the story he's trying to tell starts to collapse under the weight of that imaginary past. There are so many names, so many people (both past and present), that I have trouble keeping track of them all. It's great that he includes an appendix of people ...more
Shadowmarch is a slow burning ember of a novel but its warmth is consistent throughout. Williams is often critisized for the slow starts to his novels. My only experience with Williams prior to Shadowmarch is The Dragonbone Chair and I have yet to finish Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn due to that same criticism. After reading Shadowmarch I know I will go back and rectify this gross error in judgement, but first I must finish this series because what starts as an ember will no doubt grow to burn with ...more
I'm sad to say that I was disappointed with this book. It started out great! A chase in the woods, a fight against a wyrm, then....after about page 200, things started to get dull. The book droned on endlessly. Vivid imagery was replaced with boring descriptions. The characters became plain, and I began to stop picking up the book, which was the big reason it took me so long to finish it. I never finished the book, and probably never will. I read 3/4 of it and was done. I lost complete interest. ...more
This was a long book that had many different plots going that had to to match up by the end of the book. In truth the book did not end so much as stop. I know it is book one of three but still I would have preferred a more distracted ending. Granted the army stopped advancing, but two chars are on the run and anther play has once again forgotten himself and that book ends. Over all it was not to my liking. I would read the next one if I come across it, just to know how the stories come together. ...more
I had loved Tad Williams' first fantasy series (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn), but I could not get into the Matrix-like world of his Sci-Fi series "Otherland" (I put it down after just the first book of it). Fortunately, he came back to Fantasy for this series, and the opener does not disappoint. Unlink many Fantasy series that tend to bog down somewhere in the middle of each book, this book never lost my interest or my desire to keep reading. Tad Williams is not just a masterful storyteller; he is ...more
It felt wonderful reading Tad Williams again after such a long time! Already after the first few pages I was hooked to this world and its characters. As it is Williams' style, he is very detailed without being overly descriptive, his characters are marked carefully, each with a real personality, and we dig slowly into this world, learning more and more during this first book of the Shadow March series. We have some foreshadowing, which reminds me stylewise of G.R.R. Martin's "A song of Ice and F ...more
I was leery picking up another Tad Williams brick of a book after reading Otherland and being thoroughly disgusted by the last 15 pages (it made me mad enough to give the books away). I found Shadowmarch to be an okay high fantasy read, but the character I liked the best, Qinnitan, was obviously the least used POV in the book. I found the Funderlings to be too stereotypically good natured dwarfish, and there was rather a lot of them in the book. The Rooftoppers reminded me of nothing so much as ...more
Michael S.
read some bad reviews for this book, yet it seems that a lot of people have read it; so i'm gving it a chance.
Ok; I gave it 147 pages and I'm just not hooked. I don't care for stories that take place almost solely inside the walls of a castle. I want to see more of the world than that. The book started out interesting. The shadowline and the boy dropped off in the woods..but then it seriously lost pace for me. Someday I'll get desperate for something to read and and give it another shot, but un
Michelle E.
This book takes a while to get going, in a sense the first book is like a very long prologue to the rest of the series; but this is not to say that nothing happens. There are some wonderful descriptions of creatures from behind the Shadowline, which I LOVELOVELOVE, and there is intrigue in the court. Tad Williams really stood out to me after this; as the second book I read by him, I realized he wasn't just getting a high rating out of me the last time just because I love cats (I read Tailchaser' ...more
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Tad Williams has held more jobs than any sane person should admit to—singing in a band, selling shoes, managing a financial institution, throwing newspapers, and designing military manuals, to name just a few. He also hosted a syndicated radio show for ten years, worked in theater and television production, taught both grade-school and college classes, and worked in multimedia for a major computer ...more
More about Tad Williams...

Other Books in the Series

Shadowmarch (4 books)
  • Shadowplay (Shadowmarch, #2)
  • Shadowrise (Shadowmarch, #3)
  • Shadowheart (Shadowmarch, #4)
The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1) Stone of Farewell (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #2) To Green Angel Tower (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3) To Green Angel Tower, Part 2 (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3; Part 2) City of Golden Shadow (Otherland, #1)

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