-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.
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. ;-)