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The second book in the trilogy that launched one of the most important fantasy writers of our time.

It is a time of darkness, dread, and ultimate testing for the realm of Osten Ard, for the wild magic and terrifying minions of the undead Sithi ruler, Ineluki the Storm King, are spreading their seemingly undefeatable evil across the kingdom.

With the very land blighted by the power of Ineluki’s wrath, the tattered remnants of a once-proud human army flee in search of a last sanctuary and rallying point—the Stone of Farewell, a place shrouded in mystery and ancient sorrow.

An even as Prince Josua seeks to rally his scattered forces, Simon and the surviving members of the League of the Scroll are desperately struggling to discover the truth behind an almost-forgotten legend, which will take them from the fallen citadels of humans to the secret heartland of the Sithi—where near-immortals must at last decide whether to ally with the race of men in a final war against those of their own blood.

698 pages, Hardcover

First published August 7, 1990

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About the author

Tad Williams

230 books6,424 followers
Tad Williams is a California-based fantasy superstar. His genre-creating (and genre-busting) books have sold tens of millions worldwide, in twenty-five languages. His considerable output of epic fantasy and science fiction book-series, stories of all kinds, urban fantasy novels, comics, scripts, etc., have strongly influenced a generation of writers: the ‘Otherland’ epic relaunches June 2018 as an MMO on steam.com. Tad is currently immersed in the creation of ‘The Last King of Osten Ard’, planned as a trilogy with two intermediary novels. He, his family and his animals live in the Santa Cruz mountains in a suitably strange and beautiful house. @tadwilliams @mrstad

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5 stars
18,224 (38%)
4 stars
17,982 (38%)
3 stars
8,236 (17%)
2 stars
1,838 (3%)
1 star
649 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 898 reviews
Profile Image for Dirk Grobbelaar.
550 reviews1,044 followers
December 23, 2014
My review of The Dragonbone Chair did not do the novel justice. It was written in haste, a few quickly typed lines before I launched into The Stone of Farewell. See, The Dragonbone Chair ended on such a note that I just did.not.have.the.time to think about a decent review. I simply had to know what happened next.

The first novel went to great pains to establish the world, so there wasn’t such a lot of exposition required for The Stone of Farewell. This freed the author up to do what he apparently does best: write awesome, and remarkably cinematic, fantasy. There is an epic sweep to Memory, Sorrow and Thorn that does both Tolkien and David Lean proud. George R.R. Martin is on record saying that this series inspired him to write A Song of Ice and Fire.

Simon is a great reluctant-hero type. He is often resentful and bitter as he is swept along in the story. He rarely comprehends the significance of events and he never volunteers, but is unable to remove himself from the forefront of the stage. He often alternates between self pity and self loathing, which makes him pretty believable given the circumstances. And yet, ever so slowly, the reader starts perceiving the subtle changes, because among all the other things this novel aspires to, it is also a bildungsroman. As for Binabik the troll: he has to be read to be believed. There is some truth to the “dynamite in small packages” saying. The Miriamele/Aspitis sequence frustrated me to the point of orthostatic hypotension, but I have a niggling feeling that this was exactly the author’s intention. I could go on and on: the characters in here are as real as it gets in genre fiction, and there are many of them.

At times touching, at times amusing, but always rousingly epic - this is the series to read if you’re into high fantasy. I don’t have the next book close at hand (it is still in the mail), which is a pity, since this one also ends on such a fever pitch that I would have loved to launch straight into To Green Angel Tower, Part 1, without losing momentum. Alas.

Note: Jumping into a river to attack a crocodile is probably the second stupidest thing you can do (I’m reserving judgement about the first). It didn’t affect my rating, but you might want to bear it in mind.
Profile Image for Jake Bishop.
272 reviews291 followers
February 22, 2022
I still really enjoyed the characters, and character interactions, the worldbuilding and lore is still fantastic, and Tad's writing is still very good, I don't love it as much as some do, but it is still very good. (even if I sometimes get annoyed by the sheer quantity of adverbs). This book also just feels like the poster child for middle book syndrome. The main plot of this book feels like it is just to get people in a situation where they can start the final book, and most of the conflict of the book is driven by sub plots along the way.

So it's a 4 star, but it is a mildly disappointing 4 star given the skill and talent of the author.

