Shadowmarch Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Shadowmarch

With her father held prisoner in a foreign kingdom, Princess Briony takes up the throne of Southmarch, as her twin Barrick becomes ill and is plagued with horrible nightmares, while, in the meanwhile, the small funderling Chert discovers that the terrible, destructive Shadowline is moving ever closer south, engulfing the world in a thick, unnatural magical fog.
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At the same time, the ancient fairy people, the Qar, led by the fierce warrior woman Yasammez whose only joy comes of the sight of death, plan to invade the human lands and take Southmarch castle, even as traitors within the kingdom of Southmarch plan to sieze Briony's throne, and, through the means of the Shadowline, throw the world back into Old Night.
A small group of soldiers is sent to investigate the area as Briony deals with domestic matters within her kingdom, and as the court physician Chaven disappears from Southmarch to investigate a mysterious stone, the story leads up to a surprising, suspenseful conclusion.

The review of this Book prepared by Steve Arthur

Daw, Nov 2004, 25.95, 800 pp.
ISBN: 0756402190

Before humans settled the land, the immortal fairy Qar lived there. At first humans and fairy lived together, but as mankind multiplied the Qar were forced to relocate onto unpopulated lands. When plague struck, humans blamed the Qar; they killed many and drove the survivors back into the wastelands of the north. When the humans try to expand northward, they run into the shadowline put there by the Fairy to prevent mortals from entering their land. Residents of Southmarch, the realm closest to the shadowline barrier, guard the wall to warn their brethren if the humans penetrate.

The Southmarch ruling family is the Eddons, but the patriarch is held hostage in the Southland and the Prince Regent is mysteriously killed leaving twins Briony and Barrick in charge. In Qar, the Fae Hesemnez is ready to take back the land stolen from her people, especially Southmarch. Meanwhile the co-regents worry about the Autarch to their south whose growing empire poses a threat and internally someone is willing to kill to rid the land of the Eddons.

Briony deals with court intrigue to include betrayal by those she trusts while preparing for war; her brother is haunted by nightmares but insists he must head their army against the Qar.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Shadowmarch

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 35%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 15% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   saving govt/kingdom from external overthrow Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   Prince/Nobleman/King Age:    -   a teen


Terrain    -   Mountains Earth setting:    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society    -   inhabited by friendly aliens    -   unfriendly aliens    -   very controlled society Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   descript. of private male anat. How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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