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Publisher's Summary

The beloved first novel in Tad Williams' classic fantasy series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, first published in 1988 and now available as an unabridged audiobook for the first time.
Kitchen-boy Simon is bored, restless, and 14 years old - a dangerous combination. It seems, however, that his life has just taken a turn for the better when he's apprenticed to his castle's resident wizard. As Simon's learning to read and write under Doctor Morgenes' tutelage, forces greater than he could possible imagine are gathering: forces which will change Simon's life - and his world - forever.
Following the death of Good King John, Osten Ard is plunged into civil war as his sons battle for control of the fabled Dragonbone Chair - the country's throne as well as the symbol of its power. Simon is forced to flee the only home he has ever known, a journey which will test him beyond his worst nightmares.
With The Dragonbone Chair, Tad Williams introduced readers to the incredible fantasy world of Osten Ard and kicked off the beloved, internationally best-selling series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.
©1988 Robert Paul ‘Tad’ Williams, published by permission of DAW Books (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Cameron on 06-16-17

Tad Williams and Andrew Wincott ...simply awesome

excellent narration. Andrew brings the characters to life in a way that fits so well

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By 9littlebees on 12-16-15

Excellent fantasy with superb narration

What did you like best about this story?

This is a traditional fantasy epic, but unlike many from its era, it derives much of its inspiration from the original European mythology, and not Tolkien's interpretation. Here we have fair elves, but they are much more savage and alien than those of Tolkien.

While the story is a somewhat cliched kitchen boy's journey to power, it is a cracking yarn that I found to have a good mix of action, suspense and intrigue.

What does Andrew Wincott bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Love the accents for the different cultures on show. Andrew mixes the standard British English accents with Welsh, Norse and Scottish, among others.

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Customer Reviews

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By Robyn on 09-26-16

You'll need a little patience for this one

If you want fast-paced action, keep well clear.

Listening through a bank holiday's DIY project, I can confirm that paint does indeed dry faster than it took for anything of interest to happen. (The first bit of action / interest comes at around the 4.5 hour mark).

That said, it's a beautifully written book, but whereas some authors might take a sentence to describe the forest at nightfall, Tad Williams will take four, and then go on to describe the darkness afterwards. Sometimes there are just too many metaphors, wonderfully colourful as they might be. The lead character spends an awful lot of time lost in the under-city, and then in the forest, and then hiking up the mountain - and boy are you there with him, through all those long, dull hours.....

Despite the above, there are some really good and exciting scenes (they are just particularly well spaced), where the pace kicks up a few gears. This is also a unique, new fantasy world and it's this that has kept me interested.

This book is definitely building to something bigger - this first instalment ends just as it's starting to get interesting and things are finally beginning to happen.

I had to take a break half-way through this, escaping to a light-hearted, favoured listen, but I came back to this story, finished it, and have now started onto Part 2. I am trusting the other reviewers that this will be worth it in the long run. (I must remember to review the next instalments too, then!)

Short version: if you're a patient listener, and enjoy beautifully written prose, then you may love this. If you need action, it may well drive you to distraction. Or, like me, perhaps you'll opt simply to zone out for the dull bits and hope not to miss anything important.

Narration is fine.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful


By Lyla on 10-03-15

Slow start but worth the wait

Brilliantly narrated, really brought the characters to life.
Took a while to get going, excellent once it did.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Ammon on 03-30-16

Nostalgia and Surprise

What did you like most about The Dragonbone Chair?

A classic from my childhood I have read the paperbacks again and again. This is a classic fantasy tale, one I have thoroughly enjoyed every time I have visited it. The audiobook adds an extra dimension and the performance by Andrew Wincott helped bring this story to life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Simon is and always will be my favourite character in this book. The daydreaming youth who has responsibilities thrust upon him. Its a character I can relate to and sympathize with.

Which character – as performed by Andrew Wincott – was your favourite?

A tough question, I felt he did such a great job with them all. I did rather enjoy his portrayal of Duke Isgrimnir the gruff old duke from the north.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were definately moments when i laughed whilst listening to this story, but mostly it just swept me back into my childhood memories of reading this, with the delightful surprise of experiencing someone else's vision for how the characters sounded.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By midfielder on 08-24-16

would recommend

one of the best I've read in my 21 years. anyone who loves fantasy should read, and everyone else too.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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