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  1. #61
    This thread is funny. For one the Thread Starter started this back in June 2009, and people kept posting until Dec 2010. And now it gets resurrected in Nov 2011?! And for two...the guy has never been back to this forum after his one post about Tad Williams.

    sad.

  2. #62
    I could not get thru Dragonbone Chair. There are alot of authors out there that don't seem to understand something called, pacing. Tad Williams is one of those authors.

  3. #63
    Registered User murf99's Avatar
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    I bought the 4 books for MST because I've heard many times over the years that its a "masterpiece" and a must read for any sff fan. I havent gotten around to starting it yet. After skimming through some of this thread I'm starting to get worried I wasted my money. So how bad is the pacing? Is it slower than Robert Jordan? I can handle Jordan, so if its not that slow I think I'm ok.

  4. #64
    Registered User Fedos's Avatar
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    I just finished reading The Dragonbone Chair for the second time. I read it the first time years ago, and never followed through with reading the other books in the series. But I really enjoyed reading it, both times in fact, as after this second read I've ordered The Stone of Farwell over Amazon.

    Quote Originally Posted by murf99 View Post
    I bought the 4 books for MST because I've heard many times over the years that its a "masterpiece" and a must read for any sff fan. I havent gotten around to starting it yet. After skimming through some of this thread I'm starting to get worried I wasted my money. So how bad is the pacing? Is it slower than Robert Jordan? I can handle Jordan, so if its not that slow I think I'm ok.
    Well, nothing really happens majorly in the first book until about after 150-200pages. If you are a patient reader (seeing as you have read some of Jordan's later works) then you should be ok with Williams. He has a good command of language, so it's not like it's a bad read.

  5. #65
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedos View Post
    Well, nothing really happens majorly in the first book until about after 150-200pages. If you are a patient reader (seeing as you have read some of Jordan's later works) then you should be ok with Williams. He has a good command of language, so it's not like it's a bad read.
    Sure, nothing major happens, but that first 200 pages is just so well-painted that it's wonderful. If you're all about plot, I can see those being a problem. But if you're up for atmosphere, color, mood, mystery...it's some of the best 200 pages in fantasy.

  6. #66
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erfael View Post
    Sure, nothing major happens, but that first 200 pages is just so well-painted that it's wonderful. If you're all about plot, I can see those being a problem. But if you're up for atmosphere, color, mood, mystery...it's some of the best 200 pages in fantasy.
    Agreed. I remember the series fondly and still have them in their original HC releases (3 books). It just occurred to me that I have never re-read this series. I may do so this winter, just to reconnect with it after having first read it 20 years ago.

  7. #67
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    I made it to within 100 pages of the end of "The Dragonbone Chair" and gave up. The pacing wouldn't have been an issue if the story were original, but it seemed like a lot of time spent reading something I'd read several times before. I really just didn't care for Simon enough to spend another 3 large books reading about him.

  8. #68
    The New ... MARK LAWRENCE Mark Lawrence's Avatar
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    I read this so damn long ago ... possibly even the year it came out. I remember ... well almost nothing to be honest. A wizardly mentor who came to a sticky end, a big castle, a young boy of lowly origins destined for greatness .... then a sword... some mountains? I do recall I quite enjoyed it at the time. But I didn't read any more. Possibly because they weren't released at the time I was motivated to buy them.

  9. #69
    Yeah I found him far too verbose.

  10. #70
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    I just finished the whole series and kinda liked it. I read it just for the historical (within the realm of fantasy lit) impact. It was okay, however very slow. The one thing that did standout was the mental transformation Simon went through. It was slower than most orphaned/destined for greatness characters, and because of that felt more realistic. If something like that happened to any ordinary person they wouldn't just suddenly turn into a hero through and through. He was scared ****less most of the time, just like most of us would be. That makes sense when you realize that not a whole lot of time passed in the whole story.

