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Stone of Farewell (1990)

by Tad Williams

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4,039312,307 (4.02)1 / 102
In Osten Ard, the evil of the Storm King covers the land and the country is riven by war. Nature, unbalanced by the tide of evil, slips into a permanent winter. Simon, once a kitchen boy, now a hero hiding in the troll stronghold of Yiquanuc, has prophetic dreams. Only he and his companions can save the land, but to do this he must embark on the second part of his quest ... to the Stone of Farewell.… (more)

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English (30)  Dutch (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Book 2 of the Memory, Sorrow, Thorn trilogy. In this one, the maturing Simon stays with Prince Josua on the trek to find somewhere safe for those remaining attached to the Prince. Miriamele, ever headstrong ends up on her own in dire straits, Josua's brother Elias continues to disintegrate. Ineluki, in the far North the evil unbeing former Sithi schemes away with the help of his mother to destroy pretty much everything. In short, the plot thickens. The strengths of the saga are in the slow but steady development of the main characters, the young ones especially, but also Josua and those around him. Few characters on the side of the angels, as it were, are static--not even the Sithi. On the whole it is a balanced work, with plenty going on. I'm happy to continue. **** ( )
  sibylline | Feb 21, 2021 |
Stone of Farewell didn't quite live up to the foundation set in Dragonbone Chair. I think mostly because towards the end Williams realized there was no way the rest of the story could fit into a reasonably-sized third book. There is evidence of revision throughout to try to cram more into this volume instead. In the end I think Williams realized there was no way to rework the plot in the way he wanted.

That said, this volume started to hint at deviation from Tolkien's philosophy and themes. Dragonbone Chair had a fairly dark atmosphere, but this ratchets that feeling up. There are particular tragic experiences the characters undergo that definitely don't belong in Tolkien, at least not minus some silver lining like they're presented here. On the whole, however, this book isn't a huge downer. There are hints at Robin Hobb-like character torture, but things still end up relatively happy, with promise for the future. In hindsight though, it's amazing to think how much more of this story is contained in the third volume. ( )
  yorga2020 | Aug 30, 2020 |
Overall a good continuation to the story. First half was a bit of a slog but the novel got more interesting and had better pacing in the 2nd half. I feel that the characters were getting more developed throughout this story and it was a bit more polished towards the end - perhaps the author was starting to find more of their groove in the writing. Definitely worth continuing the series from this point on and I am eager to see what's next in store in Osten Ard. ( )
  briandarvell | Aug 7, 2020 |
I love this series, but this is my least favorite of the three. Loved the world building of the first book...all of which play into the story moving forward. In this one there is a great deal of time is devoted to world building in the troll village and the sithi community...far too much time. I loathed the troll people by the time we were done with them and on our way. Happy to have this re-read behind me and am ready for the third and final installment. ( )
  wills2003 | Jul 30, 2020 |
Continuing my review of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, we move into the second book.

The first book is an explosion of history and new culture- William's world has depth!- this installment is, in my opinion, much weaker. It is necessary to create the climax, but lacks any scenes with the power of the blood of Igjarjuk, the innocence of Simon Mooncalf, or the blood-stained history of the Hayholt.

It does have a very evocative eldritch city, and a closer look at the culture of the strange, fey Sithi; overall, it reads to me as the book most echoing with loss of the three. In The Dragonbone Chair, loss was in the past- even the passing of Prester John is the mourning of the passing of a man who did great deeds and touched many lives, regardless of his faults. In this book, it is a profound sense of things being irretrievably lost or lesser that one did not expect before the finale.

If one has an attachment to the relevant sections, this book explains what the villain-hero, Ineluki, wants to restore before it is lost. ( )
  BrainFireBob | Jul 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tad Williamsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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. . . Of all the many changing things

In dreary dancying past us whirled,

To the cracked tune that Chronos sings,

Words alone are certain good.

Where are now the warring kings,

Word be-mockers?—By the Rood,

Where are not the warring kings?

An idle word is now their glory,

By the stammering scholboy said,

Reading some entangled story:

The kings of the old time are dead;

The wandering earth herself may be

Only a sudden flaming word,

In clanging space a moment heard,

Troubling the endless reverie.

—William Butler Yeats
  (from The Song of the Happy Shepherd)

This series is dedicated to my mother, Barbara Jean Evans, who taught to me a deep affection for Tad Hall, the Hundred Aker Woods, the Shire, and many other hidden places and countries beyond the fields we know. She also induced in me a lifelong desire to make my own discoveries, and to share them with others. I wish to share these books. with her.
First words
Even in the cave, where the crackling fire sent gray fingers of smoke up to the hole in the stony roof, and red light played across the wall carvings of twining serpents and tusked, staring-eyed beasts, the cold still gnawed at Simon's bones.
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In Osten Ard, the evil of the Storm King covers the land and the country is riven by war. Nature, unbalanced by the tide of evil, slips into a permanent winter. Simon, once a kitchen boy, now a hero hiding in the troll stronghold of Yiquanuc, has prophetic dreams. Only he and his companions can save the land, but to do this he must embark on the second part of his quest ... to the Stone of Farewell.

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