14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The makings of a good story but too slow and too long,
This review is from: Shadowmarch: Shadowmarch Trilogy Book One (Shadowmarch Quartet) (Paperback)
Tad Williams obviously has a rich imagination and the world in which Shadowmarch is set is very well thought out. The inhabitants of this world are also enigmatic and interesting, there's the dwarf-like Funderlings, the fairy-like Rooftoppers, the mysterious Twilight People, as well as countless warring factions of humans.
But the book falls down in the huge number of characters that Williams throws in, then singularly fails to do enough with. He jumps between story threads, flicking from one character to another, but never dwells too long on any of them, revealing little to the reader. He only really scratches the surface of the main characters and after a great deal of reading you feel as if you hardly know any of them.
Because of this thin characterisation it becomes difficult to establish any attachment to the characters and you find your interest in the story starting to fade. Considering this book is a stamina-sapping 800 pages you can't help but feel Williams could have done much more to engage the reader with the characters, there seems far too much padding here.
It's a pity as the central storyline is a good one and certainly has the depth to stretch over the length of a trilogy, but the lack of any real standout characters, with the emphasis seemingly more on quantity of characters rather than quality, let's the story down and leaves you with no real urge to read anymore in this trilogy.