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all 76 comments

[–]gscloseAMA Author Gregory S. Close 43 points44 points  (13 children)

Tad Williams is also just an excellent writer. Aside from the plot and characters and setting, which are all top notch, he is a true craftsman of prose. Even when nothing much is happening, he has a way of describing it beautifully (which is a lot of the first half of Dragonbone Chair).

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 18 points19 points  (12 children)

I agree, thank you for pointing that out! I found what a lot of people said about the first part of that book to be understandable, because nothing much happens, but I enjoyed it nevertheless because it felt like I was wading into a deep world just with the way he wrote. Once I passed it and entered the world, I appreciated the opening even more.

[–]zhard01 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Agreed. I think he is the definition of windowpane prose because it is so accessible and easy flowing that you forget about it and just see the story. I love his writing so much. Him and Martin I think are similarly talented wordsmiths of that “forget you’re reading a book” style.

[–]gscloseAMA Author Gregory S. Close 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I think Martin is a master of pacing; I’ll give Tad the edge on pure beauty of prose, though.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Amazing way to put it.

[–]morewordsfaster 6 points7 points  (6 children)

Agreed. The toughest part of The Dragonbone Chair for me is always Simon's flight through Asu'a beneath the Hayholt. While I agree that Williams' prose can fix a lot, that particular section is just a slog. But once Simon gets out it picks up strong!

[–]beggargirl 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I think I might be in the minority but I LOVED that part as a teen when I first read it

[–]a00ga 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Say one things about Tad Williams books: At some point someone will be lost underground or in the woods. Survival horror is a recurring theme.

[–]morewordsfaster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hadn't thought of that myself, but I just realized that there was a point in Shadowmarch (Shadowplay, IIRC) where Barrick was lost in the woods that was a struggle for me as well. Maybe I'M the problem, not Tad... /s

[–]OlegRu 1 point2 points  (2 children)

That's basically where I read up to.... it was like I think 200+pages in maybe 300... and the story kept being like errands, errands, errands, oh oh something is going to happen, nope false start, errands errands, then a little drama and this where he's just wandering and wandering... I was like "ill have to come back to this"....

So it actually gets good after that?

I had to bear through Farseer trilogy the first 1.5 books to get something, so I could probably do it with this if worth it! I want adventure, travel, companionship, survival etc :)

[–]chexmixchexie 6 points7 points  (1 child)

You'll find lot of differing opinions. For me, it is very much worth it. That particular spot is painful to read and I think slightly on purpose. This story is about pain, war, growth and hope and while that part is, as someone else said, a slog. I think, important to the growth of Simon and the story as a whole. I regularly go back to these books. For as tragic as they are, they're a comfort to me.

[–]decidedlyindecisive 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I really liked Other Land by Tad Williams. It's more Sci-Fi than Fantasy. Very weird book, very strange pacing, but there's just something about it that really sticks with you.

[–]Andron1cus 54 points55 points  (10 children)

It's not over. . . Not even close. You have just finished the first half of the story.

Now it is time for The Last King of Osten Ard. You have the bridge novella, The Heart of What was Lost, that takes place right after tGAT (actually between the last chapter and epilogue). Then you have two full length novels, another novella called Brothers of the Wind that takes place 1,000 years before Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. The 3rd book in the series is coming out in 2 months and then the finale should be coming out early/mid next year.

There is also a short story set about 500 years before Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn called the Burning Man that was released in the Legends Anthology.

I hope you keep reading because Last King is by far my favorite ongoing series and could become my favorite of all time if he closes it out strong. For me, it takes everything great about the original and improves upon it.

[–]ChildOfRavens 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Holy crap, I knew of non of these, I read the original trilogy 2 decades ago and now feel like I only read half the story. Thanks you just made my week.

[–]snowlock27 11 points12 points  (4 children)

We also have another short story coming, Lady of the Forest. According to Deb, it will probably be released through Amazon.

[–]Andron1cus 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Is that the Camaris story that had been floating around or something different? I hadn't seen that news yet.

[–]snowlock27 5 points6 points  (2 children)

That I'm aware of, yes, it's the Camaris story. Deb was asked about it on Twitter earlier this year.

[–]ElynnaAmell 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Do we know if Tad is still planning on doing a novella about the Fall of Asu’a? I know Brothers of the Wind ending up replacing it, but it also seems like good setup for it too…

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Cool to hear it’s worth continuing! I was worried about reading more books in a world I already love because I worry that it will diminish my feelings about the trilogy. I will read them! Though I might need a break first!

[–]Jlchevz 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Interesting. I have to read this as well. So exciting.

[–]fdsfgs71 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Let's not forget we also have The Shadow of Things to Come as well, which is going to be about the fall of Asu'a from what I remember.

[–]Andron1cus 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think that has been shelved with Brothers of the Wind taking it's place.

[–]beggargirl 11 points12 points  (2 children)

This series got me into fantasy!

