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Literature / The Last King Of Osten Ard

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The Last King Of Osten Ard is the sequel trilogy to Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn which is being released over twenty years after the original.

Storywise, more than thirty years have passed since the end of the Storm King's War, and all the surviving characters have aged and developed accordingly. The continent of Osten Ard has seen mostly peaceful years under the rule of the royal couple Simon and Miriamele, who are now about fifty and grandparents to the heir to the throne, Prince Morgan, and his young sister.

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But good times can't last - as the trilogy's title suggests -, and something dark is stirring again in the far north, where thirty years ago the defeated Norns retreated to their icy mountain fortress of Stormspike while their queen slept. Now Utuk'ku has reawakened and she and her people plot their slow revenge against their mortal enemies. Meanwhile, in the southern duchy of Nabban, some of Osten Ard's most powerful nobles are in a rising conflict that's only just a step away from open Civil War. Someplace else, the Thrithings clans aim to expand their own territories in an increasingly violent manner; and in the Western Kingdom of Hernystir, a dangerous sect is involved with secret lore that was thought to have been banned from the world forever.

With threats looming and mysteries multiplying, characters old and new will have to play their parts in the coming struggle - and not all of them will be ready.

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The character sheet for both this series and its prequel is here.


This series provides examples of:

  • Darker and Edgier: The Witchwood Crown is this compared to its counterpart in the first trilogy, The Dragonbone Chair. While the older book keeps a relatively light and positive outlook for most of its run (granted, the following books quickly rectify that), the latter is darker throughout and even starts out with the attempted murder of a Sitha.
  • Door Stopper: The new series certainly follows the original in this aspect, with the paperback of The Witchwood Crown clocking in at just under 700 pages. The author has announced that the second book will be even longer.
  • MacGuffin: The Witchwood Crown itself.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Several characters, but especially Simon and Miriamele tend to wear these occasionally in regard to their younger years; Simon, for instance, tends to regret that now that he's king, every decision and, in fact, every single word of his get scrutinized as opposed to how anonymous he was in his youth as a kitchen boy.
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  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ommu the Whisperer, one of the Red Hand, who is released by Utuk'ku to aid in her revenge on the mortals.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: In contrast to the first trilogy, this one gives us POVs on several sides of the conflict(s), in particular among the Norns.
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