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The Heart of What Was Lost

(Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn #3.5)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,919 ratings  ·  294 reviews
The Heart of What Was Lost takes place in the half-year after the end of To Green Angel Tower, and tells of the attempt by Isgrimnur and a force largely made up of Rimmersgard soldiers to destroy the remaining Norns as they flee back to their homeland and their mountain. It also answers some questions about what actually happened in the immediate aftermath of the fall of G ...more
224 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by DAW Books (first published January 2017)
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Deborah I would recommend it. People who've read the book at proof stage told us it stands alone and they didn't go back and reread, or read, the MS&T…moreI would recommend it. People who've read the book at proof stage told us it stands alone and they didn't go back and reread, or read, the MS&T trilogy. Thanks - Tad's (biased) wife @mrstad(less)
Carol Guthrie There will be a new series titled The Last King of Osten Ard, the first book of which will be released in June of 2017. It's underway, but not yet…moreThere will be a new series titled The Last King of Osten Ard, the first book of which will be released in June of 2017. It's underway, but not yet published.(less)

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4.01  · 
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 ·  1,919 ratings  ·  294 reviews

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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Where the hell have you been all my life Tad Williams?

As an avid reader of fantasy, I expect quite a few things when I read a new book. And this hit them all; it smashed them, destroyed them and utterly broke them. My expectations have never been so pleasantly met.

How come I only gave it four stars? Well, it’s not a full novel. This isn’t a new world, but a revamp of the old one. Now I’ve not read the previous trilogy (though I have ordered them since reading this) but I can immediately see t
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A small novel in its own (compared to the trilogy), The Heart of What Was Lost picks up events after the Battle of Hayholt ended. Duke Isgrimnur follows the Norns right to their den, the last standing city built by the old race, the city of Nakkiga.

There is an epic battle alright, but what this volume mainly does is telling the story of the Norns*. If in the previous trilogy we only know them as the infamous pawns of the Storm King, we now get the full picture. And I must say, I rooted for them.
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was somewhat skeptical hopping into this one because it *appeared* to be a full-length novel masquerading as a bridge between Williams' original fantasy series and a later incarnation in the same world. I mean, it's nearly ten hours in audio and yet it's only a #0.5 in reading order? Yikes. But then, that's Tad Williams for you. His books are HUGE. Small print, mondo page count. Yak-chokers. If a full novel can be considered nothing more than an *appetizer* in comparison, then it is what it is ...more
Bob Milne
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-epic
It's hard to believe it's been over twenty years since I last visited Osten Ard. In that time I finished high school, completed my Bachelor's degree, got married, and embarked on a career that saw me spend 15 years with the same company. When I heard Tad Williams was returning to the world of Simon and Miriamele, I was cautiously excited. I haven't had a lot of luck revisiting the fantasy sagas of my youth, but I remembered Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn as being deeper and more complex, hence the ca ...more
Shawn Speakman
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is great being back in Osten Ard! While this book is short and set directly after the events of To Green Angel Tower, Williams does an excellent job of recreating the atmosphere of the original trilogy while setting up the events that will lead to The Witchwood Crown, the first book in the new forthcoming trilogy. The Heart of What Was Lost is a self-contained story featuring some of our favorite characters. And the prose is as lyrical as anything Williams has written. Even though this could ...more
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tad-williams
Pre-Read: I don't "Squee" for much.... But a new Osten Ard novel? "SQUEEEEEEE!"

Post-Read: What a great start to 2017! Reading thus was like revisiting an old friend, who then introduces you to NEW friends.

Granted, I'm biased, since Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is one of go-to reccs for fantasy series, but it seems like this would be a good primer to the world/series for new readers. It's been WAY Too long since I've revisited this world!
Patrick St-Denis
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Right off the bat, let me tell you just how great it was to finally return to the world of Osten Ard! I read To Green Angel Tower when it initially came out in 1993, so I've been waiting for over two decades to discover what happens next. Many thanks to Tad Williams and his wife Deborah for sending me a set of page proofs of The Heart of What Was Lost a couple of months ago so I could have an early read of one of my most eagerly anticipated speculative fiction titles of 2017! I knew that bottle ...more
GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)
I'm not gonna was reeeeally strange reading such a short book that was written by Tad Williams. Usually I put one of his books in my backpack and I feel that motherfucker in there like a deadly weapon waiting for me to bludgeon somebody to death with it.

Not so with The Heart Of What Was Lost. I mean, I get it...its just a story that bridges MS&T and The Last King of Osten Ard together. It's not meant to be a full-length, epic, Tad Williams masterpiece. It is a tool that tidies up a

Written many years after the Green Angel Tower book, this one appears to be a short segue into continuing the series.

The book was certainly different from the others.

