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Shardik (1974)

por Richard Adams

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Beklan Empire (1)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,833156,746 (3.55)83
Richard Adams's Watership Down was a number one bestseller, a stunning work of the imagination, and an acknowledged modern classic. In Shardik Adams sets a different yet equally compelling tale in a far-off fantasy world. Shardik is a fantasy of tragic character, centered on the long-awaited reincarnation of the gigantic bear Shardik and his appearance among the half-barbaric Ortelgan people. Mighty, ferocious, and unpredictable, Shardik changes the life of every person in the story. His advent commences a momentous chain of events. Kelderek the hunter, who loves and trusts the great bear, is swept up by destiny to become first devotee and then prophet, then victorious soldier, then ruler of an empire and priest-king of Lord Shardik--Messenger of God--only to discover ever-deeper layers of meaning implicit in his passionate belief in the bear's divinity.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I got about 50 pages in but the narrative was too disjointed to keep my interest.
  jugglebird | Feb 18, 2021 |
Adams is best-known for Watership Down, an excellent novel about rabbits. Two years after that book’s massive success, he published a… straight-up fantasy novel. It wasn’t published as such, of course. If anything, Penguin tried hard to pretend Adams had pretty much invented fantasy with their marketing for the novel. But Shardik is set in an invented land, at a technology level not far above Bronze Age, and is about a giant bear considered to be a god, or an avatar of a god, by a race of people. So it’s basically a fantasy novel. It just happens to be better written than is typical for genre fiction. The title refers to an ancient god of the Ortelgans, personified as a giant bear, who was kept on an island inhabited by priestesses. But the empire fell, the capital Bekla was conquered, and a new empire rose in its place. Shardik died and did not reappear. Generations later, a giant bear appears on the island the Ortelgans, now simple hunter folk, settled on after the fall of their empire. And they see it as the second coming of their god, and use it to take back Bekla and re-establish their empire. But they are not the people they once were. The novel mostly concerns Kelderek, the hunter who discovers Shardik, becomes his priest, and then the priest-king of Bekla. But it’s an empire doomed to failure, and Shardik escapes after an attempt on its life. Kelderek goes after him, and the two travel about the country – there’s a handy map, of course – both sinking further and further from what they were as the book progresses. Kelderek encounters enemies he made while priest-king, and evil people he helped create. It’s all a bit grim, and Adams has this weird trick of referencing culture that would be known to a well-educated Brit in the 1970s, which does sort of kill the immersion. You do not, after all, except to see a mention of Shakespeare in a secondary-world fantasy novel. I suspect I wanted to like Shardik more than I did. It felt like it didn’t try hard enough to be a fantasy, even though the world-building was generally good. The quality of the prose, however, was a definite bonus. ( )
  iansales | Jun 20, 2020 |
This is a fantasy set in a pre-industrial, vaguely middle-eastern or South American world. A small, out-of-the-way cult is energised when their object of veneration, a gigantic bear, becomes real. The cult leaders see the coming of the bear as a vehicle to bring the world closer to God. Warlords and politicians co-opt the worship and fear of the bear to conquer the region. Over time political and military expediency dilute the original cult message and antagonise the conquered lands. An uprising results in the bear escaping and the man who originally found and captured the creature, once a lowly hunter and now the king of the empire, sets out at first to recapture the beast. Slowly he realises how corrupt his empire and his religion have become and he starts seeking redemption. A reconnection with the cult priestesses and an encounter with a child slave trader (child slavery is used here to represent the depravity of the empire) leads him to salvation.

Strong descriptive writing and a powerful evocation of nature shore up this book. Action set pieces are well done. The weakest element of the book is the depiction of the key characters who never seem real to me. ( )
  pierthinker | May 8, 2020 |
Like many who have read this book, I initially picked it up due to [a:Stephen King|3389|Stephen King|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1362814142p2/3389.jpg]'s reference to it in the book [b:The Waste Lands|34084|The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3)|Stephen King|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309202885s/34084.jpg|1810634]. It helped that I also loved [b:Watership Down|76620|Watership Down|Richard Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1353615493s/76620.jpg|1357456] and [b:The Plague Dogs|12442|The Plague Dogs|Richard Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320416497s/12442.jpg|826957], and that the mythic nature of [a:Richard Adams|7717|Richard Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1210188763p2/7717.jpg] writing in general speaks to me. [b:Shardik|92408|Shardik|Richard Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347952145s/92408.jpg|894692] was a much, much more mythic book than the other two, which would mark [b:The Plague Dogs|12442|The Plague Dogs|Richard Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320416497s/12442.jpg|826957] as the most... well, down to earth book out of this particular bunch.

[b:Shardik|92408|Shardik|Richard Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347952145s/92408.jpg|894692] is the story of a young man (Kelderek) who comes across a great bear (short-nosed bear, perhaps?) that he believes to be The Power of God incarnate: the divine Shardik. His conviction drives the plot, along with the resulting corruption and disillusionment. [a:Richard Adams|7717|Richard Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1210188763p2/7717.jpg] illustrates beautifully how religion can be both inspiring and perverted, used for ill gains and for better things. He examines the danger and power of tradition and how love can be both good and bad. Paradoxes are rampant, but in the end fascinating.

The book took me a while to get through. It dragged in places, and the world that [a:Richard Adams|7717|Richard Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1210188763p2/7717.jpg] created was confusing at times. In particular, I struggled with the proper names and the place names. Adams' lacked the linguistic ability of say, [a:J.R.R. Tolkien|656983|J.R.R. Tolkien|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1329870573p2/656983.jpg] or [a:Anthony Burgess|5735|Anthony Burgess|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1215108656p2/5735.jpg]. All the same, the book was good and the questions it raised fascinating to me. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
This is a powerful but grim novel with a rather bittersweet ending. The protagonist (not really the hero, if there is a hero, it is a different character) discovers the bear Shardik which his people believe is the return of the god who led them to greatness in the legendary past. This inspires them to go out and conquer a neighboring higher civilization, but eventually their brief empire falls apart (due to the efforts of the hero aforementioned). The bear and his discoverer go through a transforming spiritual experience in a strange region, and then the bear (more or less accidentally) dies struggling against evil child-enslavers, and so his myth is reimagined as defender of children. Overall, I prefer the other book set in this region, Maia, which is not so grim and more straightforward, though perhaps less serious-minded. ( )
  antiquary | Apr 18, 2018 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I have reread Shardik several times now, however, and what most impresses me most about it is the depth of the historical and sociological detail.
 

» Adicionar outros autores (9 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Richard Adamsautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Hemmett, MarilynCartographerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lee, JohnNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Minor, WendellArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Palacios, RafaelEnd Paper Mapautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rikman, KristiinaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schuchart, MaxTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Thaler, WilhelmTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
White, MartinArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Behold, I will send my messenger. . . . But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire. . . .

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Wikipédia em inglês (1)

Richard Adams's Watership Down was a number one bestseller, a stunning work of the imagination, and an acknowledged modern classic. In Shardik Adams sets a different yet equally compelling tale in a far-off fantasy world. Shardik is a fantasy of tragic character, centered on the long-awaited reincarnation of the gigantic bear Shardik and his appearance among the half-barbaric Ortelgan people. Mighty, ferocious, and unpredictable, Shardik changes the life of every person in the story. His advent commences a momentous chain of events. Kelderek the hunter, who loves and trusts the great bear, is swept up by destiny to become first devotee and then prophet, then victorious soldier, then ruler of an empire and priest-king of Lord Shardik--Messenger of God--only to discover ever-deeper layers of meaning implicit in his passionate belief in the bear's divinity.

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