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???
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.
Like all Fantasy books there is a large cast of characters, several different races, impending doom and plucky characters that will, one assumes, save the day by book 4. I intend to read this book again in print form and will read the rest of the series in print form because the narration of this book is distractingly horrible.
For some reason, narrators of Fantasy books (or perhaps the directors?) feel the need to impose fake British accents on the listener. The problem with this is that the random elongation of vowels does not a British accent make. This narrator, who is perfectly fine in the Michael Connelly books, butchers the text and renders all the female characters and several of the male ones, as shrill and petulant. Further, the 'performance' often gets in the way of clear enunciation.
Advice to Brilliance Audio - there are plenty of British actors. Please hire one.
Having non-native English skills, it is important for me (at least until I have more listening training) that the narrator reads clearly. To me, tha narrator mumbles, making me have to concentrate a lot just to understand the words. The story itself more or less escapes me.
As for the story, I found the similarity between the shadow line and the boundary in Goodkind's Sword of Truth a bit unsettling. I'm also uncertain of whether I find the characters to my liking.
In any case, due to the narrator I stopped listening before the 2 hour mark. I still may read it though.
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