Tad Williams’ Next Trilogy

tad-williamsBy Carl Slaughter: Tad Williams has been called “The American Tolkien.” His Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series has been called “The fantasy equivalent of War and Peace.” George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss both cite Williams as their inspiration, as does Eragon author Christopher Paolini. He’s working on a sequel trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard, scheduled for 2017. In preparation for the sequel, DAW reissued Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn in July.  Williams is also working on The Heart of What Was Lost, also scheduled for 2017, set 6 months after Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.


  • The Witchwood Crown (forthcoming)
  • Empire of Grass (forthcoming)
  • The Navigator’s Children (forthcoming)

In this new trilogy, Williams journeys back to the magical land of Osten Ard and continues the story of beloved characters King Simon and Queen Miriamele, married now for thirty years, and introduces newcomer Prince Morgan, their heir apparent. Also expanded is the story of the twin babies born to Prince Josua and Lady Vorzheva—a birth heralded by prophecy, which has been the subject of feverish fan speculation since the release of To Green Angel Tower. In The Last King of Osten Ard, Williams returns with the ingenious worldbuilding, jaw dropping twists and turns, and unparalleled storytelling that have made him one of fantasy’s brightest stars for more thirty years.


The Heart of What Was Lost takes place in the half-year after the end of To Green Angel Tower, and tells of the attempt by Isgrimnur and a force largely made up of Rimmersgard soldiers to destroy the remaining Norns as they flee back to their homeland and their mountain. It also answers some questions about what actually happened in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Green Angel Tower.



The Dragonbone Chair

Stone of Farewell

To Green Angel Tower

Tad Williams Website: http://www.tadwilliams.com/

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

20 thoughts on “Tad Williams’ Next Trilogy

  1. I suppose others are seeing something that I’m not seeing in his work. Although I liked The Dragonbone Chair for what it was — a decent fantasy novel — I don’t think the sequels lived up to it. They were bloated works too crammed full of filler. To Green Angel Tower especially so. Characters introduced whose only purpose seems to be dying a few chapters later. Characters taking side trips whose only purpose seems to be to get them into trouble and then out of trouble in the next chapter. And that ending…I read that whole thing for that ending? Just because something is long doesn’t mean it’s Tolkienesque.

    P.s. The Christianity-with-the-numbers-filed-off religion (complete with Catholic Church analogue) made me roll my eyes every time it appeared.

  2. “Comparable to Tolkien at his best!” has always meant “Don’t even think about opening it” to me.

  3. I’ve only read The Dragonbone Chair…and I remember enjoying it, but no enough to pick up the sequels. I think now that I’m a bit older, I might appreciate it more.

    That said, I seriously loved the Shadowmarch series.

  4. X is the American Tolkien, solve for an X not immediately ludicrous: I pick Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker, whose Tekumel was as richly imagined as Middle Earth. Sadly, not only was Barker’s prose considerably more … let us say opaque than Tolkien’s, his world as a roleplaying setting brought an almost certain doom to all who published it.

    Still, Tekumel got ripped off by a lesser writer. That is a sort of recognition.

    * someone may pick Guy Gavriel Kay, in which case I will gently rebuke you by unleashing the geisthounds. Kay is Canadian.

  5. I really loved Williams’ Otherland series, so much I re-read it every few years. I honestly think that was his best work. But I’m willing to do a re-read of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. I remember enjoying it.

  6. I’ve sadly soured on Williams since I abandoned his deeply unpleasant Happy Hour in Hell (second of the Bobby Dollar series). I’ve liked each of his other series, though found they tended to drag near the end. Otherland was fascinating.

    Um, but I’m glad that people who loved Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and have been looking forward to more stories set in the world will be getting new reading material!

  7. I really like some of the concepts that underpin Williams’ writing, but he’s another of those authors what I wish would come up with the setting, plot, and story, and then hand it to someone else to write.

    I got through Otherland. I got through Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. Neither of them struck me as particularly revolutionary or inspiring. They were solid work, yes, but not exciting.

  8. I really loved Memory, Sorrow & Thorn when I read it in the 92 and 93. At that time at least it was an unusually good epic fantasy. Remember, it was before ASOIAF, before Robin Hobb, before Steven Erikson. It was easier to impress then.

  9. The American Tolkien is a weird thing to throw around. I guess there was an awful lot of walking in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.

    I did enjoy that trilogy. Otherland is one of my favorite series ever and Shadowmarch was great.

    Just really did not like his recent urban fantasy though. Looking forward to reading these.

  10. I’m one of the few that liked the Bobby Dollar series, even with the problematic elements throughout. Williams straight fantasy has never really grabbed me, but Otherland or War of the Flowers were terrific and get reread every so often.

  11. I enjoyed Memory, Sorrow & Thorn quite a bit, but comparisons to Tolkien are almost always ludicrous. Tolkien spent pretty much his entire adult life creating Middle Earth and then wrote ONE (and it WAS one) book about it that really was probably less than one percent of the material he had assembled. That shows through. Plus, he was a meticulous writer. I know many people younger than I find his prose lacking, but to me it was simply exceptional. The careful way the structure and the tone of the prose changes throughout the book to reflect both that characters involved in the scene and overall arc of the story were perfect. But then, he was a linguist and it was his first love.

    Williams isn’t doing that. I can’t really think of any other works since Tolkien that do that either. Nevertheless, I expect this new work to be something I’ll want to read.

  12. @James Davis Niccol:
    “Still, Tekumel got ripped off by a lesser writer. That is a sort of recognition.”

    Which writer are you referring to? (sorry if I’m being a bit dim)

  13. I enjoyed this series when I read it a while back, but I do remember it sagging a bit as it went on, and that I was happy to get to the end. To read these, I’ll need to find a plot outline of the previous series, as the details have faded quite a bit in my memory.

  14. @mgdevery: Raymond Feist. I’ve read that it was Feist’s GM who did the original ripping-off, though.

  15. * someone may pick Guy Gavriel Kay, in which case I will gently rebuke you by unleashing the geisthounds. Kay is Canadian.

    Technically that’s still American tho…

Comments are closed.