The Heart of What Was Lost by Tad Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm reading through all the novels related to this world, just having finished the original huuuuge trilogy. This one takes place only six months after and gives us something really special: time in the wilds, fighting the Nords even after the war is effectively over. Because life and anger never really ends, not for mortals or immortals.
I really enjoyed the moral quandaries, the history, and the heart of what was lost. :)
I was somewhat skeptical about hopping into this one because it *appeared* to be a full-length novel masquerading as a bridge between Williams' original fantasy series and a later incarnation in the same world. I mean, it's nearly ten hours in audio, and yet it's only a #0.5 in reading order? Yikes. But then, that's Tad Williams for you. His books are HUGE. Small print, mondo page count. Yak-chokers. If a full novel can be considered nothing more than an *appetizer* in comparison, then it is what it is. Welcome to the land of the giants. :)
THAT BEING SAID.
I'm so glad I read it. It's a great refresher after twenty-odd years since reading the original brick house. The Norns, the menfolk, the Duke, and all the different races of immortals are brought to life for us. It includes the history of the conflict, the smattering of the magics, the fundamental differences in culture, thought, and even their old history, the nature of their making... all of it came back to me. :)
So what else did we get? Oh, just an epic battle between the Duke and the immortals, mixing up our expectations and flipping everything on its head again. Our sympathies are meant to be challenged.
And already we have a grand defeat, an epic loss, a freaking cool setup, and expectations of much evil to come thanks to the fundamental misunderstanding between the races.
Does this sound like most fantasies? Hmmm. Possibly, at least a little, but Tad Williams has one great thing going for him.
Skill. Great writing. Careful attention to detail. Great characters. And EPIC blowouts. He's kinda go-to guy for this kind of thing. Most of us will agree. We've all been blown away at one point or another. And he's BACK. :) :)
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