Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

Discussion in 'Tad Williams' started by Neon, Dec 27, 2004.

  1.  
    Neon

    Neon Brighter than a lightbulb

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    I've never read any of Tad Williams, but have read good reviews about him. I'm considering the purchase of the Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series .... is this a good one to read? Also, are there any books/series that I should read first as a prelude to this series?
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    These books are very long with multiple plotlines, and you have to go through zillions of pages before anything is resolved. In other words, Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn is not for the impatient reader.

    Nevertheless, they are very good books with many, many interesting characters, superior world building, and plenty of adventure and plot twists. Plus, if you enjoy seeing the English language used really well, you will almost certainly like these books.

    So far as I know, there are no prequels to this series.
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    dwndrgn

    dwndrgn Fierce Vowelless One Staff Member

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    I didn't find them to be long-winded, maybe because they are so well-written that I just breezed through them. The only other author that really reminds me of him is McKiernon with his Mithgar stories. As far as I'm aware, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is a stand alone trilogy.
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    No, I didn't mean to imply long-winded. It's just that so much happens to so many different people that it takes a long time for it all to play out. Anyone who thinks that someone like Tolkien has two many subplots and too much back story would be advised to stay away from Tad Williams. On the other hand, any reader who likes getting lost for thousands of pages in a complex fantasy with rich background details will probably love Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.

    But as to the comparison to McKiernan, my own opinion is that Williams is a much better writer and a superior world-builder. McKiernan is probably more accessible to more readers, though, because Tad can be ... well, a tad difficult to keep up with sometimes, his plots can become so dizzyingly complex.
  5.  
    Neon

    Neon Brighter than a lightbulb

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    Sounds like a good fit for me. I really enjoy the long books that you can really absorb yourself into over the course of 600+ pages. Also I read the Iron Tower (I think that's what it was called) by McKiernan a while back and enjoyed his writing.
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    Sirathiel

    Sirathiel Spy with looks and guts

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    Yes, if you're interested in Tad Williams' works, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is a must. I just loved it! I have read it in German and English and only the second time around I got what the title meant! (But that's just me!) Don't worry I'll let you discover that by yourself!

    If I may say so, it's one of his best works! And a stand-alone trilogy, too, as far as I know. (That's the good thing about Williams. He sets out to write a trilogy and that it is...)

    Well, I'll stop rambling and will let you start reading!
    :)
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    Rane Longfox

    Rane Longfox Red Rane

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    I much prefered Otherland to MS&T, actually. Both are huge, and qite complicated, but Otherland has that extra little bit of imagination I soimehow found lacking in MS&T... Maybe it's just me?
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    Drachir

    Drachir Science fiction fantasy

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    Williams' writing style is exceptional. He may be the best word merchant I have read. Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is long, but nothing like as long as Eddings' ten book oddessy and Goodkind's neverending Sword of Truth series. For me Williams' trilogy is as good as anything I have read and I highly recommend it. :)
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    hodor

    hodor Erikson is GOD > period

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    I loved this series as well. I have not read Otherland yet but intend to after I have been able to start and finish the Erikson Malazan series. I think Williams writes well and I was glued to the books.
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    Sirathiel

    Sirathiel Spy with looks and guts

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    And the best thing about his writing his that each book/series is a totally new adventure. Otherland is just as great as MS&T, but completely different at the same time. The same goes for 'War of the Flowers'.

    It's not like some other authors who tend to rehash their plots time and again with slight alterations and different characters. :)
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    Dead Riverdragon

    Dead Riverdragon Fuimus, non sumus

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    I've only got my hands on The Dragonbone Chair so far, and It took me a couple of tries to get through the first hundred pages or so. I found all Simon's messing about in the castle far too long winded. Even as a means of setting the scene much of it felt unecessary. However, once the plot started moving things really got interesting. By the end I thought it was a masterpiece. So I'd suggest anyone picking it up who initially finds it tedious to be patient and persevere.
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hear, hear!!

    Couldn't endorse those comments more. I'ts my favourite work of Tads although Shadowmarch is quite good of what I've read of it so far.

    Cheers..:cool: :cool:
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    Rahl Windsong

    Rahl Windsong Last of the Windsong Clan

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    I hesitate to say one author's works are better, best, or whatever you might call them, each work, published or not, I like to think of as a work of art. Art can not really be judged by the terms better or best, instead I'd like to think or say how the story made me feel while I was reading it and Tad Williams has always made be really feel for his characters and his stories. I felt strong emotions from this series and I loved it. I have read them all a few times.

    Rahl
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    HMMM.. interesting take on how art is judged.

    I'd say Art can be and is judged by people but what one person calls Best another may call Worst, so I would agree or at least suggest that judging art is vey much a subjective and therefore personal thing. The fact that you get strong emotions from Tads work means that you are in a sense judging it or indeed responding to it. In fact your emotions could be used as a barometer in terms of which work provided the greatest or strongest emotions i.e. "your favourite or best work of this author".

    In other words, the very fact that you experience strong emotions from a piece of art by that very thing means you are making a "value judgement" isn't it?

    I judge a book based on my emotions in terms of "Did I find the story engaging? Were the characters people I could relate to or care about?" "Was the story mentally satisfying from the point of view of its wordlbuilding and storyline?" etc...

    Just my thoughts on the matter...:D
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    Rahl Windsong

    Rahl Windsong Last of the Windsong Clan

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    Agreed, the stronger the emotion I feel from a work of art would mean that I thought it "better" then something that did not cause me to feel any emotion.

    Rahl
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Glad to see we got that cleared up ;)

    Actually Rahl SORRY if you've posted this somewhere else on the forum but who are let's say your top half dozen "favourite" or the ones you get the most out of from reading, fanatasy writers?? I'm just curious.

    Bye.:D
  17.  
    Rahl Windsong

    Rahl Windsong Last of the Windsong Clan

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    Robin Hobb
    George RR Martin
    Tad Williams
    Kate Elliott
    L E Modesitt Jr
    Raymond E Fiest

    Not in any order thats just the order I thought of them just now.

    Rahl
  18.  
    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    AH I see you have some taste:p

    My favs there are GRRM, Elliott and Williams.

    You checked out Steven Erikson's malazan books yet? Best fantasy series ever, Martin is No 2. for me. If not check out the Erikson forum here.

    Bye for now..:D
  19.  
    Disnatured

    Disnatured Science fiction fantasy

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    I've had the series here for about a fortnight now and started it the other day and wasn't able to stop. I'm about halfway through the second one now and don't see myself taking very long to finish this one either. Amazing writing everything is vivid and well thought out I find. Did anyone else find Simon a very easy character to relate to?
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    HMM..don't know if I found him an easy character to relate to but he is certianly a likeable enough character albeit slightly one-dimensional. Having said this this series is in my top 15 fantasy series and Tad one of the modern fantasy authors I do like to read. He has a nice writing style with for me some very memorable prose throughout the series. I've read all of Tad's work and would also recommend you to his latest Shadowmarch trilogy, Book 2 due next year, although it's not as good as M,S, and T.

    If you enjoy Tad's work you might also like authors like Greg Keyes Kingdom of Thorn and Bone quartet and JV Jone's current and slighlty darker fantasy trilogy Sword Of Shadows.

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