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classic fantasy & science fiction   Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

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 Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

created by Tad Williams


Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is Tad Williams's epic fantasy trilogy, comprising The Dragonbone Chair (1988), Stone of Farewell (1990), and To Green Angel Tower (1993). The paperback publication of To Green Angel Tower was divided into two volumes, so paperback readers may consider Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn to be a tetralogy rather than a trilogy.

The books are set on the continent of Osten Ard, whose inhabitants include Sithi (elf-like immortals), Qanuc (troll-like mountain-dwellers), and other races, as well as several distinct human nations. The youthful conquests of King John the Presbyter (also called Prester John) united most of the human world into a single realm, but by the beginning of the first book, the former conqueror is too old and feeble to stop his sons from quarrelling. As the conflict widens throughout their world and beyond, a young orphan struggles to understand enough of it to survive.

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