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
There's a bit of clicking and screeching in the beginning of this audiobook. It nearly deafened me while using headphones. But it goes away after a bit and other than that, this is a lovely story with exquisite narration.
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.
Will the princess' maidenhead be put up for auction? Will the brave black foreigner be betrayed regardless of heroic actions? What about the lame prince who SEEs everything? or... Guess what. It's another soap opera with fantasy trappings. Or, forgive me ....I only gave it 5 hours and gave up. I am SO tired of the lame purporting of "real" people (the kind you can find on any TV station)... you know the "real" kind who are not sterotypical AT ALL...and who dress up the fantasy background.
Anyway. If you like this kind of thing...then you will be REAL HAPPY as it is well written. Not my particuplar cup o' tea however. I pass.
A very complex and imaginative Fantasy world!
Dick Hill narration was nothing less than brilliant. Especially considering the very large cast of characters. I understand the criticism of the "tone" he used for Briony. I'm sure both he and the audio series Dir. had input into how she was voiced. Yes, it comes across as whiny in many spots...but I believe that this is as intended. Briony is an adolescent girl. As much as experience and setting may have conditioned her, her entire world has come apart in under a year. With the tragedies that transpire in this first book, I feel a bit of hopelessness and despair is warranted, especially given her age.
There is much of "setting the stage" here in the first book. Quite a bit of character exposition and development. Which I felt was fine and needed given the multiple storylines that are progressing and the alien cultures and history in which they reside.
I went in to this thinking it was the beginning of a fairly lengthy Fantasy story, where there is a bit of action and intrigue, this is not the equivalent of an "action film" , it is a story, with a cast of characters that draw you in and whom you begin to know and care about.
I felt it was a fantastic beginning to what "m feeling is going to be a grand and epic adventure.
Downloading the Second Book right now!
Best Regards and Good Listening,
S. E. Watson
The complexity of the various story-lines and the characters and setting.
I felt he did an amazing job!
A few surprises and twists...as well as moments of interest, happiness and sadness are found here.
A very enjoyable journey into a new and complex Fantasy world..come on in, the water's fine! ;)
I really like Tad Williams. I enjoyed Tailchasers Song so I tohught I would try another of his books. It will be a while before I try another. I just could not get into this story.
The narration was slow and boring. I suspect that with a better narrarator I may have enjoyed this book.
I stopped after 5-6 hrs following yet another mid-dialog explanation of the history of the thoughts of the speaker or surroundings, and yet another seemingly trivial detail explained in depth for 10 minutes apparently only for the sake of taking up space in the whole.
This is not one of Dick Hill's best performances, but I like his work in general.
This series might get better but I couldn't finish the first one as an audiobook.
I think the story never took hold for me.
Dick Hill did everything he could do but the story had to much going on.
In the beginning, the different places and events made me confused and I just never could recover. I made it to about half way before I finally stopped the book in frustration.
I love fantasy novels. I blew threw Robert Jordan's WoT series in 4 months beginning to end and about the same for George R R Martin's Game of Thrones series.
Maybe my standard is too high but Shadowmarch was just so difficult and frustratingly slow (imagine honey on ice). I listened to a few hours and wasn't less than enthralled and left me rankled that I used up a perfectly good credit.
I gave this book a try even though I read many reviews before I bought the whole series. The first book had no direction and I found it hard to follow the story. The last 2 - 3 hours showed some promise. In short I regret getting this series. I will be very careful in the future before getting an entire series at one time.
Report Inappropriate Content