Current WIP(s)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

OMG its Shadowrise!!

-Quick note before we begin. Don't expect some intellectual review of this book here, that's not how I roll. I'm not doing this to "review" the book, but to let the few people who read this find out about a great author and, IMHO, an excellent series of books. I'll leave it up to others who have the skill to do such things to review the book. Besides, I haven't read the whole thing yet, just a few chapters and snippets which I'll explain later. Let me quit my rambling now...

I can't believe it. I just really can't believe that I'm sitting here looking at a copy of the last chapter of Shadowrise by Tad Williams. His wife Deborah was kind enough to send it to me after I responded to a Tweet she posted. Had to do it. Wouldn't pass up this chance for anything. I simply love the Shadowmarch series. Shadowmarch was the first book that introduced me to Tad Williams and I've been a fan ever since. The day I finished Shadowmarch I ran back to the library and ordered Shadowplay, the second book in the series. (Oh, the wait while the rinky dink library I was forced to use had the book delivered! Weeks!!) Well, not being familiar with Mr. Williams' work, I thought I was going to get the ending of a story that had me reading literally all day and night. (And yes, I passed those couple of weeks reading the book for a second time, then perusing it for my favorite parts.) I won't say I was disappointed when I realized, about halfway through the book, that I wasn't going to get my ending. In fact, I was thrilled. There's gonna be more! Granted I hate waiting for new books in a series to come out, but such is the life. Publishing doesn't work on the schedule the fans want it to. ;-)

Shadowmarch: Volume One - 2004
Covers: Briony and Barrick Eddon

So far as I can tell, it was definitely worth the wait. Let me just explain that I've read other parts of the book through various releases; one by Tad himself (Tad Williams Site in the Message Board), one by a blogger (Pat's Fantasy Hotlist), and various teasers Tad's wife Deborah has released on Twitter. So I had a little information on the new book already when I read the final chapter. Why would I want to read the last chapter of a book before I read the rest of it? Easy. Because I love the series, and no matter what I'm going to be reading these books for years to come, so why not get a little snippet here and there if I can? And truth be told, there's so much going on in these books that, while I will remember many things from the last chapter, I won't remember every tiny detail. Some of you may say that it ruins the fun or point of a book, to read the last chapter first...or close to first anyway. But to me it's different. Yes, it makes me want the book even more. Yes, I know things now that I wouldn't normally know already (though how much that is is yet to be found out). BUT I take solace in one simple thing; Shadowrise isn't the last book in the series so I didn't completely ruin the whole story for myself by reading the ending of it.

Shadowplay - 2007

Teenage twins Briony and Barrick Eddon are thrust into the role of King and Queen of Southmarch after the kidnapping of their father and murder of their older brother. Circumstances abound and the twins are separated and go on their respective paths to save not only their castle, but all of Southmarch from a deranged emperor believing himself to be a god on earth. There is also to contend with the strange and eerie creatures that are emerging from beyond the Shadowline and the nightmarish Yasammez,a frightening witch to be sure. Barrick's journey takes us to the other side of the Shadowline where we find even stranger creatures and perils to overcome. Briony struggles to remain alive as she makes her way to safety, trying to find a way to save her father and their castle. Let's not forget all of the other characters which have their own trials to overcome.
(This little paragraph does absolutely no justice to the story as a whole; it's nothing more than the barest skim over the basis of the story. My apologies for the not-so-exciting description.)

Shadowrise - March 2010

Now to the third installment of the Shadowmarch series, Shadowrise. So, as I said before, I'd already read a few parts of the book, and before I read the newest part, I reread the others... well, just because I wanted to. :-D By the end of the chapter I was once again in that state of equal excitement and frustration. The frustration is obvious I would think. I don't have the whole book, nor do I have the fourth book. Nothing to do about that, so it's only mild compared to the excitement. I loved it, plain and simple. Based on what I know of the series so far and what I've read of this particular book to date, it's going to be a great success. At least to me it is. To me it promises more excitement to see what happens not only to the MC's but also the various characters whom I've become rather attached to. Once again delving into this world made me remember why I fell in love with these books so quickly.

Any good book should have the ability to take you out of reality, at least for a little while. For me the Shadowmarch series, not to mention his other works like the Otherland series, does more than that. It makes me wish I could physically touch these people, talk to them, watch them go through these things with my own eyes rather than just my mind's eye. I want to know what it smells like in the Hive, I want to feel the castle floors beneath my feet as I wander through it's various rooms. I can very easily immerse myself into the worlds of many different stories, but there aren't that many out there that have this kind of affect on me. That's what I love about it the most.

If you haven't had the chance to read the work of Tad Williams I recommend you take the time to. I could sit here and bore you all to death with the reasons I like his other works as well, but I think I've been long-winded enough as it is. :-D Suffice it to say, I think he's a very good author who is definitely worth taking the time to check out. I'm sure other people can put it all better than I have here, but you know me, I just spew my thoughts and ramble on, and hardly put any real intelligence or organization into it. ;-)

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