Following directly on from the events of TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER, the Norns and the Storm King Ineluki have been defeated at the Battle for the Hayholt; Seoman and Miriamele, the new king and queen, order their victorious armies to shadow the retreating Norns.
One of the enemy group is escorting the huge funeral cortege of one of their leaders, on their journey they become detached and trapped in the ancient fortress of Tangleroot on the frontier. As well as their dead lord, they carry a great magical artefact, a stone called the Heart of What Was Lost, one of the last relics of their ancient civilization. Soon the fortress is invested, the battle commences, and bloodshed and magic flow.
It’s been a long time since I read the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series but I adored it, and when I heard Tad Williams was finally returning to the world of Osten Ard I was very excited.
This novella is set directly after the end of the first series showing what happens between the Norns and Isgrimnur’s human army. The story is told through several viewpoints, including that of both the humans and that of the Norns which helped you to sympathise with both sides. One thing I particularly enjoyed was that despite my memory of the original series being quite faded, I was still able to enjoy the book and it was able to jog my memory quite a bit. I feel that even if I hadn’t read the original series, I would still have enjoyed it due to the excellent writing and setting. The fact it was Osten Ard was just a bonus.
Due to the fact that this is set after the end of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, I don’t wish to talk too much about it as I don’t want to spoil the series, which is one of my favourites, as even just discussing characters would potentially give away spoilers. The characters were all fantastic though, and it was very interesting to see into the society of the Norns and how it was structured around different groups (if this was something we’d already seen, it’s something that I’d completely forgotten)
I really enjoyed this novella and it has also made me want to go back and re-visit the world of Osten Ard by re-reading the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series because it reminded me just how much I enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this novella to fans of the series, and to those who haven’t read it, I would recommend reading Memory, Sorrow and Thorn first then coming to read this.