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A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother join A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard. Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power. Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he’s ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die. After the landmark Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, the epic saga of Osten Ard continues with the brand-new novel, The Heart of What Was Lost. Then don’t miss the upcoming trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard, beginning with The Witchwood Crown!


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A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother join A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard. Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power. Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he’s ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die. After the landmark Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, the epic saga of Osten Ard continues with the brand-new novel, The Heart of What Was Lost. Then don’t miss the upcoming trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard, beginning with The Witchwood Crown!

30 review for The Dragonbone Chair

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    “He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.” - Qanuc Proverb The Dragonbone Chair is chock and block full of wonder. If you have the patience to master this piece of work (it is incredibly dense and filled with first class world building and heaps of lore) you'll find it an extremely rewarding experience. It is a “He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.” - Qanuc Proverb The Dragonbone Chair is chock and block full of wonder. If you have the patience to master this piece of work (it is incredibly dense and filled with first class world building and heaps of lore) you'll find it an extremely rewarding experience. It is a slow burner, especially the first third of the novel (titled Simon Mooncalf), but once the simmer turns into a boil there's no stopping the story. Recommended for everybody who likes their fantasy served with a hefty dose of EPIC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    carol.

    A classic in the fantasy field, this is best suited for readers looking for the traditional orphan-identity quest. While I enjoyed it overall, I was able to set the book down and walk away, coming and going from the story until Simon reached the woods. I consider it a bad sign when I'm able to set a book down--my favorites have me locked into reading position until I reach the end page. Eventually it picked up and reeled me in, but there was skimming involved. A combination coming-of-age and cas A classic in the fantasy field, this is best suited for readers looking for the traditional orphan-identity quest. While I enjoyed it overall, I was able to set the book down and walk away, coming and going from the story until Simon reached the woods. I consider it a bad sign when I'm able to set a book down--my favorites have me locked into reading position until I reach the end page. Eventually it picked up and reeled me in, but there was skimming involved. A combination coming-of-age and castle/kingdom political novel, I felt like the book would have benefited more from focusing on one or the other. As it was, the politics were mostly the side story, and I largely skimmed over those sections of the book without any real decrease in enjoyment of Simon's story. It's classic high fantasy, with full landscapes and world building, starting from the castle to underground tunnels to a deep forest, to a deserted Sithi (read elven) city, a highlands castle and a mountain. When the book ends with Simon and other adventurers sent on a journey for a missing sword, it's almost shocking that it's not a ring. I like that Williams' world contains non-human races. There is the most interesting take on trolls that I've read yet--Binobik and his wolf quickly became my favorite characters. The white hounds and the Bakken bring nicely frightening elements to the story. One frustration is that Simon's development seemed very uneven and unlikely to me, that parts of his political and intellectual consciousness seemed so limited even when being taught by the doctor. He does indeed behave like a fourteen year old boy at the beginning of the story, and credit to Williams for capturing that well enough to be annoying. Every time you turn around, he's complaining about reading, and his refrain lasts for some time even into his forest journey. However, (view spoiler)[ rescuing the Prince should have been the beginning of a political awakening (hide spoiler)] . We very much get the "boy buffeted about by the winds of fortune" storyline, but he remains clueless every step of the way. Then suddenly he develops a sense of honor towards his kidnappers--that almost results in repeated injury by the Bakken. This was the Simon who had no honor towards shirking workloads in the castle, and who discovered a monk had fleeced him--twice--and has resolved to guard himself more closely? It's that kind of uneven characterization that makes him frustrating to root for as a lead, being so malleable and of almost no strong principles. I did like that he was open-minded enough to befriend a small person. I didn't find the writing particularly impressive or beautiful, and it is odd to have bold and italicized words. The song lyrics are often distracting, but occasionally add some richness to the story. It feels like it was trying hard to be capital "E" epic, and the cliffhanger ending is an annoyance. I'll grab the next one from the library.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Okay, so I almost dnf’d this book BUT, I read a friends review that said the same thing but they pushed on and loved it. Soooo, I did the same thing with some skimming and decided I’m just here for the wolf and the troll. Okay, so I like some others but still! 😉 I love you Qantaqa! 🐺🐾. Even though she was a white babe turned grey, I have to use my black beauty Wolfen 😘🐺 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 Okay, so I almost dnf’d this book BUT, I read a friends review that said the same thing but they pushed on and loved it. Soooo, I did the same thing with some skimming and decided I’m just here for the wolf and the troll. Okay, so I like some others but still! 😉 I love you Qantaqa! 🐺🐾. Even though she was a white babe turned grey, I have to use my black beauty Wolfen 😘🐺 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  4. 4 out of 5

    Adam Oleksa

    The opening to what is easily the best fantasy series I've ever read. Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn remains, IMHO, one of the most underread and underappreciated series out there. I suspect that the length of the novels scares some people off; Dragonbone Chair is the shortest, and it's still around 700 pages. The series as a whole incorporates most classical fantasy elements: an epic quest, dark sorcery, an unlikely hero, etc., but what makes it unforgettable for me is one main thing. Will The opening to what is easily the best fantasy series I've ever read. Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn remains, IMHO, one of the most underread and underappreciated series out there. I suspect that the length of the novels scares some people off; Dragonbone Chair is the shortest, and it's still around 700 pages. The series as a whole incorporates most classical fantasy elements: an epic quest, dark sorcery, an unlikely hero, etc., but what makes it unforgettable for me is one main thing. Williams nailed the world-building. While he retains a lot of traditional fantasy elements, they all show up in new ways and forms. I can't think of a single time where I thought, "This has been done before," and that's rare, considering the amount of fantasy literature I've read. The land of Osten Ard remains one of the most vivid locales in literature I've read, and its inhabitants are incredibly memorable as well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Pang

