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As a longtime Tad Williams fan, it's painful to write such a negative review of one of his books. I was eager to see what awaited us on this return to Osten Ard. Alas, what awaited was a mere seed of a new story drowning in a tiresome homage to Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. I thoroughly enjoyed the former series, but the ad nauseum references to it completely bogged down the story. Endless ramblings by characters from the original story bemoaning how they've gotten so old, 'playful banter' between the king and queen that is painfully uninspiring - way too many segments where I found myself thinking, 'Just move on, already!'
I also noted Williams' use of more 'off-color' language. His books tend to fall in the G-rating category, without any foul language or overt sexual content - and those stories didn't suffer from that. He's ramped up the language to PG, presumably in an effort to be more relevant and edgy in the wake of the huge popularity of the often X-rated George R. R. Martin. I love by Martin's and Williams' books - I don't have a hang-up about potentially offensive language being used or not used PROVIDED that is seems integral to the story. But it just doesn't work here - it seemed to be unnatural and forced, sticking out like a sore thumb.
This is Not a good book. It does no justice to a revisit to Osten Ard. But the seed of a good story is there if Williams could just scrape away all the tedious that is holding it back. Being a longtime fan, I'm in it for the long haul. I just hope for much better in book # 2.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
A lot of plot comes up, and a couple of twists here and there. Almost sad to return to the world of Osten Ard and discover so much time having elapsed. Sometimes the shifts in characters have seemingly absolutely no connection whatsoever with the main story, and some even just seem to never resolve by the end. Hopefully, the next book will fill in those blanks, or make some of the storylines make better sense in relation to the main story.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful