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Old 19th April 2008, 09:04 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

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I've never read any of Tad Williams, but have read good reviews about him. I'm considering the purchase of the Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series .... is this a good one to read?
Well, to give my own oppinion, I would say that Williams is an average writer. He has nice sentences, and some scenes in the book are described very nicely and convincingly.

But, he has horrible feeling for dynamics. His books are too slow, nothing happens for hundreds of pages, and complete Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series could be shortened in half without losing anything important or interesting.

Secondly, I find him very unimaginative - M,S&T is consisted of cliches seen milions of times, and I allmost gave up reading on first book when it became clear that the main character will be "An orphan of secret origin, who is presently kitchen boy, but who will eventualy do great things and turn to be a royal figure". It sucks so much that it hurts, plus David Eddings has allready written this book. Not to mention Walt Disney's "The Sword in the Stone" cartoon.

So, the books are fine to read if you have a need to kill a lot of time, but they hardly justify the amount of attention they receive.
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Old 20th April 2008, 04:40 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

A beautiful aspect of the Chrons...everyone's entitled to an opinion....
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Old 23rd April 2008, 11:22 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

Yes, but I agree with this one:

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Originally Posted by Tobytwo View Post
I liked the way Williams took established fantasy stereotypes (elves, wizards, druids, dwarves etc) and did new things with them and made them his. The book had a sense of solidity that I feel a lot of fantasy lacks.

... they are great novels, and well worth the time you can spend reading them. Very good stuff overall!
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Old 24th April 2008, 03:24 AM   #79 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

Me too, WW, me too.
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Old 24th April 2008, 08:14 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

Now I would say:

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A beautiful aspect of the Chrons...everyone's entitled to an opinion....
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Old 24th April 2008, 01:13 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

Although I stick with what I said, I think Zoran raises good points and certainly isn't wrong. To me, Williams is good at making cliches solid and credible (up to the disappointing twist in the end, which undid a lot of good work) - but they are still cliches. I suppose you could say that Williams is very good in his particular niche, but it's a narrow and crowded niche nevertheless. Given that fantasy is supposed to be about imagination, there isn't much room to do really innovative things in the "A bit like Tolkein" corner.

I would agree that Williams is not at his best writing about action, and that he can wander off. There are several times when Simon gets lost, which all go on way too long and add very little to the stories.

Where I thought he really did well, though, was turning the cliches into something solid. Simon's relationship with Miriamele, for instance, is pretty credible, and Aditu the elf is far more likeable than the usual wishy-washy, noble-stereotype elves of worse fantasy of this kind. Likewise Binabik the dwarf is made interesting with some (I think) Inuit influences, and the druid Geloe has a personality beyond the usual role that druids tend to fulfil in fantasy. The only one who stood out as weak was the knight Camaris, who really was a cardboard cut-out. But then writing about near-perfection is not easy.
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Old 15th July 2008, 05:26 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

hey you guys

I was wondering if someone could please help me by giving me the English
'Qanuc quotation' that the author wrote in the first book.
Ive read the books in Dutch and now was wondering how the original text was..

anyways, thanks in advance!
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Old 15th July 2008, 10:00 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

I'm assuming that you mean the Qanuc proverb TW uses in the preface of The Dragonbone Chair, correct?

If so....

"He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder."

He goes on to add:

"More bluntly, new visitors to this land should take heed: Avoid Assumptions."

Finally...

"The Qanuc have another saying: "Welcome stranger. The paths are treacherous today."

Hope this is what you were looking for, and Welcome to the Chrons (where paths are usually not treacherous)!

If this isn't what you were looking for, try back (have book, will look!).
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Old 16th July 2008, 10:46 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

wahh thanks a lot! and especially for your quick reply!
and yeah that was exactly what i was looking for (lets say the first quotation)

its great to see that there IS a forum about williams that isnt like abandoned
for a couple of years.. though i see very old messages around here but thats okay
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Old 2nd November 2009, 03:45 AM   #85 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

I recently read The Dragonbone Chair because of positive reviews. I'll add this caveat before I launch into my post... As a fan of epic, political fantasy, I was informed that MS&T would appeal to me. Mr. Williams is a decent writer and he does a really good job of developing his characters and their relationships. All of the characters in TDC have real faults and failures... I like that.

