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Publisher's Summary

Set in Williams' New York Times best-selling fantasy world, the second audiobook of the Last King of Osten Ard returns to the trials of King Simon and Queen Miriamele as threats to their kingdom loom....

The kingdoms of Osten Ard have been at peace for decades, but now, the threat of a new war grows to nightmarish proportions. 

Simon and Miriamele, royal husband and wife, face danger from every side. Their allies in Hernystir have made a pact with the dreadful queen of the Norns to allow her armies to cross into mortal lands. The ancient, powerful nation of Nabban is on the verge of bloody civil war, and the fierce nomads of the Thrithings grasslands have begun to mobilize, united by superstitious fervor and their age-old hatred of the city-dwellers. 

But as the countries and peoples of the High Ward bicker among themselves, battle, bloodshed, and dark magics threaten to pull civilizations to pieces. And over it all looms the mystery of the Witchwood Crown, the deadly puzzle that Simon, Miriamele, and their allies must solve if they wish to survive. 

But as the kingdoms of Osten Ard are torn apart by fear and greed, a few individuals will fight for their own lives and destinies - not yet aware that the survival of everything depends on them.

©2019 Tad Williams (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Tad Williams is a master storyteller, and the Osten Ard books are his masterpiece. Williams’ return to Osten Ard is every bit as compelling, deep, and fully-rendered as the first trilogy, and he continues to write with the experience and polish of an author at the top of his game." (Brandon Sanderson, New York Times best-selling author of Mistborn)
 

"Building upon the revered history of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Williams has outdone himself by penning a 700-plus page novel that is virtually un-put-down-able.... Williams’ grand-scale storytelling mastery is on full display here. Not just utterly readable - an instant fantasy classic." (Kirkus Reviews)

“Readers who delight in losing themselves in long complex tales of epic fantasy will be in their element here, and there is the promise of much more to come in future volumes.” (Locus)

What listeners say about Empire of Grass

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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

Better than the first book...

This second book in The Last King of Osten Ard manages to eventually (as in, it takes a good while) escape the constant and tedious back references to people and occurrences in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. The petulance and bumbling that made teenage Simon so engaging and endearing in the first series just make him annoying and trifling as a middle-aged king - and that's just one example of the uninspiring handling of character development for many of the characters, both old and new.

I've been a big Tad Williams fan for decades, eagerly buying every new book he's released, and it was my love of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn that made me that way. So I was excited when I heard he was revisiting Osten Ard. But this series has been almost painful at times, and the main reason I continue listening is because I'm such a fan of his previous work.

5 people found this helpful

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We need the next book!!

Definitely slowed down in the middle so be prepared for quite a few chapters there nothing really happens

1 person found this helpful

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loved it

amazing second part to the sequel of memory sorrow and thorn. I hate that The Navigators Children hasn't been published yet. Can't wait for his next book.

1 person found this helpful

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As good (or better) than The Witchwood Crown

Empire of Grass was just as good as The Witchwood Crown, and has firmly cemented this series as a Top 5 all-time series for me.

Fair Warning, though: this volume is definitely the 'Empire Strikes Back' of the series. Everything that could go wrong, goes wrong for our heroes.

Morgan is lost in the forest, Eolair is captured by Thrithings men, Miriamele is in Nabban sorting through petty (and deadly) political drama, and Simon is trying (and failing) to hold his kingdom together.

On top of all of that, the Norn Queen Uttuku's evil plans are beginning to bear fruit, and the deadly immortal's attack is imminent.

There's so much going on, but every plotline was fascinating. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, despite the grimness.

This series is INCREDIBLE! Every fantasy fan should visit Osten Ard as soon as possible.

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A Must Read

I simply cannot wait for the third installment of this amazing series. you simply must read this fantastic book!

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Meh

In my opinion, which is only one small singular opinion among many, I thought the story as a whole is good, but I also thought Tad leaned too heavily on nostalgia from MST, and i really disliked the writing for Morgan, which at times leaves you scratching your head and wondering just how spoiled and stupid this young royal must be, because alot his dialogue with other characters makes zero sense. However, i loved the Jarnulf, Unver, Nesaru, and Tanahaya story lines. As far as the voice acting goes, i thought he nailed the humans, but the non-humans weren't so great. If i had to give this audiobook a score out of 10, id give it a 7.

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Hanging!!!

Cannot wait till the next book to find out what happens! What a cliff hanger!

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tad at his best

I'm so glad I discovered tads novels! this series is one of the best hands down!

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waiting for more

What a great continuation of the story of Simon. It is interesting the way he also shares the story from the Norm side. I hope that the next book comes out soon.

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Winner

fantastic addition to the series. Tad never disappoints. definitely worth the read. Cant wait for the next one