The Dragonbone Chair: Memory, Sorrow and Thorne Series: Book One (Memory, Sorrow & Thorn) Paperback – 18 Oct 1990
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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)
The first book in the epic Memory, Sorrow and Thorn seriesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
No, what really got me through all three (four?) volumes was realising early on that this book was released in 1991, and George R.R. Martin didn't get around to releasing A Game of Thrones until 1996. I realise that one should be flattered to be copied, but the level of plagiarism exhibited by Martin borders on the obscene. Red comet heralding impending doom? Check. Hand of the King? Check. White Walkers? Sorry, White Foxes? Check. A devastating winter descending from the North? Check. The list goes on...
Don't get me wrong. I love Ice and Fire. GM has delivered on the promise of what Memory, Sorrow & Thorn could've been. With swearing. And nudity. And a unique point-of-view literary device which keeps the reader guessing what'll come next. But Tad Williams deserves immeasurable credit for creating such a grand beginning, middle and end. For me, I just wanted loads more chapters focusing on every other character.
And it's worth it just for Simon and the Wheel...
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Couldn't get past the first couple of chapters of this. Too slow to get started or my lack of patience, blame either.Published 3 hours ago by Amazon Customer
In opening The Dragon Bone Chair, you step onto the threshold of one of fantasies grandest tales - and yet, a 5 star read it is not... quite. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Adrian
I wanted to like this book, I really did. The writing style is much better than most fantasy literature and the world a lot more believable. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Neil Lennon
I am thrilled this book is finally available on kindle. I read them years ago and i have reread the whole saga 4 or 5 times, now I am re reading them on my kindle. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Red