The fourth and final book in the Shadowmarch Series.

“An immensely satisfying final entry…” —SFSite

Barrick Eddon, prince of Southmarch, is no longer entirely human. He has vowed to safeguard the legacy of the dark Qar race, and must now decide where his loyalties lie. His twin sister Briony has a difficult choice of her own. Her father, King Olin, is held captive by the Autarch, a mad god-king who plans to use Olin’s blood to gain unlimited power. And the castle of Southmarch still remains in the possession of Hendon Tolly, Briony’s murderous relative. As time runs out, will Briony decide to save her father’s kingdom…or her father? As the foretold Great Defeat draws near, history is stripped of its costume of lies. Poets and players, mortals and fairies, warriors and gods, all will have their roles to play as the fate of the known world hangs in the balance.

“A fourth volume that nails everything you could want from the conclusion of an epic fantasy yarn…rich in detail and exploding with imagination. Dive in there and lose yourself” —SFX

Sample Excerpts from Shadowheart


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[wptabtitle]Aidan Moher: A Dribble of Ink[/wptabtitle]
[wptabcontent]…Shadowheart is, essentially, one enormous climax. The pacing is frenetic (for a Williams novel…) and the author fills every nook and cranny of the novel with feverish action, enlightening observations on the plot or characters and enough twists and turns to keep fans of the series happy. It’s always bittersweet to see a series come to an end; as fans, we are always eager to find out what happens to our heroes and heroines, but, equally, we don’t want them to ever leave our lives. Perhaps the greatest thing I can say about Shadowheart is that through four long volumes of a story, Williams convinced me to care utterly for his characters and there’s a hole now in my life where they once lived. Few story tellers can do that. Williams does it with alarming regularity.

Read the complete review by Aidan Moher at A Dribble of Ink
[wptabtitle]Monica Valentinelli: FlamesRising[/wptabtitle]
[wptabcontent]One of the things that’s drawn me to this series is the world building. Having read Williams’s Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, I expected some elements to re-emerge in this book, but I found only echoes. In fact, I feel great care has been taken for this series to stand apart from Williams’s previous works.

…Each and every character is affected by the naked pursuit of raw and unimaginable power in good, ugly and interesting ways. This conflict, moreso than the interpersonal squabbles or romances, supercedes mortality, which shoots this series for me into the epic fantasy category. In many ways, the story gets bigger as each book goes on, and Shadowheart is definitely proof of that.

So who would like this book? If you’re looking for a dark fantasy read with an expansive plot, a big world… then Shadowheart and the rest of the books in the Shadowmarch series are definitely for you.

Read the complete review by Monica Valentinelli at
[wptabtitle]Robert Thompson: Fantasy Book Critic Review[/wptabtitle]
[wptabcontent]…Amazingly though, as memorable and breathtaking as these events are, the convergence at Southmarch does not even represent the best that Shadowheart has to offer. That honor instead, goes to the wonderful aftermath, which consists of the novel’s final one hundred-plus pages. Who lives? Who dies? Will love triumph over duty? Will families reunite? Will there be peace between the Qar and humankind? Will traitors be exposed? The answers to these and several other burning questions are not always the ones readers might expect or desire, but they are all fitting, as is the satisfactory manner in which Tad Williams ties up the series’s loose ends (the mysterious Flint, Anissa, etc.), while leaving open the opportunity to return to this setting in the future if he so desires.

…While I was less than impressed with the author’s efforts in the first Shadowmarch novel, Tad Williams’ performance from Shadowplay all the way through the end of Shadowheart, was just a thing of beauty. Characterization that allows characters to grow and evolve—in particular Barrick & Briony Eddon—while providing insights to help the reader understand and empathize with them; world-building that is creative and deep; the ability to juggle numerous plotlines without losing sight of the end goal; prose that is detailed, elegant and accessible; exploring thought-provoking issues on everything from faith, prejudice and duty to cowardice, love and death; all this and more was handled by Tad Williams like the veteran writer that he is, and without the skills of someone like a Tad Williams at the controls, I don’t think the Shadowmarch saga would have been nearly as compelling.

Shadowrise and Shadowheart are as good an ending to a fantasy saga as I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

Read the complete review by Robert Thompson at Fantasy Book Critic Review
[wptabtitle]Rob H. Bedford: Official Book Review[/wptabtitle]
[wptabcontent]Clearly, Mr. Williams has a lot of elements coming together as this series concludes. Looking at those plot threads, it could easily seem as if too much is going on for one writer to handle. Tad Williams is more than capable of handling so many threads, and even more importantly, of expertly weaving them together tightly into an exciting narrative.

…Either way, the Shadowmarch four-book trilogy is an extremely enjoyable reading experience and one, with all the great debuts over the past couple of years, and fantasy series coming to a close, deserves more recognition.

Highly recommended.

Read the complete review by Rob H. Benford at
[wptabtitle]Simon Appleby: Bookgeeks Review[/wptabtitle]
[wptabcontent]Anyone who didn’t know that this had originally been intended as a trilogy would certainly not be able to divine the fact from reading Shadowheart — everything about this book is pretty much pitch-perfect: pace, characterisation, the buildup to the denouement as well as the tying up of loose ends that’s inevitably needed afterwards. That’s not to say this is a happily-ever-after sort of ending…

All in all, Tad Williams has demonstrated with this series a massive progression of his talent to embrace subtler moral dimensions, more convincing worldbuilding, taut plotting and highly effective characterisation — and I loved every page of it. Shadowheart and its companions show that he’s still in the very top drawer of modern fantasy novelists.

Read the complete review by Simon Appleby at Bookgeeks

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