The Dragonbone Chair : Memory, Sorrow & Thorn

  • by Tad Williams
  • Narrated by Andrew Wincott
  • Series: Memory, Sorrow & Thorn
  • 33 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The beloved first novel in Tad Williams' classic fantasy series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, first published in 1988 and now available as an unabridged audiobook for the first time.
Kitchen-boy Simon is bored, restless, and 14 years old - a dangerous combination. It seems, however, that his life has just taken a turn for the better when he's apprenticed to his castle's resident wizard. As Simon's learning to read and write under Doctor Morgenes' tutelage, forces greater than he could possibly imagine are gathering: forces which will change Simon's life - and his world - forever.
Following the death of Good King John, Osten Ard is plunged into civil war as his sons battle for control of the fabled Dragonbone Chair - the country's throne as well as the symbol of its power. Simon is forced to flee the only home he has ever known, a journey which will test him beyond his worst nightmares.
With The Dragonbone Chair, Tad Williams introduced readers to the incredible fantasy world of Osten Ard and kicked off the beloved, internationally best-selling series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

You'll need a little patience for this one

If you want fast-paced action, keep well clear.

Listening through a bank holiday's DIY project, I can confirm that paint does indeed dry faster than it took for anything of interest to happen. (The first bit of action / interest comes at around the 4.5 hour mark).

That said, it's a beautifully written book, but whereas some authors might take a sentence to describe the forest at nightfall, Tad Williams will take four, and then go on to describe the darkness afterwards. Sometimes there are just too many metaphors, wonderfully colourful as they might be. The lead character spends an awful lot of time lost in the under-city, and then in the forest, and then hiking up the mountain - and boy are you there with him, through all those long, dull hours.....

Despite the above, there are some really good and exciting scenes (they are just particularly well spaced), where the pace kicks up a few gears. This is also a unique, new fantasy world and it's this that has kept me interested.

This book is definitely building to something bigger - this first instalment ends just as it's starting to get interesting and things are finally beginning to happen.

I had to take a break half-way through this, escaping to a light-hearted, favoured listen, but I came back to this story, finished it, and have now started onto Part 2. I am trusting the other reviewers that this will be worth it in the long run. (I must remember to review the next instalments too, then!)

Short version: if you're a patient listener, and enjoy beautifully written prose, then you may love this. If you need action, it may well drive you to distraction. Or, like me, perhaps you'll opt simply to zone out for the dull bits and hope not to miss anything important.

Narration is fine.
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- Robyn "I get bored quickly so take ages choosing my books. Preferred authors are Sanderson, Rothfuss, Abercrombie, tho' C Harris makes me laugh too"

An interesting setup for a 2nd book..a slow burner

I usually devour most epic fantasy books, funding it hard to stop myself listening/reading and sneaking away to read more. This one tool me alot longer than usual. It was performed very well. The narrator was among the best I've heard but the story (I felt personally) was a little slow in parts. The background info was needed and did enrich the characters and story. I just felt like it had been dragged out at times and could have accomplished more with less.
But as I said in the title this book shouldn't be regarded as a complete work, more an intro into a new world, as nothing truly remarkable happens for the majority of the book (there are some exciting parts though ) but it does leave you with quite a few unanswered and exciting questions and revelations which point to a more engrossing second book.
I think it was worth persevering and it may be one of those series that start slow but turn out to be amazing. I usually mourn those the hardest as by the time your done you don't want the story to be over!
If you have the patience to let it play out and plan to read the whole set of books, then it is definitely worth your time. On its own though you would be left a little frustrated. Clearly a small part of a better whole.
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- Adam Evans "Owner of Birmingham Music School - A Yamaha Music Point, Learning / Book Junkie, Teacher, Father, Husband & Ultra marathon enthusiast."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-08-2015
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton