Shadowheart by Tad Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What Tad Williams does good, he does very, very good. I'll give him that. The ending of this huge Fantasy series is sufficiently huge, magical, war-driven, god-killing, and mad enough to fill the hearts of any epic fantasy fan.
Williams takes his time to build everything so very slowly until it all comes crashing together and we're left breathless.
On the other hand, stories like this are still only as good as the characters that drive them. And if you're dealing with a huge cast of characters, they really need to have a lot of interesting situations, interesting responses, and general likability. I'd give half the cast here that accolade. The other half, however, either bored me or just made me want to hurry through and get to the good stuff.
Briony is the huge issue. Her brother Barrick is just fine.
I tried. I really tried. She has aspects about her that I liked intellectually and not all of her storyline was a complete waste, but I never felt emotionally invested.
Overlooking that, I really enjoyed most of the Funderlings, the fae-call out, the dead or dying gods, the dreaming, the con, the mad immortals, the sacrifices, and the siege of the world. No complaints there. :)
It's just unfortunate I couldn't have enjoyed the entire sequence equally. Too many bits seemed too long, in need of a big shave. The plotting sometimes seemed pointless or just a way to get from point A to point B because I wasn't invested in some of the characters. But then again, maybe it's just me.
I can't say this is more than an above-average epic fantasy. Flawed, still good.
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