But the pace of the story bothered me. My paperback copy was about 670 pages or so... and it was not until page 500 that the pace picked up and I got really interested. So interested that I immediately started the next book. I'm halfway through Stone of Farewell... and I'm frustrated again. It feels as if I'm stuck behind a Sunday driver doing 30mph on the Interstate.

Why did Williams slam on the brakes? I know over the course of any story, short or long, that the pace will vary. Tension must be built... relationships and links must be established... the ubiquitous teenage savior of prophecy must mature... But the abrupt halt and continual slow story makes MS&T more tedious than fun... and that's difficult for me to take when it appears that there is a great potential for fun reading here.

Anyway, just my two cents.

I know I'm usually found in the GRRM forum, but with the wait until his next installment in A Song of Ice and Fire I've been starting to read other authors who have been given their own forums on the Chronicles Network. I'm not trying to compare authors to Martin (my current fave) nor Tolkien (my absolute fave)... 'cause their stories, their characters, nor their writing are perfect. (In fact, I've got real differences with Martin on theology.)

I'm not out to rank authors, I'm just out to find books that resonate with me... and the last hundred and fifty pages of TDC resonated.
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:01 AM   #86 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

I've been reading this over the last few months, the reason being the slow pacing tiring me out and having to read other novels in between volumes of MS&T.
Other than that I am hooked and think the series is superb as a whole. The characterisations and the descriptions of Osten Ard are all excellent.

I still have problems with the structure, seems to be the switches between chapters that particularly got me. You have Chapter 1 say where a group of characters move from A to B often with a cliffhanger, then Chapter 2 where another group move from X to Y, with another dilemma. Chapter 3 is back to the first group moving from B to C. Oftentimes I felt the interrupting chapter disrupted the flow of the story, and wish Tad had written say bigger chunks of story together instead of jumping around like that. It would suit the pace of the book better, as I don't think there's a lot you could trim from these books, detail is important.

I'm halfway through To Green Angel Tower: Storm, so nearly finished, and noticing the jigsaw puzzle is almost complete. Very good stuff so far
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:04 AM   #87 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

It has a nice twist at the end too, which I shan't spoil for you....

Welcome aboard...
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:23 AM   #88 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

I wish I had time to have another read of these; it's been a while and I really enjoyed the first one, but I thought after that things got a bit bloated, with too many viewpoint characters who ultimately didn't seem important enough to justify the huge amounts of space devoted to them. But that might be because I was anxious to get to the end of the story. I might be more tolerant now.

Drush, I found the same problem as you with Stone of Farewell. Whereas Dragonbone Chair had a great sense of large areas being covered by a few groups of people, SOF seemed to have huge numbers of viewpoint groups jerkily moving a few steps at a time. By the end of SOF, no one seemed very much further on from where they started.

One thing I'd like to note. Normally, including lots of a character's dreams equals narrative death; Dragonbone Chair is about the only book I've read where the main character's dreams actually added to the book.
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:38 AM   #89 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

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Drush, I found the same problem as you with Stone of Farewell. Whereas Dragonbone Chair had a great sense of large areas being covered by a few groups of people, SOF seemed to have huge numbers of viewpoint groups jerkily moving a few steps at a time. By the end of SOF, no one seemed very much further on from where they started.
Yep I noticed it more in Stone of Farewell. Though it does have some standout moments that are memorable, I do struggle to remember what happened. The Dragonbone Chair in comparison is easier to recall. I would say so far To Green Angel Tower is compromise between the two so far though.
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:40 AM   #90 (permalink)
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Re: Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series

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It has a nice twist at the end too, which I shan't spoil for you....

Welcome aboard...
Thankyou, been lurking here for years, definitely the best resource for good fantasy reading
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