Friday, October 19, 2018

*Review* The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Published: June 27, 2017
Pages: 736

New York Times-bestselling Tad Williams’ ground-breaking epic fantasy saga of Osten Ard begins an exciting new cycle! • Volume One of The Last King of Osten Ard

The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, was published in hardcover in October, 1988, launching the series that was to become one of the seminal works of modern epic fantasy. Many of today’s top-selling fantasy authors, from Patrick Rothfuss to George R. R. Martin to Christopher Paolini credit Tad with being the inspiration for their own series.

Now, twenty-four years after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Tad returns to his beloved universe and characters with The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the long-awaited sequel trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard.

Thirty years have passed since the events of the earlier novels, and the world has reached a critical turning point once again. The realm is threatened by divisive forces, even as old allies are lost, and others are lured down darker paths. Perhaps most terrifying of all, the Norns—the long-vanquished elvish foe—are stirring once again, preparing to reclaim the mortal-ruled lands that once were theirs....

I originally received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program, but ran out of time in my loan before I finished reading the book, so I ended up sacrificing an Audible credit to get the audiobook (it felt worth it considering how long the book is and therefore how much the audiobook would cost normally, and I'm all about getting a good bargain). For me, having the audiobook made all the difference in being able to finish this book (although that has more to do with the font size in the book file obtained through FtR which cannot be changed like it could in the Kindle version). 

This was my first Tad Williams book, which means that I was not already familiar with the world of Osten Ard. This may have left me at a slight disadvantage, but I never felt like I was that out of the loop, at least not unreasonably out of the loop. I felt like most of the time when a relevant past event was mentioned, it was adequately explained. 

Like most epic fantasy, The Witchwood Crown was very description heavy. Unfortunately that made the story seem to drag quite a bit in places for me and I had trouble really getting invested in the story at first. This wouldn't normally be a problem for me because I just take my time getting into the story while also reading other books that I'm more invested in until I get to where the book picks up. That wasn't an option with the loaned book though (or it was, but it resulted in the loan expiring so...) 

Overall I give The Witchwood Crown 3.186 stars. I'm not sure if I have any interest in continuing the series or not, but I do know I'd want to own the books if I decide to. - Katie 

Tad Williams is a California-based fantasy superstar. His genre-creating (and genre-busting) books have sold tens of millions worldwide. His works include the worlds of Otherland, Shadowmarch, and Osten Ard—including the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and The Last King of Osten Ard series—as well as standalone novels Tailchaser’s Song and The War of the Flowers, plus the Bobby Dollar urban fantasies. His considerable output of epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, comics, and more have strongly influenced a generation of writers. Tad and his family live in the Santa Cruz mountains in a suitably strange and beautiful house. Visit him online at @tadwilliams @mrstad

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