A novel of vast scope, detail, and complexity, To Green Angel Tower is the momentous tour-de-force finale of a ground-breaking series. Replete with war, deception, adventure, sorcery, and romance, To Green Angel Tower brings to a stunning and surprising conclusion Tad Williams' monumental tale of a magical conflict which fractures the very fabric of time and space, turning both humans and Sithi against those of their own blood.
As the evil minions of the undead Sithi Storm King prepare for the kingdom-shattering culmination of their dark sorceries and King Elias is drawn ever deeper into their nightmarish, spell-spun world, the loyal allies of Prince Josua desperately struggle to rally their forces at The Stone of Farewell. And with time running out, the remaining members of the now-devastated League of the Scroll have also gathered there to unravel mysteries from the forgotten past. For if the League can reclaim these age-old secrets of magic long-buried beneath the dusts of time, they may be able to reveal to Josua and his army the only means of striking down the unslayable foe.
But whether or not the League is successful in its quest, the call of battle will lead the valiant followers of Josua Lackhand across storm tossed seas brimming with bloodthirsty kilpa...through forests swarming with those both mind- and soul-lost... through ancient caverns built by legendary Dwarrows...to the haunted halls of Asu'a itself—the Sithi's greatest stronghold!
Tad Williams is a California-based fantasy superstar. His genre-creating (and genre-busting) books have sold tens of millions worldwide, in twenty-five languages. His considerable output of epic fantasy and science fiction book-series, stories of all kinds, urban fantasy novels, comics, scripts, etc., have strongly influenced a generation of writers: the ‘Otherland’ epic relaunches June 2018 as an MMO on steam.com. Tad is currently immersed in the creation of ‘The Last King of Osten Ard’, planned as a trilogy with two intermediary novels. He, his family and his animals live in the Santa Cruz mountains in a suitably strange and beautiful house. @tadwilliams @mrstad
I'm quite enjoying this trilogy. Actually read half of it just today. Which was like 400 pages. Didn't mean to, but I was stupid enough to think reading a chapter or two before beginning to work on my thesis was a great idea. It was a great idea, depending on how you look at it. On one hand, I finished the book days earlier than planned.
Now onto part 2 and then write a proper review (hopefully).
This is the first half of book 3 in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series by Tad Williams, and I definitely felt like this one started off stronger than the previous ones becuase it quickly (I say quickly in terms of Classic fantasy - which is often quite slow, so really not that quickly but quicker) gets into the action and focuses on quite a few different elements and exciting moments.
This story follows a fair few people who live in a world which is currently dominated by Winter and storms. There are all sorts of races and people in the world, and there are two major opposing sides, the King Elias, who is reported to be allied with the infamous and evil Storm King, and Josua, the King's younger brother who is working against Elias and his followers to take back the throne and free the land of tyranny.
Really, at the root of it all, this is definitely playing into the good vs. evil tropes as there are few good qualities about the King, but it has moments where certain characters do fall more into the grey-area, and I appreciate these.
Simon is a young man who used to work in the kitchens until he was forced to flee and managed to meet a troll, kill a dragon and end up on a quest for a missing sword. He's had quite the adventure for a young servant, and yet he's battled great evils and risen up far in the world by the beginning of this book.
We also have Miriamelle, Binabik, Maegwyn, Elias, and Josua, and also some of the Sithi. These characters are all vital players, and yet sometimes I do find one or other of the stories does drag a little. I think I often enjoy Simon's and Binabik's the most, but occasionally one of the others will have something pretty exciting happen too...
I really think by this point in the series you're pretty invested in the world and the goings on. There's a lot of different threads at work and this is the start of the end and the beginning of a change in the world. It constantly feels like the drama is growing and the action is going to be starting off soon (although really it only gets going in the second half (part 2) which I'm currently reading).
What I don't love about this world is that there is a distinct lack of really exciting characters who I genuinely feel for. There are times when the story gets exciting or intriguing, but my level of attachment to the characters does waver a lot and sometimes I just don't really care... :/ I think for me that's more of a personal thing with the length of the book, I find it hard to stay interested as it gets drawn out, and I think as a series there's a fair bit that could have been cut, even though a lot of it does add up in the end, it could have been more stream-lined.
Overall, I enjoyed this more than the first two as I think we get a lot more answers here and there's a fair few possible solutions to problems that have been set up. I like the direction the ending took and I am excited about Part 2 (which I am halfway through already and enjoying a lot more). I gave this one 3.5*s
What a fantastic first half of what was originally published as one full book.