    I came into this book a little forewarned by the good readers here at Goodreads: "that this book is a SLOW buildup". 0-20%, slow. 20-30%, something could happen, are we leaving yet? 30-35%, is this it? No, false start. 35-45% OK, we left the castle, something has to happen right? 45%-end: Bam! Fires, dragons, magic swords, trolls, elves, demons, mountains, crossing the map, wolves (good and bad), bad dreams/good dreams, death, sieges, magical storms, ships....... The slow build-up eventually drop I came into this book a little forewarned by the good readers here at Goodreads: "that this book is a SLOW buildup". 0-20%, slow. 20-30%, something could happen, are we leaving yet? 30-35%, is this it? No, false start. 35-45% OK, we left the castle, something has to happen right? 45%-end: Bam! Fires, dragons, magic swords, trolls, elves, demons, mountains, crossing the map, wolves (good and bad), bad dreams/good dreams, death, sieges, magical storms, ships....... The slow build-up eventually drops you off the cliff into a sea of epic fantasy and it is worth it. Looking forward to picking up where the 1st book left off and would recommend this book with the warning: it is indeed a slow build-up to what ultimately looks to be some good epic fantasy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nick Borrelli

    Truly a masterpiece and probably my favorite Fantasy book of all time. The rest of the series is pretty awesome as well. Also, the most evil villain bar none of any Fantasy series I've ever read in Pryrates the evil priest. If you haven't read Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn in its entirety, you really must. This is what made me a Tad Williams fan for life. Truly a masterpiece and probably my favorite Fantasy book of all time. The rest of the series is pretty awesome as well. Also, the most evil villain bar none of any Fantasy series I've ever read in Pryrates the evil priest. If you haven't read Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn in its entirety, you really must. This is what made me a Tad Williams fan for life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Ryan

    One of the seminal works of epic fantasy which, along with the works of Robert Jordan and David Eddings, made the genre what it is today. Williams makes a virtue of starting small as we follow orphaned kitchen boy Simeon through his childhood in the castle of King Prester John. However, the king's death heralds an age of discord and Simeon finds himself drawn into valiant Prince Josua's rebellion against his increasingly despotic and magically deranged brother. The scope of the story expands wit One of the seminal works of epic fantasy which, along with the works of Robert Jordan and David Eddings, made the genre what it is today. Williams makes a virtue of starting small as we follow orphaned kitchen boy Simeon through his childhood in the castle of King Prester John. However, the king's death heralds an age of discord and Simeon finds himself drawn into valiant Prince Josua's rebellion against his increasingly despotic and magically deranged brother. The scope of the story expands with every succeeding chapter, escapes and battles abound as the conflict escalates, all expertly woven into a complex but satisfying whole by Williams' flawless prose and plotting. If you're a fantasy fan and you haven't read this, you're really not trying.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Bach

    “Books are a form of magic because they span time and distance more surely than any spell and charm.” The Dragonbone Chair is the first book in Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series and an amazing coming of age story, which probably had big enough impact to shape and influence many of today’s popular writers of this genre. For that alone, it is my opinion, that it should be visited at least once in a lifetime, no matter of someone’s preference in their genres. A truly magnifice “Books are a form of magic because they span time and distance more surely than any spell and charm.” The Dragonbone Chair is the first book in Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series and an amazing coming of age story, which probably had big enough impact to shape and influence many of today’s popular writers of this genre. For that alone, it is my opinion, that it should be visited at least once in a lifetime, no matter of someone’s preference in their genres. A truly magnificent worldbuilding written with astonishingly beautiful prose. Sadly, my own infatuation ends there, since Tad was focused on worldbuilding so much that he made character development feel almost secondary. And if that is combined with the poor story we have already devoured on multiple iterations over decades with Tolkien, Feist and numerous others – finishing result is that this book seems only as a half measure of its actual worth. 2.91. Story and Characters. The main story follows our main protagonist Simon, a fourteen-year-old kitchen boy serving in the ancient castle Hayholt. His story is divided into three parts: Simon Mooncalf, Simon Pilgrim and Simon Snowlock. It’s the first part I want to focus on here, because it’s the one I actually enjoyed the most while reading. Simon Mooncalf story carefully sets the groundwork to introduce readers with the world, its history, magic, set of characters and political currents surrounding them. It’s a story about a boy living quite secure and boring life in a castle, all while his head is filled with wants and needs of becoming someone else. A common, childlike desire that comes from listening all those legends of old and ‘stories about past’ – but not history, mind you – which preferably excluded those boring parts from them, such as names and years. Stories which were left with nothing but exiting heroic battles. There is nothing that can persuade this boy from lazing around the castle, not a broomstick nor a bucket, not even apprenticeship with castle’s main doctor/wizard Morgenes to educate him to actually become something more than a kitchen boy. Like any fourteen-year-old he is unable to recognize someone’s effort to help him and steer him into a right direction, because soldering and becoming a hero is all that preoccupies him, without having slightest notice what that actually means. And in it there’s this beautiful relationship between Master and Apprentice which reminded me of that one of Merlin’s with Arthur’s in The Sword in the Stone, where one tries to teach the other of ways of life, but other keeps struggling with incomprehension and stays quite ignorant. Until he is forced to learn the hard way. And this is a repetition Tad will use quite regularly throughout the 800 pages of this book and other two stories, which is why this first one is a dearest one for me, because I couldn’t shake away the feeling how someone’s robing that special bond from them, whenever someone new would come into Simon’s life and tried to speak some sense and knowledge into that thick head of his. Rest of the stories, and the book, I’m leaving for you to find out. Worldbuilding and Prose. I have seen that the most common complaint was actually this first story. Troubles were either its pacing or how slow it was or endless info-dumps. I don’t agree with those complaints, but I understand why they are there. I actually liked how history of this world was told through classes Simon had with Morgenes; how stories he would told him were filled with names and years; how he would describe some minor thing in details and the moment your head starts falling and you start dozing off, Morgenes would stop himself and ask if he was boring you, so that both Simon and you yourself, would feel slightly embarrassed for being caught wanting to hear about those magnificent heroic battles. "I came here for battles, not boring facts, old man!" But that’s part of Tad’s worlbuilding and his preparation of you to later distinguish why character A is doing something while character B is opposing. Was it really necessary for world to be so vivid and described with so many details? Of course it was. But was it necessary to describe stains of papyrus which sits on a scratched, cobwebbed, bookcase that faces darker western corner of the room, impractically occupying enough space for front door to be opened completely – all of which is, obviously, mason’s mistake for making inner walls not just uneven but thin enough in the first place – while the only natural source of light comes from the southern window, too high to brighten the entire room? Oh yes! Yes it was absolutely necessary! That’s wordbuilding. Sure, there’s no need to describe in so many details, especially if author’s prose is slightly better than that of middle grader, but when an author has an ability to express what’s inside his mind so colorfully - that should be revered, not something to complain about. Which reminds me – something to complain about. Well… I won’t do that… much. As I said, story is seen through many books since, and characters, even though many of them are present, only one seemed developed enough (main one). But, this is a book published in 1988. My complaints aren’t actually complaints about the book itself. I’m just, to a degree, saddened that epic fantasy as a genre made big progress since. But also, at the same time, in many things that this book excels, genre today still lacks. Something to think about.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    Dear Tad Williams, I cannot thank you enough for writing a book...well, set of books...that I can read as a full-on grown-up and still enjoy as much as I did when I was an angsty teenager. It has been hurtful to find so many of my favorite when-I-was-young reads (looking at you, Shannara and DragonLance) aren't actually good at all and that I must adore them from afar with only sentimentality stoking the fires of young love. Thank you for not adding to that hurt. I appreciate the effort you put int Dear Tad Williams, I cannot thank you enough for writing a book...well, set of books...that I can read as a full-on grown-up and still enjoy as much as I did when I was an angsty teenager. It has been hurtful to find so many of my favorite when-I-was-young reads (looking at you, Shannara and DragonLance) aren't actually good at all and that I must adore them from afar with only sentimentality stoking the fires of young love. Thank you for not adding to that hurt. I appreciate the effort you put into this story, allowing it to be readable throughout different cycles of life. Your fan, Erica

