Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Shadowrise by Tad Williams

This fantasy novel is the third book in a series. It takes place in an imaginary land. The twin heirs of Southmarch Castle, Prince Barrick and Princess Briony have been separated as they each battle with two very dangerous enemies to their kingdom. Each must find a way to save their kingdom from these powers as well as some mysterious force awakening underground.

I've never had a problem with long books, nor with detailed books. I absolutely love to read, and the size of this book did not deter me from wanting to read it. As soon as I actually started, however, my opinion started dropping pretty quickly. I like William's description and character development; Briony, for example, is very easy to sympathize with, as is Barrick. But there is just too much going on with the plot; there are too many subplots and characters and it is quite hard to follow what is going on. The detail would have been fine if not for this flaw, but the addition of so many new characters every chapter made it tedious. I felt bogged down with so much detail and so much new information coming in at once; it felt more like an assignment than a book one would read for pleasure. I fought through the book for a few more chapters, but I was unable to read on when the combination of an overly-detailed plot, uncomfortably ornate descriptions, and unbelievably tiny font gave me such a big headache that I was forced to stop reading. The thought of picking this book back up is extremely unappealing. Again, the detail would have been a huge plus in a book that was around 300 pages, but for a 625-page book, it was way too much. I don't think the author achieved his purpose because the book was extremely boring to me and the writing would have been a lot more effective if there was just less of it. I'd recommend this book to hard-core fantasy fans or to people with lots of time on their hands and a magnifying glass handy, as well as a character web ready to fill out in order to keep all of these characters straight. All in all, definitely not the next Harry Potter or LOTR.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Columbus, Indiana United States