Sunday, January 8, 2012

review: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy (books)

if anyone can claim being the "tolkien" of the modern age - George R. R. Martin has nothing on Tad Williams. Not only was he first, but he's not nearly as dark as Martin and Tolkien's genre was not so black. Williams is just as prolific as Tolkien without being stupidly prolific with songs, poems, and awkward ending wars.

I first tried to read this series in 8th grade as a dare from my friends to read the thickest book we could find in our school library. i completely failed my first attempt.

the second however, was successful. but it was years in between the attempts - mainly because the first hundred or so pages are deadly dull. i know, not a ringing endorsement. BUT if you can solider past 100 or so pages of our main character "mooning" about, and the back story evolving usually involving the main character being somewhere he shouldn't be and over hearing things he doesn't understand, the story gets awesome.

There are technically four books to this trilogy.... i know... not quite what you're expecting but trust me it makes sense. Like HP movie #7 being split into 2 parts, book three of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is also split into 2 parts (but only for the paperback): part 1 - Siege, part 2 - Storm. So, ideally 3 books but technically 4.

The story begins with the sickening and death of the King of Osten Ard who gained his throne by slaying a dragon to unite the lands (not as... cliche as it sounds but can't really tell you anything as it is plot.... sorry!) With his death the united kingdoms start to argue among themselves, especially with two sons to possibly succeed him.

the story revolves around Simon, your basic a kitchen boy. because he is spacey and "moons" around, he gets apprenticed to Dr. Morgenes your basic druid/wizard who is a member of a secret society protecting a prophecy that will ensure the world's survival should darkness once again threaten it. see where i'm going here? anyways - will a power vacuum things become dicey and long story short, Simon ends up escaping from the castle with some of Dr. Morgenes secrets with him.

Through the series you can expect variations of dwarves, elves, magic, portals into lost realms, politics, a kingdom in flight, evil and sword fights. I give Tad Williams "Memory, Sorrow & Thorn" 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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