I love this series. I always have and now after re-reading it again, I am confident in saying this is one of my all time favorite fantasy stories. Not just this book - but the entire trilogy (or Tetralogy now, I guess, since they have split the 3rd book into two parts).
The world building, the characters and their development, and Tad's wizard like storytelling powers pull me into the pages for hours at a time and when I look up in a daze of perfect fantasy world drunkenness all I want to do is slip right back in.
I'd love to travel through Osten Ard. It ranks right up there with Middle Earth for me as 'top fantasy places I wish I could visit.' The world is steeped in history and its people are varied and unique. The geography is a wonder to behold and Tad guides us through this world that he has crafted and I can't help but wonder in amazement at his ability to create such a place. It makes me want to wander and explore all the mysteries and secret places. It makes me forget, just for a little while, the problems and tribulations of my real life and the predicaments I so easily seem to find myself in.
I can be a real mooncalf sometimes and in that aspect, Simon has nothing on me! I suppose that's the highest praise I can give this book. Tad has given me a story that captivates me so easily, one that sucks me in and helps me disappear, if even for a little while, more readily than most other novels ever have. It is Tad Williams brand of escapism that only he can provide - and God damn do I like mainlining the good shit!
Thanks, Tad. For all of it.
Also - Tiamak FTW! Dude needs his own series if ya ask me...!
Just wrote a really long review that Goodreads didn't save and I'm not in the mood to rewrite it so I'll put the abbreviated form below...
It's a re-read for me (first read it when it came out 25 years ago)
Part 1 of the 3rd book in the series
Love it Great characters Well moving plot - but slow enough to let it build World building is incredible
In my opinion the best epic fantasy ever written - Lord of the Rings is the only thing in it's league and I think this is better than LOTR (although I do admit that without LOTR this series wouldn't have been possible)
S obzirom da je ovo tek prvi dio treće knjige neću još ništa posebno da kažem. Ali bilo je veoma dobro... mnogo historije je istraženo, mnogo filozofije o životu, vjeri i ratovanju i dosta dobrih opisa te bitke koja se ovdje desila. Ima razduženih dijelova, naravno, ali meni nisu smetali i sam sam se tome iznenadio, jer i nisam baš neka strpljiva osoba.
Konačni sud o knjizi u drugom dijelu, a sad zasad neka stoji neka 4.
Mein Fazit: Als erstes gibt es im Buch wieder eine Kurzzusammenfassung, was sich in den ersten beiden Teilen abgespielt hat, was ich sehr genial finde. Dadurch hat man einen perfekten Einstieg!
Die Spannung baut sich langsam auf und es wird immer fesselnder zu lesen je weiter man kommt. Es gibt ja viele Handlungsstränge und Charaktere, aber man behält einen sehr guten Überblick und schön langsam finden sich auch alle losen Enden zusammen, die quer durch das Land von Osten Ard führen. Es gibt auch hinten im Buch eine Übersichtskarte, wodurch man den Weg aller Figuren sehr gut verfolgen kann.
Simon, der ja schon einiges durchgemacht hat, steht endlich seine erste Schlacht bevor, aber seine naive Hoffnung auf Ruhm und Heldentaten wird sehr schnell gedämpft. Die Gedanken und Dialoge zum Krieg allgemein und der vermeintlichen (?) Sinnlosigkeit von Kämpfen wird einem hier sehr gut vor Augen geführt.
"Diese Männer, erkannte er, waren wahnsinnig, und das war das Schwierigste auf der Welt - dass die Verrückten stark und furchtlos auftraten und den Schwachen und Friedliebenden ihren Willen aufzwingen konnten." Seite 415
"Ist es richtig zu töten, wenn es dein Gebieter oder dein Heimatland oder deine Kirche von dir verlangen? Und ist es besser, zu töten, aber es nicht gern zu tun, als lieber gar nicht zu töten, dann aber vielleicht böse Dinge zu sehen, die denen geschehen, die man liebt?" Seite 491
Der Autor gibt hier keine Antwort auf diese Fragen und lässt auch durchklingen, dass es tatsächlich wohl keine endgültige Antwort darauf gibt. Jedenfalls wirft er hier Gewissenskonflikte auf, die aktuell sind und zeigt, dass es oft umso wichtiger ist, Entscheidungen schwer - und nicht leichtfertig - getroffen werden müssen.