Profile Image for Claudia.
942 reviews503 followers
August 7, 2018
A bit too long even for my taste, although, if you ask me, I don’t know what could have been cut from it. We follow our heroes’ quest throughout Osten Ard, but now we have more threads. The remaining ‘good guys’ are scattered throughout the land, each trying to reach the Stone of Farewell, the last safe bastion from the Storm King.

There is a single wow moment, for me at least, and it was at 96%. However, there isn’t a single dull moment in the whole book. It’s just that their journeys are taking too long and I’m tired and frustrated that nothing good happens to them. Just like in LOTR, where the chain of misfortunes doesn’t seem to end for Frodo and Sam.

Anyway, I thought I would take a break but given the revelation at the end my curiosity was piqued even more than it was so here I go on the last part of the adventure.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,845 followers
June 21, 2022

I definitely liked this book better the second time. I suppose it's just one of those things. It seems slow-going only because I kept expecting something else.

In point of fact, I loved the land of the Sidhe here, the hints and the worldbuilding, and the great, deep tragedy.

The epic part of this fantasy is not in the battles, although they are there, but in how the fantasy deeply diverges from the normal tropes. It swerves rather far from normal expectations and does it in a deep way. It's not surface level. The corruption of Osten Ard, the way we keep coming back to it with a truly surprising PoV, the Dragon (NOT an actual Dragon, mind you), really gives us a sense of how bad things are getting while the true storm brews in the background, threatening to overrun all the lands.

As I said in the previous book's review, these books are detail-rich, deeply grounded, and never overpowered. The same is true here. Simon is always out of his depth. He's such a sweet kid, trying so hard. I really like him. And I feel for him, too. Even though there was a lot more time spent with different characters, I really got into the Sidhe sections.

I still remember what happens in the next book, so this is pretty much the lull before the storm.
Profile Image for Solseit.
286 reviews72 followers
June 24, 2018
Such a great second book in a series.
Plenty of characters, great characters, challenges which showed more of the main characters reactions and humanity.
Amazing plot, properly written and developed. Just the right amount of cliffhangers.
Also, great female characters, stronger than average and annoyed by being contained in a stereotype.
I felt completely immersed in the story and invested in the characters.
Profile Image for Aurora.
213 reviews10 followers
January 14, 2013
I hate this book. Here, let me sum it up for you so you don't waste all the time I did hoping this monstrosity would get better.

Some people walk through a forest. A fight happens. Someone falls down and has a prophetic dream that they never tell anyone about. More walking through the forest.

Repeat ad nauseum.
Yes, that was the entire book. People 'falling senseless' or whatever the heck every ten pages, a lot of whining, and the occasional anticlimactic pointless battle followed by more passing out and walking through the forest. What a waste of time and space.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,807 reviews348 followers
March 21, 2017
As I look back on the reading experience for Stone of Farewell, I wonder exactly why I enjoyed it so much? I mean, not an awful lot happens. Simon returns to being a pouty, immature boy more often than not. There’s an awful lot of walking, while keeping a look-out for the bad guys. In fact, you could probably sum up the whole book in one sentence: Most of the good guys get to the Stone of Farewell.

I guess what made it worthwhile for me was learning quite a bit more about the Sithi (Williams’ version of Elves). Plus getting some back-story for Ineluki, the Storm King, to find out what turned him into the vengeful creature that is threatening all of Osten Ard. There’s also a peek into Troll culture and a love interest for poor, patient old Binibik.

The character who really gets left in the lurch in this volume is Miriamele, King Elias’ daughter. I would be reading book three regardless, but it is her fate that really is pulling me along at this point. I must know what happens!

This is pretty standard fantasy fare and if you enjoy high fantasy, you are likely to enjoy the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series. Those who don’t like elves, trolls, and magic swords should definitely pass this series by!

Book 250 of my Science Fiction and Fantasy reading project.
Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,544 reviews2,930 followers
May 31, 2017
This is book #2 in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series and it's a pretty classic fantasy series. I find that classic fantasy often tends to fall into some of the tropes I don't love very much (sloooooow pacing and not so developed characters were the two major complaints with this book) but when I am in the mood to read a classic fantasy series I do enjoy a good one and I think this one is that :)

Simon is the main character for a lot of the first book but I feel like in book two we start to branch off into a few different plot threads and follow more people in detail. Simon is our young 'chosen one'. The boy who used to sleep in the kitchens, until he was sent off on the most important quest of all time...to find Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (3 magic swords) and hopefully fix THE WORLD :)

We also have Binabik who is a personal favourite of the series for me. He's a troll, and he lives in a land full of trolls (well, normally he would but up until now he's been on a quest with Simon). I loved getting to see him with his people (even though they're pretty mean to him) and seeing ALL the trolls - They're kind of like cute little trolls rather than big scary ones!

