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Publisher's Summary

The stunning second novel in Tad Williams' classic fantasy series, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, set in the fantasy world of Osten Ard.
Following a brutal civil war, Osten Ard has been crushed under the rule of the two villainous High Kings. A single hope remains: if the rebels can find the three swords of legend - Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - they might be able to bring the Storm King and evil King Elias down.
Once but a humble kitchen boy, Simon is now Simon Snowlock, dragonslayer and bearer of the mythical sword Thorn. But Simon is more alone than ever before: his friends have been imprisoned, and his liege lord, Prince Joshua, has been exiled. And the Storm King may also be in possession of one of the swords....
A single chance remains: if Simon can deliver Thorn to Joshua and lead his followers to the Stone of Farewell, the rebels may be able to muster the forces necessary to rise up against Elias and the Storm King. But no one knows where the Stone of Farewell is. Or, indeed, what it is....
©1990 Robert Paul 'Tad' Williams, published by permission of DAW Books (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Robyn on 11-09-16

Still trotting pace, not a gallop

It's so difficult for me to review these books. I'm trying hard not to be overly critical because the pace doesn't quite suit me.

This is slightly faster paced than the first book, but hardly a gallop.

I tend to judge a book by my desire to keep my headphones in at every opportunity. Cooking, ironing, commuting (even in the bath). If it's one of those books that's grabbed me, my headphones are in and my family is moaning at me for being non-communicative. Not so with this book. I went for days at a time without listening..... On the positive side, it doesn't matter if your attention wonders for a bit, it's probable you wont miss anything hugely significant, so it's a good book if you're needing to concentrate on other stuff simultaneously.

The characters are still good, and true to the first book, and no gaping holes in the plot (so far - or that I've noticed....but I might have dozed off and missed them).

If you're happy with good writing, but at a gentle pace, or you loved the first book in the series, then you should enjoy this.

I still haven't downloaded book 3 in the series, though I imagine I probably will at some stage as I will want to know what happens in this story..... I just need a change of scenery for a bit.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Adam Evans on 02-07-16

Now the story is really building!

A other great performance by Andrew wincott. I really started to get drawn in this book. Much like the creeping winter in the book this series takes it easy but slowly grows on you. There is a much faster pace to this book the the first and the characters are really starting to gain some depth. Im Really looking forward to seeing what happens in the next installment. There are still many unanswered questions..
As I said these books aren't great on their own and should not be regarded or judged seperately. I can feel that they are just a l parts of an epic whole. If you have patience then read on!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Tim on 03-12-18

A good middle series novel

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I am rereading this series that i started as a teenager and loved but never finished (by the time Green Angel Tower came out i wasn't into fantasy anymore and couldn't really remember the story).I preferred the Stone of Farewell to its prequel, the Dragonbone Chair, both the characters and the world have grown in depth. The plot also moves at a more more consistent pace than DBC (which started slow but got very quick at the end). Still, its a long book.

What other book might you compare Stone of Farewell to, and why?

(I don't think anything below counts as a spoiler as the overall structure of the world and the core lines of division are not really surprises or plot twists but if you want to discover the - fairly familiar - world yourself don't read on)

The world of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (MST) is clearly very reminiscent of Tolkien's Middle Earth. 'Elves' who came to this land from a homeland in the west once ruled over a golden age during which they built many great cities, which now lie in ruin. At some stage in the past Men took the land from the elves who moved to magical strongholds (think Rivendell/Lothlorien) at the margins and are somewhat secluded from the goings on of the mortals. However a dark lord (the Storm King) has risen and now threatens all. Various magical items are needed to fight him and so various quests must be undertaken.

I read an interview wth Tad Williams where he said he was attempting to comment on Tolkien's fairly basic cataloguing of races and nations as good or evil and you can see this in MST. No one race or nation is inherently good, all greviances between groups have historical underpinnings and characters sometimes have 'racist' prejudices against other characters.There is a also a bit more of a focus on political manoeuvering and religion as motivating forces.

I've also read GRR Martin mention this trilogy as an influence and in some cases the references are quite obvious (most notably winter is coming here too). Therefore it sits in an interesting halfway point between the relatively simple views of good and evil in LoTR and the more complex and gritty motivations of characters in GoT.

Overall,in my view, it is not at the same level as either Tolkien or Martin. While it is an interesting world that gives a twist and a bit more depth to the usual Tolkien tropes it is still ultimately very reliant on them. Nevertheless, i think it is worth reading, the writing is good quality , the characters are mostly interesting, and the plot is compelling if a touch slow. I'm looking forward to getting into the final part, although at 1200+ pages (64 hrs split in two) it is a fairly daunting commitment!

What about Andrew Wincott’s performance did you like?

The narrator is really great. Perhaps has a slightly limited range of accents but his is very entertaining to listen to.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Ray on 11-16-17

Good listen

Great listen. I love the description on this book and the voices where done well and were consistent.

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