Dabbling

While I waited for The Stone of Farewell to arrive, I picked up Patrick Rothfuss’s Name of the Wind. It is ever on my to read list, and my husband really loved it. After reading the Dragonbone Chair, with its descriptions of Osten Ard and its denizens, Name of the Wind seemed almost Hemingwayesque with it’s short sentences. I’ll get back to it after finishing the Tad Williams tales.

This afternoon, because I was in the mood and my other books were way downstairs, I read the intro to a short story collection Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers. I’ve had it for awhile, but that’s the lovely thing about having your own books rather than always borrowing them, they are right there for you when you’re ready to read them. I have a long history of loving short stories. I have so many old collections of science fiction, fantasy and horror tales. Those particular genres really suit the short story form, for me. This one, in it’s wonderful introduction (I always read Introductions, Forwards and Prefaces) talks about the Victorian era and how it’s modernization of the wide world actually gave rise to many new tales of horror and “scientific romance”. I have read so many of the authors they mention. The book is full of tales by modern authors setting their tales in Victorian times, and I’m hoping they are successful in making new stories in the manner of the old. Since I love the era and have read so many of the best the times had to offer, I’d love new stories set there.

Stone Of Farewell came this afternoon and I just sat down and began to happily read it. It picks up right were the last novel left off and our heroes and heroines are heading into ever more danger. There are so many great characters in these books, when I write up Stone of Farewell, I’m going to be sure to mention my favorites. I got an edition that is larger than my Dragonbone copy. I’m delighted that it has more maps, and they’re much easier to read. I couldn’t make out the details even with a magnifying glass in the first paperback of the series. I love maps.

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately, happy times. I want to list them on Goodreads, but because I signed up for the goal of 50 books, when I log in there they blast me with a message “You’re (insert number) books behind on your goal! Eek! Reading Goal Shaming…

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

Coming very soon is Tad Williams new Osten Ard book The Witchwood Crown, first in a new series by him titled The Last King Of Osten Ard.

Sometimes there are holes in my science fiction and fantasy reading, not having read the Dragonbone Chair is one such hole now filled. I felt that it started off really slowly, and I had trouble liking the main character Simon, surely the laziest and most inconsiderate boy in any world. Then events occurred which sent him alone out on the road, running for his life. Slowly, slowly the boy matured. At the end of the Dragonbone Chair he’s still somewhat clueless, but his survival skills have been honed thanks to companions he meets, and he has come to care very much about the fate of his world and his friends and allies. I mention his character development at some length because I have to have someone to root for and admire in a book, and it took awhile for Simon to be that person.

Luckily, he is surrounded by great companions and allies. The troll Binabik and his wolf mount/friend Qantaqa travel with Simon. From them Simon learns much about survival, loyalty and friendship. It almost seems that Binabik is the first person Simon has ever cared about besides himself. Opening that door in selfish Simon is everything, and it makes Simon befriend others and give loyalty where none existed. He comes to travel with runaways, royalty, and impossible creatures from the world’s past.

Simon is that core character who is an unwitting and reluctant hero who can help shape the fate of the world. He chooses a side in a seeming war between brothers which is the unloosening of something much darker in the lands of Osten Ard.

The story is full of battles, bravery, treachery, shining good and darkest evil. At 766 pages, it’s a wonderful tale that for that last 600 pages or so, you truly don’t want to put down. I ordered the sequels The Stone of Farewell and To Green Angel Tower as soon as I closed the cover. I already have the Witchwood Crown On Order 🙂