Jirki is a Sitha, one of the ancient magical races of the world who might be able to help if only they would stir themselves into action and actually worry about the destinies of mortals (can you tell I've read a few books where this happens?!)

Prince Josua is an exiled Prince by this book and he's on the run and in hiding from the evil Norns and the others who would seek to do him harm (that's most people). He's the land's best noble chance for redemption so must be protected at all costs.

Miriamele was the worst developed character in my opinion, she's the daughter of the crazy King (he's the reason so much of the world is an issue - or one of them) and yet ALL she seems to do is be scared, flirty, weak or whiney... I have to say from experience there's a lot more than that to a lady and she's just not a convincing character. A lot of her plot felt forced and anti-climatic to me in this book which was a shame as I think she could be great when used properly...

Maegwin is probably one of the most far-off from the rest of the characters and the most intriguing to me. Her plot just keeps picking at me and making me wonder where it's going and how she fits into everything. She's a princess who's in hiding as the last of her line with the last of her loyal followers...

The plot of this book certainly had some wonderful moments but equally it suffers from the slow pacing that this sort of book is known for. I don't mind a slow read when I am audio-booking (which is what I did with this one) but sometimes this felt like a lot could have been shortened/cut.

In terms of the book as a whole I did enjoy it even though I have issues with it. It's one of the better classic fantasies I've read and I have fun being in the world, I just think it doesn't hold up alongside some of the other more modern books. It's a good adventure and I'm committed to seeing where it goes, so I am diving straight into book #3 and will report back. 3*s for this one.
October 18, 2017
  The apocalypse that has befallen the world of Osten Ard is fully unveiled. It might be a slow unravelling but it is a very satisfying one. The worldbuilding is tremendous. Our view of the world expands and its full of magnificent places, people and their stories. Especially the various subraces of the elvenkind are awesome. Apart from the Middle Earth this is the only place that I can say that I love the Elves. They share the grandeur and the drama of their Tolkien counterparts but they are at the same time very original and unique.
  I also liked a lot the horror and darker elements that appeared in bigger numbers. The enemy is spreading like a plague and the world is turning fast to a menacing and dangerous place.
   I dont know if that kind of storytelling would appeal to everyone. Especially to people who prefer faster and action oriented stories but if you like a more romantic and adventurous approach u ll probably appreciate these books a lot.
Profile Image for Ahdam.
60 reviews13 followers
January 4, 2018
Ok first review of 2018 and what do you know its 5 stars out of 5

Anyway this book is a huge improvement on the previous book which was already fantastic, I think what stood out for me in this book was the pace and tension kept building as it wasn't like in the great hunt where it starts all over again for each book. I felt the story moved much more here than in Dragonbone chair and I was invested into what the characters were up to as they got on with there tasks set for them in Osten Ard.

That is another thing I loved about this book the number of characters is just amazing and it was such a joy to revisit some (Rachel) and I was invested in all of the POV's as not only did I feel attached to the characters I was fascinated because I was learning of the huge world that is Osten Ard whether it is the mythical sites our heroes visit or the history behind certain places I loved learning about this world and being a part of it along with the characters. Simon still has a way to go but he has definitely evolved from the mooncalf back in Hayholt and I can't wait to see what he will do next because I see great things for him as he begins to mature to the Snowlock he is especially in the ultimate 1600 pages (split into 2 books of course) finale that is green angel tower

I love this series so much the writing is exquisite, the details are so fascinating and matching it with its pace is probably the main reason why I love this book much better than the first 2 books of the wheel of time as I personally rank Osten Ard as one of my favourite fantasy world along with Roshar. I'm so glad I finally returned to this series after 9-10 months and getting into it felt like a breath of fresh air or more like cold air for this case.