I know To Green Angel Tower is technically one book, but since 1) our hardcover edition has by now become too rare and valuable to use as a mere reading copy, and 2) I first read it split in two, as I'm doing now, I will treat it as two separate volumes - of which I will always consider Part 1 as The One Where Everything Starts To Come Back Together.
In fact, for being set smack in the middle of a world-wrenching conflict, this one has always struck me as a particularly uplifting book. Not because dreadful events don't happen (they do, in spades); not because it is less dark than its predecessors. But whereas both The Dragonbone Chair and Stone of Farewell were either centered around traditional quest companionships or solitary struggles, this first part of TGAT has a strong focus on the development of friendships (some obvious, some less so) that is just lovely to watch. Whether it's watching the building of a tenuous society atop Sesuad'ra or following Miriamele & Co. on their Wran-based journey; whether it's the rekindling of the ancient bonds between the Sithi and the Hernystiri, or even something as simple and heart-wrenching as blind Guthwulf befriending a cat, there is a thread of solidarity in this book, a focus on finding friends in unlikely places and trying to understand the tragedies of others, that makes this so much more than your average fantasy adventure.
In many ways, of course, that's just the calm before the storm, as I'm well aware the final book will scatter many of these people far apart and bring them back to solitude and darkness, but I can't help revel in the comparative warmth of this part: in the brief victories, the moments of self-empowerment and often, humour.
One of the best parts about this series is the slow and entirely believable maturation of its main character. A lot of fantasy series have the teenage hero, but few of them bother to make it an authentic one. By contrast, Simon is never anything less than real, sometimes painfully so: either as a bumbling, cringey, completely and exasperatingly real 14-year-old idiot, or as the endearing, funny, earnest and puzzlingly sweet young man that he becomes - not with a snap of your finger or conveniently between books, but as a perfectly organic and natural result of the things he goes through. In fact, I tried, in the beginning of this book, as we see him take on some regular responsibilities and decisions in Josua's service, to pinpoint moments that were *not* believable, to find a scene or development where I could go "hmm, that is a little too mature for Simon", but there aren't any. What maturity he's gained is entirely his, and it's beautifully compatible with the insecurities and bumblingness he still retains. It's just wonderfully done.
Another thing that I love about this book (and I could bang on all day :P) is the pacing. There isn't a single scene here that doesn't serve the flow of the plot in some way, and despite the wealth of description, it somehow always strikes the right balance of enriching the world with flavour, never veering into the territory of bloated redundancy. Ditto the cast of characters, both primary and secondary - we always learn enough about them to make them come alive, but never so much that it drags the entire story off track or meanders on some unnecessary side plot. The battle that takes up a couple hundred pages is tense and action-packed, with surprises thrown in but never incomprehensible, and it's all experienced through the eyes of people we care about, people we desperately want to make it. This is how you write battles.
And a final medal goes to Geloë, the woman who will always make sure that any scene containing her and other women will always pass the Bechdel Test :D
Onwards to the last one! I'm terrified, and also manic with glee. Bring on the pain!
I can’t help but to continue to compare Tad Williams’ excellent trilogy to George R.R. Martin’s epic (and still in progress) Song of Ice and Fire (dramatized as Game of Thrones), of which I have read all published portions; and to be honest, Martin does not fare well in the comparison.
Both epic tales are long, huge canvasses with multiple threads and fates that move at varying pace across the page and in such a broad telling one can easily find oneself a little lost unless the story is very tightly and relevantly coordinated, one fate to the next.
Williams does an excellent job of this. No scene is too long or wears on you, and each scene is definitely needed to keep the entire canvass moving at its stately pace toward the ever looming resolution (some 800 pages from now).
By this the third book (which is so long it is published in two parts) the fictional universe is well established along with all the characters. Now you are simply living the various lives, all of which you find yourself caring very much for.
Again, I cannot recommend this trilogy enough. While Martin is considered “the reigning laureate of fantasy,” in my book that honor should rightly belong to Tad Williams.
A book so long and dense that, when published as a paperback, had to be split into parts because it was so big.
It's a testament to how great the characters are that such a dense, over-written book is also so good. I wish the plot moved faster, but the author has created a cast of characters and a setting that is so compelling that I enjoy and savor the longer time spent dwelling on these characters.
But it's really crazy that it took so long to resolve certain plot points from half-way through book 1 (e.g.., Miriamele's journey) that we have to treat that as a big development here towards the end of this first part of the final installment. It's hard to think of how little some characters did here -- and how stationary they were. The author does an interesting job of blending together what is clearly a plot-driven narrative with a very slow plot -- the blend seems to work only because the characters are so good.
