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Shadowmarch – by Tad Williams

The Shadowmarch "trilogy"

So I finally finished all these books, after writing my review for Shadowplay in January.  It was a pretty good series overall, but I don’t think it was as strong as his first big fantasy epic, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.  I found that there were a few unresolved story points, and a few repeated themes that took away from the overall story.  Like, the story and main purpose for the book could have been advanced more quickly and effectively.

Still, I really liked the overall ideas for the books; they reminded me a lot of some old Forgotten Realms stuff I read ages and ages ago.  I’m thinking in particular about the Avatar trilogy; Shadowdale, Tantras and Waterdeep.  I’ll have to re-read them to compare the way they used their “supreme beings come to earth” theme.

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Shadowplay – Book Review

Shadowplay Cover

Shadowplay, by Tad Williams

I just finished Shadowplay, by Tad Williams.  I love reading fantasy, and Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (which starts with The Dragonbone Chair) series is one of my favourites.  I was thrilled to dig into another thick  fantasy written by this author, and so far the Shadowmarch series hasn’t disappointed.

It’s also refreshing, as the last fantasy series I started in on (George R. R. Martin’s ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ series, beginning with A Game of Thrones) left me running on empty:  the first book really hooked me in, and by halfway through the second book, I had completely lost interest.  It was bad enough that I went to Wikipedia to read the plot summaries to the current end-point in the series to find out if something interesting would happen, and the answer seemed to be a resounding ‘no’.  The books really read to me like all the male characters did was have sex and fantasize about the excellent and evil plans they were hatching while having sex, and all the female characters did was have sex to try and advance their own agendas.  The fantasy really never jumped out at me, and the politics were just kind of ridiculous.  It really seemed like the author was obsessed with sex, and that even he got bored frequently with the characters he was writing, and so would kill them off without much warning or reason.  It did not live up to the hype.  Thank you to Tad Williams for giving me back my fantasy epic! Read more of this post