I would recommend everyone to give this series a try with The Dragonbone Chair, if you want a classical fantasy story with great worldbuilding and fine details I would start here and like I said earlier I personally enjoyed this series more than the first 2 books of the Wheel of Time series.
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
295 reviews1,476 followers
March 10, 2021
I listened to this entirely on audio while doing things around the house, and it was the perfect companion. I'm still holding out hope for certain characters to come back, but I feel like I'm setting myself up for failure LOL
Profile Image for Pavle.
406 reviews139 followers
August 13, 2020
Iako je po prirodi onaj klasični spojni deo bez mnogo stvarnih narativnih, a sa puno karakternih pomaka, drugi deo Vilijamsove trilogije sasvim radi svoj posao pripremanja scene za klimaktični okršaj. Mali a značajni trenuci pojedinih likova je ono što ovde nosi radnju, kao i daleko veći fokus na vilenjačku rasu u svetu Osten Arda. I dalje je stilska raskoš najupečatljiviji deo ovih romana, kao i potpuno jedinstveno shvatanje sveta i likova koji ga populišu. Treći deo sledi posle kraće pauze.

Profile Image for Amar.
375 reviews
August 14, 2021
Tamam kad mu htjedoh dati trojku, Tad se izvuče na samom kraju. A što sam samo trojku htio dati? Jer za mene ova knjiga pati od sindroma druge knjige, gdje se glavna priča samo minimalno pomakela naprijed. Imamo mnogo arcova ovdje, od kojih mi je samo Simonov bio baš zanimljiv, dok su ostali bili za moj ukus previše razvučeni.
Oko priče se slabo može sta novo napisati, jer se baš malo oko glavne priče desilo, ali Williamsova naracija je i dalje perfektna. Krajolici Osten Arda su tako divno opisani, da se može zaviditi Tadovoj mašti. Pa čak i da stvori neljudskog lika u koju se naprosto moraš zaljubiti je također jedan veliki plus.
Kako god, nedvojbeno je Tad priredio veliko finale, jer su sada sve kockice složene za epsku bitku.
Profile Image for Julia Sarene.
1,204 reviews127 followers
February 10, 2017
It has been about 7 years since I read the first book - and it took me quite a while to get back into the story. Once I remembered the multitude of characters, I was quickly sucked in again.
On the one hand I really enjoyed the story - on the other hand it was veeeery long in places. A lot of description, that didn't feel entirely necessary in some scenes - while at other places it felt perfectly balanced, even though it had some minute details.

What bugged me (as everyone knowing me will expect) was that there was quite some being in love in this one. Thankfully not a full love story, but a princess in love with someone, a prince in love with someone, and a mooncalf boy in love with someone. Or other. It wasn't overly much - but mentioned quite often, and I simply hate romance in my fantasy- especially if it doesn't really feel like a natural part of the story.

I very much enjoyed the different characters - I liked how the different races and cultures actually felt different to each other, and not just like "Smaller human", "human with magic" and such! (Special Kudos to the audible narrator who manages to give them different accents, and ways of speaking who fit perfectly!) I also liked the richness of the world and the way you don't feel like if you look behind a tree there would be a blank wall, but as if you were in the world, and the world was real. (And yes, I think that would still have been possible with some less flowery descriptions here and there.)

I thought some of the characters actions overly naive, and it had quite an episodic feel to it in places - also the fight scenes were a bit predictable and I had a deja vu of LOTR - and they are walking (or sometimes riding in this one) and walking, and still walking, and more walking and how surprising - even more walking! ;)

All in all definitely still a good series, and I will try my best not to wait 7 years again before I will pick up book three!
Profile Image for Veronica .
743 reviews175 followers
February 14, 2022
4.5 stars

"It is a beginning," he said at last. "Against all despair, it is a small flame of hope."

This second book in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy picks up largely where the first book ended. Our main heroes are fractured, forced by circumstance to pursue separate missions, and all the while the forces that threaten to forever destroy the land of Osten Ard grow stronger.

I found this second book more evenly paced than the first book. There was no slow start this time around and the story held my attention from start to finish. Well, admittedly, there was a certain interlude that got a little bogged down but it didn’t last too long and it concluded with a bevy of activity that will surely have long-reaching consequences.

Readers will continue to follow some old favorite characters and the story keeps the momentum going by switching its focus from one third person POV to another. There are losses along the way as one would expect from a good-vs-evil story on this scale but there are also some new characters that are introduced so that helps to lessen the losses and I, for one, am curious to know them better.

