Tad William's fantasy masterpiece, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn ends at To Green Angel Tower, the final volume of this trilogy. To Green Angel Tower is a truly epic book, because this book is split into 2 paperbacks (Part 1 and Part 2) due to its large size. The publisher stated at the beginning of To Green Angel Part 1, that they had to publish this book in 2 sections, because in the paperback format, they could not squeeze the contents into 1 book without making the size of the fonts too small. This means in the paperback format, the page count of To Green Angel Tower is roughly 1500 pages! Personally, I thought this epic finale does justice to this trilogy, and concluded a stunning story in a grand fashion, leaving the readers wanting for more. Today, I will review To Green Angel Tower as one big book (Part 1 and Part 2 combined).
At the Stone of Farewell, Prince Joshua rallied his forces against the menacing minions of the Storm King. Joshua and his allies are the last hope of Osten Ard, but time is running short. If they cannot thwart the vengeful plan of the Storm King, then all will be lost. To defeat the Storm King, the heroes have to solve the mysteries of the three great swords, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Memory is buried with the former king of Osten Ard, Prester John. Sorrow was once the weapon of the Storm King, now carried by Joshua's brother, Elias, the new king of Osten Ard. Who was driven mad by the sword's evil power. Finally, the great sword Thorn, was discovered by an unlikely hero Simon, in the cave of the Ice Dragon.
To defeat the Storm King, Simon and the League of Scrolls have to solve the riddle of these three great swords. Their journey and quest will take them to ancient places, unraveling forgotten and buried pasts. In the meantime, Joshua began a march towards Hayholt, to make a final stand against his brother Elias, who is now a pawn for the Storm King.
What I think about this book:
To Green Angel Tower is a good book, and it provides a satisfying conclusion to this trilogy. It is a very large book, the scope is vast and detailed. The story is also quite complex, numerous subplots run in the background. This means readers who enjoys reading a book with a complex and detailed story, will enjoy this book. However, for those readers who prefer to read a page-turning, action packed book will probably find the pace in this book (and this series in general) a bit slow. Comparing to some of the modern fantasy novels, this book does not have a lot of action scenes described in blow-by-blow details. Action is not the selling point of this book (or this trilogy in general). The main strength of this book (and this trilogy), is the vividly portrayed character dynamics that formed a complex and memorable story, set in a vast and detailed world.
I do have one minor complaint, however, and the complaint is that in this book (and this trilogy in general), sometimes it feels like the author spent too much time on details and he doesn't advance the plot. This is another reason why I think some readers will find this trilogy too slow for their taste.
Having said this, I think To Green Angel Tower is the best book in this trilogy. Moreover, while the story in this trilogy is mainly a tale of good vs evil, but it also grasps the complexity and the dynamics of the day-to-day challenges we all face, carrying the message that not everything is not as simple as black and white as it appears on the surface, our place is not to judge others, but to understand and forgive.
The author did a very good job at depicting the personal journey and transformation of the main protagonist, Simon, from a whiny castle scullion, to a beloved leader of men. The story of Simon captured my attention from the beginning of this series, right to the end. But Simon is not the only character that made this story great. The supporting characters also shined like bright stars across the sky, each character is unique and masterfully depicted with vivid liveliness. I especially like Simon's troll friend, Binak, who is loyal, courageous and wise. The story of their friendship is heartwarming and refreshing. At the end of this book, I was hoping Tad Williams will write a sequel to this trilogy, because I hope the story of Simon and Binak can continue.
Speaking of sequels. Recently, I heard the news that after 21 years, Tad Williams is planning to return to the world of Osten Ard, and write a sequel to Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Apparently in the planned sequel, the story will revolve around (now) King Simon, his queen Meriamele, and their son. Rumors has it that many major characters from Memory, Sorrow and Thorn will return. Personally, I enjoyed this trilogy, and I think it would be wonderful if Tad Williams does write a sequel.
I am an avid reader of fantasy fictions, it is my favorite genre. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is a marvelous example of why I love this genre. It has vividly portrayed characters, a richly detailed world full of history and lore, presented in a dynamic and beautiful story. This is the kind of story that lights up the depth of the human imaginative power, bringing great pleasures to the mind, yet inspiring profound truths and longings in humanity, such as courage, love and hope.