Two posts in one day! *phew*
I am a big reader. Always have been. I knew how to read going into kindergarten (I know this because I remember learning about “The Letter People” was reallyyyyyy boring.) I was onto chapter books in first grade. I read The Hobbit in second grade. Third grade saw me reading Isaac Asimov, and by fourth grade I was onto Piers Anthony’s Xanth series and Brian Jacques’s Redwall series.
Sometime around fifth or sixth grade (hard to say, the prior two series had a LOT of books between them) my father introduced me to this wonderful book called Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams. In this novel, the main character, a young cat named Fritti Tailchaser, goes on a grand adventure to find his lost friend, and in the mean time, helps to stop an evil uprising. I absolutely adored this book. I could not tell you the number of times I re-read it. This was one of the first books I actually re-read, that’s how well it resonated with me.
Seeing how much I enjoyed this novel, my father then recommended to me a trilogy by Tad Williams, easily the most ambitious thing he had put in front of me. The first book was The Dragonbone Chair, and it’s part of a trilogy called Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn. I admit, I did *not* take to this immediately. When the first hundred or so pages passed without an real action, I got bored. Keep in mind, I was maybe 11 at this point, so 100 pages in literally any other book I had read up until this point would have seen at least one conflict, some action, and definitive plot-advancement. In DBC, Simon was STILL in the castle working as a kitchen boy. BOOORING.
Ok, so I really almost missed out at this point! But my father did promise me that it would get interesting soon enough. Within a few weeks or months, I did go back, and I did keep going, and sure enough, the action finally started. There was conflict and tension and death and wandering and ADVENTURE! So I was hooked.
I plowed through the rest of the trilogy, and his next series, Otherland (which is totally not related). And I went back and re-read MS&T, and Tailchaser’s Song, because they were such wonderful books. And I always thought, I wish there were *more* of these stories. These people, these places, this style of writing, this language… I wanted more.
Good news. We’re (finally) getting more! (Kind of.)
Almost 30 years after DBC was first published, Tad Williams is telling more stories set in Osten Ard. The first of these stories, The Heart of What Was Lost, is coming out this week. It is a standalone novel, so it can be read without reading all 3 (or 4) books of MS&T. Not that I would recommend this! Read everything! But I’m biased here. The first book in the series The Last Kind of Osten Ard (tentatively a trilogy, I believe, but we all know how that works with him…) is called The Witchwood Crown, and is scheduled to be released June, 2017.
As part of promoting his new works, some of my friends over on the message board at http://www.tadwilliams.com were able to interview him and ask some popular fan questions. The first portion of the interview can be found here, where he talks about how the evolution of modern fantasy has influenced him, where he got the ideas for the new novels from, and some hints of things to come!
So if you’re interested in fantasy, are looking for a new time sink, or even just something new to use as a doorstop, this new series is something that should be on everybody’s list.