First, to me, it is a bit expensive. The ebook was 12 bucks and only 222 pages.

My observation is that the author seems to have changed his writing style, I noticed he reduced the intricate details that gave such life to his other books, and in doing so, sacrificed world building and character depth. IMHO.

I had little lo
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tad Williams was my gateway to fantasy novels. Other than some YA fantasy, Stephen King & the occasional curiosity pick from the fantasy section of Walden (and Star Wars, Star Trek if those count), I didn't really read genre fiction until I came across Otherland, and got really obsessed with it. Years of my life since then have been marked out by ongoing discussions with fellow Tad fans, and now I've known Tad so long it's like my favorite uncle has a new novel out.

Anyway, while I've since
Scott Kemper
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
What is the purpose of war? Who wins who loses? Are the good guys really good and the bad guys really bad? These are some of the questions Tad Williams makes his reader ask themselves while reading The Heart of What Was Lost.

This a fantastic novella/short novel/novel by Mr. Tad Williams. Let me start by saying, I first read Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn this year and I fell in love with the world of Osten Ard. I loved the politics and the cultures. I loved the characters, and the world. It was an am
Učitaj se!
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, finished
U svijetu fantastike, mnogo je sjajnih pisaca i njihovih jednako sjajnih književnih djela. Lako se zaljubiti u epske fantastične sage, predivno je stalno otkrivati nove pisce i nove svjetove, a još je ljepše vraćati se onima u koje ste se još davnih dana zaljubili. U tom moru fantastike, naići ćete na razna imena, koja će vas u raznim mjerama oduševiti, ali neka će od tih imena zauvijek ostati, da tako kažem, 'the imena' (ili Imena s velikim I, kako bi ih možda nazvao Joe Abercrombie u nekom od ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(After having the honour of reading the manuscript and offering some thoughts about it, I'm so glad read the final version and to be able to speak openly about it at last.)

On the surface, this book seems cold and dark, a perfect read for snowy January nights. But underneath the grimness of war, of death and destruction, the story has a warm and hopeful heart, as Tad's books always do.

When we left Osten Ard at the end of To Green Angel Tower – just recently for the characters, years or even decad
Andy Angel
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
'The Heart Of What Was Lost' by Tad Williams - some thoughts (spoiler free)

January 3rd 2017 sees the long awaited return of Tad Williams to the land of Osten Ard which was the setting for his mammoth beast of a trilogy (or quadrilogy if you bought the paperback version) Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. I was fortunate enough to get hold of an advance copy so here are my thoughts.

It has been 23 years (give or take) since Tad wrote in this setting and since then has gone on to write other series in other
Robin Carter
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy


Memory Sorrow and Thorn forms a seminal part of my reading life and direction. I stumbled across The Dragonbone chair in 1990 when i had just become a single parent. I was trapped indoors with nappies, and all the other new baby things, it was still in the era of 4 channels of nothing on TV and only so many videos to watch. I was a huge fan of David Gemmell, and was branching out into other authors, but i was far from a huge reader. This Tad Williams series broke open mew worlds, new ideas
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, I read this one when I was on vacation with no access to the internet or to a good keyboard, so this won't be a full review.

(To clarify: I read this on Amtrak, almost in one sitting except for the 100 minute break I took to watch Jason & the Argonauts on my iPad.)

This is, obviously, a much shorter book than any of the main Osten Ard volumes; I get the feeling that this was Tad Williams kind of dipping his toes back into the world before starting a full-blown trilogy. The book takes pl
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Osten Ard is a truly magical world, but its mysteries and secrets are deep and dark. So buckle up and prepare yourself. As the Mountain Folk say: Welcome stranger. The paths are treacherous today.

Blurb: The Heart of What Was Lost takes place in the half-year after the end of To Green Angel Tower, and tells of the attempt by Isgrimnur and a force largely made up of Rimmersgard soldiers to destroy the remaining Norns as they flee back to their homeland and their mountain. It also answers some ques
Blodeuedd Finland
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read Memory, Sorrow and Thorn ages ago. I really can't remember anything. Except for like 3 names and the cover of the last book.

This book takes place 6 months after that series ended and is a sort of conclusion to that series, but also a prequel to the new one.

