Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Shadowheart Shadowheart
by Tad Williams

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Cassie Craig

Shadowheart is the last book of the series Shadowmarch. I haven’t read the preceding 3 novels in this Epic fantasy. It was a little hard going reading the synopsis but despite this I was able to plunge ahead and engross myself in the magical world that Tad Williams has created. Now I am left with the urge to read the rest of the Shadowmarch series.

The tyrant ruler of the south has suddenly left his siege at Hierosol to sail around to the Southmarch kingdom with grandiose plans to unlock the sleeping gods. And being a tyrant means people fear him and hastily bend to do whatever he demands no matter that outcome or how gross the requests are.

Big bad fairies become allies with humans, these are not Tinkerbelle type fairies but big dangerous and scary looking who actually love to eat humans and who were at war with them previously. In this war are underground folk called Funderlings who live under the Southmarch castle and little Tom Thumb folk who can command birds as their trusty steads.

Meanwhile the tyrant still has the Southmarch king captive so his children, the Prince and Princess are on a quest through this book to gain his freedom. The Prince has teamed up with the fairy queen and has been transformed into something a bit more than human. The Princess is fighting her way to get to the King. The story ends up at the castle that is more than it seems and is being run in the Kings absence by a traitor. A vast warren of tunnels under the castle is where the tyrant is seeking to. He sends fearful creatures to kill the Funderlings but they have more of a surprise for him than he bargained for.

This book feels like a new world without riding on the back of other so called fantasy works. There isn’t so much war that a girl gets put off from reading (I hate page after page of siege so I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to skim over to much), there is just the right amount of hinted love that might blossom. So the guys can enjoy this without too much mushy stuff.

I would recommend reading the series from the beginning and not jumping into the last book cold turkey like I have. As with previous reviews for the Shadowmarch series I would agree that this is in capital letters an EPIC FANTASY novel and I would recommend reading this book to others. I actually would love to see it come to life on the big screen.

SFFANZ is a non-profit organisation and registered charity
designed to bring together fans of the fantastic in New Zealand

Contact us by email at: