In 1988, Tad Williams published The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of a series of novels set in Osten Ard, a complex world with over 100 cities, towns and villages spread out over a vast continent, peopled by an array of cultures.
The following are the nine books set in the Osten Ard universe:
“Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”:
The Dragonbone Chair (1988)
A war fueled by the dark powers of sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard — for old Presbyter John, the High King, slayer of the dread dragon Shurakai, lies dying. And with the old king’s death, an ancient evil will at last be unleashed, as the Storm King, undead ruler of the elvishlike Sithi, seeks to regain his lost realm through a pact with one of human royal blood. Then, driven by spell-inspired jealousy and hate, prince will fight prince, while around them the very land begins to die. Only a small scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, recognizes the true danger awaiting Osten Ard.
The Dragonbone Chair was critically acclaimed on its publication. Library Journal said of the book, “[Williams] draws on many mythologies for the background of his fantasy epic, creating a solid story spiced with political intrigue and strong, appealing heroes. Highly recommended.” Locus called the book “The fantasy equivalent of War and Peace.”
Since its original publication, the book has been translated into 20 languages, including German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Croatian, Polish, Czech, Bulgarian, Greek, Russian, Swedish, Finnish, French, Serbian, and Japanese, among others.
Stone of Farewell (1990)
In this mesmerizing sequel to The Dragonbone Chair, best-selling author Tad Williams returns readers to the troubled realms of humans, Qanuc trolls, and Sithi, as the dark magic and terrifying minions of the undead Sithi ruler, Ineluki the Storm King, spread their seemingly undefeatable evil across the realm of Osten Ard.
As the very land is blighted by the power of Ineluki’s wrath, the tattered remnants of a once-proud human army flee in search of a last sanctuary and rallying point — the Stone of Farewell, a place shrouded in mystery and ancient sorrow. And the widely scattered surviving members of the League of the Scroll desperately struggle to fulfill missions which will take them from the fallen citadels of humans to the hidden mountain caves of the Qanuc… across storm-tormented waters to discover the truth behind an almost-forgotten legend… through a forest alive with dangers no human could hope to brave…to the secret heartland of the Sithi, where the near-immortals must at last decide whether to ally with the race of men in a final war against those of their own blood.
Like The Dragonbone Chair, Stone of Farewell was lauded upon its 1990 release. The San Francisco Chronicle said it was “an epic tale of the struggle of good against evil… the struggle between being and unbeing… an exquisite rendering of the conflict between forces of light and darkness”. The review in Publishers Weekly called it a “panoramic, vigorous, often moving sequel to The Dragonbone Chair“.
To Green Angel Tower (1993)
As the embittered minions of the undead Sithi Storm King prepare for the kingdom-shattering culmination of their dark sorceries and King Elias is drawn ever deeper into their nightmarish, spell-spun world, the loyal allies of Prince Josua desperately struggle to rally their forces at the Stone of Farewell. And with time running out, the remaining members of the now-devastated League of the Scroll have also gathered there to unravel mysteries from the forgotten past. For if the League can reclaim these age-old secrets of magic long-buried beneath the dusts of time, they may be able to reveal to Josua and his army the only means of striking down the unslayable foe.
Critical reception of the book was quite favorable, and the book spent five weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.
“The Burning Man” (1998)
The life of Breda, grand-daughter of Great Thane Godric, is about to change when Vargellis Sulis, a disgraced nobleman from Nabban, appears in her town and soon marries her mother, Cynethrith. Breda and her family soon move to the uninhabited castle on the headlands overlooking the bay, but the ancient castle seems haunted by the spirits of the long-lost Sithi, a mysterious race who once called the castle home.
The Burning Man has been published in various forms, including as a novella in the Legends anthology (edited by Robert Silverberg), as a stand-alone novel in German, Dutch, Polish and Croatian, and as a graphic novel alongside Raymond Feist’s The Wood Boy story. Lisa Martincik states, “Adherents of […] Williams should be pleased, and newcomers may be drawn to seek more.”
The graphic novel is available in English or German. The stand-alone edition is available in German, Dutch, Croatian, and other languages. The anthology edition has been translated into German, Serbian, French, Dutch, Hebrew, and Spanish, among others.
The Heart of What Was Lost (January 2017):
A short novel set one year after the events of To Green Angel Tower. The main characters in this tale include Duke Isgrimnur of Rimmersgard and his liege-man Sludig Two-Axe.
The Heart of What Was Lost is the first new full-length Osten Ard novel since the publication of To Green Angel Tower in 1993.
The novel is published in English and German, and likely will be translated into other languages as well.
“The Last King of Osten Ard”:
The Witchwood Crown (June 2017)
In this new trilogy, Williams journeys back to Osten Ard and continues the story over thirty years later, including newcomer Prince Morgan and the twin babies Derra and Deornoth, born to Prince Josua and Lady Vorzheva — a birth heralded by prophecy, which has been the subject of fan speculation since the release of To Green Angel Tower in 1993.
The novel will be published in the US, the Commonwealth territories, Germany and the Netherlands, publishers have confirmed.
Empire of Grass (forthcoming)
The second volume of the series, Empire of Grass continues the story begun in The Witchwood Crown. No release date has been confirmed, but Williams typically writes one big novel every two years.
The Navigator’s Children (forthcoming)
The third volume of the series, The Navigator’s Children is the exciting conclusion of “The Last King of Osten Ard”.
The Shadow of Things to Come (forthcoming)
This novel is set to be published sometime during the publication of “The Last King of Osten Ard”.
The Shadow Of Things To Come will feature the fall of Asu’a 500 years ago, told from the perspective of a Nabbanai envoy from the court of Imperator Enfortis. The novel is set during the era when Asu’a has not yet fallen, and Iyu’unigato and Amerasu still reign as the Erl King and Erl Queen.