Tag Archives: osten ard

Review: Empire of Grass

Empire of Grass

by Tad Williams

Reviewed by JMD Reid

When we last left off, Prince Morgan, the grandson of Simon and Miramele, is fleeing into Aldheorte Forest fleeing the attack at his camp. At the Hayholt, Simon is struggling to hold the High Ward together as their deadly enemies, the fey-like Norns, are planning to attack and resume the war that ended thirty years ago. His wife, Queen Miramele, sells into the viper’s nest of Nabban to bring peace to two feuding power. In the grasslands, Unvar declares himself the Shan of Shan of the nomadic Thrithings and promises to drive back the foreigners encroaching on their grassland.

And behind much of this misfortune, Simon’s trusted adviser, Parcelleus, plots Simon and Miramele’s deaths and the end of their rule.

The characters are thrust into new danger. Everything is in upheaval. The past of the last three decades is crumbling. Treachery and betrayal are undoing everything Simon and Miramele had achieved in their youths while the Queen of the Norns has reawakened after the wounds she took at the end of the war. Competing interests clash and clatter. Events are spiraling out of everyone’s control.

Chaos threatens to destroy all.

It’s a great followup to the Witchwood Crown. It’s full of twists and turns, misfortune and misunderstanding sparking new conflicts, disrupting plans on both sides. The plot is engaging, keeping you reading to find if Simon and Miramele can hold their life’s work together and protect their grandchildren.

Will Prince Morgan survive being lost in the forest? Will Parcelleus treachery lead to Miramele’s death in the chaos of Nabban? What will happen to Count Eolair as he surrenders to the men who attacked and butchered his men? The Norn are descending on the world of men while they’re torn apart by petty conflicts.

Williams prose and story structure are engaging. The cast of characters is engaging, especially the trolls. They again are a favorite of mine. His plot has more pieces going than the original series, but he’s keeping it going so far.

Things have never seen bleaker. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

You can buy Empire of Grass from Amazon!

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Review: The Witchwood Crown

The Witchwood Crown

by Tad Williams

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Once again, Tad Williams brings us back into Osten Ard. Over three decades have passed since the climatic battle at Green Angel Tower and the defeat of the Storm King. King Simon and Queen Miriamele have ruled the High King’s Ward to the best of their abilities. In their fifties now, they face the greatest challenge to their rule as slowly, bit by bit, a new darkness creeps in, subtle, stealing away their allies, and making new enemies beneath their very noses.

Their heir and grandson, Prince Morgan, would rather drink in taverns and bed whatever accommodating girl he can than learn statescraft. Unable to please his grandparents and haunted by memories of his own dead father, he will have to find himself if he has any chance of facing the growing darkness that seeks to engulf Osten Ard once again.

Because Uttuku, Queen of the Norns, has emerged from her decades long coma. And she hasn’t forgotten her hatred of mortals.

The Witchwood Crown is a dense story, with dozens of characters spanning across the world. From familiar characters grown old like Simon and Miriamele, to new characters, Tad Williams breathes new life into his world, building on the fallout of the last trilogy to set the stage for this new one. From politics to action, he weaves it all together wonderfully.

And it is both a treat and a sadness to revisit the world, seeing our characters grown older, some who’ve died over the years, or vanished without a trace. Other times it’s a wonderful reunion, like meeting old friends you haven’t seen in so long, catching up with them, seeing how they’ve changed in someways and how they’ve stayed the same in others. If you’re a fan of Tad Williams work, then you have to read this series.

And if you’ve never read any one of his books, he provides enough background information for you to understand this series and enjoy it. His prose flows, his characters are entertaining, and the tension that courses through the books, simmering in the background, keeps you going as it builds and builds towards its finish!

You can buy The Witchwood Crown from Amazon!

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Review: The Heart of What Was Lost

The Heart of What Was Lost

by Tad Williams

Reviewed by JMD Reid

The Storm King has fallen. The Norns have been defeated. And now Duke Isgrimnur, under the commands of the newly crowned King Seomon and Queen Miramele, seeks to end the threat of the dark and immortal race of fairies once and for all. After the misery they and their Queen caused to Osten Ard in the events of the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy. With them travels two Predurinese mercenaries, men far from home and thrust back into another war.

Viyeki is a Norn builder, fleeing north with the remnant of his people who survived the battle at the Hayholt. Hunted by Duke Isgrimnur’s army, seeing little hope for survival, they prepare to defend their people’s mountain fastness against the mortals. But the Norns stand at a crossroads: do they die in a hopeless standa against the mortals, or do they find a way to survive?

And will the mortals even let them?

The fate of an immortal race hangs in the balance as they pay the price for the crimes of their Queen. The Heart of What Was Lost is a fascinating story, diving into the culture of the “evil” race from the original trilogy, showing their character, the arrogance that has led to their disdain of humans, the scores of vengeance they remember inflicted upon them by men long dead, and their obsession with the past. With what was lost.

Like most fantasy series, Tad Williams ended his with the Norns defeated and assumed by the readers to be finished. But by returning to them, he has a chance of showing us a side to his enemies, to give them a chance to grow and change and learn from their mistakes. Or to cling to the past and fall into extinction.

Fans of Williams work, especially his Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, need to read this book. I have a feeling it sets up his new sequel series just debuting wonderfully. It is a great Fantasy read about the clash of cultures and the weariness of war upon the soul.

You can buy The Heart of What Was Lost from Amazon!

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