Shadowrise (Shadowmarch Series #3)

Shadowrise (Shadowmarch Series #3)

by Tad Williams


$15.82 $16.00 Save 1% Current price is $15.82, Original price is $16. You Save 1%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 6 days


The penultimate volume in Tad Williams's first epic fantasy series since his bestselling Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.

With King Olin imprisoned and Prince Kendrick slain, the royal twins Barrick and Briony have been forced to flee their homeland. But both families and nations can hide dark and terrible secrets. Even if Barrick and Briony survive learning the astonishing truths at the heart of their own family and of Southmarch itself, they must find a way to reclaim their kingdom and rescue their home-from traitors, tyrants, a god-king, and even the angry gods themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756406417
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Series: Shadowmarch Series , #3
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 124,823
Product dimensions: 5.82(w) x 8.94(h) x 1.26(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tad Williams has held more jobs than any sane person should admit to—singing in a band, selling shoes, managing a financial institution, throwing newspapers, and designing military manuals, to name just a few. He also hosted a syndicated radio show for ten years, worked in theater and television production, taught both grade-school and college classes, and worked in multimedia for a major computer firm. He is cofounder of an interactive television company, and is currently writing comic books and film and television scripts as well. Tad and his family live in London and the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Tad Williams at 


Explorations Interview with Tad Williams

Paul Goat Allen: For those who don't know how your Shadowmarch saga got started, can you elaborate a little bit about what motivated you to write an episodic fantasy online?

Tad Williams: We had tried Shadowmarch with some TV people, and it got to a certain point in management and then hit the confusion zone -- they didn't really get fantasy. So, since I really liked the story, I was anxious to find another way to do it. At the time I was in the middle of the Otherland books, so I began to think about doing it in some other way. The idea of a serial novel online seemed very exciting.

PGA: As a longtime fan of your work, one of the things that particularly stood out in Shadowmarch: Volume One was the extraordinarily diverse cast of characters. I can't think of another novel that has so many -- for lack of a better word -- cool characters! The crippled and tormented prince Barrick and his headstrong sister, Briony; the terrifying Qar warrior Yasammez; Ynnir the Blind King; Qinnitan the ill-fated acolyte; the courageous Rooftopper Beetledown; the dutiful Funderling Chert Blue Quartz and his foster son, Flint; the enigmatic potboy Gil; the completely misunderstood Shaso dan-Heza...the list goes on and on. How much fun was it to write this story with so many compelling characters to work with?

TW: One of the things that I like best about big books is the chance to create complex worlds. One of the ways that a writer can give depth to a world is to view it through the eyes of many different characters. Having so many characters is also a bit like making a lot of new friends (and enemies) -- you don't always know what's coming next, you meet someone, you don't know how important they'll be to you, then after a while it turns out you're going to be living with them as much as your family. It's strange and interesting.

PGA: The Shadowmarch web site ( is impressive to say the least -- the detailed history of the Shadowmarch realm, the tremendous collections of artwork, extensive message boards, etc. I've read in past interviews that you wanted to create an online community based in part around Shadowmarch. Did you accomplish what you set out to do with the web site?

TW: Certainly one mark of how true that proved to be is that we stopped putting the book installments online over a year ago, and the community continues to exist. I'm looking forward to a new round of discussion when the novel comes out as well, and I hope that new people will find their way to the site, and especially the bulletin board, which is a very energetic and welcoming community.

PGA: I've heard that the site has gotten almost half a million posts. Is that true?

TW: I have no idea. But I do know that it's become my home on the Net: It's the one place on the Internet I visit every day. (Well, there are also the hard-core giraffe bondage sites…)

PGA: It seems to me that with such a vast and fertile landscape to play in, the Shadowmarch saga could go on for several volumes. Is this fantasy sequence a work in progress or have you already plotted out roughly the number of volumes that you're going to write?

TW: This will be three volumes. I have a good (although not absolute) idea of what's going to happen in the rest of the story, but I like to leave room to make discoveries along the way.

PGA: What books initially got you interested in science fiction/fantasy? Any favorite authors and/or series while growing up?

TW: Tolkien is the most obvious, but I was also very influenced by Ray Bradbury, especially The Martian Chronicles, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, Ursula Le Guin, Theodore Sturgeon, and Philip K. Dick.

