At long last, Tad Williams is writing a sequel trilogy to his groundbreaking Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy, which helped redefine what epic fantasy was capable of.
Top image by Michael Whelan.
Over at the National Post, Daniel Kaszor argues that Williams' trilogy, published from 1988 to 1993, helped pave the way for authors like George R.R. Martin to come into the epic fantasy genre:
In 1988, fantasy was a relatively simple genre, mostly consisting of fairly direct Lord of the Rings knock-offs (the Shannara series) or sexualized versions of Conan the Barbarian (the Gor series).... [Williams' trilogy] redefined what traditional fantasy could be. Williams took the basics of Tolkien, deconstructed the story and put it back together in his own image; one fit for modern times.
In any case, it's great news that Williams is returning to the series that made his name. Here are the details, from Daw Books' press release:
Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert, Publishers of DAW Books, have acquired The Last King of Osten Ard, a sequel trilogy to Tad Williams' New York Times bestselling Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy. The series will begin with The Witchwood Crown, continue with Empire of Grass, and conclude with The Navigator's Children.
In this new trilogy,Williams journeys back to the magical land of Osten Ard and continues the story of beloved characters King Simon and Queen Miriamele, married now for thirty years, and introduces newcomer Prince Morgan, their heir apparent. Also expanded is the story of the twin babies born to Prince Josua and Lady Vorzheva—a birth heralded by prophecy, which has been the subject of feverish fan speculation since the release ofTo Green Angel Towerin 1993.
In The Last King of Osten Ard, Williams returns with the ingenious worldbuilding, jaw dropping twists and turns, and unparalleled storytelling that have made him one of fantasy's brightest stars for more thirty years.