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Publisher's Summary

The stunning second novel in Tad Williams' classic fantasy series, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, set in the fantasy world of Osten Ard.

Following a brutal civil war, Osten Ard has been crushed under the rule of the two villainous High Kings. A single hope remains: if the rebels can find the three swords of legend - Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - they might be able to bring the Storm King and evil King Elias down.

Once but a humble kitchen boy, Simon is now Simon Snowlock, dragonslayer and bearer of the mythical sword Thorn. But Simon is more alone than ever before: his friends have been imprisoned, and his liege lord, Prince Joshua, has been exiled. And the Storm King may also be in possession of one of the swords....

A single chance remains: if Simon can deliver Thorn to Joshua and lead his followers to the Stone of Farewell, the rebels may be able to muster the forces necessary to rise up against Elias and the Storm King. But no one knows where the Stone of Farewell is. Or, indeed, what it is....

©1990 Robert Paul 'Tad' Williams, published by permission of DAW Books (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robyn
  • 11-09-16

Still trotting pace, not a gallop

It's so difficult for me to review these books. I'm trying hard not to be overly critical because the pace doesn't quite suit me.

This is slightly faster paced than the first book, but hardly a gallop.

I tend to judge a book by my desire to keep my headphones in at every opportunity. Cooking, ironing, commuting (even in the bath). If it's one of those books that's grabbed me, my headphones are in and my family is moaning at me for being non-communicative. Not so with this book. I went for days at a time without listening..... On the positive side, it doesn't matter if your attention wonders for a bit, it's probable you wont miss anything hugely significant, so it's a good book if you're needing to concentrate on other stuff simultaneously.

The characters are still good, and true to the first book, and no gaping holes in the plot (so far - or that I've noticed....but I might have dozed off and missed them).

If you're happy with good writing, but at a gentle pace, or you loved the first book in the series, then you should enjoy this.

I still haven't downloaded book 3 in the series, though I imagine I probably will at some stage as I will want to know what happens in this story..... I just need a change of scenery for a bit.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam Evans
  • 02-07-16

Now the story is really building!

A other great performance by Andrew wincott. I really started to get drawn in this book. Much like the creeping winter in the book this series takes it easy but slowly grows on you. There is a much faster pace to this book the the first and the characters are really starting to gain some depth. Im Really looking forward to seeing what happens in the next installment. There are still many unanswered questions..
As I said these books aren't great on their own and should not be regarded or judged seperately. I can feel that they are just a l parts of an epic whole. If you have patience then read on!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Louis Hall
  • 04-25-17

After 55+ hours of hard slog(inc book1) I give up

Would you try another book written by Tad Williams or narrated by Andrew Wincott?

I would listen to another book narrated by Andrew Wincott. Not another book written by Tad Williams.
This feels like a book written for young teenagers. The saving grace is the narrator. Other than him it is quite boring, and unnecessarily long.
The plot and characters are very black and white, good or evil. There is no character nuance, no inner conflict. People are goodies or baddies only.

What will your next listen be?

For We Are Many

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Stone of Farewell?

Too many to count. The main problem with this book: Very, very little happens. Most of it should be edited out. There is a reasonably good book underneath struggling to show itself. Sadly it is drowning in a turgid narrative.
The writing is not great. The immense length of the book isn't due to the author being overly descriptive. If anything it lacks description, for instance of sounds and smell. You don't feel immersed in the author's world through his words. He just spends a lot of time describing situations that add nothing to the plot as a whole. Book 1 & 2 could easily be 15 hrs not 60+. It might be worth a listen as a time killer then.

Any additional comments?