I really liked this book... despite its length. I wish it were more concise, and I can't wait for part 2. But I will miss these characters.
Eine der besten Fantasyreihen die es gibt! Diese Reihe ist eigentlich ein Klassiker im Fantasygenre und bietet die Vorlage für George R.R. Martins ASOIAF. Nur dass Tad Williams' Frauencharaktere deutlich besser ausgearbeitet sind als in ASOIAF und generell welche der interessantesten und realistischsten im ganzen Fantasygenre. Da könnten sich die meisten Schriftsteller/innen im High-Fantasy Bereich ruhig eine Scheibe abschneiden! Ich weiß wirklich nicht warum ich in die beiden Vorgängerbände so schwer reingekommen bin. "Die Nornenkönigin" ist einfach grandiose Fantasy.
Ich habe überlegt, 2,5 Sterne zu vergeben. Allerdings habe ich das Gefühl, dass ich damit nur das Andenken an den ersten Band wahren will - und nicht das der "Nornenkönigin".
Ich starte mal mit einer kurzen Runde "Es kann doch wohl nicht alles schlecht gewesen sein?!": Der Schreibstil ist noch immer sehr flüssig und lässt sich schnell lesen. Mir gefällt die blumige Ausdrucksweise, auch wenn mir die Charaktere manchmal etwas zu gestelzt reden. Binabik ist mein Lieblingscharakter und ein paar der Nebenfiguren sind in diesem Buch wieder etwas in meinem Ansehen gestiegen. Die Entwicklung zwischen Cadrach und Miriamel mag ich, und prinzipiell auch die von Camaris. Ich bin außerdem sehr froh, dass Maegwins Werdegang nicht als normal dargestellt wird. Auch gefallen mir fast alle Szenen, an denen die Sitha oder Nornen beteiligt sind, und wenn tatsächlich Zeug passiert, ist die "Nornenkönigin" passabel zu lesen.
Allzu wenig ist es also nicht, das mir gefallen hat. Die niedrige Wertung ist durch viele Faktoren bedingt, aber fast alle lassen sich auf einen gemeinsamen Effekt beziehen: Langeweile. Die ersten 200 Seiten über passiert so gut wie gar nichts, erst ein paar Seiten später manövrieren sich die Protagonisten in Positionen, aus denen heraus sie tatsächlich etwas tun können. Viele der Beschreibungen der Szenen, in denen nicht etwas Wichtiges entschieden, besprochen oder gekämpft wird, sind außerdem sehr repetativ, sodass sich ganze Absätze bis Seiten überfliegen lassen, ohne dass man mehr als ein paar Wetterbeschreibungen und Wiederholungen der bereits etablierten Beziehungsstrukturen verpasst. Strukturell ist "Die Nornenkönigin" ebenfalls bedenklich. Die sonst übliche Drei-Akt-Struktur ist quasi nicht vorhanden, sieht man vom ersten Akt ab. Danach gibt es um etwa 50 bis 60% herum einen Klimax, und der Rest des Buches bereitet diesen nach und den abschließenden Band vor (hoffe ich zumindest). Ständig wird zwischen den Handlungssträngen hin und her gesprungen - etwas, an das ich mich sonst nicht störe, aber hier finde ich das Timing beziehungsweise die Anordnung bedenklich. Während der zentralen Schlacht, die sich über etwa drei Kapitel spannt, werden andere Kapitel eingeschoben, die absolut nichts mit dem Kampfgeschehen zu tun haben und erst in Wochen, eher Monaten für die Kämpfenden relevant werden.