The final book was originally published in one large hardcover book but it was too big to be made into one single paperback version, so it was split into two books for that format. Since I have the paperback version, I still have two equally huge books to read…but I’m not complaining. I’ve grown attached to most of these characters. I’ve lost some and expect that I will lose even more before I read that final page but I have no doubt that the author’s special way with words will ease me through the rough parts.

"This is what we’ve been searching for. This is where we will begin the long road back."
Profile Image for Dawn.
971 reviews215 followers
February 23, 2017

Whereas the first book was a nice comfort read, this one gave me anxiety through much of it.

Lots of stuff going on, a bit more conflict but few resolutions, which I expect will come in the last book.

There is alot of back and fourth with different characters POV's as they all strive to their own purposes.

I have grown to dislike Mirabele, who in the first book seemed strong but has now turned to a stupid shallow child. I hate that she gave herself to the earl..little whore.. I also hated the slut sithi who kept hanging all over Simon..but at least he turned her away.

Men just have no clue how to write romance. This author also seems to have a low opinion of women for all the women characters are dreadful. They all seem pitiful, shallow and weak.

I am hoping this changes in the next book.

I do still love Simon, and it is his character that keeps me going.

The pace in this book is a little faster, but the author still over does it with flowery descriptions and I found myself skimming at times, I just wanted to scream..get on with it!

It also seemed there is alot of writing about crap that doesn't reveal much. I can't really explain it but I read paragraphs and paragraphs and find the characters don't learn anything new or go anywhere.

I know this sound negative considering I gave 4 stars, in truth it was a good book, but perhaps it is just that the writing style is a little outdated. The story itsself is good so I will continue.

Safety: Blood, violence. No cursing. Sex implied for Mirabele.

Romance peeps: Mirabele who is supposed to end up with Simon, sleeps with another. Simon is tempted by another but resists. Josua still doesn't love his woman but she loves him. They marry because she is pregnant. Binabik marries his love but has to leave her behind.
Profile Image for Max.
714 reviews14 followers
May 23, 2022
This is one of my favourite series, ever. Tad Williams is my favourite author of fantasy. I met him once, and he is also hilariously funny and a good guy.

So, I can not give an unbiased review, hee hee. :-) Only praise for this series and everything else Tad writes.

I was looking for fantasy books like Lord of the Rings when someone recommended me this. And while you shouldn't compare anything to Tolkien in terms of writing (my humble opinion), these books are a whole different category. So I can not say this is better than Lord of the Rings, or LotR is better than this, but it's alongside each other, just as great, but just different. I found these books to be easier to read, while LotR is more intense.

I will stop comparing now, haha. Anyway, don't be daunted by the gazillion pages, if you're into fantasy you will breeze through them and after the three books you'll actually want more. So glad the author is still writing!
Profile Image for Sara J. (kefuwa).
514 reviews43 followers
June 20, 2017
#ReturnToOstenArd: Re-read this as part of a bookstagram group-read with Tange, Jacob & Nadine in anticipation of the Witchwood Crown coming out in June 2017!

23/5/17: Annnnd I'm done! Not going to stop to write anything atm as it will be mostly fangirling as per the review for Dragonbone Chair. Used mostly my ebook version to get through this one as well - I will stick a review on the ebook version later on too (urgh - so many mistakes Hachette UK!) - I also need to add a new edition for the Google Play version of the ebook for Stone of Farewell - don't feel like doing it now as I would have to get into the logistics of working around keeping the review for the paperback and the ebook separate? Hmm. And those reading dates. Argh.

Anyhow - To Green Angel Tower we go!!!
Profile Image for Maja Ingrid.
442 reviews126 followers
March 29, 2019
Not as good as the first book. It doesn't have much going for it, and felt too long for what happened in it. Could easily been a tad bit shorter. Blaming this on middle book syndrome. I struggled a little getting into it in the beginning and at the end I grew a little tired and just wanted it to be done. Hopefully next one(s, bc my edition are split in two parts) will be better.

