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
As a longtime reader of fantasy novels, I understand that the first book in a series is many times a bit slower paced than the later books. The author has to paint the picture of an entire world and the characters and things within it. This book however was a bit of a yawner. Williams is a tallented writer as far as describing things in the universe that he has created, but he falls far far short on character development.
There are four main story lines in the book, with most of the book concentrating on the two most uninteresting characters in the story. A spoiled prince and princess. There is a pretty good storyline about a mysterious orphan boy and a dwarf (for lack of a better word). I'd like to fiind out what happens to them. I never will though, because after thirty plus hours of listening, I don't think I could take another book with the same boring characters.
You can have an interesting story and universe, but if you don't fill it with interesting characters, characters that readers will care about, then you just have a long boring slog to the end.
The narrator does a fine job on the book. He gives the characters very definable voices and livens things up. But try as he might, this book still falls short on several different levels.
Favorite authors lately: Robin Hobb, Jim Butcher, Guy Gavriel Kay. If you are a fan of these three authors I reccomend you stay away from this one.
I love Tad Williams. His Otherland series is one of my top three series. This series, however, is dreadfully slow. I've tried to get through it twice and keep listening to another book instead. I've finally restarted it with the goal of perservering and finishing the thing. Its a long slog through slow plot, whiny characters and annoying writing. I have always thought Williams to be an excellent writer, but the writing in this book is bad to the point of distraction. The characters are unbelievable, cardboard and just plan annoying. They are whiny and pretulant, and the reader adds to the whiny quality in the dialogue by reading all of them (especially the females) in nasal tones that drive me crazy! To top it off, I just finished reading G.R.R.Martin's Song of Fire and Ice books, and honestly, sadly, this latest series from Williams seems a rip off of that series, The plot, characters and all are very similar in too many ways, but its a shallow, hallow shell of a reproduction. I love Song of Fire and Ice as well, so if it had been a better representation, I'd have been happy to read it. I pray the next book in this series is better, because I bought it as well.
I've been an Audible member since 2005 and have listened to over 120 books. Some good, some bad, but I finished all of them. This is the first time I've started a book I won't finish. I've listened to the first chapter twice and still kept scanning back on the second attempt. I finally gave up after chapter three. Maybe the story would be good if I could follow it. It's just not worth the aggravation of listening to each chapter over and over until it sinks in. Maybe it's just me, but I'll skip this one.
My apology to the author, but I truly did find the whole thing confounding.
Hours upon hours of boring description, read by the most pretentious annoying narrator they could find. Give this one a miss and save yourself a credit and part of your life.
Sneak past the dragon and slay the princess!
Tad Williams takes his readers to places only a master story-teller can portray - he borders the perfect edge between too much detail (George R. R. Martin - though I do love losing myself in his novels too) and too little (any of your various Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms novels). This series is a testament to the author's abilities to narrate and to enrapture his readers.
It is about time some of his novels have become audio books!
It is part writing and part narration, but character seems really whiny. I realize that these characters were going through tough time, but at times it seemed that every sentence was melodramatic and whiny. I was not able to get past 3 to 4 hours of this book.
Perhaps someday i will try again, but i rather be listening to other books (even the ones i already have read).
Someone in prison or stranded on a desert island. You know. People with nothing to do and nothing else to read.
The whole story
I like dicks voice even know its not a theatrical reading
Anger at wasting a credit. Disappointment at audible carrying tad Williams tripe.
I stopped subscribing because of this material
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!
Let me preface this by saying that i love Tad Williams as an author, and thought i liked Dick Hill readings. After about 4 hours of Mr Hill's sibilance's and pops as he over performs, and I was looking for the fast forward button. I restrained myself, as i still have the other three books to listen, but at about the 8 hour mark i found myself seeking the off switch, as good as the story may be, the telling of it is getting in the way. I wonder if Audible would let me trade the next three, for next three in the Briar King set. How about it Audible?
Report Inappropriate Content