  11. #71
    Registered User EricaW's Avatar
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    I haven't been able to get into most of the Tad Williams books (though I remember one about a cat I read years ago that was cute-not sure if that was the same Williams though). But the great thing about fiction is that there is room for all kinds of tastes.

  12. #72
    I read the MST books and found them to be pretty average. I liked the first book of the Shadow series but gave up after the second book.

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by EricaW View Post
    I haven't been able to get into most of the Tad Williams books (though I remember one about a cat I read years ago that was cute-not sure if that was the same Williams though). But the great thing about fiction is that there is room for all kinds of tastes.
    Sounds like Tad's book Tailchaser's Song.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erfael View Post
    Sure, nothing major happens, but that first 200 pages is just so well-painted that it's wonderful. If you're all about plot, I can see those being a problem. But if you're up for atmosphere, color, mood, mystery...it's some of the best 200 pages in fantasy.
    Exactly my tought.
    I loved it so much that i switched from french to English to have a better taste at the original writing. It has been years and i still remember clearly some scenes of the books.

  15. #75
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    I'm sure I reviewed the first two books here, but I can't find the thread. Oh well.

    Shadowmarch #3: Shadowrise by Tad Williams

    The Eddon family is divided and scattered. King Olin is a prisoner of the mad autarch of Xis, whilst Prince Barrick is lost beyond the Shadowline, searching for the fabled Qar capital. Far to the south, Princess Briony is a reluctant guest of the Syannese court. The Qar continue their siege of Shadowmarch, but Hendon Tolly is more interested in unearthing the ancient secrets of the castle than in resisting the invaders. That job falls to the Funderlings, who must mount a stalwart defence of the tunnels and passages below the castle.

    Shadowrise is the third novel in the Shadowmarch series. Originally planned as a trilogy, the final book in the series grew too large to publish in one volume, so was split in half (though each half is almost as long as the first two books in the series by themselves). Williams has form on this, as this also happened with the paperback edition of the final volume of the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series.

    As with the first two books in the sequence, Shadowrise is well-written with some interesting characters. Williams has always had an enjoyable prose style, and that remains true here. Unfortunately, that can't quite overcome several problems. One is that the story unfolds with all the verve, vigour and energy of a particularly lazy sloth on sleeping pills. Chapters seem to endlessly pass which, whilst individually well-written, seem to consist of characters doing little but sitting around and talking about the plot, the backplot and what might happen next, often introducing little to no new information the reader needs to know.

    Quite a few of Williams's characters are reactive, spending most of their time wringing their hands and agonising over what to do next. Notably it's those characters who actually make plans and enact them who carry the book, most notably Ferras Vansen and Chert the Funderling. Barrick's journey beyond the Shadowline has an unusual, weird tone to it that is rather different to the rest of the book and features some genuinely unsettling fantastical moments, but is undermined by Barrick's total lack of agency in the storyline. He has no idea about what's going on, neither does the reader, and this makes following that subplot rather tiresome. Worse still is Briony's storyline in Syan, in which it appears that Williams was setting up some rich court intrigue, realised halfway through he couldn't be bothered, and simply ejected Briony from that storyline rather abruptly. Whilst it's good to get this part of the story out of the way, it does render Briony's entire storyline in the last two books somewhat pointless. Also pointless is Qinnitan's subplot, which feels like makework as Williams tries to find something for her to do rather than simply getting her from Point A to Point B.

    As the book continues, it starts to pick up some energy towards the end as important plot revelations take place and we actually get some energetic action sequences, rousing the narrative from its lengthy torpor. Naturally these are just in time for the inevitable cliffhanger ending into the final novel in the sequence, Shadowheart.

    Shadowrise (***) is readable enough, but so long-winded that it's hard to muster the enthusiasm to carry on at times. Williams has just enough good ideas and interesting characters to make it worthwhile, but unfortunately this novel does little to dispel the impression that Shadowmarch is his weakest major work to date. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.

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