I'm also not sure how I feel about Simon. He's still such a mooncalf at times. And for some reason the voice I hear in my head every time he speaks is Kevin's from This Is Us when Kevin and his siblings are kids (you know 10-12yo) and he has that complaining, whiny voice. Took me to the end of this book to realize that. Binabik and Qantaqa are super precious and I love them.
Profile Image for Jacob.
699 reviews30 followers
May 28, 2017
When I first read this book twenty years ago I was frustrated with the side characters/stories because I had no patience and thought this story should be about Seoman alone. Now I can laugh at how foolish and shallow I was and marvel at how beautiful the story truly is. Tiamak's inner struggles alone would be worth a story about. This is an excellently crafted tale that adds depth and life to this trilogy.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 27 books5,588 followers
October 5, 2010
On my third (possibly fourth) reading of this book, I realized something: it was just as good as the first time I read it.

The splendid cast of characters, all real individuals, are just as engrossing. The layers of plot (and plotting) are just as tight and as fascinating.

Thus I maintain my stance that this is one of the best fantasy series of all time.
Profile Image for Eduardo Martínez.
Author 3 books23 followers
February 3, 2020
Tercera lectura de Añoranzas y Pesares, casi veinte años después de la anterior (han caído los dos primeros volúmenes de la edición española, y voy a por los dos siguientes tal y como se editó en España). Y me reafirma en lo importantísima que ha sido esta obra para el desarrollo de la literatura fantástica actual. Canción de Hielo y Fuego, tal y como George RR Martin reconoce, ha bebido de la obra de Tad Williams hasta el punto que prácticamente todo lo que ha hecho mundialmente famosa esa saga ya está presente en Añoranzas y Pesares. Y en mi caso particular, aunque como narrador no tengo nada que ver con el estilo de Tad Williams, es cierto que ha sido su obra la que mayor impacto ha tenido en mi forma de concebir mundos imaginarios. Que he tenido que leerlo con la mochila de lecturas y escritura que a mi edad ya llevo a cuestas para ser plenamente consciente de ello.
En fin, que Añoranzas y Pesares es una obra que cualquier amante de la literatura en general, y la de género fantástico en particular, debería leer. Una obra maestra.
P.D. Si por aquí se deja caer algún editor español, ¿a que coño estáis esperando para rescatar los derechos y volver a darle vida en papel?
Profile Image for Aldi.
1,082 reviews80 followers
May 31, 2015
A.k.a. The One Where Everything Goes Pearshaped.

Which is pretty awesome, let's be honest. I think my favourite thing here is how the story opens up into this phenomenally epic thing - not that the first book wasn't epic, but we still mostly stayed close to Simon and his journey. This book is where we truly get to know some of the other characters on a deeper level, while also exploring more parts of the world itself. I mean, hello, Isgrimnur playing at being a monk? Guthwulf discovering he may not want to stick this one out with his old war-buddy who's essentially become a dangerous madman? Jao é-Tinukai'i? Gimme a holiday there right now (although I'm with Simon, it would be nice to be able to leave eventually :p)

I have so many favourite parts in this it's hard to even choose. One of the journeys I love best has to be Josua & Co. on their trek east, how they run into the Thrithings people and how he and Vorzheva slowly begin to develop a deeper understanding for each other (yeah, I can never help rooting for those crazy kids and their completely opposing personalities). And I love a good rebellion, so seeing Josua (quiet, bookish, stand-offish Josua) inspire loyalty from new followers and becoming a beacon of hope was just lovely.

I seem to recall that I wasn't that taken with Miriamele's parts when I first read this a long time ago, but that's completely changed since - she's so lonely and desperate to make a difference in the world, and my heart ached for her when she was continually thwarted. (Can we have a massive kick in the balls for Aspitis every time he appears, please? Horrid smarmy git!) And Cadrach, too - he may well be one of the fundamentally saddest characters I've ever encountered, and I wish something could go right for him, just once.

Also, while on the subject of Miri, let's talk about the women in general for a moment, because this is one of the best female casts in fantasy ever. I still have that soft spot (and ok, major crush) on Vorzheva and her utter lack of patience for nonsense. She rocks, and while I delighted in her pig of a father getting humiliated by Josua, I still wish she had had a bit more of a hand in it herself, but oh well. Then there's Geloë - I think we can all agree that the rebellion would never have stood a chance without her saving their sorry arses at every opportunity, Y/Y? And I love how she basically thinks humans are all morons, but she still keeps helping them out, lol. There's also Rachel, of course, so diminished now that everything in "her" castle has gone horribly wrong, but also still so formidable. I mean, who else would go for the most sensible/straightforward solution and just stick a dagger in that creep Pryrates? That woman deserves a medal.

