he Dragonbone Chair was written between 1985 and 1988, and was first published in October 1988 by science fiction publisher DAW Books. The novel quickly became a nationwide fantasy bestseller in the United States; publication in the United Kingdom soon followed.
The story begins with a war fueled by the dark powers of sorcery, which 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 about 20 languages, including German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Croatian, Polish, Czech, Bulgarian, Greek, Russian, Swedish, Finnish, French, Serbian, Chinese, and Japanese, among others.
The Dragonbone Chair is followed by Stone of Farewell, the second volume in the “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” series.