As the Storm King’s minions gain power, the forces opposed to his evil influence struggle to fulfill an ancient prophecy–that may, in fact, be their ultimate downfall.
For anyone tempted to pick up the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, let me save you a lot of heartbreak. Tad Williams includes very thorough summaries of the story so far at the beginning of each book. The first two books, The Dragonbone Chair and Stone of Farewell, are really, really boring. They’re slowly paced and contain some poor writing that really gets in the way of the development of the world and the progression of the story. Additionally, the protagonist, Simon, is one of the most annoying protagonists I’ve ever encountered. All he does is act like a baby, then whine in italicized internal monologues about how he wonders if he’ll ever grow up.
To Green Angel Tower, the third book in the trilogy (read about part 1 here), is actually well worth reading, and I’m pleased to say on completion of the second massive volume that it was well worth the time it took to plow through. I even found myself a little teary-eyed at one particular reunion at the end, which I never would’ve expected while reading the first two books. Simon does manage to grow up, and that’s a tremendous relief.
There are scenes of dark horror in To Green Angel Tower that I simply didn’t think Williams was capable of that will stand as some of the most memorable scenes I’ve encountered in fantasy literature. I felt like the climactic scenes of the book were original, not cobbled from Tolkien et al, and had a thematic resonance that tied the entire epic together.
I feel like I’ve never been so glad to finish a series of books in my life. I’m hanging on to them, but I’m not really sure that I’ll reread them myself. I think they’re the kind of story you can best appreciate when you’re a teenager, so I might pass them along to a friend’s son who likes epic fantasy.