Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Shadowmarch, book 4: Shadowheart by Tad…

Shadowmarch, book 4: Shadowheart (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Tad Williams

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4001426,709 (3.92)10
Title:Shadowmarch, book 4: Shadowheart
Authors:Tad Williams
Info:DAW Books
Collections:Your library

Work details

Shadowheart by Tad Williams (2010)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

English (13)  German (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
So as last books-in-a-series go, this wasn’t bad at all. Overall I think the series suffered from being too long, but then I can’t say I ever really got bored. Case-in-point would be the ending. I did this book on audio and the climax of the story happened around disc 23. The book came with 27 discs. So that meant about 3 hours of story (15% of the entire book) was dedicated to the wrap up, during which any questions you might have about pretty much any character who appeared in any of the 4 books, is answered.

Anyway, I did actually tear up at least once so that’s saying something right? After living with these characters for the last 6 months or so, and having their voices brought to life by a wonderful narrator I guess I can admit that without it damaging my masculine image too much. It’s been a long time since I’ve read an entire series of fantasy novels, these won’t go down as my favorite series but they were definitely enjoyable and Mr. Williams definitely has a talent for making things seem real. I never once felt taken “out of the story” by something that didn’t make sense to me. ( )
  ragwaine | Jun 30, 2016 |
Abysmally poor editing makes this book a tedious, disjointed and very unrewarding read. Had at least one third of its content been purged it might have been more enjoyable but it digressed so often into pointless episodes with minor characters that the only logical conclusion is that the author had a contract to fill 700 pages and did so at the expense of the storyline. By far the worst book of a very poor series, it really has changed my opinion of Tad Williams. There are far better fantasy writers out there. ( )
  PaddySheridan | Mar 8, 2015 |
I started this book early last year, and finished part one on the day I went into labour with Matthew. It has taken me very nearly a year, but the other three parts are now finished too! As epic fantasy series go this one definitely gets quite epic at times, with most of the book building up to an enormous battle with a god which feels like it can only end in doom. Of course it doesn't (they rarely do) but finding out exactly how and why is half the fun. The only issue with reading a series so slowly is you get less of a feel for how the characters and story evolve, for it's all too easy to forget what happened in the first chapters, never mind the previous three books! I don't think I see myself re-reading this one in future, but it has been a good investment if my time. And now I just need to decide what to read next!

Oops, checking on librarything it seems it was book 3 I was reading during labour, and I have only been reading this one since September! I think my comments stand though. ( )
  lnr_blair | Mar 15, 2014 |
Maybe it's because I came to Shadowheart directly from its dull predecessor, [b:Shadowrise|6661489|Shadowrise (Shadowmarch, #3)|Tad Williams|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1275672505s/6661489.jpg|6856262], but I found this book slow to start. Happily, after a hundred or so pages, the pace picks up as things start happening. Sadly, it bogs down again in the last hundred pages.

Williams brings together a lot of the loose ends in this book, in a moderately satisfying way. However, there is also frustration - for example when Chert Blue Quartz comes up with a bright idea to save the day, but we aren't told what it is. Since the idea is a fairly obvious one, it quickly becomes irritating to have the text dance constantly around it - for hundreds of pages. Williams does make some interesting choices with Barrick, but much of the ending is fairly predictable.

As Williams' first series drew heavily on Tolkien-style epics, the end of this series draws on Greek mythology, with a little Christianity thrown in. To my mind, it added little but complication. There's a lot to be done with surprise and disappointment about the nature of the gods, but Williams, after approaching the idea, backs away.

Much more disappointing was the treatment of the Qar. After being fairly flat in [b:Shadowmarch|28694|Shadowmarch (Shadowmarch, #1)|Tad Williams|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1290856030s/28694.jpg|832564] and [b:Shadowplay|28687|Shadowplay (Shadowmarch, #2)|Tad Williams|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1348023538s/28687.jpg|1003656], the Qar finally made a genuine showing in [b:Shadowrise|6661489|Shadowrise (Shadowmarch, #3)|Tad Williams|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1275672505s/6661489.jpg|6856262]. I had great hopes for them in Shadowheart. Williams set them up as a great tragic race, had me just waiting to have my heart broken, ... and then sort of wandered on to other things. He created a great opportunity and then made the least of it. I wish I could say that he simply implied the tragedy with some subtlety, but I don't think that's it, or if it is, it didn't work.

I give the book three stars because the action is much improved from book 3, and because of the potential of the Qar. Nonetheless, I continue to think that had books 3 and 4 our been condensed into one, the series as a whole would have been much stronger. Overall, the series comes out decent, but because of the slow finish (in books 3 and 4, and the end of book 4), it's hard to recommend. I'd say stick with [b:Otherland|28695|City of Golden Shadow (Otherland, #1)|Tad Williams|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1329075235s/28695.jpg|1570074] and go no further. ( )
  BMorrisAllen | May 14, 2013 |
I have been looking forward to the conclusion of this series for a long time. Unfortunately, now that it has arrived, I'm not sure what to say about it. All of the great forces and players have arrived at Southmarch Castle for the final confrontation, and possibly the end of the world! Unfortunately its not really clear what horrible fate they are trying to avoid. The conclusion is certainly unexpected, but I really can't say it was either surprising or satisfying.
The characters are engaging, the writing is clear and enjoyable to read, I'm just not sure the story is all that much different from William's previous books. To put this series anywhere near the Otherland or Memory, Sorry and Thorn series wouldn't be right. Its good, just not that good. ( )
  Karlstar | Jan 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tad Williamsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lockwood, ToddCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Our children Connor and Devon still think that getting a grown-up book dedicated to them instead of one of our more kid-oriented books is kind of a rip-off. I told them that one day they will be grown-ups just like us, but they refuse to believe anything so horrid and unfair could happen to such nice children.

(It'll be fun watching them learn better. Actually, it'll be fun watching them no matter what.) Remember, you wonderful beasts, we love you hugely--but don't make me come back there.
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Something is awakening underneath Southmarch Castle, something powerful and terrible that the world has not seen for thousands of years. Can its young defenders Barrick and Briony, along with a tiny handful of allies, ordinary and extraordinary, find a way to save their world and prevent the rise of a terrible new age--an age of unending darkness?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
53 wanted
4 pay8 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.92)
2 3
3 16
3.5 8
4 49
4.5 2
5 17


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 109,763,683 books! | Top bar: Always visible