Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > Shadowmarch: Shadowmarch: Volume I

Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
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's review
Feb 27, 11

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy

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 caffeine to stay alert through the introductions, plot expositions, conversations and so on. I was a few times on the point of walking away from this one and did skip a lot ("maybe we can skip ahead here...lets see. Yep that's still going on maybe I can skip again... nothing that new..."). There are character stereotypes here or (and I hate this word) "tropes". That in itself isn't a bad thing as these characters types get known and used for a reason, but the story just kept refusing to get going. Like a plane that needs more and more runway it just never (for me) seemed to get off the ground.

By the last couple of chapters (70 and 71)we finally get to a "partial" climax of sorts. This book was (apparently, though I never read it this way) started out as an on line serial (shades of Charles Dickens!) and it seems to show. I've read good reviews here but also a lot conditional reviews...this is another case (I think) of I (we) want to like it, but...

The idea here is good, despite having been used before but the endless political maneuvering, back stabbing, and so on seemed to me to just go on too long or too far or Too much. I was heartily sick of it by the last couple of chapters and even though we get "some" answers I just didn't care anymore.

I know some will love the intricacy here and it can be followed with just a little thought but for it seems just not worth it. If this is your style, go for it an enjoy. I (again) don't think (at least for the foreseeable future) I'll be following the story of the shadow line.

*********************** Some spoilers below *******************

Let me see what have we here...a mortal child in the hands of fairies (they're not calling them fairies? Doesn't matter they're fairies). Hmm, the child's left for other humans too find. Have we seen that before? Oh well.

Oh here a disinherited brother who's dissatisfied is the one who finds the child. Oh and he's a special type of person who carves stone. Look here it's against Royal Law for them to have carved a passage under the Royal Palace...and they did anyway. Oh, but only a few special people know about it. Well, that'll never get out. Oh and they took the boy from the fairies there... but he'll never remember.. Hmm.

Should I go on? Well, enjoy if it's your cup of tea. For now I don't think I'll follow the series.

Maybe later??? Who knows?
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Dawn I don't really like this series either, but I loved Memory, Sorrow, and Thorne, and I loved Otherland as well. I read book one and two of this... It was like a chore to push through them. I might continue the series, to see if it pays off.. But I'm in no rush to do so. But definitely try Otherland. It's so much better!!

Mike (the Paladin) I have the entire series, I just haven't gotten to it (still in the to be read stack). There are sooooooo many books in my to be read stack.

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