For generations the misty Shadowline has marked the boundary between the lands of men and the lost northern lands that are the lair of their inhuman enemies, the ageless Qar. But now that boundary line is moving outward, threatening to engulf the northernmost land in which humans still live - the kingdom of Southmarch.
For centuries, the Eddon family has ruled in ancient, forbidding Southmarch Castle, guarding the border against the Qar's return, but now this powerful royal line has been dealt a devastating blow. The monarch, King Olin, is being held captive in a distant land, and it falls to his inexperienced heirs to lead their people in a time of growing danger and dread.
It is on the two youngest Eddons that the heaviest burdens fall. The twins Barrick and Briony, who in such evil times have only each other, may lose even that bond as darkness closes over them. As the Qar’s power reaches out across their land, will Southmarch Castle, the only home they’ve ever known, become in fact what it has long been called - Shadowmarch?
©2006 Tad Williams (P)2010 Brilliance Audio
While this story might end up being great, I'll never know as I could not get past the first few minutes of the painful and distracting narration. The narrator's (Dick Hill) style of over-acting and slow reading, coupled with his seeming inability to pronounce the letter "a," prevents the listener from falling seamlessly into, and enjoying, the story. Narration should be transparent (as with so many of the other books that Audible offers), not distract from the story. I will try to find another book to listen to, one with a different narrator???
Anger and Disappointment
I made it to hour 20 and gave up. Absolutely boring....I'm sorry but if it takes 3/4 of the book to get to know 3 main characters two of which are retarded teenagers and the other is still a mystery then I give up. I don't need fluff in a book just get to the point.
I would only recommend this to very devoted Tad Williams fans. The twins that we follow throughout this book are extremely annoying. It may be better if they weren't narrated to be so accurately teen. The story is pretty standard as fantasies go. Mysterious race of ancient creatures planning an invasion as the humans political squabbles are coming to a head.
I have listened to the Otherland series, which I enjoyed for the most part. This narrator much more skillfully brings emotion into the performance, but that also detracts from the story, since much of the dialog is teenagers whining or people moaning in fear or despair.
I have not listened to any others, but I would like to listen to something with more mature characters so he will not have to utilize the voices of ignorant brats for the majority of the story.
Certainly it needs a follow-up, which it has. This whole book was a build-up for things to come. The last few hours of the story had more important actions that the first 3/4, and it leaves many things unresolved for future volumes.
This was a very slow book. I already have the second one, so I will listen to it, and hopefully the story picks up momentum.
The story was a slow burn that was not helped by an older narrator. It picks up in the middle, and has an end that welcomes a sequel without leaving the reader overly wanting.
yes. This is a terrific story and a great performance.
Vansen and Barrick behind the shadowline was most memorable to me.
Read the book! As far as listening to the story goes, Dick Hill was was remarkable. Unfortunately, his whiny voice for Briony was annoying and detracted from the intended feel of her character and the story itself, especially at first. Otherwise, the characters were superb. Unfortunately, when he read the storyline, the cadence of Hill's voice could also be very distracting and he over-performed at times. It could have been a masterpiece but these issues influenced the way the story came across. I did love his slow pace, his wonderful characterizations, his expert reading of this book. One of the best I've listened to despite the irritating flaws. One of my favorite books from Tad Williams.
I found this book to have no wasted words, a vibrant story that I will go back to.
Not so many different things going on at the same time.
Terrible for this. Should be reading Shakespear, and only have one part! Unable to vary his voice for the different characters.
@nd one didn't get any better!
I've always enjoyed Tad Williams books. Shadowmarch was very interesting, with good character development. The narrator was a perfect fit for this book - he is a good storyteller and kept my interest through the whole book. I will definitely look for other books he reads. I like the whole thing so much, I bought the same book for my Kindle so that I could read it again!
A couple of the characters are crybabies, but they are supposed to be teenagers. Overall an interesting story. I normally like Tad Williams, he spins a great story. Since there are quite a few books I am hoping it will get a lot better.
I enjoyed the book but found may slow and boring parts. I would suggest that a person wanting to hear this book try and find an abridged edition
I enjoy epic fantasy and biological science books. While biological science appeals to my professional life,epic fantasy gives me a break.
Their was to much of a political element for me. If your into A Song of Ice and Fire series this maybe a good series to read on the side. The story started to open up and be more of what you expect from an epic fantasy novel, but for me it was a little to late to save the story. With this said the end of the book showed some promise that this could be a good series yet and I will be giving the second book a try.
The narration was okay.
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