The Shadow Road: Book Three in the Swans' War Trilogy Hardcover – 20 Jan 2005
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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
The gripping climax to one of the fastest selling new epic fantasy series of recent years.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Overall - Exciting, mysterious, fastpaced and moving.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The swans' war trilogy by Sean Russell concludes with volume three The Shadow Road in which this captivating, complex mystery comes to its dramatic conclusion. Read morePublished on 31 July 2012 by Lucinda
if you are into fantasy then this novel will not disappoint. the plot is a typical one but there are characters with abilities i haven't come across in other fantasy novels i've... Read morePublished on 22 Nov. 2011 by sliverfox
The Shadow Road is the third and final book in the Swans' War trilogy (after The One Kingdom and The Isle of Battle). Read morePublished on 2 May 2011 by Stephanie Noverraz
The final book of a cleverly written series. Plausible characters, interesting situations, lots of action. I would recommend it to readers of Robin Hobb's Royal assassin series. Read morePublished on 30 Oct. 2009 by Jane Wolfe Ta Press
However many of the problems that plague the series are still present, weak dialogue, a vague world that doesn't convince etc etc etc. Read morePublished on 11 April 2008 by genejoke