If forced to choose an upcoming release that I’m most excited for (because on the Internet we’re binary and drastic), Tad Williams’ upcoming trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard, would likely be the answer. Yeah, over Ancillary Sword or The Thorn of Emberlain or The Doors of Stone. Williams’ original Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy means so much to me that a return to that realm comes with my highest levels of excitement and expectation. No matter what happens, I’ll be jumping in with both feet and it will be an experience worth savouring (as with all of Williams’ novels.)

So, naturally, I troll the Internet looking for updates and speculation about The Last King of Osten Ard, and Williams recently gave fans a peek at his progress on the series. Williams recently reported to his message board that work on the novel had slowed down due to a family emergency and “work pressure,” but that work is now continuing on the first volume of the trilogy, The Witchwood Crown. “I’m only at about page 400 of the book,” he said. “But I’m back into a stretch where I can work on it full-time again.”

Returning to the beloved world of Osten Ard is exciting for long-time fans of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, but Williams believes the new series will be just as enjoyable for entrenched fans and newcomers alike. “I believe I can now write a story worthy of those much-loved settings and characters,” he said in the series FAQ, “one that people who haven’t read the originals can enjoy, but which will of course mean more to those who know the original work. More than that, I feel I can do something that will stand up to the best books in our field. I have very high hopes. I’m excited by the challenge. And I’ll do my absolute best to make all the kind responses I’ve already had justified.”

Further updates will no doubt emerge when Williams does an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Reddit’s /r/fantasy forum on September 18th. So, if you have anything you want to pick his brain about, mysteries of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, if he realizes that The War of the Flowers is his secret best work, or what it’s like to have been a direct influence on the biggest fantasy series of the decade (Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire), now’s your chance!

The Witchwood Crown is still on track for a 2015 release from DAW Books. If you’re looking to join in the fun, now would be a perfect time to discover Tad Williams’ seminal Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy, beginning with The Dragonbone Chair.

  • Alex September 10, 2014 at 6:57 am

    How did I miss this? Memory, Sorrow and Thorn was, and is, one of my favourite trilogies. It introduced new ideas of what fantasy could do – whilst still following certain forms, all wrapped in an exciting and engaging story. It was also the first trilogy I remember sitting around discussing with fellow readers during lunch breaks at school. There was a very small and diverse group of us and being able to share theories (pre WWW days) made a big difference to the reading experience. I wonder where the others are now?

    So, lest I digress further, I am most excited to hear of The Last King of Osten Ard.

    NOTE – still working back through the articles here after only recently discovering your site – and loving doing so, many thanks.

  • Aidan Moher September 10, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Well, Alex, I’m glad to have made your day! I’m re-reading Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and, if anything, its surpassing my memories of it (and it was already a favourite.)

    Glad you’re enjoying A Dribble of Ink. :)

  • Rob B September 10, 2014 at 8:06 am

    I finished TGAT, Part 2 last night and I’ll admit it brought a tear or two to my eyes. One of the most “earned” endings of any series I can remember reading.

  • Brad Beaulieu September 10, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Geeking. The fuck. Out!

  • Big D September 10, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I loved “Memory, Thorn and Sorrow” and thought there were still stories waiting to be told. So this is fantastic news.

  • Blake king September 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    MS&T is my all-time favorite book series! I first read it in 4th grade and have probably read it a dozen times. In fact, I’m 200 pages from finishing TGAT right now. I am beyond ecstatic that there is a follow-up series. I’ve always wanted to know if there was something more to the east of Osten Ard. And having just read Aditu’s prophecy with Joshua’s twins, I’m more curious of this new series than ever. I can’t wait!

  • […] Moher of A Dribble of Ink reports that Tad Williams will be doing a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) interview with fans on […]

  • Shawn Speakman September 11, 2014 at 9:02 am

    So awesome seeing so many people echoing their love for this series. It’s certainly one of my favorite trilogies of all time. And, like many of you, 2015 can’t come soon enough for me. That first book in the new trilogy will be my #1 Most Anticipated of 2015!

  • Gabriele September 12, 2014 at 3:18 am

    Anyone going to take a bet that it will be a 4 book trilogy? :)

    Count me in among those who really look forward to it, no matter how many books.

  • Aidan Moher September 12, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Three books in hardback, four in paperback! ;)

  • Marcos S September 13, 2014 at 4:26 am

    Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn was my first introduction to Tad William’s work. I remember being given “The Dragon Bone Chair” by a girlfriend’s mom while I was still in high school and being depressed for weeks because I couldn’t find the sequels (that being pre-internet). It wasn’t until years later in high school that I came across the sequels and quickly devoured them! Excellent trilogy!!!!! On a side note “War of the Flowers” is a great way to introduce him to new readers. It’s just one book and one of best stories.

  • […] Update: The Last King of Osten Ard by Tad Williams, posted by A Dribble of Ink […]

  • tad September 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you for all the really nice comments. I’m working hard on the first volume of TLK (as I’m calling the series, to save typing) and finding myself really immersed in thinking about parts of Osten Ard culture and history I hadn’t addressed in the first books.

    It sounds weird even to say “the first books”. I never thought I would write a sequel to anything. But at the moment, I’m very pleased with the decision. It’s actually almost as much fun as it is terrifying.

  • Robert Mammone October 2, 2014 at 1:47 am

    The DRagonbone Chair was the book I bought to help celebrate finishing high school back in 1989. After being raised on a diet of Tolkien, Donaldson, Eddings, Feist and Gemmell during that decade, this was a fantastic read. After what I regard as a misstep with The Dirty Streets of Heaven (seriously, boring) I’m very much looking forward to this new series.