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The Shadow Road: Book Three in the Swans' War Trilogy (Swans' War S.) [Paperback]

Sean Russell
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 July 2005 Swans' War S.

A century of enmity has ravaged the one kingdom, as the mighty families of the Renne and the Wills have fought for their right to the crown. But now the decades of bloodshed have roused the unquiet river spirits from a timeless sleep, reviving a feud more deadly than any conflict of man.

Alliances shift and loyalties are tested in the harsh civil war between the two great families, but a larger threat emerges. For the dark knight Hafydd has made a sinister alliance, leading him to eons old secrets, secrets that should remain hidden lest they destroy all lives they touch.

Woken by the wars of man and nagar, even Death himself is preparing to leave his fell kingdom. And if the door to his domain cannot be shut, the feud between men and even the ancient wars of the nagar will be less than nothing besides the coming doom.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; paperback / softback edition (7 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841492256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841492254
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 466,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Praise for THE ISLE OF BATTLE: 'Magic and mystery blend in abundance with an intricate cast of characters. An engrossing read.' ROBIN HOBB Praise for THE ONE KINGDOM: 'A master of intelligent fantasy - subtle, well-crafted and gripping.' STEPHEN DONALDSON --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

The gripping climax to one of the fastest selling new epic fantasy series of recent years.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars .....And he blows it at the finish line! 16 Jun 2005
By marktfo
A bit of a tragedy; and I don't mean the story but this very disappointing 3rd & last volume of the Swan's War series.
After reading the first two books I held out hopes that I had found another author to add to my list of "must buy their stuff" but now I wished I had waited for the paperback version.
Russell has either rushed through this one to get on with something else or the book has been edited to death, I can't tell which.
The patient build up of the previous volumes is missing here; you have the feel the story is constantly being pushed right up until the disappointing ending. On the ending, Russell should have read a few "David Gemmell's" to get an idea of how to finish a book with some style. The story becomes totally disjointed as the author tries to force a conclusion on ever thread of the tale he so carefully weaved in the previous books and the flow of story therefore is lost. I made sure I read the previous book again before starting this one and was unable to match the two up.
It's very sad as a reader to see this happen to a story you high hopes for. Maybe a fourth book would have a better plan than this rushed mess.
Hardened fantasy readers will of course want to buy this one to see how it ends, take my advice and wait for the paperback version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmmm...... 12 May 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The first two instalments of this trilogy were good, not stunning but interesting in a quirky way - however this finale lets the whole thing down.
Maybe it was because I haven't read the second book recently but I found it completely disjointed and confusing for at least the first half until the plot seemed to fall into place. The overall feel of the book is "rushed", nothing is descripted properly nor explained. The plot lines, although I like the idea of separate chapters for each thread, were weak and convenient.
In addition my copy (the hardback version) had more than a few typo's and other errors which you would not expect from an editor worth his money.
If you've read the first two books then I suppose you have to get this one, but don't expect to be satisfied with the outcome as many ideas and concepts get left by the road.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not totally convinced 22 Mar 2005
Having the first two books in this trilogy I was not sure what to expect in this third concluding book.
Two families, the Wills and Renee, are in a feud for centuries however I never felt any sympathy for either of them. Maybe this was intended by the writer.........
Because there was a long period between the 2nd and 3rd book I found it hard to get back into the story which was a shame.
On the positive side , using the river as a key subject was very original and the Fael people were well created. I think Sean Russell has talent and deserves some credit!
If you read the first two books DO read the third one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised at the negative reveiws! 7 Dec 2005
By A Customer
Rather surprised at the low rating this book has been given. The reveiws on here almost stopped me buying this book but I'm glad I did. I enjoyed it tremendously and raced through it. It's not without it's faults though; it could have done with being at least half as long again in order to do justice to all the characters and storylines. The editing was also rather sloppy with at least two errors in continuity that annoyed me. However these are small gripes really and do not detract greatly from an excellent fantasy novel.
Overall - Exciting, mysterious, fastpaced and moving.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So nearly great!! 1 Feb 2006
The first book of this series was truly original and worth at least 5 stars. The second book was in my opinion a brave experiment that didn't work and dragged the whole series down.
This book, the third installment, recovers some of the lost ground. Yes there is too much of the "The following day the party camped in a stand of trees with a stream nearby"-style of fantasy writing, but underpinning it all is the sense of mystery and originality of the first book. If you've read the first two books then read this one as it is better than the second. If you haven't then I would recommend at least reading the first to see how fantasy can escape from the Jordan/Goodkind/Eddings template.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Swans War Trilogy Review as a whole 1 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have found the feedback to the third book mixed and I feel that some of it is harsh - whenever you read a trilogy surely the point is to consider the impact of the whole - the sum is always greater than the parts?
Although I do agree that this final instalment was not quite as riveting as the previous two, I tend to find this the case with any trilogy. The build up, intrigue, tempo and surprise tends to be in the set up to the eventual climax, which usually in fantasy is the good guys winning - by this point we have expectation and personal hopes on the way we would like the story to go.

The Swans War is good old fashioned fantasy. Straight forward, clean, clichéd at times and built around central themes of good versus evil, heroism, young people caught up in events bigger than themselves. It does nothing particularly clever and if you are a fan of Abercrombie/Martin/Erikson then these books are probably not for you. If however you have a hankering for Gavriel Kay (My favourite author), Gemmell or even Tolkien then this may well be a good series for you. Controversially, perhaps, I enjoyed this more than (eg) Williams's Memory, Sorrow and Thorne, JV Jones's Sword of Shadows and certainly more than the Thomas Covenant books - Donaldson I believe has been a strong supporter of Russell

If anything I would say that I bought the first book with no expectation, looking for a simple story to get me through my commute. I found the characters engaging and at times even inspiring. Some of them are fairly unique in fantasy circles. That is where the strength of the Swans War lies - the strength of the characterisation and very well written.
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