And Aditu, of course. Mrow. I'm very glad that although the Sithi have their similarities to other elf races in fantasy (it's hard to avoid that), Tad gave them some customs and characteristics that are unique to this world and their culture - the wealth of colour they surround themselves with, the fact that they are obviously not asexual, the hints that at least some of them are not at all content to pass quietly from the world. But back to Aditu, I love how irreverent and mocking she is about mortal silliness, but how the relationship she and Simon develop is still something real and mutually intrigued.

I can't quite bear to think about Eolair and Maegwin yet, because their constantly crossed wires and misunderstandings are just so devastating. TALK TO EACH OTHER, YOU STUBBORN FOOLS! Arrrgh.

Anyway. The descriptions still take my breath away and the pacing never misses a beat. It's just one of those enviably flawless books, and I don't mean it has no mistakes ever or that the writing is always perfect - I mean that the world is so rich and the story and characters have such depth that you find yourself pulled right in and reluctant to be lured back out by some boring RL thing. It's been an immensely enjoyable reread, and I can't wait to follow these good old friends to the end.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Aleshanee.
1,370 reviews93 followers
September 20, 2019
Mein Fazit: Der Stein des Anstoßes fiel im ersten Band sozusagen im "Hochhorst", der Königsburg, doch er zieht immer weitere Kreise. Die Charaktere, die man im ersten Band schon ins Herz geschlossen hat, sind weiter auf ihrer Reise quer durch Osten Ard - und nicht alle haben dasselbe Ziel. Es kommen aber auch wieder neue Figuren ins Spiel und ich bin weiterhin fasziniert, mit welcher Spannung und Überraschungen sich alles weiterentwickelt!

Man muss aber mit Geduld an diese Reihe herangehen, denn Tad Williams erzählt wirklich genüßlich und mit Liebe zu Detail; dadurch entsteht auch ein lebendiges und greifbares Bild der Landschaften, vor allem aber auch der Protagonisten, die er in ihrem Handeln und Denken in vielen Wortspielereien perfekt beschreibt.

Die Namen wirklich manchmal etwas schwierig und vereinzelt auch unaussprechlich - aber das sind nur ein paar Nebenfiguren die nicht ins Gewicht fallen. Dafür gibt es aber auch am Ende eine ausführliche Liste mit allen Personen, Orten und sonstigen Begriffen, wo man immer wieder nachschlagen kann - ebenso in der Karte des Landes Osten Ard.

Ein Zitat möchte ich euch auch noch zeigen:

Dennoch aber war er wichtig, so wie jeder Lichtpunkt an einem dunklen Himmel der Stern sein konnte, der einen Seefahrer zum sicheren Hafen lenkte oder zu dem in schlafloser Nacht ein einsames Kind aufsah." Seite 222

Wunderschön beschrieben wie in der "Masse der Menschen" doch jeder etwas besonderes ist und gerade Simon hat ja hier sehr oft mit sich und seinem Schicksal zu kämpfen. Die Schrecken, der Tod und die Verzweiflung lassen in ihm immer wieder Angst und Wut hochkochen, aber auch sehr interessante, essenzielle Fragen stellen über das Leben, das Schicksal und die gefühlte Ungerechtigkeit.

Das Böse breitet sich aus, ein Sturm nähert sich aus dem Norden und der Schrecken nimmt grade erst seinen Anfang - ich bin begeistert und fand es sogar noch einen Tick besser als Band 1 :)
Profile Image for Matt Quann.
606 reviews375 followers
February 6, 2019
While I loved the world-building and moderate pace of The Dragonbone Chair , I found myself missing the compulsive readability of a lot of modern fantasy. All the same, there were nuggets of classic fantasy I read as a fledgling that stoked the fires of nostalgia, while the signs of fantasy pivoting from its roots gave me a bit of historical satisfaction. You can imagine my pleasure when I discovered that Stone of Farewell picks up the pace and deepens the richness of Osten Ard.

I found myself floundering a bit with the huge cast in the first book, but each of the POV characters in this book became more fleshed out and their roles more comprehensible. The various houses, peoples, and lands of the world were starting to come into focus when I started this novel, but I'm comfortable with all the major bits now. What's more, there were many scenes peppered throughout this sequel that rivalled the excitement of the original's concluding action piece. I love the way Williams makes the plight of our heroes seem so hopeless, yet the leads persist to often stirring results.

