Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I definitely liked this book better the second time. I suppose it's just one of those things. It seems slow-going only because I kept expecting something else.
In point of fact, I loved the land of the Sidhe here, the hints and the worldbuilding, and the great, deep tragedy.
The epic part of this fantasy is not in the battles, although they are there, but in how the fantasy deeply diverges from the normal tropes. It swerves rather far from normal expectations and does it in a deep way. It's not surface level. The corruption of Osten Ard, the way we keep coming back to it with a truly surprising PoV, the Dragon (NOT an actual Dragon, mind you), really gives us a sense of how bad things are getting while the true storm brews in the background, threatening to overrun all the lands.
As I said in the previous book's review, these books are detail-rich, deeply grounded, and never overpowered. The same is true here. Simon is always out of his depth. He's such a sweet kid, trying so hard. I really like him. And I feel for him, too. Even though there was a lot more time spent with different characters, I really got into the Sidhe sections.
I still remember what happens in the next book, so this is pretty much the lull before the storm.
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