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Katzman

    A bit disappointing. The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie (ps. a follow-up trilogy in that series is dropping in 2019!) sets a pretty high bar for modern epic fantasy. And this is an example of another that fell short. To cut to the chase, it simply had too many elements that felt derivative from other fantasies and too many secondary characters that I couldn’t invest in. I found everything done tolerably well enough, but it just didn’t add up to a great book. The story is centered around a y A bit disappointing. The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie (ps. a follow-up trilogy in that series is dropping in 2019!) sets a pretty high bar for modern epic fantasy. And this is an example of another that fell short. To cut to the chase, it simply had too many elements that felt derivative from other fantasies and too many secondary characters that I couldn’t invest in. I found everything done tolerably well enough, but it just didn’t add up to a great book. The story is centered around a youth named Simon and his abrupt growth into manhood as he is swept up in a political battle between the king and the king’s brother. This struggle is also linked to an ancient magical grudge between the undead elf-like Sithi and the humans who defeated them in war and forced them off their land. Simon becomes the assistant to a wizard (of sorts) and then stumbles into a quest to help the king’s brother. He joins forces with a small agile mountain troll, some humans, and several Sithi who owe Simon a debt. They pursue a magic sword, and there are dragons involved. Which you might guess from the title. Simon is a decent character who builds up some sympathy. But I can’t say that I connected very strongly to him. I found it rather contrived how Williams had the character constantly asking questions. He was a question-asker, always confused or not understanding the bigger picture, with many issues hidden from him. Other characters became annoyed with that trait and so did I, as a reader. Mostly because it seemed like an author’s technique to squeeze in exposition. And considering those other characters, my interest slacked further--too many characters and not enough time spent with them to develop any emotional connection or even interest. Beyond that, I’m a bit sick of these epic fantasy novels being about angry men angry with each other doing angry war things. It may be Donald Trump’s world, and we’re just living in it, but I’m over reading about it unless you have something new to say. I think it’s just the clichéd background of most epic fiction. Men fighting wars. Bleh. Give me something new. I won’t be continuing this series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

    “The Dragonbone Chair stood like a strange alter-untenanted, surrounded by bright, dancing motes of dust, flanked by statues of the Hayholt’s six High Kings..” Last fall, my good friend and fellow A Song of Ice and Fire enthusiast, Cheryl Hall, invited me to join her in the reading of The Dragonbone Chair. I immediately said yes, for four reasons: Tad Williams was a new author for me, one I’d been curious about every since the 1998 publication of City of Golden Shadow, Book I in his Otherland ser “The Dragonbone Chair stood like a strange alter-untenanted, surrounded by bright, dancing motes of dust, flanked by statues of the Hayholt’s six High Kings..” Last fall, my good friend and fellow A Song of Ice and Fire enthusiast, Cheryl Hall, invited me to join her in the reading of The Dragonbone Chair. I immediately said yes, for four reasons: Tad Williams was a new author for me, one I’d been curious about every since the 1998 publication of City of Golden Shadow, Book I in his Otherland series; I love the fantasy genre, and; I very much look forward to buddy read’s. But what really piqued my interest was the fact that Williams novel was a significant influence in George R.R. Martin's writing of A Song of Ice and Fire. http://hodderscape.co.uk/throwback-th... Tad Williams impressed me almost instantaneously. His simplistic style lends the prose an ease of flow rarely seen in epic fantasy, without sacrificing its vivid nature, as well as other important qualities. And while the first half did drag somewhat, I found it quite compelling. The words used weren’t wasted, as Williams took the time and effort to develop Simon’s character, whom I grew to adore, alongside a select few supporting characters. However, I thought the lack of well-roundedness in some of the other characters left much to be desired. Hopefully we’ll get more backstory in the books to come. But that isn’t all. He also provided some fascinating history of the peaceful land, Osten Ard, and especially that of the elvishlike Sithi. His world-building skills aren’t bad, either, though perhaps my expectations were too high. Unrealistic, even. As Jarnauga intoned, there are “stories within stories,” here. Things really began to take shape in Part Two, aptly entitled, Simon Pilgrim, and even more so in the next, Simon Snowlock. Particularly throughout the third section, the writing became more crisp, enriched with deep, meaning friendships between these characters as they journeyed forth. Tensions solidified, alliances were formed, the supernatural beautifully uplifted. Most intriguing of all, excluding the various political scheming and its ramifications (which I enjoyed almost as much,) was Williams incorporation of prophecy: “And Shadows walk upon the road When water blackens in the Well Three Swords must come again..” From Part Three onward, this California native recognized his strengths and kneaded them meticulously, until his mold became equally incredible and unexpected. And unbelievable, really. All this, and much more, wasn’t merely written for his benefit, but for his reader’s enjoyment, as well. None of it felt contrived, idealistic, or convoluted to me, either. In fact, it could have easily been more complex, and I wouldn’t have minded in the least. In addition, Williams obviously wrote it for the simple fact that there was nothing quite like it, upon publication in 1988. Essentially, he wrote something that he’d like to read. “When Bukken from the Earth do creep And Hunen from the heights descend When Nightmare throttles peaceful Sleep..” The author’s passion shines most brightly-like a sharp, gleaming sword– in the last three chapters. Nearly every element came into play (and those that didn’t, leave you gasping for more,) and soon escalated with the turn of a page. I couldn’t flip them fast enough, in all earnestness, resulting in an adrenaline-laced, on-the-edge-of-my-seat SHOCKER of an ending. It’s almost uncanny when you think about just how good and awesome this final section is. I am still in awe, my mind won’t stop reeling, and I desperately need the next book, Stone of Farewell. Very nicely done, Tad! Highly recommended! “To turn the stride of treading Fate To clear the fogging Mists of Time If Early shall resist Too Late Three Swords must come again.” I miss you, Seoman, with all my heart..

