Tad Williams Complicates A Perfect Fantasy Ending With a Reminder That Nothing Ever Truly Ends


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When I first learned that Tad Williams was planning to revisit the world of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn in a new trilogy, I was immediately a bit skeptical. The first trilogy was so deep, thrilling, and expansive that I assumed there wouldn’t be any story left to tell. At best, I feared we’d get a pale rehash of that fantasy epic; at worst, we might be in for a Crimes of Grindelwald situation, with a new installment uneven enough to cast a pall over the entire franchise. Could the world of Osten Ard, with its deconstructions and reconstructions of fantasy’s best-known tropes, still matter in a literary landscape that takes far more cues from Martin and Sanderson than from Tolkien and Lewis?

I should have taken my own advice. Earlier this year, I argued that in the age of hopepunk, Osten Ard has never been more relevant. Empire of Grass, ...

Five Years On, There’s Still Nothing Like Patrick Rothfuss’ The Slow Regard of Silent Things


This post is by Samuel Chapman from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller novella The Slow Regard of Silent Things may be the least epic fantasy ever published. This year, as the story reaches its fifth anniversary, let’s take a look at why that distinction matters.

In his defense, Patrick Rothfuss does warn us on the first page.

“You might not want to buy this book,” he writes in the foreword to The Slow Regard of Silent Things. “It doesn’t do a lot of the things a classic story is supposed to do.”

Though I have great respect for Rothfuss as a storyteller, I have to disagree with him, here. Beneath the seeming simplicity of the slim volume that is Slow Regard lies a meditation on everything that makes all fantasy great—classic or otherwise. This supplemental tale set in the world of Rothfuss’s beloved Kingkiller Chronicle is the kind of polished, perfect pocket watch of a story we might ...

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is the Natural Successor to Game of Thrones


This post is by Samuel Chapman from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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This May, we’ll say goodbye to Game of Thrones. After eight seasons, one of fantasy fiction’s mightiest juggernauts will air a finale that’s sure to provide audiences with plenty of intrigue, a cracking script, some unforgettable visuals, and a disturbingly high body count.

And then what?

Well, there are certainly other compelling fantasy television series being made, and still others gearing up to go into production. But as great as shows like Stranger Things and The Good Place are, nothing has yet equaled Game of Thrones in its epic scale and ambition. Even with a new prequel series scheduled to begin shooting this spring, GoT is going to leave a massive hole in pop culture when it goes.

Fortunately for all of us, there’s another story waiting in the wings, perfectly positioned to fill that void. Enter Tad Williams’s fantasy novel trilogy, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.

In case you’re not ...