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Publisher's Summary

New York Times-best-selling Tad Williams' groundbreaking epic fantasy saga of Osten Ard begins an exciting new cycle. A perfect beginning for new listeners!

The perfect introduction to the epic fantasy world of Osten Ard, The Heart of What Was Lost is Tad Williams' follow-up to his internationally best-selling landmark trilogy. Osten Ard inspired a generation of modern fantasy writers, including George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, and Christopher Paolini and defined Tad Williams as one of the most important fantasy writers of our time.

A Novel of Osten Ard

At the end of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Ineluki the Storm King, an undead spirit of horrifying demonic power, came within moments of stopping time itself and obliterating humankind. He was defeated by a coalition of mortal men and women joined by his own deathless descendants, the Sithi.

In the wake of the Storm King's fall, Ineluki's loyal minions, the Norns, dark cousins to the Sithi, choose to flee the lands of men and retreat north to Nakkiga, their ancient citadel within the hollow heart of the mountain called Stormspike. But as the defeated Norns make their way to this last haven, the mortal Rimmersman Duke Isgrimnur leads an army in pursuit, determined to end the Norns' attacks and defeat their ageless Queen Utuk'ku for all time.

Two southern soldiers, Porto and Endri, joined the mortal army to help achieve this ambitious goal - though as they venture farther and farther into the frozen north, braving the fierce resistance and deadly magics of the retreating Norns, they cannot help but wonder what they are doing so very far from home. Meanwhile the Norns must now confront the prospect of extinction at the hands of Isgrimnur and his mortal army.

Viyeki, a leader of the Norns' military engineers, the Order of Builders, desperately seeks a way to help his people reach their mountain - and then stave off the destruction of their race. For the two armies will finally clash in a battle to be remembered as the Siege of Nakkiga - a battle so strange and deadly, so wracked with dark enchantment, that it threatens to destroy not just one side but quite possibly all.

Trapped inside the mountain as the mortals batter at Nakkiga's gates, Viyeki the Builder will discover disturbing secrets about his own people, mysteries both present and past, represented by the priceless gem known as The Heart of What Was Lost.

©2017 Tad Williams (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Heart of What Was Lost

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Suffers from being a 'bridge' story

I'm a long time Tad Williams fan, ever since I was given Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn books 1 & 2 as gifts. Ever since, I eagerly await his next book, his next series. I listened to the Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn audiobooks before starting this - and thoroughly enjoyed the performance! When I saw the short length of this audiobook, with Williams' next book's scheduled release so close on its literary heels, I knew it was primarily meant to bridge a gap between the two series, introducing new information that would be pertinent for the series to come... But I expefteed it to be MORE of a stand alone story and not so disappointing in its 'bridge-iness'. I'm still looking forward to this new visit to the world of Osten Ard, so I couldn't bronv myself to give an overall rating below 4 stars...but I surely hope the new series is more worthy of the journey than this.

5 people found this helpful

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A Great Installment in a Classic Series

Would you listen to The Heart of What Was Lost again? Why?

I downloaded this book yesterday, and couldn't stop listening until it was done. Andrew Wincott is absolutely perfect as the narrator for such an involved book.

What other book might you compare The Heart of What Was Lost to and why?

This book is not like any other book, other than a Tad Williams book - it is a unique, dark fantasy, gripping and compelling.

Which character – as performed by Andrew Wincott – was your favorite?

Duke Isengrimnur, followed closely by both Porto and Endri, and Viyeki, They are all portrayed so differently, but very much as they should be.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Many - Viyeki's struggle as whole was quite powerful, and I was deeply moved by it. I was left wondering about his story--will it continue?

Any additional comments?

This is quite an involved story. I'm going to listen to it again, and read along with the hard copy to see what I may have missed.

4 people found this helpful

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Great continuation of the storyline.

I enjoyed the book. I had just re-read Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn . Then I stumbled upon The Heart of What was Lost. It didn't disappoint me. A great job of expanding the original storyline. I liked that we really get to learn in more detail about The Norn and their society. Great job.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

more of a prologue to the next trilogy

Good, comparable to TW's other work, but didn't feel like a whole story. The narrator is great, lends the story authenticity.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent return to Osten Ard

In The Heart of What was Lost, Tad Williams returns to Osten Ard to examine the former scullion turned king and his comrades decades l after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. The writing is as beautiful as one would expect. New characters are introduced that are as interesting as old favorites. The new plot-lines are instantly intriguing. I cannot wait for the second in the series to arrive. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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loved the trilogy; this falls flat

I loved the trilogy but this book in audio format was difficult to follow. There are no chapter headings so the reader flows from POV to POV too quickly and it's easy to lose which characters you are experiencing. The story is also so so.

1 person found this helpful

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great story; frustrating editing

story moves back and forth between rimmersmen and norns with no pause or other indication of transition. this can be startling and confusing. great story, though.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good enough

This was an odd telling to me.
in the Dragonbone Chair series the Norns were extremely cunning, wisened by years of living, evil violent creatures of nightmarish description....Here, Tad tries, (and Im not sure successfully) to put a very likeable, " Hey, theyre just regular folks like us" spin on the norns.
Describing one with calloused hands from years working labor, a full caste system society, wives that crave status, downtrodden soldiers that are hungry and gaunt, engineers who are troubled by dishonest peers....hmm.
Not sure it really fit the portrayal in the first Osten Ard series, but hey, Tad is a phenomenal storyteller so I will proceed forward to see where this all ends up. Im sure Ill be happy.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great extension to the Osten Ard story!

I found this book super interesting because it gives you a inside look at the norns, and explores some of the culture and expectations of that race. If your a fan of the world of Osten Ard this is definitely one to check out.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

filler

He could of summarized this book in a dozen pages. The only reason I finished it was because I figure it will help understand book 5.