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark Halse

    O what a ponderous tome! I've been wanting to read this book for a long time and was sorely disappointed. Tropes aside this book is so long winded and dull I could barely get through it! I almost gave up on it a few times. The only thing that saved me is that every hundred pages or so something truly interesting would happen and then right back to boring ol' Simon and his boring bullshit! One of the biggest problems with this book was it's scope. The cast of characters was too long and Mr. Willia O what a ponderous tome! I've been wanting to read this book for a long time and was sorely disappointed. Tropes aside this book is so long winded and dull I could barely get through it! I almost gave up on it a few times. The only thing that saved me is that every hundred pages or so something truly interesting would happen and then right back to boring ol' Simon and his boring bullshit! One of the biggest problems with this book was it's scope. The cast of characters was too long and Mr. Williams just didn't have the talent to make any of them interesting. Even the undead sorcerer was two dimensional and dull. And the long winded chats and explanations! Gollie! I'm always complaining about these puny 300 page fantasy novels but for once I wish Mr. Williams would've taken his head out of his ass and cut his page count in half. Perhaps that wouldn've helped a great deal. If you're looking for a good epic fantasy, look for one written in this century. This book could have been fun if it didn't take itself so seriously! Not Recommended!

  13. 5 out of 5

    GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)

    I was 14 years old when I first read this book. I remember feeling like a boss when I turned that last page. I had done it. I had finished this monster of a book all on my own and all without anyone telling me I had to. Not only that but I really, really loved doing it too. I wasn't a complete newb to SF/F - I had the Narnia books read to me, as well as The Hobbit, Lord Of The Rings, and A Wrinkle in Time. And while I loved those books - I had to share them with my family. I had to discover thos I was 14 years old when I first read this book. I remember feeling like a boss when I turned that last page. I had done it. I had finished this monster of a book all on my own and all without anyone telling me I had to. Not only that but I really, really loved doing it too. I wasn't a complete newb to SF/F - I had the Narnia books read to me, as well as The Hobbit, Lord Of The Rings, and A Wrinkle in Time. And while I loved those books - I had to share them with my family. I had to discover those stories on their time...which was usually after dinner sitting around the table for an hour or two each night. The Dragonbone Chair, however, was my own. It (along with Terry Brooks) popped my cherry. I remember picking it out in the bookstore solely off the way the cover art piqued my curiosity; I wanted to find out who the people on the cover were. I was also intrigued by all the made up words and names that I couldn't pronounce. I wanted to learn what they meant and how they sounded. It also helped that it was a large book and I needed something that would help me waste away the hours in the backseat of the car on yet another summer vacation family road trip. And so it was, 28 years ago, I truly fell in love with genre fiction. I haven't been back to Osten Ard since. At least, not until now. The series, and in the case of this review, The Dragone Bone Chair, has always made it onto my lists of 'Favorite Fantasy or top ten books read.' But in all honesty, I only vaguely remembered them and how they made me feel. I know I loved them - the exact reasons had just become fuzzy over the years. With the announcement of Tad bringing new novels out in this world next year (2017), I knew that I needed to do a re-read. Not only that, but I was insanely curious to see what '42-year-old me' thought of them compared to '14-year-old me.' I am happy to say that I was just as captivated this read through as I was when I first read it. I was instantly swept up in the grandiose world of Osten Ard that Tad Williams had created. He slowly doled out the history of the lands and I could feel myself slipping away into this rich and detailed world wanting to know more and more and more. The characters were alive and real and I wanted to meet them all! I wanted to sweep Doctor Morgenes floors as he told me stories of age-old battles or sit next to a campfire in the Aldheorte forest while Binabik played his bone flute. I wanted to meet the League of the Scroll and touch the secret pendants they all wore around their necks. These books are a real live place that has lived inside of me for so long that I don't really remember them ever not being a part of me. The way a lot of people feel about Middle Earth is how I feel for Osten Ard. The nostalgia is strong and the love is real. I just don't know why I have waited so long to read these again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    4.5 dragon stars I must confess that this series has been sitting on my bookshelf for a very long time now and I have somehow always skipped over it, partly due to its bulkiness and also partly because of so many discouraging reviews. Curiosity won over eventually and I gave it a try. From the beginning itself I didn’t really love it. The pace was extremely slow and practically nothing significant happened in the first half of the book. At times it felt like dragging. And the main hero Simon – a l 4.5 dragon stars I must confess that this series has been sitting on my bookshelf for a very long time now and I have somehow always skipped over it, partly due to its bulkiness and also partly because of so many discouraging reviews. Curiosity won over eventually and I gave it a try. From the beginning itself I didn’t really love it. The pace was extremely slow and practically nothing significant happened in the first half of the book. At times it felt like dragging. And the main hero Simon – a literally walking disaster from the very beginning! – skirting his chores and avoiding any responsibility while daydreaming about fame and glory and going from blunder to blunder – I couldn’t bring myself to like him regardless of how hard I tried. Then why the 4.5 dragon stars? Because the world Tad Williams describes is extraordinary! So complex and beautiful and brilliantly rendered that you can practically see it! The magic, the trolls, the Sithi and the human kingdoms on the background of wonderful landscapes, they slowly but surely pull you in and do not let you go until you’ve reached the last page and even then you’ll find yourself wanting for more. The Dragonbone Chair - cover art by Michael Whelan As soon as you hit the halfway mark the pace of the book changes completely. Its tempo is rising and it becomes more and more complex as you go on until, when you get to the last few chapters you won’t feel like putting it down anymore. Little irresponsible and naive Simon grows in front of your eyes and even though he is by far not perfect before this first instalment of the story is done he sort of gets under your skin and you eventually realise that you have somehow, somewhere started to really like him and even root for him. The blunders of a little airheaded castle boy somehow turn into a wondrous fantasy tale: adventures through wild forests, wolf-riding trolls and magical Sithi, magic swords and witches, dragons and a hero’s quest as well as an epic battle against an ancient evil, this book has it all! It is epic fantasy at its best and I highly recommend it! Find this review and more on my book review and cover art blog The Magic Book Corner

