Almost three decades after the release of the first volume of Williams’ epic fantasy series, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, he returns to the iconic realm of Osten Ard with the stunning first installment of a new sequel trilogy.
Set approximately 30 years after the conclusion of To Green Angel Tower (1993), the story begins with the once relatively peaceful realm being destabilized by fear, greed, and ignorance. A Sitha envoy en route to King Simon and Queen Miriamele, rulers of Osten Ard, is attacked on her way to the seat of the High Throne and left for dead. But the near-dead fairy—and her unrelayed message—is the least of the rulers’ worries. There are disturbing rumors surrounding an old ally, King Hugh of Hernystir, whose soon-to-be wife is said to be reviving the dark rituals of an ancient goddess of death. The immortal Norn queen Utuk’ku has awakened from her decadeslong sleep and is preparing for war against the mortals of the realm. There is a growing political unrest in the southern realms. And to make matters worse, Simon and Miriamele’s 17-year-old grandson, Morgan, heir to the throne, is a self-centered drunkard. With his kingdom falling into chaos, Simon is forced to ask himself: “They have left us a world, but have they left us enough wisdom to protect it?” A richly described, meticulously plotted, and multilayered narrative tapestry featuring a diversity of adeptly developed characters and multiple storylines, this is flawless epic fantasy. Building upon the revered history of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Williams has outdone himself by penning a 700-plus page novel that is virtually un-put-down-able. Powered by the dichotomy between breathtaking narrative scope and the emotional intensity and intimacy of individual storylines, Williams’ grand-scale storytelling mastery is on full display here.
Not just utterly readable—an instant fantasy classic.