Die Charaktere sind mir überwiegend noch immer unsympathisch, ein Vermächtnis des zweiten Bandes. Jiriki und Binabik sind die beiden großen Ausnahmen, und vielleicht auch Eolair. Mir gehen die Liebesgeschichten allerdings sehr auf die Nerven, da sie ausschließlich daraus bestehen, dass entweder ein Charakter gedanklich einen anderen anschmachtet und sich den Kopf darüber zerbricht, warum ihre Liebe nicht funktionieren kann, oder die beiden Turteltauben führen Konversationen, die selten etwas weiterentwickeln und meist nur den Status Quo zementieren. Es ist außerdem anzumerken, dass die Hoffnung auf moralische Grauschattierungen eine derart unbegründete war, dass ich moch wohl selbst eine Närrin nennen muss, sie jemals gehegt zu haben. Alle Antagonisten sind durch und durch böse, alle Protagonisten durch und durch gut - selbst ihre Charakterfehler machen da nicht mehr viel her. Zwei Beispiele dazu: Aspitis, einer der Antagonisten - Vorsicht, hier gibt es einen kleineren Spoiler - ist bereits vorläufig besiegt, im Grunde kampfunfähig, muss aber trotzdem nochmal Miriamel bedrohen und sein "Du bist mein Eigentum"-Gerede an ihr verschwenden, obwohl bereits klar ist, dass er jetzt gerade kaum bis keine Macht über sie hat und er genauso gut bewusstlos herumliegen könnte. Josua beginnt mal wieder, sich mit Vara zu streiten, und wirft ein Mädchen, das ihr bei Näharbeiten geholfen hat, dafür aus dem Zelt hinaus. Natürlich muss er ihr sofort hinterherrennen und sagen, in welches Zelt sie gehen kann, um nicht zu frieren - wohlgemerkt, es ist davon auszugehen, dass sie sehr wohl ein eigenes Zelt hat oder sich eins mit jemandem teilt, aber Josua muss als sich um sein Volk sorgender Protagonist rüberkommen, weil das noch nicht sein dominanter Charakterzug ist.
Auch der Weltenbau ist nicht ganz auf der Höhe, aber das Bisschen an neuer Information, das vorhanden ist, ist nach wie vor gut. Die Rolle der Ghants, die Geschichte des Bundes der Schriftrolle, ein paar mehr Einblicke in Kultur und Leben der Sitha haben ein wenig den Hauch von dem, was den ersten Teil so brillant gemacht hat. Und da ich gerade an Titel denken muss: Das Buch hier heißt zwar "Die Nornenkönigin", es geht aber so gut wie nicht um die Nornenkönigin. Jeremias hat mehr Auftritte und Morgenes Buch wird mehr besprochen als sie, auch wenn die drei oder vier Szenen aus ihrer Perspektive erfrischend waren.
Zusammenfassend habe ich keine Ahnung, warum ich mir den vierten Band auch noch antun werde, außer dass ich auf das Middle Book Syndrome hoffe. Ich hoffe nur, die kommenden 900 Seiten sind de facto mit einer fortschreitenden Handlung ausgefüllt, denn wenn wieder gefühlt zwei Drittel (effektiv eher 40%) des Buches nichts passiert, werden das sehr lange 900 Seiten werden.
"Good stories will tell you that facing the lie is the worst terror of all, and there is no talisman or magic sword that is half so potent a weapon as truth." ~
To Green Angel Tower: Siege is the first half of book 3 in the 'Memory, Sorrow and Thorn' epic fantasy series. I found this entry to be a mixed bag. It should go without saying, BUT beware of spoilers for the first couple of books.
Some elements of TGAT:Storm were clearly improved upon from the first two books. The various threads of the story start to come together, as the mysteries that our characters have been working on start to unravel. But it's also apparent to me that a couple of other things had to be somewhat compromised or, at least, put on the backburner to be able to make that happen.
Our protagonist, Simon, is stationary for the majority of this book. That isn't to say that nothing happens within his alloted chapters, but drawing some of the focus away from him allows us to spend more time with the secondary and tertiary characters, who will no doubt have big roles to play as this series comes toward it's climax. Simon is also coming of age. During the first half of this book he is given more responsibilities and starts to takes things a lot more seriously, which was great. He was active and growing as a character. But of course that couldn't be all. His coming of age also heralds the obligatory insertion of not-so-potential love interests, around which the second half of his chapters in this book are focused. I say "not-so-potential" because I am sure we all know who he is bound to end up with. Talking of...
Princess Miriamele's adventure in particular stood out to me during this entry. Her and Cadrach are held prisoner aboard the ship of the foul Count Aspitis, and are later saved and finally found by Duke Isgrimnur, the marshman Tiamak, and the now fabled legendary swordsman, Sir Camaris, who for some reason appears to have lost his wits. They cover immense distances, see some incredible places and come against a host of really interesting and well written obstacles. This selection of characters all bounce off each other well and have to rely on the skills and knowledge of their party to get them through the challenges they face. These chapters REALLY had me gripped.
~ "Why is it that men think they are brave and women are weak? Women see more blood and pain than men ever do, unless men are fighting - and that is foolish blood." ~
The portions of the book following Princess Maegwin and Count Eolair felt a bit weak to me. I think because we weren't introduced to the characters as early on as the rest, I couldn't help feel my attention try to wander. Maegwin spends a lot of time inside her own head and sends Count Eolair away early on - thus, Eolair doesn't do much of anything in this book. Both him and we, the readers, miss out on witnessing the victory of his people at the end of the book. I was pretty disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing him active in some capacity. Hopefully this will be rectified in part 2.