  15. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Great, great epic fantasy! I don’t know why I postponed it for so long. Good thing I have the right friends here to open my eyes. If you loved LOTR story, you’ll love this one too. It’s the story of a great quest, friendship transcending all barriers, brave companions in their struggle to save the world. Simon, a kitchen boy is caught in a series of events which are beyond his comprehension. Fleeing for his life, he makes some unusual friends along the way. Even if the story unfolds quite slowly, Great, great epic fantasy! I don’t know why I postponed it for so long. Good thing I have the right friends here to open my eyes. If you loved LOTR story, you’ll love this one too. It’s the story of a great quest, friendship transcending all barriers, brave companions in their struggle to save the world. Simon, a kitchen boy is caught in a series of events which are beyond his comprehension. Fleeing for his life, he makes some unusual friends along the way. Even if the story unfolds quite slowly, it is filled with bits and pieces of the main puzzle, which keeps you turning page by page. In the second half, things start to hasten and becomes unputdownable. If at first, I thought that some parts of it were too detailed, toward the end I began to see that all have their role in the main story. And after reading so many other series before, I think I can say that this one had a major influence on others: Sullivan’s Legends of The First Empire, Brett’s Demons, Gwynne’s Faithful and the Fallen, GRRM’s Got and even Robin Hobb’s. Can’t wait to see what the 2nd volume brings.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Scott Hitchcock

    2.5* The writing style is very good. However the pacing is super slow. If you're going to have a slow pace, for me, you have to balance it with some sort of engaging psychological gauging of the characters usually with a high dose of empathy or some type of theoretical discussion which is thought provoking or some witty character banter. I think if you like old school fantasy and it's pacing you'll love this. If you don't then not so much. 2.5* The writing style is very good. However the pacing is super slow. If you're going to have a slow pace, for me, you have to balance it with some sort of engaging psychological gauging of the characters usually with a high dose of empathy or some type of theoretical discussion which is thought provoking or some witty character banter. I think if you like old school fantasy and it's pacing you'll love this. If you don't then not so much.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Quann

    Though quite slow to start, The Dragonbone Chair rewarded my patience with a beautifully realized fantasy world with fantastic characters and some gorgeous descriptive passages.* This was a nice break from the fast-paced, nigh-instantaneous payoff that I find a lot of modern fantasy tends toward. There's nothing wrong with those books, in fact, I'm rather a big fan of those books, but Tad Williams may be too plodding for many readers of modern fantasy to stomach. I decided to tackle this trilogy Though quite slow to start, The Dragonbone Chair rewarded my patience with a beautifully realized fantasy world with fantastic characters and some gorgeous descriptive passages.* This was a nice break from the fast-paced, nigh-instantaneous payoff that I find a lot of modern fantasy tends toward. There's nothing wrong with those books, in fact, I'm rather a big fan of those books, but Tad Williams may be too plodding for many readers of modern fantasy to stomach. I decided to tackle this trilogy given its high-praise from many authors whose work I love (GRRM, Patrick Rothfuss), and it is very cool to see the influences that this series has obviously had on those other works. The Dragonbone Chair seems to straddle the line between older fantasy (eg. LotR) and the epic-doorstoppers that populate today's fantasy aisle. I think it's pretty neat to read something of historical value to the genre, but I'm glad that this story has me hooked too. It would be a real pain if the exercise was solely academic! Luckily I'm taking off on a week's vacation, and The Stone of Farewell will be travelling with me! *Reviewer's note: I'll be waiting to finish the entire trilogy before providing a comprehensive review. Once I'm done with To Green Angel Tower, I'll publish a trilogy-review to better encapsulate the scope and arc of this story! So check back later for a full review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Twerking To Beethoven