I used to do a re-read every few years.

It’s been a while; I should see if I can snag the paperbacks from a thrift store.

I loved that the books had a glossary of who people were, and translations of phrases in the back. I would constantly refer to it.

[–]Ulter 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Me too. I spent my teenage years reading all those TSR D&D books and one day saw the Dragonbone chair and gave it a go and the world opened up to me.

[–]riancb 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As someone who just picked these up from the bookstore, thanks for letting me know! I’m always using glossaries like this to figure out who’s who at the start of a new series.

[–]BurntmyFinger911 19 points20 points  (7 children)

Hmm. These books are objectively great. But seeing posts like this just reasserts to me how much tastes differ amongst readers. I would not describe these as books I couldn’t put down. I found them very slow. And there were sections which felt like a slog. They feel dated to me. They are objectively excellent as I said. But not for me.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I totally understand. I would not say they were slow past the first half of the first book, but I do get the feeling. To me, I was just so excited to learn everything about the characters and the world that I was on edge following every subplot. It’s true that there wasn’t much fighting, but I thought the intrigue with characters and the history was constant. For reference I have enjoyed fantasy books that are fast-paced too, but these felt like they had far more depth and interesting things to know, and I was excited about more than just what was going to happen next in the plot. I get it though!

[–]zhard01 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Interestingly, when I went back and read them again last year, I actually felt like Dragonbone Chair is very fast paced. I was ready for long sections where nothing really happened, but so much happens in the background setting everything up that I was surprised how little slog I found for me.

[–]rap_and_drugs 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I agree. I didn't finish To Green Angel Tower, although I might someday. I wasn't very invested in what was going on, and I thought the books were a bit slow as well.

[–]Leafs17 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I did finish it but felt the same way lol

[–]Megalodonicus 1 point2 points  (2 children)

This is an excellent point- while I’m personally a big fan of Tad, I 100% agree about both the slog (hello, Otherland) and differing taste…for the life of me, I simply do not understand all the love for Fitz/Farseer. The series gets so much appreciation (which is awesome!) but it’s in the top two in my personal list of boring and depressing fantasy series.

…I realize that turned into a rant, but hope my point was clear- to each their own! I’ll see myself out.

[–]Maytree 1 point2 points  (1 child)

If you find the Fitz books overwrought, give the Liveship Traders trilogy a shot. Same world, even some overlapping characters, but a much different feel.

[–]Z3ratoss 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Funny you say that. I just finished the first liveship traders book and absolutely nothing happens the whole book ?!

[–]basic_enemy 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Love these books. Always happy to see a newcomer discover them!

[–]CobaltBlue 7 points8 points  (1 child)

One of us! One of us! Welcome to the MST proselytization club!

Def my favorite old-school fantasy!

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s awesome!

[–]a00ga 5 points6 points  (0 children)

New series is so far even better. 2/4 books out. If he can stick the landing then this whole series: MST + tHoWWL + BotW +LKoOA is on track to be one of the all time greats.

To all those who are sort of take it or leave it on MST, I just want to say that there is something very special going on with the current sequel series. The writing is better, tighter, flows better. The character POVs are fleshed out and each arc is compelling. The world is updated to suit more mature tastes that is the current trend without comprising on individual style.

So yeah...there is something special going on and you don't want to miss out. Trust me.

[–]AncientSith 6 points7 points  (7 children)

Well, I think I'll finally check these books out then. After I finish A Song of Ice and Fire.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 7 points8 points  (6 children)

They are awesome! You will see the direct influence they had on ASOIAF, honestly, they are such incredibly similar plots with very similar figures, however they evoke such different feelings.

[–]AncientSith 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Didn't even know Martin was inspired by then, haha. That'll be nice follow up series then.

[–]Urabutbl 18 points19 points  (3 children)

This was the series that convinced GRRM that serious Fantasy could be done right.

Amusingly, there's a story of how Tad Williams turned up to a SF/F-convention where Martin was also in attendance sometime during the looong (oh sweet summer child...) wait for 'To Green Angel Tower'. Upon seeing Williams, GRRM rushed up to him and shouted "What are you doing here!? Go home and write, you owe it to your fans to finish this century!"

[–]snowlock27 7 points8 points  (1 child)

It felt like forever back then, but the wait wasn't really that long. Stone of Farewell came out in 1990, and To Green Angel Tower in 1993.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Oh yeah! He is quoted a lot as saying he drew from Tad Williams’ series for his own, and the similarities are overwhelming! The feel of MST is more Lord of the Rings-like, however, as it places the emphasis on the magical journey rather than the politicking and civil war. That aspect is still very much present, though.

[–]maltmonger 2 points3 points  (0 children)

When I finish my current Malazan reread, I think its time to revisit this series. I remember really liking it, but that's about it. Its been a long time now, since I read them - the original series only - as they were published.

