The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

With work wrapping up on the third Bobby Dollar novel, speculation has begun about what Tad Williams will begin working on after his first foray into novel-length urban fantasy. The answer might be something close to his roots. Williams has discussed the fan pressure for him to return to the world of Osten Ard, made famous in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, the modern fantasy classic that inspired George R.R. Martin to write A Song of Ice and Fire. Most recently, Williams took part in a thread on his official message board which asked, “Will Tad write a book about Deornoth & Derra?” He said:

“I can only promise that one of these days, there WILL be more about the prophecy twins,” he said. “Too many people have asked me over the years for me just to ignore it. I did too good a job, I guess, at showing what further interesting things might happen in Osten Ard. Thanks for caring.”

Deornoth and Derra, the ‘prophecy twins’ that Williams refers to in his reply, are introduced at the end of To Angel Tower, the final volume of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, with a prophecy that might give hint to the adventures in the (potential) upcoming series:

They will be as close as brother and sister can be although they will live many years apart. She will travel in lands that have never known a mortal woman’s step, and will lose what she loves best, but find happiness with what she once despised. He will never have a throne, but kingdoms will rise and fall by his hand.

It has been pointed out that there are some similarities between this prophecy, and the plot of Shadowmarch, Williams fantasy series that concluded in 2010.

Williams further hinted at a return to Osten Ard during a chat with fans on twitter. Of his future projects, he mentioned a fourth Bobby Dollar book, and a “special project that will surprise (and I hope please) my readers.” What would please his readers more than a return to the land that made him a pillar of modern fantasy?

  • Paul Weimer (@princejvstin) September 12, 2013 at 7:41 am

    I asked Tad on #sffwrtcht last night if he was ever going to return to Mirrorworld…but alas, he doesn’t own the rights and doesn’t know who does.

  • Stefan (Far Beyond Reality) September 12, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Interesting. I remember hearing Tad speak about this after a signing in New York – in the Borders in the World Trade Center, come to think of it. It may have been around the time he was on the third or fourth volume of Otherland. Anyway, he spoke about taking the world of Memory Sorrow and Thorn into the future to a more technologically advanced era, steam engines and such, showing how the world evolved and how that affected the magic and Sidhe and so on. This sounded a lot more unique and exciting back then, before Steampunk blew up completely and before Sanderson did something similar with his latest Mistborn book. I really looked forward to reading it.

  • Welcome to Osten Ard September 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    […] Is Tad Williams returning to the world of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (Osten Ard)? Looks like it. […]

  • Jeff C September 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I would LOVE to see a return to Osten Ard!

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  • Nerds Feather September 17, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I loved Memory, Sorrow, Thorn as a teenager, and have been curious ever since how they’d read today.

  • Splicer September 18, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Maybe this time he can have a more satisfying ending.

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  • Jason Reed January 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I hope there is a fourth Bobby Dollar novel. I just finished Judgment Day, and still want more. Please, Tad, hook us up. Bravo for the excellent writing over the years.