    Here's what went down, in case you're interested. I read "The Old Scale Game", a short story by Tad Williams off Unfettered, and I was like "Oi! I like this shit!". I enjoyed it so much, I ran to the local used book-store and got myself a copy of "The Dragonbone Chair". And loved the muthafucken' poo out of it, hey! Mind you, there's nothing original about this novel, it's a pretty cliched story, but I guess it was just what I needed to read: old-fashioned high fantasy, that is, Young-scullion-s Here's what went down, in case you're interested. I read "The Old Scale Game", a short story by Tad Williams off Unfettered, and I was like "Oi! I like this shit!". I enjoyed it so much, I ran to the local used book-store and got myself a copy of "The Dragonbone Chair". And loved the muthafucken' poo out of it, hey! Mind you, there's nothing original about this novel, it's a pretty cliched story, but I guess it was just what I needed to read: old-fashioned high fantasy, that is, Young-scullion-saves-the-prince-who's-kept-captive-in-a-dungeon-by-his-brother-who-happens-to-be-king-and-under-the-mischievous-influence-of-a-sumbitch-scumbag-puppy-stomping-priest-sort-of-fantasy. Honestly, you can't be more cliched than that, can you? Well, I don't care, ha! I think "The Dragonborn Chair" is a gem, maybe a cliched one, but still a gem. I know there are plenty of people who find this book to be nothing but a waste of time, and might roll their eyes whenever someone mentions Tad Williams so... am I going to recommend it to my GR contacts? Not only no, but hell no! I reckon it's not for everyone. It's verbose, extremely verbose. Besides Tad Williams seems to be in love with the word "mooncalf", he also uses funny units of measurement such as cubits, furlongs and ells... there are plenty of cons that might put the reader off. So, anyway, whatever... five stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I have to be honest, I love Tad Williams. A lot of my friends aren't fans of his because he really does take ages and ages to get to the point. He's very big on character development, which is basically all I read books for. I not only forgive three hundred pages of character introduction and exposition and plot set-up, I gleefully embrace it. This book isn't any different from others of his that I've read in that respect, and in all others, it's a classic fantasy adventure. Orphan boy tapped for I have to be honest, I love Tad Williams. A lot of my friends aren't fans of his because he really does take ages and ages to get to the point. He's very big on character development, which is basically all I read books for. I not only forgive three hundred pages of character introduction and exposition and plot set-up, I gleefully embrace it. This book isn't any different from others of his that I've read in that respect, and in all others, it's a classic fantasy adventure. Orphan boy tapped for a higher purpose? Check! Warring princes? Check! Sinister mage? Check! Mysterious elfin race that hates humans? Double check! And yet in spite of all of the staples of fantasy writing that he employs, Williams still manages to make The Dragonbone Chair fresh and entertaining.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Throop

    This is one of my all-time favorite series and I reread it almost every year. That being said, I can understand why many people have given it negative reviews. There are two things that are cited most often 1) the slow start and 2)that there is nothing new (no new magic system, cultures are copies of Earth cultures, main character follows scullion to hero story, etc.), and I want to briefly address both those concerns before giving my final recommendation. Whenever I recommend this series to som This is one of my all-time favorite series and I reread it almost every year. That being said, I can understand why many people have given it negative reviews. There are two things that are cited most often 1) the slow start and 2)that there is nothing new (no new magic system, cultures are copies of Earth cultures, main character follows scullion to hero story, etc.), and I want to briefly address both those concerns before giving my final recommendation. Whenever I recommend this series to someone, I always say that if they can make it through the first 150 pages, they will love it. That inevitably elicits a groan and a question of why they should waste their time on something that starts off so slowly. The answer is that Williams needs that much time to introduce most of his characters and to establish the history and mythology necessary to easily follow the rest of the story. He goes on to reveal more about the history of Osten Ard (the world of MS&T) and he introduces more characters, but the basis is found in this first 150 pages, and it helps to form a deep and beautiful world. As I said before, the second main concern I've heard is that there is nothing new in the series, and by and large that's true. So why did I give this series 5 stars? Because Tad Williams understands something that escapes many authors: GREAT CHARACTERS MAKE A STORY, NOT NEW ELEMENTS! A good story comes not from the things that happen, but from how those occurences change the people in the story. For instance, over the course of the series, the main protagonist, Simon, changes from a whiny, lazy kid that I just can't stand (each time I read it, I want to smack him in the head!), to a sort of philosopher-soldier. The gradual change in his view of the world and his responibility toward others is a beautiful thing to see! I first read these books when I was 16 years old, and over the last 15 years I've read them again and again. When I was younger I was most enthralled with the heroic aspects (The magic, the fighting, and the quest), but now that I'm a bit older, I find the bits of philosophy that are intermingled with the story to be the most fascinating (although I do still enjoy the other parts). I can't recommend this story enough!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This is the second series I have started by Tad Willaims and this is a purely fantasy-based one rather than the blend which was Otherland. I went into this not long after having finished Otherland becuase I really enjoyed that series and I was hoping to enjoy this one just as much. Once again, I feel as though this is a series with potential, but as yet it's not reached that potential and so I will certainly continue onto book 2, but as of right now Otherland intrigued me more by this point. This This is the second series I have started by Tad Willaims and this is a purely fantasy-based one rather than the blend which was Otherland. I went into this not long after having finished Otherland becuase I really enjoyed that series and I was hoping to enjoy this one just as much. Once again, I feel as though this is a series with potential, but as yet it's not reached that potential and so I will certainly continue onto book 2, but as of right now Otherland intrigued me more by this point. This story focuses on a young boy called Simon who is a Kitchen-boy at the Castle. He's somewhat simple and he's always drifting off into his own imaginings and daydreams which leads others to think he's lazy. He was orphaned at birth when his mother died and so he's always been raised by the other servants in the Castle. This book is sloooooow and coming from me that's quite bad becuase I read a ton of really long and somewhat slow-moving stories. I found the very beginning scenes introducing us to Simon to be good, and I found the last third of this book really good, but everything between that (although interesting) is a verrry slow journey. This book has a lot of classic fantasy tones with some classic fantasy troupes being utilised. We have the 'chosen one' storyline (this is evident straight away) and we also have a world where magic existed once and some believe that the old race who used it are still around today. We have a dark character who is corrupting the rulers of the land, a dying King, and a feud between Princes. We also get introduced to a fair Maiden and Troll-like characters. All in all, this is definitely a classic fantasy story. Although this is a classic fantasy in style, I still think that there are some original voices and ideas and I found that the world was nicely developed as Simon starts to explore it. I enjoyed getting to see a bit more of the wider world after Simon leaves the castle (which is about halfway through the book) and I found some of the chase/escape scenes to be quite gripping, but equally there were many very dull scenes of plodding along and exposition. I think if you haven't read much classic fantasy and don't know all of the troupe then this would work better for you as a story but becuase I have seen these troupes before I was never truly surprised by any element of this book. That's not to say this is a story I didn't enjoy, I do like reading fantasy epics and this certainly has a sprawling feeling to the plot. On the whole I would say that this is a solid beginning to a series with potential, but it's also not there yet. I am hopeful that as this series continues I will start to see some development of the magic and characters which will make me more interested in their fates, and so for now this gets a 3*s overall.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked)

