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To Green Angel:Part 2 is slightly confusingly the fourth book in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series of books by Tad Williams. It is the final part of the series and brings to a conclusion all the events the reader has been following over the previous three novels.
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn - This tetraology of novels are fantasy books following the descent from a stable secure kingdom into one of chaos and destruction. The books follow the stories of Simon a scullion, King Elias - a king who has fallen under the influence of a corrupt advisor, Prince Josua who is Elias' brother and has established a rebellion against the king's hard-line rule. There are other characters that spin around these three main characters but all are influenced by these three and the story always follows the actions of Simon, Elias and Josua.
The third book - To Green Angel:Part one ended with the resistance to Elias' rule becoming established under the guidance of Josua. Simon has realised that the focus for all the problems in the kingdom are three powerful swords and Elias is sliding under the influence of powerful immortal creatures. The novel left with a terrible event which we don't know what it is in Josua's camp and Simon escaping the camp with Elias' young daughter Mirimiele on a quest to find one of the swords.
The final book in the series brings all the threads of the stories together and brings one of the finest fantasy series to a conclusion. As we progress through the book, the story moves towards the Green Angle Tower which is a tall ancient tower built by powerful immortals and the base of Elias' power. We are taken on a journey were the purposes of men and women are guided by the desires of three immortal swords; the swords have been imbued with enormous power from their previous wielders and when brought together will herald a major event.
We know at the start of the fourth novel where two of the swords are, one is with Elias, one with Camaras who is Josua's greatest knight and the other was King John's sword. King John was Elias and Josua's father and was buried at the base of the Green Angel Tower with his sword, so the race is on to find the third sword.
I've been a huge fan of fantasy novels since reading the Hobbit when I was 7 and have continued enjoying fantasy novels to this day. One of the frustrations with fantasy is there reliance on either the lost boy made good or an over reliance on wizards, dragons and elves. However, this novel and the series of novels in general all feature classic fantasy fare we have the lost boy made good in the ascension of Simon from scullery boy to knight. Simon encounters a dragon, we have dark and dangerous magic and there are immortals called Sithi who are Elves in all but name. So it should be a staple fantasy book with predictable events and if in doubt bring in the dwarves, elves or dragons but the author manages to write a novel which is one of the finest fantasy novels I've ever read.
Nothing can or will ever reach the heights of Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's novels are the high point in fantasy writing but Tad Williams series of novels are the closest I've read to Tolkien. He manages to portray characters with very modern human thoughts and desires, not here are the tales of courtly love or unrealistic use of magic to get out of every dangerous situations, here are tales of men placed in situations which they use their strengths, intelligence and wit to overcome their adversaries.
Williams also does battle scenes brilliantly, he has a skill of portraying the events through conversations between two people observing the events. It gives the reader a feeling of being stood next to the people observing the battle in front of them; after all we have little experience of swinging a sword but plenty of standing next to someone and talking about events unfolding in front of us.
Williams also manages to give the books a satisfying conclusion, after approaching 3000 pages for the whole series he brings the events to a brilliant finish. The finish is suitably short and dramatic and gives the reader a feeling of satisfaction for reading the previous 3000 pages to get to a finish which brings all the threads together in one dramatic scene on the top of green angel tower.
So if you love fantasy but have been despairing over the countless Tolkien copiers (Terry Brooks) and want to re-awake your love for the genre then Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow and Thorn are the books to read and enjoy.