The bad guys are running back to the mountains and the good guys are chasing them...BUT, damn I rooted for the bad guys! Did I hate them back when? I have no idea. But here he made me sympathise with them. They wanted their land back.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm... rooting for the Norns now. What the hell? As ever, Tad Williams doesn't just put you in someone else's shoes. He makes you dance in them. Climb mountains. Walk the world. He makes you own those shoes. He makes you love them. Cunning bastard.
Stephanie Mohler
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Finished this awhile ago, but didn't feel like writing a review. Told from the viewpoints of Isgrimnur and a Norn- can't remember his name! Can't wait for the new series.
Sotiris Karaiskos
Αυτό το βιβλίο είναι ουσιαστικά το προοίμιο της νέας σειράς του που συνεχίζει την ιστορία από τη σειρά Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn που γράφτηκε πριν από πολλά χρόνια. Σε αυτό βρισκόμαστε λίγο καιρό μετά την τελική μάχη εκείνης της σειράς και παρακολουθούμε την υποχώρηση των τελευταίων στρατευμάτων του εχθρού που καταδιώκονται από χιλιάδες στρατιώτες που σκοπό έχουν να τους εξολοθρεύσουν για να τους εκδικηθούν αλλά και να σιγουρευτούν ότι πλέον δεν θα υπάρχει καμία πιθανότητα αναζωπύρωσης αυτού του ...more
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fantasy
Essentially another epilogue for Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, detailing an encounter that Isgrimmnur has in the north with the last of the Norns.

A lovely tease for those of us eager to get back to Osten And, and though I was disappointed that Simon and Miriamele were not present "on the page," I have always loved Duke Isgrimmnur, and was happy to see him (and Sludig!) again.

Alberto García
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Me ha encantado, tanto por el simple hecho de volver a pasear por las montañas de Osten Ard como por la sencilla y encantadora forma de narrar de Tad Williams. Una lástima que todavía nadie lo haya traducido al español, pero el lenguaje sencillo y variado no es en absoluto un problema para aquellos que tengan un dominio mínimo del inglés. Atención para navegantes, no es esta una historia que vive de herencias respecto a 'Memory, Sorrow and Thorne', pues nos adentra muchísimo más en el conocimien ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Das Herz der verlorenen Dinge“ wird teils als 5. Band der Reihe Das Geheimnis der Großen Schwerter angezeigt, von einigen auch als nullter Band zur Verknüpfung mit Tad Williams neuer Trilogie "Der letzte König von Osten Ard". Der erste Band „Die Hexenholzkrone“ soll am 5.8. 2017 erscheinen. Weitere Bände: Empire of Grass, The Navigator's Children.

In einer Reihe von Momentaufnahmen lernen wir eine fantastische Welt kennen, von der Tad Willam‘s Osten Ard ein Teilbereich ist. Williams will mit der
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful return to one of my very favorite worlds, with some of my favorite characters. It's so exciting to have so many new Osten Ard stories to look forward to in the near future!
Dean Haywood
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very good book,I shall now be reading all the books by Tad Williams.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
In reality I think this book is really just the preface to the authors new trilogy set in the world of Osten Ard. But, Tad Williams being the author he is, it's so long the publishers put it out as a separate book :) It details what happened after the end of the first trilogy when the humans continued north and attacked the last remaining stronghold of the Norns. This encounter and battle sets the scene for the first book in the new trilogy The Witchwood Crown, which picks up the story 30 years ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Heart of What Was Lost Lost (or HOWWL - I just *love* this acronym) marks Tad Williams' return to Osten Ard. A return readers have wished and hoped for more than 20 years - ever since the epic finale of the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series that made Williams’ name as a writer.

Disclosure: I was a beta readers of this book, following its development from first draft to final manuscript and I am completely biased. Nevertheless this is my true and heartfelt opinion and I have no economic or other
Courtney Schafer
Tad Williams's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy is one of my all-time favorite epic fantasies, so when I heard that after 23 years he was writing new stories set in the world of Osten Ard, I was both delighted and a little nervous. When authors return to old series, it's sometimes hard for them to recapture the magic, perhaps because the passage of time changes their attitudes and outlook so much they're no longer the same person who first wrote the books.

But in The Heart of What was Lost, rig
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Electronic ARC provided by NetGalley.

"The Heart of What Was Lost" follows directly after the events of "To Green Angel Tower", detailing Isgrimnur's journey North as he attempts to chase the Norn stragglers back to their home and destroy them for good. I would not recommend it for people who have not read the previous series, since there is no background given on either the characters or their current situations. It actually took me a few chapters to get into the swing of things since it's been
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Heart of What was Lost [February 11, 2019] 13 20 Mar 01, 2019 10:31PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correct page count 9780756412487 2 194 Jan 20, 2017 07:31AM  
Interview with the author 1 14 Jan 03, 2017 12:56AM  

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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn (3 books)
  • The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1)
  • Stone of Farewell (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #2)
  • To Green Angel Tower (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3)
“We survive. But when survival is the only goal, what do the survivors become? This” 2 likes
“We call darkness our friend, but when the elders tell us stories of the Garden, they talk of the holy, unending light that was there. How did shadows become our only dwelling?” 1 likes
More quotes…