    Just finished this for the second time, and while I loved it the first time I read it, this reread was so much better. I was less lost, which usually happens when I reread fantasy, and I made so many connections that I missed the first time. It is an admittedly slow buildup, but I like fantasy with a slow start, so this was perfect for me. I'm curious to see what the next two books are like in terms of how quickly they get into the action. I listened to most of this and I highly recommend the aud Just finished this for the second time, and while I loved it the first time I read it, this reread was so much better. I was less lost, which usually happens when I reread fantasy, and I made so many connections that I missed the first time. It is an admittedly slow buildup, but I like fantasy with a slow start, so this was perfect for me. I'm curious to see what the next two books are like in terms of how quickly they get into the action. I listened to most of this and I highly recommend the audiobook!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Trent

    I love this book and series, and consider it an all-time classic that belongs in the company of LotR, ASOIAF, and the other Fantasy greats. That said, I do want to break down the things I liked and disliked from The Dragonbone Chair: - The beginning of the book is slow, and then even after it begins to 'pick up', there are still pacing issues. I wasn't overly bothered by it, but I can definitely see how it could be a barrier to some readers. It's hard for me to think of too many other books I ha I love this book and series, and consider it an all-time classic that belongs in the company of LotR, ASOIAF, and the other Fantasy greats. That said, I do want to break down the things I liked and disliked from The Dragonbone Chair: - The beginning of the book is slow, and then even after it begins to 'pick up', there are still pacing issues. I wasn't overly bothered by it, but I can definitely see how it could be a barrier to some readers. It's hard for me to think of too many other books I have read (other than maybe some by Robin Hobb) that have started this slowly - though still confidently. - The world-building is not always clear. There are a lot of names in this book, and they don't always click super easily. It took me a while (and frankly, I'm still not totally clear) to get my head around some of these names, places, and history. I would have loved for there to be a solid Wiki like you find for ASOIAF, Malazan, WoT, etc. Now let's talk about where the book succeeds, IMO: - The writing. My god, the writing. I feel like I've never really heard /read anyone discuss Tad William's prose before, but dear lord does he deserve to be in the same category as Hobb, Rothfuss, GGK, and the other wordsmiths in Fantasy. His skill in prose and description is honestly what kept me going, even when the pacing was a bit too slow. Just an absolute joy to read, while still being totally approachable for readers of all ages. - The characters also stand out, particularly Simon. I can see why some readers might be annoyed by him, but I really grew to love him - even more than comparable characters like FitzChivalry Farseer or Kvothe. I loved how fallible he was, but also how he perseveres and grows. He's so earnest that's it's impossible *not* to love him, IMO. I enjoyed many of the side characters as well - Marya, Binabak, Josua, etc. - The lore and history, while confusing at times, was still very well thought out and had me yearning to learn more. I love that it feels almost like it's ripped out of our history - there are even hints of a Christianity-like religion. It just feels like there is a lot more to be learned below the surface, which I really love. Overall, this was a great read - particularly when you look at in the context of when it came out, preceding Wheel of Time, ASOIAF, Realm of the Elderlings, and other modern Fantasy giants. It feels almost like the beginning of modern Fantasy, in many ways. Definitely worth your time, and highly recommended. I can't wait to start The Stone of Farewell!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    Oh, the orphan boy with unknown talents, who under-performs until the pressure is applied—how many fantasy stories have you read with this structure? Let’s see--Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey, The Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist, The Belgariad by David Eddings, The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, even to some extent The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (substitute “hobbit” for “boy”). Maybe even the King Arthur story to some extent—until young Arthur pulls the sword from the stone. Oh, the orphan boy with unknown talents, who under-performs until the pressure is applied—how many fantasy stories have you read with this structure? Let’s see--Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey, The Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist, The Belgariad by David Eddings, The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, even to some extent The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (substitute “hobbit” for “boy”). Maybe even the King Arthur story to some extent—until young Arthur pulls the sword from the stone. It’s a well-used idea. At the book’s beginning, I found Simon particularly annoying. As lives go in Midieval-like settings, his lot in life isn’t so bad, although the housekeeper Rachel does make his existence somewhat miserable. However, we all have to earn our keep, so pull up your socks, laddie, and make an effort! Even when offered opportunities to learn to read and to study, he complains! Typical 14-year-old, I guess, something I wouldn’t know about, having had the reading bug ever since I learned to read. Simon doesn’t appreciate his warm bed, three square meals a day, and secure surroundings until he has to flee the castle. Once he starts running for his life, Simon begins growing up. He becomes a much more likeable character at that point and I began to get invested in his tale. He loses some of the ADHD qualities that made him a “mooncalf” in the beginning and becomes a much more focused young man. I also appreciated a brand new take on trolls—making them smaller, wiser, and wilier. I liked Binobik and his wolf companion a lot. The Sithi are interesting in their ambiguity—are they enlightened, ethereal beings like the elves in Tolkien? Or are they the dark enemies of mankind? The world of Osten Ard is very detailed and easy to picture in the mind’s eye. The writing isn’t the best ever, but the story is engaging and I am waiting impatiently for volume 2 at my public library, where it is ‘on order.’ No telling how long I will have to pause before I know what happens to Simon, the kingdom, and the Storm King! Book number 239 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Crperry13