Rachel "the Dragon" and Earl Guthwulf are both still at the Hayholt, which is currently held and occupied by High King Elias and the dangerous priest Pryrates. These chapters take up the least of the book, but in my opinion are some of the best. Rachel is hiding within the secrets tunnels and passageways of the old castle, eavesdropping and scavenging for supplies. Her character is in an almost permanent state of retrospective-ness and it feels very real. In that same situation I'd be thinking about all the things I could have done differently too. Guthwulf is rendered blind by Pryrates and becomes infatuated with the High King's magical sword; Sorrow. He is left to stumble in the dark around the seemingly ever changing corridors and antechambers of the Hayholt. A POV without the V. It's very unique and made me realise that I'd never read anything from the perspective of somebody with no vision. I thought it was done marvellously.
~ "A man who will not listen carefully to advice honestly given is a fool. Of course, a man who blindly takes any advice he receives is a bigger fool." ~
3.5 stars (rounded down)
Briefly put; I liked and enjoyed most of the story taking place within this book. Maybe not as much as the first two (hence the rounding down), but it certainly didn't take away from the overarching plot or my investment therein. I am excited to see what transpires, and how the series gets wrapped up, in the next part; To Green Angel Tower: Storm.
Thank you for reading my review! I'll be starting the next book in this series later on today, so keep your eyes peeled for my review in the next couple of weeks if you're interested.
In the meantime I've almost finished One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence AND William Gibson's award-winning Neuromancer, the reading of which has been long overdue for me.
What to say? I guess I’ll give final thoughts whenever I finish part II but it keeps getting better and better. Slow in some sections but it’s Fantasy and it’s Tad so I’m use to it by now. Some questions have been answered but more questions keep getting stacked on more questions. Onward and upwards, Asu’a is calling.
(Review for both parts) In the last book of the trilogy Tad William gets us closer to the conclusion of the war, with the story becoming more epic and with the protagonists getting into even greater adventures than before.
Even though this book might be a little too big (a total of 1600 pages in the UK edition), I felt that the story flowed really well, and though it could definitely have been a little bit smaller it really isn't something that bother me in the end as Williams has made a very enjoyable story. In the first part the story begins with Miriamele and Cadrach having their own little adventure, as it continues from Stone of Farewell, while the rest of the characters start slowly to set their plans for the war that threatens them all. But as Williams gets us closer to the second part, everything becomes greater with more battles and even more betrayals, and with Simon and Binabik beginning, once more, their own great adventures.
One thing that I really liked again in Williams' writing is that, even though this is the last book in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy, he still continues to evolve the world-building, which surprised me a bit as he had already shown too much in the previous two books. However, I must say, he handles the story really well, and unfolding beautiful the mysteries behind their enemies plans. The ending, on the other hand, and though it has some good but predictable moments, it was very nicely done too, bringing a very impressing and satisfying conclusion to the series.
Overall, although the book, and the trilogy in general, is quite huge Williams closes this journey with an epic conclusion, evolving beautifully the story and the characters, and making a series that is definitely worth the attention of fantasy fans who enjoy a slow-paced, but well crafted traditional adventure.
The story shifts into a new gear with To Green Angel Tower: Seige the third of four books in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series. The heroes of the tale begin to do better than just flounder in response to the evil of the Storm King that upsets the balance of nature so greatly winter has come to all the land - Game of Thrones style "Winter is coming" (remember this series inspired George RR Martin to write his series). Reading the book cover text, you would be forgiven for thinking this is the climax of the story. No, the heroes have merely gathered after fleeing an earlier defeat, and now they find they are under siege from an army sympathetic to King Elias' cause (and Elias is under the Storm King's influence). Immersive and slow paced as always, Tad continues to impress with how well he sinks you into his world while you wish the plot would move faster. The book approaches the close with a brilliant battle at The Stone of Farewell with tragic and heroic events that haunt my memory to this day. The final events of the book see Princess Miriamele leave the relative safety of her uncle's forces and head of into the unknown in a desperate attempt to reunite with her father King Elias who has been corrupted by the Storm King. She heads into the eye of the storm, and our intrepid and naive hero, Simon, must follow for he has sworn as a knight to protect her. Compelling stuff that still needs a good amount of determination to continue reading.
