Jump to content
Ser Scot A Ellison

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn/The Heart of what was Lost/The Last King of Osten Ard

Recommended Posts

20 hours ago, Calibandar said:

Has anyone here actually read the Witchwood Crown? Thoughts?

It is typical Williams, so slower-paced than most epic fantasy, but quite a lot happens as the story picks up. It's also comfortably superior to Shadowmarch on ever level.

If you liked MS&T you'll like this.

Edited by Werthead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very much enjoyed it. He slipped back into the Osten Ard style very easily, which I thought might be difficult for him after all this time and the diverse output he has had since last he was there, but he did it convincingly. Some interesting well realised new characters, some great old ones. Perhaps a little disappointed in the character of seoman who seems unchanged and to have had very little maturation or emotional development despite being a veteran ruler and grandfather when we meet him.

Perhaps you might say the norn’s have been too “humanised” as it were in more ways than one. They seemed to me in the original series unutterably evil and alien, but given some povs in this book and thowwl they are almost indistinguishable from the human POVs which takes from the mystique a bit. But that’s a quibble as I very much enjoyed these self same POVs.

Some great twists in there too that I didn’t see coming. Vastly superior to 95% of what calls itself fantasy today. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

Yeah, the biggest SFF disappointment of 2017 for me. . . :(

http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.ca/2017/05/the-witchwood-crown.html

I agree with Pat. Felt second-rate compared to the many novels that explore similar dynamics from the past twenty years. I will say the writing itself was pretty good, and much, much, MUCH better than The Heart that Was Lost, which I could barely finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have yet to get it to it since I had eye surgery complications in the middle of my reread of MS&T, but opinions seem to be split.

hmmm I should do my green angel tower reread soon 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24.4.2018 at 3:41 PM, Valandil said:

Perhaps you might say the norn’s have been too “humanised” as it were in more ways than one. They seemed to me in the original series unutterably evil and alien, but given some povs in this book and thowwl they are almost indistinguishable from the human POVs which takes from the mystique a bit.

Yea, this was the deal-breaker for me in "The Heart of What Was Lost", because one of the main reasons why I loved the first trilogy was the convincing alienness of the Sithi and the Norns. All too often in SF and fantasy, sapient aliens are just like humans and it always seemed like such a failure of imagination to me. Norns didn't seem unutterably evil to me there, BTW, as they had pretty understandable  motive to be hostile to the humans and the Sithi. In fact, any long-lived species that had to co-exist with humans would have had perfectly logical justification for wanting to get rid of us, since humans as a species just can't keep to any long-term agreements in the face their greed. Ahem.

But Norns in THoWWL felt like a standard  Dying Ancient Civilzation (tm) from the central casting to me. Also, if they had to subsist on lichens et al.,  how on Ard could they afford to keep human slaves?! Why would they even want to? And, and, and...

Anyway, I don't care about Williams's books being "slow", but given that I didn't really like his output since The War of The Flowers and found THoWWL disappointing to boot, I am taking a pass on the new trilogy. I have waited for return to the Osten Ard for a long time, but I guess that Tad Williams was right in his reluctance to tackle it. Even after 2 decades hiatus, he seems out of fresh ideas for this setting - the somewhat cliched conclusion of TGAT should have been a clue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 2:48 PM, Maia said:

Yea, this was the deal-breaker for me in "The Heart of What Was Lost", because one of the main reasons why I loved the first trilogy was the convincing alienness of the Sithi and the Norns. All too often in SF and fantasy, sapient aliens are just like humans and it always seemed like such a failure of imagination to me. Norns didn't seem unutterably evil to me there, BTW, as they had pretty understandable  motive to be hostile to the humans and the Sithi. In fact, any long-lived species that had to co-exist with humans would have had perfectly logical justification for wanting to get rid of us, since humans as a species just can't keep to any long-term agreements in the face their greed. Ahem.

But Norns in THoWWL felt like a standard  Dying Ancient Civilzation (tm) from the central casting to me. Also, if they had to subsist on lichens et al.,  how on Ard could they afford to keep human slaves?! Why would they even want to? And, and, and...

 

Nornish society still seems sufficiently strange (and appalling) to interest me in both the Heart of What Was Lost, and the Witchwood  Crown.  I like the Nornish chapters the best, overall.

That said, the sympathy I felt for the Norns, in THOWWL, has largely dissipated in the next book, due to their blind arrogance, the endless backstabbing among their leaders, and their cruelty to other races.  Their problems are so obviously their own damned fault.

Overall, I enjoyed the first book, and am enjoying the second (currently on page 494). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2018 at 5:18 AM, SeanF said:

Nornish society still seems sufficiently strange (and appalling) to interest me in both the Heart of What Was Lost, and the Witchwood  Crown.  I like the Nornish chapters the best, overall.

That said, the sympathy I felt for the Norns, in THOWWL, has largely dissipated in the next book, due to their blind arrogance, the endless backstabbing among their leaders, and their cruelty to other races.  Their problems are so obviously their own damned fault.

Overall, I enjoyed the first book, and am enjoying the second (currently on page 494). 

You have a copy of Empire of Grass?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/21/2018 at 9:39 AM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

You have a copy of Empire of Grass?

I'm pretty sure Sean is talking about The Witchwood Crown as the second book (The Heart of What Was Lost being first). Very few people have seen the manuscript for Empire of Grass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Jiriki said:

I'm pretty sure Sean is talking about The Witchwood Crown as the second book (The Heart of What Was Lost being first). Very few people have seen the manuscript for Empire of Grass.

That makes more sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

That makes more sense.

Yes, The Last King of Ostern Ard was the second book I was referring to.

I found it a good read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, SeanF said:

Yes, The Last King of Ostern Ard was the second book I was referring to.

I found it a good read.

Me too. It's a sequel I'd been waiting for for 30 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/14/2018 at 1:05 PM, SeanF said:

Yes, The Last King of Ostern Ard was the second book I was referring to.

I found it a good read.

The Last King of Osten Ard is the name of the trilogy of which The Witchwood Crown is the first book. The Heart of What Was Lost is not part of this series, but is a bridging book between MS&T and the new trilogy.

It can be a tad confusing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/21/2018 at 6:39 PM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

You have a copy of Empire of Grass?

I do. It's great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×