Looking forward, the third book in the trilogy is perhaps most daunting of all. It clocks in at a whopping 1000 pages, and you just have to wonder how much of that will be slightly dull travelogue. If the trend continues, I expect that there'll be a fair bit of travel, but much less than either of the first two books Despite those misgivings, I've really enjoyed how Williams leaves room for the world to breathe, giving it a feeling of a place well lived-in. I'm also looking forward to how Williams is able to wrap up the trilogy and answer questions I'm surprised he's yet to touch on.

First, a little palate-cleansing!

*Reviewer's note: I'll be waiting to finish the entire trilogy before providing a comprehensive review. Once I'm done with To Green Angel Tower, I'll publish a trilogy-review to better encapsulate the scope and arc of this story! So check back later for a full review.
Profile Image for Marina.
129 reviews1 follower
November 20, 2015
This book is amazing. Full of magic and intrigue, characters were awesome. Plot was engaging, but it is still bit too long. Picking this book would be great way to loose couple of hours or, in my case, weeks. I'm slow reader, but it was worth reading this book.
Profile Image for Connie53.
930 reviews3 followers
February 6, 2020
Na aanvankelijk wat startproblemen ging dit boek me steeds meer boeien. Die startproblemen lagen voornamelijk aan het feit dat ik voor in de trein en dergelijke een digitale versie had. En dat was er een met nogal wat storende fouten. Nadat ik had besloten om dan alleen maar thuis in de papieren versie door te gaan, ging het een stuk beter.
Ik las dit boek voor de ff-challenge 2020 "verwaarloosde series" op de ff-leesclub.nl (FF staat voor Fantasy Fan). En het was zeker een verwaarloosde serie want het eerste deel las ik in 2012.
Het is het verhaal van Simon, de koksjongen die held tegen wil en dank is geworden en met zijn reisgenoten nu op weg is naar de Steen des Afscheids.Zijn reisgenoten zijn onder ander Prins Jozua en Miriamele. Lekker boek om te lezen als je van epische fantasy houdt.
Profile Image for Taylor.
193 reviews17 followers
November 8, 2018
This is definitely my favorite out of the four Tad Williams books that I've read so far! Stone of Farewell is pure awesomeness! :)

My Goodreads Rating/Score: 5 out of 5 Stars / 10 out of 10 on my own scoring system.
Profile Image for Cee.
964 reviews218 followers
August 28, 2015
Stone of Farewell, the sequel to The Dragonbone Chair and the second book in the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn epic fantasy series continues the journey of our cast of main characters - quite literally.

Simon and his friends might have found the sword Thorn, but a single sword is not enough to bring down King Elias. Meanwhile, Prince Josua flees from the Norn that have destroyed his army and his city. Miriamele and the mysterious Father Cadrach try to reach her uncle to appeal to him and get his to support Josua in his cause.

In Stone of Farewell almost all of the main characters are on some kind of trip or mission. I wouldn't want to say that this novel suffers from being a second book, but it is clear when reading that this is a middle book. It deals with the repercussions of the events that end The Dragonbone Chair, and follows the main characters as they start to get ready for their final stand against Elias in the final novel of the trilogy. For the longest time I felt that everything would go wrong. The situation for almost all parties is precarious. But in the end Mr Williams pulled it off admirably, never resorting to the unbelievable to bring everyone together.

What struck me when reading this is how many similarities there are between the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn books and those of the Song of Ice and Fire series. Tad William's trilogy predates Game of Thrones by several years, and it's clear that George R.R. Martin has read these books and found them inspiring. Where Martin keeps reminding us that "winter is coming", winter in Stone of Farewell already has come. Under influence of the Storm King in the north, huenen have left their lairs and are coming south with winter in their wake. Sound familiar? Additionally, the way Williams uses many points of view to tell his story is further developed by Martin in his infamous endless points of view. I got to admit, all of the characters are way easier to keep track of in Williams' books.

For me Stone of Farewell hit all the spots. It has everything I look for in epic fantasy. A reluctant hero who grows up throughout the story, competent female characters, an unspeakable evil that threatens the world order, and a whole cast of people with unclear allegiances. I have no doubt the evil will be defeated by the end of the trilogy, but the journey comes with a price.
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