PGA: What books are on your reading list at the moment?

TW: I'm reading one of Steven Brust's faux-Dumas books, The Paths of the Dead, which is lovely; and I just finished an Iain Rankin Inspector Rebus novel -- I really like the grit of his Inspector Rebus -- and I've gone through a bout of Irvine Welsh. At the moment, I'm having trouble shedding a Scottish dialect. As always, there are another half-dozen books on the go, but I can't think of them right now.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Shadowrise 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Deborah_Beale More than 1 year ago
I have to take a long look at how I think about Tad's work each time it comes out. I'm generally biased as biased can be - that's because I'm Tad's business manager/partner/co-conspirator (means shared breath) and, erm, wife. So you can count on me to be enthusiastic about Tad's work. But it's a really fine novel. The writing has a crystal clarity. The adventure is suspenseful and gripping. The characters, especially ones like that evil bird Skurn and (whilst we're on the subject of evil) Matty Tinwright's mother, just kill me. And I'm amazed and fascinated by the survival of the princess, Briony, in the most vicious and deadly of circumstances. It's watching the evolution of a queen. Did you know she's based in part on the young Elizabeth 1? Last word: read the first 2 of the Shadowmarch novels if you need to, but think about reading the synopses here and just going for it, if you haven't read Tad before. Tell me it *that* doesn't work for you! @mrstad Thank you, B&N, for letting me enthuse all over this page.
melboogiedown More than 1 year ago
I'm a previous huge fan of Tad from his Otherland series which is beyond amazing, but I always stayed away from his strictly fantasy novels. So finally I picked up Shadowmarch which is the first volume of this series (probably because I liked the cover art) and gave it a shot. It took me a little while to get into it because of all the different characters but before I knew it I couldn't put the book down and couldn't stop thinking about all the characters long after I stopped reading. I especially love Briony who's incredibly strong, intelligent, and completely frustrated with the limitations and bias that women have to deal with. It's something that I deeply relate to even in present day 2010. I'm always deeply moved when a man can write a women the way Tad did, because I usually have very little faith that men have any interest in strong intelligent women who are not throwing their sexuality in everyone faces. Anyway, Briony is only 1 of the great characters and the whole story line is fascinating and absolutely amazing. I am greatly anticipating this next book and I must say if you haven't read Tad's Otherland series pick them up NOW!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Southmarch Castle is eyed by two opposing groups while its rightful ruler King Olin Eddon is taken hostage by the ruler of Hierosol. Hendon Tolly has become de facto ruler of Shadowmarch, but he failed to trap Olin's twin children Barrick and Briony The Autarch of Ixix kidnaps King Olin and they travel to Shadowmarch Castle for his own diabolical purposes. Barrick is entranced by the fairy (Qar) Yasammez and goes behind The Shadow Line where the Qar live in perpetual twilight. He has a mission to perform for her but he has many obstacles to overcome and enemies to deal with as he travels across the fairylands. Briony travels to Syan where she is treated as a royal. She hopes to obtain enough support to return home with an army in order to dispose Tolly. Prince Enas is enchanted with Briony and she starts to have feelings for him which makes it impossible to use him and his army in to further her schemes. The Qar surround Southmarch Castle until Yassammel orders the attack. Under the castle lies the city of Funderling Town populated by humanoid beings that are cousins to draws who live with and fight for the Qar. Briony is accused of treason, but escapes while the Autarch of Ixix reveals his plans for King Olin which if they come to fruitation will allow him to be a god but he must he triumphs over the Qar, the Funderlings and an unexpected army friendly to Shadowmarch. Several warring forces converge all claiming a kingdom as theirs. The third Shadowmarch saga (see Shadowplay and Shadowmarch) continues where SHADOWPLAY leaves off so it behooves newcomers to peruse those tales first even with a strong synopsis to remind readers what previously happened. Tad Williams has created a great storyline that adds much to his enthralling epic fantasy as several rivals are going to Southmarch Castle. Yet with plenty of sprawling action, the characters, especially the twins, drive the story line forward to the cliffhanging ending to be continued in SHADOWHEART. Harriet Klausner
Beauty_in_Ruins More than 1 year ago
