My review of The Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams
“When wolves of the forest begin to grow hungry, it is beneath his window that they first come to howling.”
In the Stone of Farewell we return to find Simon and allies have recovered the Sword of Power – Thorn; Simon has been branded by dragon blood and passed through dream to connect with the world with profound effect.
Naglimund has fallen, Josua and his band of beleaguered survivors fee into the forest of Aldheotre hunted form all sides by the White Foxes. Will friends unlooked for arrive in time and can Josua rescue the land from madness and the oncoming storm?
Miriamele and Cadrach continue to run from shadow, memory and a father’s demented love; but is she running to danger for gratitude cannot change nature and a wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf.
The shard calls, the children rise and darkness beckons for Maegwin. Will she find the light in the shadows or will it consume her.
The long dead shall return and a member of the league will struggle between loyalty and duty.
Can a series of three books be called Epic? In the first book you begin to get an understanding of the depth and detail that Williams endeavoured to depict in this world and its inhabitants. In the second book of the series he has amplified this illusive quality abundantly.
There is a maturity and aged feel in the history and lives laid out to the reader. The development of Simon from boy to man can at times be slow but you catch glimpses of the person he will be become.
The second book delves into the history and personality of most the other mains characters, giving them a rounded feel with the notable exception of Miramele. I feel there was a real opportunity missed with this character development. There was no true transformation of Miramele from damsel in distress to heroine of Boadicea propositions.
Williams has written the frustration and resentment that Josua is struggling with in such a way that you can at times feel this with yourself.
The greatest accolade I can give any book is it makes you want more, there was no skimming chapters of the secondary characters to get back to Simon and his odyssey. Sequels can be as good if not better than their predecessors.
There is loss, sorrow and death; but there is hope and bounds forged. Debts will be paid, what is old will pass and what is new will rise.
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