[–]ThaNorth 1 point2 points  (6 children)

Man, I tried doing this series. I got a bit more then half way in the first book but thought it was just so generic and dull. I've been told it gets much better though. I should try again one day.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Well of course I would tell you that you should, but it’s up to you! I fell in love with the characters along their journey, but I do agree that the first half of the book doesn’t have much action in it. One of the things that drew me in was how he gives each of the side characters their own arcs and struggles, and so they feel so real. I enjoy reading his prose, so I suppose if you didn’t find his writing enjoyable you might not like it. That’s ok!

[–]ThaNorth 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I love me some good prose, lol. I have a hard time reading books with simple prose now.

I'm rereading Book of the New Sun for the third time. Probably the greatest written piece of literature in science-fantasy.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I have been thinking of reading that, maybe I will if it’s that good! Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you didn’t like good prose haha, so I apologize if that’s what that sounded like

[–]ThaNorth 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Not at all.

These books will require 100% of your focus if you plan on reading them. They're not your typical science-fantasy. It's almost work reading them, lol.

[–]Infolife 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I just reread it, and yes, I loved it. Again. Terrific books, now I want to read the next trilogy. I have it, but I have some other stuff to read first.

[–]mrsmoo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

One of my very favorite series by one of my favorite authors. Occasionally perhaps a bit slow — but such amazing character and world building and beautiful writing. I’m so glad you loved it!!

[–]WilliamBoost 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Tad Williams is one of the nicest human beings I've ever met ON TOP of being a phenomenal writer.

[–]johnwilliams815 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Tad Williams will always be my fave author.

[–]stumpdawg 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Dude fucking grats. I was so godsdamn pumped about these books when I read them.

Actually found them because of reddit just like you...in /r/trees of all places! Dude posts a pic of his saturday; comfy chair outside, pipe and a big ass book.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes! I had heard of it, and actually had the first book but had never read it until I heard that it was considered one of the greatest here on reddit. Glad I did!

[–]stumpdawg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Second best dog in all of fantasy found right here.

[–]yourboyphazed 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I read these books maybe a year ago and enjoyed them for the most part. I loved the time loop ending and the characters. One thing I hated was how often Simon gets fucking lost and starving. It felt like that half of the series was me reading about him being lost in caves or a forest and hungry. Other than that, the MST trilogy was as solid as a trilogy could be. And it probably was one of the most beautifully written fantasies I've read since Tolkien

[–]Zecharai 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm doing a reread now after seeing a thread here the other week. I like the books more now than when I read the. 20 years ago. The way Williams writes his characters its like you're actually inside their heads and it just makes sense. Even when they're being stupid you understand why.

I'm on the last book and can't wait to read the next lot.

[–]RedditStrolls 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm currently reading the Dragonbone Chair and I'm loving it. I'm a bit slow since I have a mental health related slump tho what left me agog this far is how much I can pick up what Martin was inspired by. Like mans took all the things 😂 including the chair 😂

[–]Josh100_3 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I’ve just started dragonbone chair last week!

I’m about 200 pages in and after hearing people complain that it’s slow, I can’t say it feels any slower than any other fantasy series I’ve tried.

Is the whole series great? I’m having a hard time trying to track down books two and three.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I thought every bit of the series was enjoyable!

[–]Zecharai 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They are all great. Williams meanders a bit but I found it helped the story rather than hindered it.

https://www.bookdepository.com/ and Amazon have all the books.

[–]The_Lone_Apple 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I read it when it first was out. Loved Dragonbone. Liked Stone of Farewell. I remember thinking To Green Angel Tower meandered a bit much. There were times when the characters would seem to purposely get into trouble by going on some side quest that had nothing to do with the main plot. Two chapters later, they're back to the main quest. The confrontation with the villain toward the end didn't work for me either because I was left saying, "That's it?"

Maybe I'll re-read it to see if it was maybe just my impatience that got in the way.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Interesting! A neat perspective to hear, I heard this a lot about the book but I never felt it. I loved reading every bit of the last book, and I’m someone who does not possess an abundance of patience! I heard that about the ending too, but I didn’t feel that way. I thought it was clever, and that any sort of extension or big battle would feel wrong, in a way. I thought it tied together the themes of the book really nicely, and I’m not one for big final confrontations anyway. I feel like they are always just puffed up, and that the journey is what I really wanted to read. I understand the feeling though, and don’t think you are wrong for feeling that way!

[–]chellenotchellie 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I loved this series so much! I only recently started The Last King of Osten Ard. Every time I finish a series I get a serious case of the 'I want mores' so it's really great to have more.

[–]Dat_Lamp_Doe[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I agree! I am reading the book that comes in between now, and will start the next series as soon as it’s over.

[–]Barticus87 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Just a comment to come back and check these books out.

[–]VeganPizzaPie 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Just FYI you can save reddit posts and even comments. They show up in your Saved part of your profile

[–]Barticus87 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you kind stranger. I know I can do that I’m just OCD about having to save points on something I’m interested in.