A falta de terminar el viaje con el último libro, momento en el que haré una reseña en profundidad, reitero la enorme fascinación que Añoranzas y Pesares me despierta como lector de género fantástico. Es la tercera vez que leo esta saga (la primera vez fue a principios de los 90, nada más publicarse en España, y la segunda a finales de esa década), y confío en dejar pasar otros tantos años para volver a leerla y disfrutar tanto de una de las obras de fantasía más influyentes que se han escrito, a la par que injustamente tratada por el mercado editorial español. En serio, que a día de hoy Añoranzas y Pesares, y la trilogía con la que Tad Williams ha continuado la historia –The Last King of Osten Ard– no tenga un editor en España es tan vergonzoso como inexplicable. De chiste.
Ich weiß, dass diese Reihe von Tad Williams viele Fans hat, aber ich gehöre nicht wirklich dazu. Ja, der dritte Band hat mir besser gefallen als die beiden ersten, aber von Begeisterung bin ich noch weit entfernt. Ich verstehe, dass diese Reihe für klassische Fantasy von großer Bedeutung ist und hätte ich sie früher in meinem Leben gelesen, hätte sie mir vermutlich besser gefallen.
Positiv zu erwähnen ist sicherlich Tad Williams' wundervolle Sprache. Seine Beschreibungen machen wirklich Freude. Auch ist dieser Band spannender und actiongeladener als die Vorgänger. Ich hatte nicht mehr das Gefühl, ausschließlich Figuren dabei zuzusehen, wie sie in Position geschoben wurden. Leider hatte das Buch für mich auch deutliche Längen, aber insgesamt war der Plot unterhaltsam.
Die Welt selbst ist halt das typische 0815-Mittelaltersetting. Zum Zeitpunkt des Erscheinens war dies vermutlich deutlich ungewöhnlicher, mittlerweile ermüdet mich das leider eher. Auch bin ich einfach kein Freund von Prophezeiungen.
Der größte Minuspunkt sind für mich jedoch die Figuren. Zwar wünsche ich mir nun nicht mehr aktiv, dass Simon von einer Klippe in den Tod stürzt, aber wirklich etwas abgewinnen kann ich ihm auch nicht. Insgesamt ist mir die Aufteilung zu sehr schwarz-weiß. Die guten sind immer gut und müssen sie mal etwas Schlimmes tun, zerfleischen sie sich quasi selbst vor Schuld und Scham. Die Bösen sind ausschließlich böse. Man wundert sich, dass es keine Szene gibt, in der Pryrates oder Skali bei Zähneputzen ein paar Säuglinge opfert oder so. Mir fehlen die Zwischentöne. Auch wundert es mich, wie derartig verdorbene Menschen an die Macht gelangen konnten, in einer Welt, die das Gute so abgöttisch verehrt. Alle wissen, dass das was die Bösen machen böse ist, aber irgendwie gibt es lange Zeit auch überhaupt keinen Widerstand. Das passt für mich nicht zusammen.
Ich werde den letzten Band noch lesen, da ich jetzt schon so weit gekommen bin, aber ich erwarte nichts Großartiges.
The great battle is soon approaching and warfare is, as beloved Morgenes once said: “… a kind of hell on earth that impatient mankind had arranged so it would not have to wait for the afterlife.” All the elements are here or slowly coming together. Williams does a great job describing battle scenes as events unfold. We witness all the interactions between good and evil sides. It’s wonderful to see how Simon has matured, but still has youthful arrogance at times. I so enjoy reading the parts about the Sithi: “As the wild company thundered past, the very quality of the moonlight seemed to change. The air became pale and crystalline; objects seemed to glitter at the edges, as in diamond. The Sithi rolled past like a great ocean wave capped with gleaming spear-points. Their faces were hard and fierce and beautiful as the faces of hunting hawks, and their hair streamed in the wind of their passage. The immortals’ steeds seemed to race more swiftly than any horses could run, but they moved I. A way that seemed fit only for dreams, pace smooth as melting honey, hooves carving the darkness into pale streaks of fire.” His language is just glorious. I still adore Simon and Binabik’s friendship. Also Camaris and Isgrimnur have grown on me too. The final book should be an epic battle of an ending.
I will reserve judgment til the end of part 2, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book! there were countless wonderful little details and moments, characterizations and revelations and life lessons (sounds cliché but beautifully handled by Williams). There were a few spots I thought he took some unfortunate shortcuts in narration when he is otherwise a very patient and careful storyteller, both with modernisms as well as the diction choices themselves.
