To Green Angel Tower (Part 1) by Tad Williams

War looms ever closer as the dreaded Storm King’s forces grow in power.

To Green Angel Tower (Part 1) is the continuation of Tad Williams’s Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series. Parts 1 and 2 clock in at 800 pages apiece, but I don’t know why they’re one book split into two, unless it’s because trilogies are cool and four-book series aren’t.

Anyway, to my great surprise and pleasure this installment finally delivered on the page-turning I’d been promised in zealous reader reviews. The passages featuring Miramele’s sea passage and later encounter with the nightmarish ghants were harrowing and gripping, and that seemed to elevate the rest of the scenes. Additionally, Williams seemed to have gotten a grip on his overactive adverbs (she cheers gleefully).

It’s hard to discuss the intricacies of the plot after getting this deep into the story. Basically, we’re at the “preparing for war” stage, with all of the players assembling themselves for the final, massive confrontation. Since this isn’t groundbreaking epic fantasy (like George RR Martin, for example), it’s clear that the trilogy isn’t going to end without a standoff that’s been telegraphed since page 1, it’s up to Williams to make the trip as enjoyable as possible. I’m pleased to say that he succeeds more than he fails, and I’m actually excited to see how it all turns out–not how I felt at the end of books 1 and 2.

My main complaint to date has been that Simon is a most annoying protagonist, irritatingly passive and almost simpleminded in his naivete. Well, I did mention that Williams wasn’t totally successful. I did adjust my expectations in this book and try to keep in mind that this book seems to be aiming for a younger audience, and I think I’ll be passing the whole series on to a 12-year-old friend who loves to read and loves epic fantasy. I think he’ll really enjoy it, probably even more than me.

3 thoughts on “To Green Angel Tower (Part 1) by Tad Williams”

  1. A friend sent me both volumes as a prize in a sweepstakes last year, but not only have I not read them yet (yep, I’m THAT far behind), but I don’t know a thing about them! Sounds like I’m going to like them.

  2. There are 2 books that come previously, but you could probably skip books 1 & 2 & just read Williams’s synopsis at the front. The series doesn’t pick up until To Green Angel Tower.

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