Book 3.0 of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn
Publishing date: Jan 2, 1993
This sprawling, spellbinding conclusion to the trilogy that began with The Dragonbone Chair weaves together a multitude of intricate strands, building to a suitably apocalyptic confrontation between good and evil. Prince Josua wins a first victory against the forces of his brother, Elias, who rules as High King in Osten Ard. Elias has the help of the dark priest Pryrates and of Ineluki the Storm King, onetime ruler of the immortal Sithi (the race that preceded humans). But others defy him, including Elias's own daughter, Princess Miriamele, the scullion turned knight Simon, and Camaris, once one of the greatest knights of Osten Ard and wielder of the sword Thorn, one of the three weapons that may effect a victory over Elias's hordes. As Josua's forces-- augmented by those Elias has wronged and by friendly Sithi--approach the king's stronghold, a secret battle takes place in the underlying caverns. It will affect not only the conflict's outcome, but also the futures of many races. The main caveat to Williams's engrossing epic is its length. A tetralogy might have been more easily digested, although that format might have drained some of the extraordinary tension built up in the book's closing pages. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
YA-This culmination of the trilogy is incredibly long and carries, besides the story, a dictionary of names, places, and other necessary information. It tells of the final battle between the forces of good and evil in the land of Osten Ard, a mythical place not unlike medieval Europe. Clearly, the author has been influenced not only by Tolkien, but also by Wagner's "Ring" story. Everything in Williams's narrative is larger than life-the individuals, the battles, the mysticism and magic. Yet his painstaking detail ensures that the world he creates is as believable and immediate as readers' everyday lives. The main character, Simon, is a reluctant hero. He is a superior warrior, yet he hates violence. He has been chosen as a seer by mystical beings who wish to aid his human counterparts, but he is never sure of his own worth. He understands cosmic truths, but considers himself ignorant. All action spins around Simon, but the book is replete with many other interesting characters, all fully developed. Enjoying the story's wealth of entertainment can literally take months, but for the author's fans it will be a treasure. It can also stand on its own.Jessica Lahr, Edison High School, Fairfax County, VACopyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.