Eindelijk heb ik deze dikkerd uit. Het schoot allemaal niet zo op hoewel het best een goed boek is. Maar het is een soort van tussenboek. Veel voorbereidingen voor de grote finale in het volgende boek. Alle hoofdpersonen komen zo langzamerhand bij elkaar vanuit alle hoeken van de wereld waarin dit boek zich afspeelt. Een 7, maar hier een 8 omdat het wel meer waard is dan een .
KUMSKI BOOK CLUB 2018 - 7 Ne sviđa mi se onoliko koliko mi se svidio drugi dio. Prva polovica mi je bila odlična, pratili smo različite priče i svaka je bila zanimljiva i napeta. Posebno su mi bile zanimljive Miriameline dogodovštine. I njeni suputnici su mi bili jako zanimljivi - Isgrimnur, Cadrach i Camaris. A put kroz Wran je bio ispunjen s baš puno napetih situacije. Za to vrijeme je Simon odrastao, čeličio se kroz rat. Bila mi je zanimljiva i priča Eolaira i Maegwin. Simpa su mi oboje i nekako se nadam da će do kraja serijala završiti zajedno. Kao i Simon i Miriamele. Međutim nekako na polovini knjige, kad su se svi susreli na Sesuadri tj. kad se Eolair vratio u Taig i naišao na Maegwin poludjelu nekako mi je knjiga postala dosadnija, dio radnje mi je nekako suvišan. Zbog toga ocjena 4. Što se tiče negativaca, Pryrates mi je super negativac i baš me zanima kako će završiti i što će na kraju biti s Elijom. Norni s druge strane su mi besmisleni. Kraljica stara 500 godina pa joj se ne da više živjeti, al ne bi sama umrla nego ajmo počiniti genocid čisto da budem malo zlobna i njen sin koji postoji, al ne postoji, su mi apstraktni i dijelovi u kojima se piše o njima su mi bili dosadni. Naravno, zanima me što će biti sa svima do kraja, ali serijal Sjenovita međa mi je bio puno puno bolji i zanimljiviji od ovog.
A Quick Review of To Green Angel Tower Part 1 by Tad Williams
Rating: Five Stars
Date Published: 1993
Series: Memory, Sorrow, Thorn #3
General: To Green Angel Tower Part 1 is the first part of the last book of the Memory, Sorrow, Thorn trilogy. Originally, it was split into two books for printing reasons, but I have seen books where you can get both parts in one book. (Tad Williams has a hard time writing trilogies without making them four books long.)
Plot: The story line, which was kind of slow in the first two books, starts to pick up quick a bit in this book.
Characters: The main character gets a little less annoying and some of the side plots and character begin to come full circle.
Who should read this book: Fans of Tad Williams, fantasy fans
Who shouldn't read this book: People who hate fantasy, People who are looking for a longer, more in-depth series
Conclusion: This is an excellent series, and Part One is a very good part of the story. However, Part Two actually blows the first half of the book out of the water. Great series. Oh, and the cover art is awesome!
By the time we get to book three of the trilogy, the page count is really adding up. But actually, the books don't feel long to me. They make regular books feels rushed and shallow. The overall pacing is slower, yes, but that means Williams can pack in more realistic-feeling character development, more feelings, more description, more plot development. You get fast fight scenes but also plenty of time for reflection, worries, confusion, mourning, even boredom. It feels so real. And more descriptions -- oh, what lovely descriptions of these exotic, magical settings and scenes. Sometimes you have to be in the mood because they really do slow down the pace. But clearly he's picturing these magical places and events like a movie scene in his mind, and yeah, those are some cool special effects he's describing.
By book 3, we've expanded to even more POV characters, which works, because he gives each one enough time to develop. I like that he's not scared of killing off his characters when it makes sense, even the POV ones, as it adds to the tensions (still, I'm glad he's not going full-bore "Game of Thrones" about it). Like many classic fantasy adventures, it's male-heavy in its characters. Once you start with a patriarchal society where only men can be kings and princes and soldiers, and then you center the story on a war between rulers -- you're pretty much stuck with a lot of male characters. But then, he chose to write that story, so that's not much of an excuse. Williams does include several female characters, including one who becomes a main POV character and a few who are given as much attention as other secondary characters. I'm glad to see them, although it feels a bit dated that most of the women's primary roles are love interest or wise woman.
Overall, still loving this series. I finished this one and immediately picked up the next, despite the late hour. As with the first two: a strong recommendation for anyone who enjoys epic fantasy adventure.