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Die Hexenholzkrone (The Last King of Osten Ard, #1)
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Die Hexenholzkrone

(The Last King of Osten Ard #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,679 ratings  ·  305 reviews
Osten Ard ist in Aufruhr. Seit 30 Jahre regieren König Simon und Königin Miriamel mit Weisheit und Güte über ihr Land. Doch die dunklen Mächte sammeln sich um die Nornenkönigin und wollen sich Osten Ard untertan machen.

Vor allem Prinz Morgan ist in Gefahr, denn die Feinde wollen seine Thronbesteigung verhindern und selbst die Macht erlangen. Da ruft König Simon seine alten
Hardcover, 703 pages
Published August 5th 2017 by Klett-Cotta | Hobbit Presse (first published June 2017)
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Deborah Author's wife here - I think it will make sense on its own. But besides the obvious bias, I often read things out of sequence, if I can't wait or it's…moreAuthor's wife here - I think it will make sense on its own. But besides the obvious bias, I often read things out of sequence, if I can't wait or it's something I've stumbled across. I do think you don't need to know the minutiae of Osten Ard to get into the story.(less)
Waldo Varjak
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Bookdragon Sean
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robin Hobb fans
Shelves: fantasy, 5-star-reads
Tad Williams is a master, a true master of epic fantasy. I can only think of perhaps a handful of novels that are this well written in the genre.

Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that I’ve not read Tad Williams’ original trilogy, but after this I feel like I ought to. I want to see more of this world. I need to see more of this world. It’s flawless and bleak and magical: it’s easily one of the best fantasy universes created. Why? Because it’s vast and finely crafted, resting on years of histor
I'm almost speechless.

I mean, reading this long, long book takes me back to all the long, long books of Tad Williams and especially his most well known and beloved original fantasy. (Of which this picks up many years down the line, with Simon the Scullion a grandfather and King of the kingdom.)

What this does extremely well: worldbuilding and characters. He takes his time. And I mean, he lets all the characterizations come out gloriously slowly, with rich detail and living in such a world that r
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy, fantasy, epic
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

This was a very long, very dense read, but I really don’t mean that in a negative way. Quite the contrary, in fact; it’s has been a while since I’ve sunk my teeth into an epic fantasy so rich and layered, and it felt incredibly refreshing to fall into a meaty novel like this and just let it consume me completely.

The Witchwood Crown is the start of a new series set in the universe of Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thor
Len Evans Jr
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I loved this book... even at almost 700 pages the author kept me turning page after page long after I should have gone to bed on multiple nights. The characters though many are all so skillfully drawn that you quickly come to know and care about what happens to them. The pace of the plot is measured; yet not too slow... always keeping you hooked. I need to now go back and read the original trilogy to tide me over till the next book in this one is released. A definite must read... check it out w
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, fantasy
Some 30 years ago, Tad Williams started his Osten Ard  series with The Dragonbone Chair, Stone of Farewell, and concluded it in 1993 with To Green Angel Tower. I never expected him to return to this wonderful world and characters. Now, we have a long novella The Heart of what was Lost, which picked up some threads directly after the first trilogy, and this new doorstopper of a novel. So, yes dear newcomer, you have to read all the books before this one.

Those 30 years gone are also reflected in t
Bob Milne
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-epic
Sometimes you really can't go home again.

I read "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" back in high school, which was 20+ years ago, for those of you trying to do the math. While I don't have strong memories of it, I think I enjoyed it. Otherland didn't work for me at all, but I chalked that up to my not being a fan of the whole virtual reality/gaming/scifi genre. The War of the Flowers was an OK read, but I figured my lack of enthusiasm was due to my preference for epic, multi-volume sagas. In that case,
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Witchwood Crown continues Tad Williams’ seminal fantasy trilogy Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn while standing equally tall on its own in a more crowded book market, starting a new trilogy called The Last King of Osten Ard. 1988 was a different time for those massive tomes, and this first volume of the new trilogy knows that.

Instead of blindly repeating the threat of the original trilogy or copy-pasting in a new one, The Witchwood Crown takes the much more interesting route of being a sequel abou
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George R.R. Martin said that Tad Williams' original Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy was one of the things that pushed him to start writing A Game of Thrones. At times, the Witchwood Crown feels like Tad Williams is taking inspiration from George R.R. Martin. Not to say that everybody in Osten Ard is now a foul-mouthed, brothel-frequenting hedge knight; nor are there shocking massacres. (At least not yet.) But this time around, everything in Osten Ard seems more ... complicated.

The story picks u
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good to be back in Osten Ard!

Around 30 years passed since The Dragonbone Chair was published and the same in the Saga. Simon and Miri are now High King and Queen of the realm and also grandparents. Tiamak settled in Hayholt, Binabik and Sisqi have a daughter of their own and a delicious future son-in-law.

The Norns are having their own story, on par with the humans. A lot has changed since the Battle of Nakkiga and after 30 years of peace, the clouds are gathering again, and whispers of a new
May 22, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
OMG, I can't wait for another Tad Williams trilogy!
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Once again such an awesome story! The bad guys are never just bad, and really believe they are doing the right thing. The good guys are never just good, but can be a true pain in the ass.

I love how this book tells both the story of Morgan, son of King Simon, and that of several of the Norns.

I'm really sad the release date of this book has been postponed for a year.


As it has been a long while since I read that first draft, I had forgotten most of the story (as is my wont). It's still an a
Well...shit. I finished. What a ride. I mean, I first re-read the entirety of the original trilogy, Memory Sorrow & Thorn, then whipped through the novel that bridges the old trilogy with this new one, The Heart Of What Was Lost, and now I have just finished this book, The Witchwood Crown, which is the first book of the new trilogy, The Last King Of Osten Ard.

Seriously, I have spent so much time reading Tad Williams words lately that I feel like he and I are best friends now. Like, maybe I s
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So incredible to have new Osten Ard stories to read! From the very first chapter, this return to the much-loved world of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is just as enthralling and magical as it was 25 years ago. Reading about the beloved old characters is exactly like meeting dear friends you've been apart from for far too long: instantly comfortable, heartwarming, and exciting as you learn what they've been up to and how things have changed. Equally wonderful is the introduction of brand-new character ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was one of the lucky people that got to read an ARC of the Witchwood Crown - and yes, it was very very lucky. And don't worry... I'll not put any spoilers in the below!!

Having read - and loved - the MST books (the earlier series set in the same world of Osten Ard), I was so happy to be able to go back into this world, as well as slightly nervous - you know the feeling of returning to a place where you have such good memories and how often it disappoints -

I was, however, not disappointed at al
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe a 4.5?
I don't know why Willams' books take so long for me to finish! I loved being back in this world from the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series and seeing all the characters dear to me again. You can really see how the writing and the overall story telling improved from the original series to this book and I can't wait to get more! Full review up soon
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read: Still love it, so much going on, so much mystery, so many questions...!
Original review below.

The high King and Queen of Osten Ard are on a tour of their country, visiting their friends and allies in Hernystir and Rimmersgard. But not all who welcome them are friends... Suspect activities, dark rumours, and eventually an encounter with the deadly and secretive Norns call the royal entourage home early. Meanwhilst, their allies the Sithi are mysteriously silent. And that's just the begin
Sotiris Karaiskos
Μετά από πολλά χρόνια ο αγαπητός μας Tad Williams στρέφει ξανά το βλέμμα του στον μαγικό κόσμο του Osten Ard όπου διαδραματίστηκε η ιδιαίτερα σημαντική τριλογία Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. Ακόμα και εκεί όμως έχει περάσει πολύς χρόνος, έχει κυλήσει πολύ νερό στο αυλάκι, οι ήρωές μας μεγάλωσαν, απέκτησαν παιδιά και εγγόνια, γνώρισαν λύπες και χαρές, γενικά όμως γνώρισαν ειρηνικά χρόνια και περιμένανε να έχουν ήσυχα γεράματα. Τελικά όμως τα πράγματα δεν φαίνεται να εξελίσσονται και τόσο ειρηνικά με ...more
Ron H
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an Advance Reader Copy of the novel in January.

The Witchwood Crown is Tad Williams' magnificent return to Osten Ard. This is a novel I've been waiting for, for 24 years. I'm happy to report that The Witchwood Crown lives up to expectations.

Set 35 years after the end of To Green Angel Tower, The Witchwood Crown answers the questions avid readers have been wondering for the last two and a half decades: What happened after the end? Were Simon and Miriamele good rulers? What happened to t
Brian Durfee
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing and enchanting and layered with mystery. The perfect re-entry into the lands of Osten Ard. We start in high fashion with a Sithi and some poisoned arrows and then it's off to the adventure from there. In a grand tour we get to meet all our hero's from Memory Sorrow and Thorn within the first hundred pages: Simon, Miri, Binibik, Isgrimnir, Eolair, Sludig, Tiamek, and so on. Older and wiser but yet the same. New characters that stand out: Morgan, Jarnulf, Qina, Snenneq, Lillia. The action ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*If you haven't read the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books - this review does contain some mild spoilers for that series*

This book is the first in a new series by Tad Williams that is set in the same world as his Osten Ard books. It is set about 30 years after the ending of the final Memory, Sorrow and Thorn book, and follows the reign of King Simon and Queen Mirriamel alongside the stories of some of their friends, children, grandchildren and allies.