With it's deliberate pacing, slow unveiling of the deeper mysteries, and fitful advances of the plot, this is hardly what one would describe as an all-consuming read . . . and yet, no matter how many times I put it down, it was never long before I found myself itching to take it up again. A far more languid read than the first two volumes, this is also the first instalment where we really begin to get a sense of what is going on in the realm of Southmarch and beyond. All the various tangled threads begin to come together here, hinting at deeper meanings, yet never really coming right out and declaring the story's intentions. As it always the case with Tad's books, the writing here is stellar, with the dreamlike scenes beyond the shadowline more powerful than anything I've read in recent years. The dialogue is crisp and clever, and the theology/mythology is wonderfully detailed. Even the minor characters stand out on their own, instantly recognizable no matter how little page time they receive. Part of me wants to rail against Tad for choosing to split this final volume into two parts (with Shadowheart concluding things), unnecessarily drawing out the story, and dragging us through a novel that's as much set-up for the end as it is movement towards that end. The other part of me, however, is perversely thankful for the prolonged climax and the chance to spend a little more time in his world. Don't get me wrong, this is no Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, but it is Tad Williams, and that means it's epic fantasy of a higher calibre. Had this been any other author, I likely would spend more time singing it's praises, but Tad has created such expectations that I (perhaps unfairly) feel the need to nitpick.
boardoe More than 1 year ago
I have been looking forward to volume 3 for a long time and although it was to be the last volume I am not unhappy that Tad Williams had so much to write there will now be a fourth volume in October. All the characters remain interesting and the Tad Williams has been able to sustain the suspense. Unlike other similar stories in this genre, Williams seems to have resisted the current trend towards a darker vision; the lead characters have not unexpectedly or unnecessarily died (although they remain in jeopardy) nor have they been rendered unlikeable. A great read.
janemarieprice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More interesting than the second in the series, you learn a lot more about the fae world and see a good set up for the final volume. Looking forward to the finale.
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As Williams moves in to the endgame of the Shadowmarch story (an ending so epic it's divided in to two volumes rather than one) the pace does not let up. The paths of the Prince Barrick and Princess Briony beome even more complex and thrilling as they both draw closer to their respective destinations. The Autach's story also ratchets up a gear, adding further tension as the mysterious elements from the previous books are revealed. Shadowrise is packed with well narrated action, below and above ground, as all the factions around the Shadowmarch castle continue to wage war. The story still holds plenty of surprises too, altogether creating a spellbinding page-turner, indicating that Willaims is at the top of his game. Absolutely rivetting fantasy fiction.
StephenBarkley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
He did it again. Williams took a nice traditional trilogy and spun it into four books. (Douglas Adams would be proud.) It¿s difficult to be frustrated with him, though, since this series is so riveting you don¿t want it to end. All the elements that made this series great (angry fairies, the half-sane king who believes he¿s a god, tunnels under the castle and their inhabitants, life behind the shadowline, legends coming to life) get more interesting in this book.My only frustration is with Princess Briony. Her storyline wasn¿t boring so much as irritating. When it was getting late and I needed to put the book down, I invariably closed the covers when the next chapter began with her. Her plot-line better pay off in volume four!Shadowrise truly is half of the third book in the trilogy. Unlike how Brandon Sanderson retooled Jordan¿s final work to make three semi-self-contained volumes, Williams just ended the book half-way through. Thankfully we will not have to wait long for the last final installment.
DirtPriest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This series is building to a great climax. At least it had better for all the time I've put in to reading these books. There are several separate threads twining around, several have by now been either merged or clarified. One note to anyone who does read these: Pay attention to the tales and legends of the gods. They play a large role in the story. "The gods are real and they will destroy us for not believing in them." This is some good fantasy writing. The world of Southmarch is described in exquisite detail without being so wordy as to drag on interminably. It's just a long tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a lot of fantasy already and was a bit bore about this kind of stories. Tad Williams brought me back with this fantastic serie. The Shadowmarch series is one that comes the closest to Tolkien's philosophy : Williams develops this world entirely, from the religions to the personnalities of each character. I think he succeeded to overtake the genius of Tolkien because his writing is easier to read and no one in his books is bad because they belong to an evil species. The purpose of each character is explained (if you read them all :D) and be carreful to every details because they'll make sense later !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago