When frost doth grow on Claves’ bell
And shadows walk upon the road
When water blackens in the well
Three Swords must come again.
When Bukken from the earth do creep
And Hunën from the heights descend
When Nightmare throttles peaceful sleep
Three Swords must come again.
To turn the stride of treading Fate
To clear the fogging Mists of Time
If Early shall resist too Late
Three Swords must come again.
— Nisses, Du Svardenvyrd
In Osten Ard, a land once ruled by an elvishlike race known as the Sithi, the human High King is dying. And with his death, a long-dormant evil is unleashed on the land as the undead Sithi ruler, the Storm King, seeks to regain his lost realm through a pact with one of human royal blood. Driven by spell-inspired jealousy and fear, prince fights prince, while around them the very land begins to die, poisoned by a sorcerous force sworn to annihilate the humans whose ancestors had driven the Sithi from their rightful home long ages ago.
Only a small, scattered group, the League of the Scroll, recognizes the true danger faced by Osten Ard, only they hold the knowledge of times past, of threats fulfilled, and of a riddle of swords, which holds out the one small hope of salvation. And to Simon — unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, and unwittingly touched by magic both good and ill — will go the task of spearheading the search for the solution to this riddle of long-lost swords of power, a quest that will see him fleeing and facing enemies straight out of a legend-maker’s worst nightmare!THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR (1988), the first novel in Williams’s epic fantasy trilogy, is the story of Simon, a young kitchen boy and magician’s apprentice, whose dreams of great deeds and heroic wars come all too shockingly true when his world is torn apart by a terrifying civil war — a war fueled by ancient hatreds, immortal enemies, and the dark powers of sorcery. The second book in the series, STONE OF FAREWELL (1990), continues the tale of Simon and the troubled realms of humans, Qanuc trolls, and Sithi, as the dark magic and terrifying minions of the undead Sithi ruler, Ineluki the Storm King, spread their seemingly undefeatable evil across the realm of Osten Ard. TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER (1993) is the tour-de-force finale as the loyal allies of Prince Josua, Simon, and The League of the Scroll attempt to unravel a prophecy that may ultimately allow them to strike down the undead Storm King and bring peace to Osten Ard.
TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER was split into two volumes for paperback publication in 1994: To Green Angel Tower, Part 1 and To Green Angel Tower, Part 2. In the UK they were released as To Green Angel Tower: Siege and To Green Angel Tower: Storm. The novel spent five weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List.
Tad’s Memory, Sorrow and Thorn novelette, “The Burning Man,” was originally published in LEGENDS I: Short Novels By the Masters of Modern Fantasy, edited by Robert Silverberg (1998). It was reprinted in EPIC: Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams (2012), and adapted into a graphic novel paired with “The Wood Boy” by Raymond Feist.
Praise for Memory, Sorrow and Thorn
THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR
“Williams has begun a well-written, colorfully characterized and very readable saga.”
“The fantasy equivalent of WAR AND PEACE…readers who delight in losing themselves in long complex tales of epic fantasy will be in their element here, and there is the promise of much more to come in future volumes.”
“Highly Recommended. (Tad Williams) draws on many mythologies for the background of his fantasy epic, creating a solid story spiced with political intrigue and strong appealing heroes.”
“This is a must read for Tolkien fans…far superior to much popular fantasy…Hard to imagine it being better written.”
–Voice of Youth Advocates
“Williams offers dragons and magic swords, magicians, a young hero-in-the-making, evil forces, beautiful princesses, disguises and mysteries. What Williams makes of his fantasy is immeasurably better than most who assay the genre”
–The Cincinnati Post
“A marvelous tale of adventure and intrigue…The exotic worlds of Erkynlanders, the Rimmersmen, Sithi, Nabbanai and Hernystiri will fascinate lovers of fantasy adventure. Tad Williams’ THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR is a delight, a novel that provides a wonderful escape from the world of the humdrum.”
“THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR is a book that you want to read in one sitting…No one writes conflict and myth better than Tad Williams. He realistically creates the races and nations of this world complete with legends, powers and prejudices. The characters are alive, and the reader comes to really care for these characters as they come to care for each other.”
–The Intergalactic Reporter
“Whether it’s the panoramic landscapes, the intense and cruel battles, right down to the tiniest foibles and personal quibbles between the characters, Williams’ writing is evocative and engaging. The characters instantly set up residence in our minds as living, breathing people caught up in events beyond their understanding, beyond their measure, but never once losing their existence as an individual.”
–Amazon reader review by M. Cantrell
“I was racing towards the end, hoping that it would never come.”
–Amazon reader review by Matt Graubner
STONE OF FAREWELL
“Panoramic, vigorous, often moving sequel to THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR…Williams adroitly weaves together the tales…heralding a suitably epic and glorious conclusion.”
“I was rarely held so captive by a novel…Williams is our Tolkien”
“An epic tale of the struggle of Good against Evil…The struggle between Being and Unbeing…An exquisite rendering of the conflict between forces of Light and Darkness.”
–San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“A gripping tale and one that will leave you pleading for the next book.”
–Amazon reader review by Rachael Winfield
TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER
“Sprawling, spellbinding…weaves together a multitude of intricate strands, building to a suitably apocalyptic confrontation between good and evil.”
“A grand fantasy on a scale approaching Tolkien’s LORD OF THE RINGS.”
“Epic fantasy you can get lost in for days, not just hours”
“Williams must be considered one of the most accomplished writers in contemporary fantasy”