I ploughed through the first book. Hoping it would get interesting. After investing 30+ hrs, I had to start the second. It showed promise at first, it got exciting, then ...
I only got this far as I need to finish things once I've started. Leaving this book after 55 hours (30 book 1, & 25 book 2) is almost painful to me. Yet it is so bad I am willing to cut my losses. Now that I have, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
Don't listen to this turgid drivel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy Hunter
  • 10-04-16

overly long but still worth ot

the story is a good one but the author can be over descriptive which gets in the way of the narrative.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lesley
  • 02-10-16

A gripping tale

I loved this book because of the richness of every character and the intricate web of their individual paths that cross and recross. Despite the intricacy of the story it did not become as unnecessarily complex as some fantasy books I have read. I had to listen avidly to the end and immediately ordered the next book in the series.
The narration was good although I didn't really appreciate his 'dour' tone. That is only a personal preference and it did not take away my enjoyment of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ross Hughes
  • 02-12-18

Boring

Soooo boring!! The voices of the characters are all the same, nothing happens for hours, just so dull. Put me off the rest of the series

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  • lee moore
  • 12-08-17

wow wow wow

this 2nd book moves the story on vary nicely and the last chapter is just mind bogglingly good. another mesmerising performance from Andrew wincott. I'm super giddy to hear what happens next. loving these books so far.

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  • jon
  • 11-29-17

The non hero story.

Our Boy/Man lead character seems to spend a great deal of time unconscious and injured. He is truly portrayed as a non hero in this book.

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  • Mrs J Morris
  • 08-26-17

Binge

That is true I could not stop listening to this book , I just have got to get the next book in the series .My life is completely on hold as I could not stop listening to the first book in the series. Worth every minute.

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  • david hames
  • 06-04-17

FMST

Such a great story well narrated, I cannot wait to start next book in series.

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  • Tim
  • 03-12-18

A good middle series novel

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I am rereading this series that i started as a teenager and loved but never finished (by the time Green Angel Tower came out i wasn't into fantasy anymore and couldn't really remember the story).I preferred the Stone of Farewell to its prequel, the Dragonbone Chair, both the characters and the world have grown in depth. The plot also moves at a more more consistent pace than DBC (which started slow but got very quick at the end). Still, its a long book.

What other book might you compare Stone of Farewell to, and why?

(I don't think anything below counts as a spoiler as the overall structure of the world and the core lines of division are not really surprises or plot twists but if you want to discover the - fairly familiar - world yourself don't read on)

The world of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (MST) is clearly very reminiscent of Tolkien's Middle Earth. 'Elves' who came to this land from a homeland in the west once ruled over a golden age during which they built many great cities, which now lie in ruin. At some stage in the past Men took the land from the elves who moved to magical strongholds (think Rivendell/Lothlorien) at the margins and are somewhat secluded from the goings on of the mortals. However a dark lord (the Storm King) has risen and now threatens all. Various magical items are needed to fight him and so various quests must be undertaken.

I read an interview wth Tad Williams where he said he was attempting to comment on Tolkien's fairly basic cataloguing of races and nations as good or evil and you can see this in MST. No one race or nation is inherently good, all greviances between groups have historical underpinnings and characters sometimes have 'racist' prejudices against other characters.There is a also a bit more of a focus on political manoeuvering and religion as motivating forces.

I've also read GRR Martin mention this trilogy as an influence and in some cases the references are quite obvious (most notably winter is coming here too). Therefore it sits in an interesting halfway point between the relatively simple views of good and evil in LoTR and the more complex and gritty motivations of characters in GoT.

Overall,in my view, it is not at the same level as either Tolkien or Martin. While it is an interesting world that gives a twist and a bit more depth to the usual Tolkien tropes it is still ultimately very reliant on them. Nevertheless, i think it is worth reading, the writing is good quality , the characters are mostly interesting, and the plot is compelling if a touch slow. I'm looking forward to getting into the final part, although at 1200+ pages (64 hrs split in two) it is a fairly daunting commitment!

What about Andrew Wincott’s performance did you like?

The narrator is really great. Perhaps has a slightly limited range of accents but his is very entertaining to listen to.

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  • Ray
  • 11-16-17

Good listen

Great listen. I love the description on this book and the voices where done well and were consistent.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna
  • 09-30-17

Cant wait for next book.

I loved it . An amazing fantasy world.One of my favorites.Love the performance of all the different accents and characters.

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  • midfielder
  • 09-13-16

must read

loved it. can not wait to listen to green angle tower. this is a must read