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This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Shadow of Memory?

Tad Williams
Publisher: DAW Hardcover (November 2, 2004)
Hardcover: 672 pages

Also available:
Publisher: DAW Trade (November 1, 2005)
Trade Paperback: 672 pages

Publisher: DAW (September 5, 2006)
Mass Market Paperback: 816 pages
Rating: 4 stars of 5 possible

At the uppermost edge of the northern kingdoms lies Southmarch Castle. For hundreds of years it has remained isolated from the affairs of empire but now it is under siege: from both its neighbours, without, and the more insidious enemies who would destroy it from within.

Even further to the north, within the ancient walls of Qul-na-Qar, the Twilight People gather to hear the blind king Ynnir pronounce the dark fate of human kind. In the south, the Autarch now looks to extend his domain yet further. It is upon Southmarch that the armies advance, and on its people that darkness will fall: for a war is coming that will shake the world.

Above synopsis is taken from The official UK website of Tad Williams and is copyright Little, Brown Book Group Ltd.

Shadowmarch is the first of a recent epic fantasy by best-selling author Tad Williams. Tad's epic fantasy novels are not those plotless, mindless things you can zoom through in under an hour just to say you've read a book... no, on the contrary. To really read and understand this kind of book takes time and effort. Admittedly, I had other things occupying a lot of my time, so I took about six months to read this book from cover to cover. That was well invested time that I don't regret spending in Todd's world. I enjoyed every bit of that time, too; which is something I can't say about every book I read.

Some would say this adventure seems like a rewrite of Tad Williams's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series that was published from 1988 through 1993. While there are similarities, there's no harm in an author using elements from his own novels over again. The trials and tribulations of Barrick and his twin sister, Briony are not the same as those of the characters in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, but those trials and tribulations are just as compelling.  I found myself both wrapped in the story and eager to know what was going to happen to the heroes next. I'm also eager to get my hands on Shadowplay, which was released in hardcover last March, but I haven't managed to get my hands on both the money and that desire at the same time - yet... I think that time is coming very soon though.

Recommended for fans of epic fantasy age 15 to adult. The story depicts some violence so those who are sensitive about such elements should not read this, although I'd have to say not reading this epic would be skipping one of the best tales written in recent years. Buy Shadowmarch if you’re the type to read and devour fantasy epics over and over again… Borrow it if you only read books once; just don't miss it!

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