Thursday, November 23, 2017

Review: The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams

Thirty years have passed since the events of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, King Simon and Queen Mirimele have seen their kingdom of Asten Ard move from strength to strength but not everything has gone their way. Thier son and heir John Josua died from illness in his early tenties, leaving behind two children. The Eldest, prince Morgan , is a wastrel who doesn't have any interest in learning how to rule a Kingdom, much to the despair of his grandparents.

Meanwhile Utuk’ku, the Norn queen, has apparently awoken and preparations are made to invade the lands of men once more. A small squad is dispatched on a seemily impossible mission to catch a living dragon. Among them is Nezuru,the half blood daughter of the Hikeda’ya Lord Viyeki and his mortal slave concubine Tzoj, who begins to question her place in Norn society. This is excabated when she meets Jarnulf, a human seeminly working for the Norns who has his own agenda.

One of the things Williams did extremely well in the briding novel The Heart of What was Lost was humanize the Norn characters, making the reader root for both sides of the conflict. However none of that is present in this novel sadly, with all of the Norns even Viyeki coming across as arogant. 

Pacing is generally quite slow with lots of streches without the plot seeming to advance much.

Through Simon (and a lesser extent Mirimele) Williams is able to delve into the struggle of aging and brings a real depth to these charcaters.

One of the most intriguing things for me was the vast discrepancies between Simon and Mirimele's meomories of John Josua and that of Morgan's. 

Overall I found this novel a mixed bag, with some issues with pacing and characterization. 7/10.