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The Heart of What Was Lost (Osten Ard) by Tad Williams
Cover Artist: Michael Whelan
Review by Mel Jacob
DAW Hardcover / eBook  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756412487
Date: 03 January 2017

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Tad Williams' fans accustomed to his longer more detailed epics may find this short novel, The Heart of What Was Lost, lacking depth. However, it is intended to provide a bridge from the original Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn to his newer series to be released starting June 2017. Action scenes are well done and offer a few twists as men battle the Norns, the Dark Fairies, in their frozen homeland.

The setting and some of the characters appeared in the previous series. New ones now add depth and pathos to the overall story. The world of Osten Ard is narrowed to the homeland of the Norns and terrain near their stronghold in the mountain Stormspike. It will be interesting to see which characters appear as part of the new series.

For ages, men have battled the war-loving Norns, one of three classes of fairies in Osten Ard. Humans want to kill every last Norn while the Norns want to kill the humans. Men have now driven the Norns back to their homeland and are determined to end the menace once and for all. Desperate, the Norns employ every trick at their command including magic as the humans harry them across their own territory. Their queen lies underground in a deep sleep unable to aid her subjects and the Norns are few. Nonetheless, they're determined to fight to the last one. Magic aids both sides, but especially the Norns.

Each side wants victory, but neither is willing to compromise. One last barrier separates the enemies. The humans have the means to breech the massive gate to the Norn stronghold. If they do, they then must navigate a multitude of dark tunnels and risk facing horrible monsters from the depth of the mountain that even the Norns fear.

Readers can look forward to more excitement and adventure in the new series, The Last King of Osten Ard. The first volume, The Witchwood Crown will be issued in June 2017.

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