Memory, Sorrow & Thorn Book 3
“You said once that your parents were being common folk. It is my thought that at least one of them was not a person at all, but a moth.”
So what’s the book about?
Children grow up, adults are knighted and knights grow old. The religious texts and mystical prophecies reveal that peace will only come to Osten Ard when the three great swords “Sorrow”, “Memory” and “Thorn” are reunited. Together with Prince Josua, Seoman “Simon” prepares for the final battle against King Elias, against Pryrates and against the Storm King Ineluki. As the battle draws closer and closer and hope shimmers through at times, more and more gruesome discoveries are made. Only if the individual peoples stick together can the enemy be defeated. If the nations can recover these ancient secrets of magic, long buried under the dust of time, they might reveal to Josua and his army the only means of defeating the invincible enemy.
These aspects attracted me the most while reading.
- I experienced a variety of different journeys through the world of Osten Ard in this story and, in my opinion, there are no finer things to read than an endless journey where you get to see different settings and meet new companions. Each character’s journey is riddled with action-packed obstacles that they have to live through. Be it being attacked by spider-like creatures, the Ghants, roaming the swamp or being attacked by fanatical religious worshippers. Yet the most exciting and most beautiful journey, because it gave a feeling of nostalgia, was Simon’s journey. You experience his initial journey away from the Hayholt now in exactly the other direction, where he first begins with his companions, whom he only discovered later on his journey at that time. You come to the graves again, where Simon experienced a fateful night, and here, too, fateful events occur. And he has to go through the depths of the castle again to get closer to his goal. This journey took me back so much to the first volume of this series that you actually know the course of events, but there are always new surprises along the way.
- The initially beautiful world has gradually turned into a gloomy and dreary world in the books. People suffer from hunger and cold and there is no end in sight to these feelings. Once beautiful places with many memories have been destroyed or are being harboured by the evil ones. There is a sense that the world is ending and people are losing hope that the Storm King can be defeated. The dark power is within reach and can be recognised everywhere in the world and in the minds of the inhabitants. The book has become a brutal and sad book, and the author shows that he ultimately has no qualms about letting even beloved characters die. Not all of them are allowed to choose the hero’s death, some of them languish wounded on the sickbed. The difference between good and evil is clearly shown, especially Elias’ subjects suffer inhumanities and Pryrates has long since lost his humanity. Even if evil seems unchangeable, everyone must realise that in every evil there can be an ideology that wanted to bring something good to the world.
- Simon. He has undergone an incredible development – from a lazy and dreamy kitchen boy to a knight who is becoming more and more of a hero, imposing his own will and yet still remaining the same. Simon is not a perfect man and never has been, he has faults and these remain with him to the end and allow him to remain a human being. Only as the book progresses does it become clear to the reader that Simon and those around him are going through a change, so Simon, but also every other individual character, develops in an incredibly differentiated and vivid way and yet they remain true to themselves. Williams combines the drama of the times, the dangers of the situations and the feelings of the main characters so insanely well that it tears your heart apart when you have to stop reading and put the book aside. Friendship, courage, fear and love – no other fantasy author has ever managed to portray feelings so intensely and clearly. And you especially notice all the author’s love for his character Simon. Simon will always be the one who has grown most dear to my heart, and I’m sure to many other readers’ hearts as well, because he is simply the way he is. Simon is the hero we all could be.
The end cost me many tears, as I now had to realise that I had to leave my friends. The ending was exactly what I expected, yet somehow also very different. The final battle, which was clear from the beginning of the book, was the most exciting and best-written scene in this whole series. Because the way there, to the fight against Elias, Pryrates and finally Ineluki, is peppered with many obstacles, which also bring some surprising twists, turns, and many unforeseen things happen. One always has the hope that the battle will be won, and the next moment this hope is brutally shattered. I imagine the final battle so vividly that I felt the fear, the oppressive feeling, even the pain of every single hero. The finale is such a reward for the reader’s efforts that it leaves him breathless. All the storylines are so skilfully brought together to form a whole that you read through the last pages in one go. Over the entire length of the four books, you realise that almost every character is hiding a secret. Some unanswered questions are clarified and there are some heart breaking situations that could cost you many tears. It may be a happy ending overall, but it has many setbacks that I can’t call it a happy ending after all.
So what are my final thoughts about it?
This was the most emotional journey I have ever had to go through in a book or series. At the end, you feel like you have been on a really fantastic journey, getting to know and love every corner of Osten Ard, all its peoples, customs and inhabitants, and having many adventures. Writing such an epic, with its many facets and twists, is not something I imagine to be easy, especially when this story has been enriched with so many endearing characters. So many characters in this book became my friends that I would not want to miss. The fallibility of the characters, their weaknesses and flaws, draw the reader in. The world Williams creates is so similar to our own, often it seems to touch us directly and to engulf us, but then it recedes as far into the distance as only our imagination can. It is a world of feelings that become decisions and legends that become truth. I don’t want to leave this world and am already afraid to explore new worlds. This book has taken me away like no other and leaves me so speechless that I wish I could stay in this world forever. I will continue to stay in this world and read the subsequent books as I don’t want to visit any other world at the moment.
There are books that should be endless and Tad William’s Osten Ard series is without a doubt one of.
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