John's Reviews > The Dragonbone Chair

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
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's review
Dec 19, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: nostalgia
Read 2 times. Last read January 1, 2001.

Starts off with a vibe like the Disney cartoon Sword in the Stone, moves to something a bit more Tolkeinish, but has underpinnings of norse mythology menace. The book never leaves behind that feeling of Arthurian legend.

I first read this book a long time ago, probably back in high school. I'm always curious to see how books I read then will hold up now that I'm so much more mature, wise, and world-traveled. This one stand up well.

I found myself liking the chosen teenage boy protagonist a lot more than I thought I would. This is probably due to a tricksy author, who spent a lot of time with him living his castle drudge life, not hating it, but acting pretty much like a normal teenager. He is witness, not actor throughout most of this section, and witnessing the slow decline of a kingdom after its beloved king dies. Accordingly, there is a slowness to the start of the novel. For some readers, it might be too slow, but for others, it's just a little luxury. Tad Williams varies the pace rather well. There are some breakneck paced sections, but this is not a breakneck paced book.

The Dragonbone Chair was originally published in 1985, so if you get annoyed with classic fantasy story elements, you may find yourself rolling your eyes some, but there are genuinely original elements and feel to the book.

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