    My introduction to Tad Williams was the Otherland quartet, which rank among the very best books I ever read. Otherland had strong characters, an engaging plot, and a fast-paced movielike quality about it. I expected the same from other Williams works, so I picked up The Dragonbone Chair for some summer vacation reading. And I was incredibly disappointed. The utter lack of engaging dialog and prevalence of weak, forgettable characters ruins this book. I found myself flipping past 2-3 pages at a ti My introduction to Tad Williams was the Otherland quartet, which rank among the very best books I ever read. Otherland had strong characters, an engaging plot, and a fast-paced movielike quality about it. I expected the same from other Williams works, so I picked up The Dragonbone Chair for some summer vacation reading. And I was incredibly disappointed. The utter lack of engaging dialog and prevalence of weak, forgettable characters ruins this book. I found myself flipping past 2-3 pages at a time of tedious descriptions of scenery, clothing, weather, and emotions to get to the few lines of dialog per chapter. Not that I have any real issue with description - my favorite books are detailed explorations of fantastic ideas or places (check my list!). But this book was tedious...it could have been 200 pages shorter and a much more engaging story, without cutting out one line of dialog. I don't like giving up on books, but after 250 pages of this one, I quit on it and picked up something a little less frustrating. Brutally disappointing. I still want to read Williams' later works (post-Otherland), but am less enthused.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I love this series. I hadn't thought of it in a little while, but speaking about books today with a friend brought it to mind and I thought, "I haven't read that this year...I should." The four LARGE volumes are quite an investment, both in money and in time, (get it from the library, or let me know and you can borrow mine when I'm done) but it's worth it in the end. I know that sci-fi/fantasy are seriously formulaic, and these are not that different...young boy, thrown into circumstances beyond I love this series. I hadn't thought of it in a little while, but speaking about books today with a friend brought it to mind and I thought, "I haven't read that this year...I should." The four LARGE volumes are quite an investment, both in money and in time, (get it from the library, or let me know and you can borrow mine when I'm done) but it's worth it in the end. I know that sci-fi/fantasy are seriously formulaic, and these are not that different...young boy, thrown into circumstances beyond his control, rises to win friends and influence people and then defeats the ultimate enemy and finds true love...blah blah blah...but I so enjoy this particular telling. I still see the country and the people in this series so clearly in my mind. The friends become people you want to meet, and the evil is described in ways that make you realize that even fantasy has a basis in the reality of our crazy world. (Knowing about the evil out there by keeping up to date with the world is different than "throwing your door open and letting whatever evil passes by to come in. It is much more difficult to make that evil leave again.") Besides you know a book like this has entered your heart when you end with the thought that, "I want to name a son Simon after a hero like him!"

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maja Ingrid

    I thought this book would take me at least 2 weeks to finish due to my burden of university assignments and master thesis, but ended up taking less than a week. Funny how quick you read books when you procrastinate everything university and life related for a whole weekend (because i did spend the weekdays studying a little). This book was very fun and easy read. I look forward to the rest of the series

  28. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Out of the older tradition of fantasy writing, this one takes its time and builds slowly, carefully, meticulously, until we have a world and conflict that feels real and surprising in the present with the depth that a long history provides. Really good stuff if you're patient enough to let it simmer. I will admit to being bored at times, and frustrated with Simon's ignorance and naivete, especially in this first book. What I would consider to be the introduction takes about 200 pages. Then it's Out of the older tradition of fantasy writing, this one takes its time and builds slowly, carefully, meticulously, until we have a world and conflict that feels real and surprising in the present with the depth that a long history provides. Really good stuff if you're patient enough to let it simmer. I will admit to being bored at times, and frustrated with Simon's ignorance and naivete, especially in this first book. What I would consider to be the introduction takes about 200 pages. Then it's not really until the end of this book that it really reaches the pace and depth that spurs you on to pick up the rest - immediately. No, it's not your quick fantasy fix, but it's infinitely more satisfying than the easy-in, easy-out fantasies that abound these days. I've now read the series twice in spite of the slow start, so I feel that it merits a place on my favorites shelf.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    I think this may just be THE most boring book I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across. Normally I’m all for epic fantasy but this was just epically boring. I made it about 30% through before I finally gave up. And I really don’t give up easily on books, normally I power through because you never know when it might turn around! But after seeking the opinions of several trusted sources that have read this one and after a unanimous conclusion that it doesn’t get any better, I gave up on this on I think this may just be THE most boring book I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across. Normally I’m all for epic fantasy but this was just epically boring. I made it about 30% through before I finally gave up. And I really don’t give up easily on books, normally I power through because you never know when it might turn around! But after seeking the opinions of several trusted sources that have read this one and after a unanimous conclusion that it doesn’t get any better, I gave up on this one!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Celine

    What a fantastic story. Some people can't stand special snowflake Simon, but I love it all. The Dragonbone Chair is takes a long time to build, and therefore it's hard to give a spoiler free premise. Our main character is Simon, a young orphan boy living in the Hayholt castle. He is a dreamer, someone unfit for the dreary castle life. When he becomes the apprentice of the fascinating Morgenes, he feels like he might finally become part of the adventures and grand life he has always fantasized abo What a fantastic story. Some people can't stand special snowflake Simon, but I love it all. The Dragonbone Chair is takes a long time to build, and therefore it's hard to give a spoiler free premise. Our main character is Simon, a young orphan boy living in the Hayholt castle. He is a dreamer, someone unfit for the dreary castle life. When he becomes the apprentice of the fascinating Morgenes, he feels like he might finally become part of the adventures and grand life he has always fantasized about. However, he doesn't know that he will become part of a journey that isn't nearly as glorious as he expected it to be. In many ways, The Dragonbone Chair is a classic fantasy story. Simon as special snowflake-y as they come - there is no denying it. However, I love following his development from a naive scullery boy to a responsible young man. Simon is a dreamer, an idealist, which is something I can relate to. He develops from someone that things happen to, to someone who becomes more in control of his own fate. He finds bravery, friendship, and through hardship loses his naiveté. His is a typical coming of age story, but a heartfelt one. The world of Osten Ard slowly unfolds like a scroll being opened. When Simon is young, our perspective is limited to the capitol. As Simon's scope broadens, so does ours. We learn more about the different tribes inhabiting Osten Ard, and the tensions between them. Instead of dumping this whole world on the reader at once, we're being taught its mythology piece by piece. There is a lot of background to learn, and I would not call the book a fast-paced one, but I feel all the background adds to the story. The scope of the book is truly epic, and without the sense of history the world building provides, the whole book would fall flat. The Dragonbone Chair is published in 1988, and its story might no longer appeal to the modern sentiments of contemporary fantasy lovers. If you're looking for a classic story with clear Tolkienesque influences, give The Dragonbone Chair a try. A good fantasy story is timeless after all.

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