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The Dragonbone Chair: Memory, Sorrow and Thorne Series: Book One (Memory, Sorrow & Thorn) [Paperback]

Tad Williams
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 7.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Jun 2009 Memory, Sorrow & Thorn
A thrilling, heartstopping quest that blends the machinations of a king gone mad with the politics of empire, breathtaking suspense with the pity of war, a brilliantly conceived world of ancient days with the joys - and terrors - of magic ...

Frequently Bought Together

The Dragonbone Chair: Memory, Sorrow and Thorne Series: Book One (Memory, Sorrow & Thorn) + Stone Of Farewell: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Series: Book Two (Memory, Sorrow & Thorn) + Siege: Memory, Sorrow and Thorne Series: Book Three (Memory, Sorrow & Thorn)
Price For All Three: 23.77

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Product details

  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Reprint edition (4 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841498394
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841498393
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Former singer, shoe-seller and radio show host, Tad Williams is now a full-time writer. His Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series established him as one of the most internationally popular fantasy authors of recent years.

Product Description


I was rarely held so captive by a novel...Williams is our Tolkien (Fear)

Epic fantasy you can get lost in for days, not just hours (Locus)

Tad Williams proves himself as adept at writing science fiction as he is at writing fantasy. Best of all, however, are Williams's well-drawn sympathetic characters . . . (Publishers Weekly)

Williams must be considered one of the most accomplished writers in contemporary fantasy... (Xignals)

Book Description

The first book in the epic Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, reissued with a stunning new cover.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Start of an Epic 21 Aug 2005
Though the paperback weighs in at 766 pages of text I wasn't bored or plodding through the story at all--rather I was racing towards the end, hoping that it would never come. Williams has crafted a fine tale set in a believable world. Follow the adventures of Simon (originally Seoman) the castle scullion. He lives in the Hayholt, capital castle for King John the Presbyter, High King of Osten Ard. Unfortunately King John is dying and his son Elias will inhereit the throne--however, not all is well with Elias and Pryrates, his mysterious counselor. Simon is thrust unwillingly into these tumultuous times and has to make the best of it.
Simon is definately the main character of the volume, yet as the story progresses you are introduced to a host of other characters and occasionally you'll see chapters and scenes from their perspective. Really everything weaves together in a tale that holds the imagination and attention while leaving you in anticipation of the next volume. I was also appreciative that the story stayed believable without falling into too many "fantasy cliches," and because of its length the development could go slowly (but not too slowly)--that is to say many things on the back cover weren't revealed for several hundred pages, :-). Don't expect to see characters who've never fought before suddenly wield a sword like an expert and become the kingdom's champion--Williams is more realistic than that, ;-).
The different cultures are well thoughtout, and the history of the world is anything but stagnant or "stuck in the Middle Ages." Rather there is a real sense of history and the rise and fall of nations. Don't expect to find a "typical fantasy" with humans, elves, and dwarves.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An effort, but worth it! 13 Aug 2009
Not the most encouraging title for a review, perhaps, but the most apt I can think of. I'll explain shortly.

The plot has been well summarised by others here, so I won't waste your time repeating it, except to say that this is pretty much your standard tale of reluctant young hero taking on a dangerous mission for the good of the world. If that sounds formulaic, that's because it is, but fortunately this story is in the hands of Tad Williams, a writer who could write about tax law and come up with something enjoyable to read.

The length and pacing of the book have presented problems for some, here and on the American Amazon. Unlike the one-star "i red one page and got board" (sic) reviews given by some to bestselling thrillers, it's fair to assume that most people who take on a 700-page fantasy novel are serious readers and so their opinions are worth listening to. Length and slow pacing also figure in the comments by readers who clearly loved the book, so it is obviously an issue which should be drawn to the attention of the potential reader.