What I really enjoyed about this book compared
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually a person who associates books with certain songs – I don't listen to music much in general – but I must have heard “Pompeii” by Bastille around the same time I was reading the manuscript of The Witchwood Crown, and found myself back in a world and with characters I've loved for so many years, and my mind quietly started singing,

But if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like you've been here before?


…mache ich aber natürlich nicht. Denn das wäre dem Werk von Tad Williams natürlich nicht angemessen. Mit seiner Osten Ard-Reihe, in die er seine Leser erstmals bereits vor 30 Jahren entführte, hat Williams ein episches Meisterwerk geschaffen. Wo heute vielleicht gesagt wird, Sarah J. Maas sei die Königin der fantastischen Erzählkunst, der möge bitte „Die Hexenholzkrone 1“ lesen – oder besser noch die vollständi
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Williams revels in returning to themes, ideas, and problems that he first explored in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, and looking for new solutions—discovering how people born under different circumstances might deal with the same conflict. Like his grandfather, Morgan will be forced to grow up, and put aside his childish naivety, which doesn’t feel all that different from Simon’s reluctant aging. “By the Ransomer’s Tree,” Simon grumbles in the privacy of this thoughts, “when did we all grow so old.” ...more
Joe Crow
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice piece of work, this. Williams is a skilled writer, and it’s good to see him back in the world of Osten Ard. Not exactly a cheery read, but a little imminent doom is good for the soul, or something. Of course, the fact that I’ve gotta wait for goddam EVER for Empire of Grass to come out, never mind The Navigator’s Children is a bit galling. That’s what I get for reading the first book in a trilogy before the rest of the books have been written.
On the other hand, I am enjoying the thought of
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listen, we all knew I was going to love this book. I've only waited 25 years for it, he would have had to really screw up for me to not love it. And you may rest assured: he does not screw up. It's perfect. It's the perfect follow up to my beloved Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. (If you have not read Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, you need to go and read them immediately. Also: How are we friends?!)

I'm not going to say anything about the plot. I'm not going to say anything about the characters. I'm only
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How can a book that's 700 pages feel so short? At the end I felt like, nooo, it can't end! We're just getting started!

I really enjoyed the return to Osten Ard. I had only re-read The Dragonbone Chair before this, and I didn't feel like I was lost at any point. You could definitely read this without reading MST. But I am definitely going to finish my re-read to hold me over to the next publication date!

My strongest feelings are about the characters. "I love these..." "Ugh, won't he stop whining
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First I would like to state that I received this book through the Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity and honor in being able to read this book. When I received this book I began reading it at once. I really enjoy the authors writing style, he pulls you into the book from the very beginning and you don't want to put the book down. It kept me on the edge of my seat reading from cover to cover. All the characters are ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A return to Osten Ard! After so many years away, it was like returning to home. Osten Ard is where I first found my love of fantasy, and a place I've always been fascinated by.
We meet new characters and some old favorites return as well. It is of course a new story, with some excellent POVs from the Norn side (the "evil elves" if you will). It feels fairly dark from the beginning, with more focus on things unknown and beyond the physical plane. Just as an opinion, it seems like this trilogy will
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I do not start this review the usual way with the book but with myself. I was one of the first human beings in the whole wide world who knew that Tad would return to Osten Ard. The thought that there would be more stories in my favourite parallel universe overwhelmed and excited me in a fashion I never thought news about fiction could. Later I was one of the first readers of The Witchwood Crow, giving comprehensive feedback on each new version. Now I write a review on the ARC I got from the publ ...more
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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

The Last King of Osten Ard (3 books)
  • Empire of Grass (The Last King of Osten Ard #2)
  • The Navigator's Children (The Last King of Osten Ard, #3)
“God gives us all youth, and the takes it away again. What have you gained to offset that loss? Patience? Perhaps a little wisdom? Then be patient, and perhaps you'll also be wise. (Miriamele)” 7 likes
“God’s Blood, have we truly become old? he wondered. I do not feel old. I feel the same, but . . . weathered. Like a ship that has plowed the same waves for many years. The rigging is slack, the sails have holes, but the bottom is still seaworthy.” 0 likes
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