George V. Reilly

Review: Shadowplay

Shadowplay
Title: Shadowplay
Author: Tad Williams
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Daw
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 737
Keywords: fantasy
Reading period: 3–10 June, 2009

Sequel to Shad­ow­march. Southmarch is under siege by the fairy army and the teenaged regent, Briony, has been deposed by an ambitious noble. Briony is on the run, fleeing for her life. Her twin, Barrick, is lost, mentally and physically, behind the fairy lines. Far to the south, Qinnitan has suc­cess­ful­ly fled from the autarch, but now the autarch is besieging the city of Hierosol where she is hiding.

The second book in a trilogy often suffers from Middle Book Syndrome: the first book es­tab­lish­es the characters and the plot, the final book resolves everything, but the middle book has to somehow keep things going, and the author’s energy often flags. Williams moves the plot along nicely, from one cliffhang­er to the next, and we see the main pro­tag­o­nists mature as they are tested.

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