I found the book slow, maddeningly so, at times in the early stages. There were even times when I wondered whether to carry on. I am very glad that I did. As I read on, I found myself warming to the characters, the story, the fantasy world Williams creates and even the slow-paced style. The pace does speed up at the end, or perhaps it appeared to as I got more involved, and when I reached the end I felt as if I'd lived through a moving, epic and above all worthwhile experience. It was a bit like how I feel at the end of a performance of Wagner's Ring - those who appreciate that wonderful work will know what I mean.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book begins the quartet of "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn," and is one of the better fantasy series currently available for reading. Well written, with a developed mythos, good characterization, and solid plotting, this series must stand as one of the better, if not among the best, of the fantasy series availble for reading. Much of the story and world are freshly rendered, and rarely does the reader encounter the overly familiar or implausible contrivances that plague so much of contemporary fantasy fiction. Nor are the characterizations idealized or juvenile. While this series does not rise, for me, to the imaginary involvement of works such as "Lord of the Rings," the first three "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant," Bradley's "Mists of Avalon," Kay's work since "Fianovar," and Martin's or Jordan's (despite its flaws) ongoing series, nonetheless, I cannot recommend this quartet highly enough.
One note of caution: Action addicts may have difficulty with the "Stone of Farewell" as the first 150 pages are devoted to establishing background and character development of the main protagonist, but I believe if they perservere, only the true adrenelin junkie will feel short-changed. And for you, there is always Eddings or Brooks or comics.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traditional fantasy 6 Jun 2007
The Dragonbone Chair kicks off the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (MSaT) trilogy - which is four books in paperback. The book starts slowly with the focus on the hero, the obligatory orphan boy, Simon. This makes a welcome change from recent fantasy novels I've read that pommel you into submission with action scenes from the first page. Halfway into the book the story gets going and branches out with three or four narrative strands on the go - a structure that is maintained until the end of the series.

The writing style is very similar to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time (WoT) Series - which is to say, a comfort read and very easy to lose yourself in the author's world. It also has in common, frequent access to the hero's thoughts for the added feeling of actually being there. So if you read and enjoyed the first four WoT books you will enjoy the MSaT series. And of course you have the added bonus of knowing there is an ending!

This is my favourite type of fantasy book. A low level of technology, high level of magic. Tolkienesque I suppose. Derivative? - Yes. But so what. MSaT is easily up there with Magician, Sword of Shannara, and Lord of the Rings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tad Williams
Excellent buy. Great story. I'm on the second time of reading. It'slike meetimg old friends. A must buy for any fantasy ready.
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Peter J. Carney
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
This is a great book. Proper old school fantasy series. My copy was used but quality was excellent. Dirt cheap too.
Published 1 month ago by Ali Raheem
5.0 out of 5 stars Tad Williams
Book arrived on time and as described.
Memory, Sorrow and Thorne series are a great, beautifully written series. Read more
Published 9 months ago by zzz
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I don't want to put this book down at all, I fight sleep so that I can continue to read it. I have read Tad Williams ShadowMarch series 4 times and loved that. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Andix
3.0 out of 5 stars Just another fantasy epic?? Well...
not really. I mean, Tad Williams' 3/4 volume saga is truly engaging, especially once you get to the final volume. Read more
Published 14 months ago by benjamiser
3.0 out of 5 stars Average
I honestly have to say I am very gutted not to give this book more stars. Having just finished the excellent Red Knight, I was looking for another long and exciting fantasy book to... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lucky13
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
I recommend this book for anyone who likes adventure books. It starts off quite slow, but gets more exciting towards the end.
Published 16 months ago by Freya Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read. BETTER than Game of Thrones.
I first read this when it was originally published over 20 years ago. I have just re-read it now. I loved it then & time has not diminished that. Read more
Published 16 months ago by CaroleHarry
3.0 out of 5 stars Dies with a fizz
I started this series with high hopes, and it delivers, if a little slowly throughout the first book, you can see the chronicle of the classic kitchen boy turned adventurer. Read more
Published 17 months ago by L. J. Dowell-phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Epic Series After Lord of the Rings That Did Not Disappoint...
I first read these books in about 1993. I still re-read them. After reading Lord of the Rings in '86, I was recommended many fantasy novels and read anything I could find; this... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Spiced Wine
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