The Memory Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams

“Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn” series, penned by the talented Tad Williams, is a classic high-fantasy trilogy that was first published between 1988 and 1993. Set in the fictional realm of Osten Ard, the story revolves around a young kitchen boy named Simon, who is unwittingly thrust into a grand adventure filled with magic, ancient prophecies, and a looming threat that could plunge the world into darkness.

As Simon grows from an innocent boy into a hero, he is joined by a diverse cast of characters, each with their own motives and secrets. The series delves into themes of power, legacy, and the cyclical nature of history.

Williams’ intricate world-building, combined with his ability to weave a complex narrative, has made “Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn” a beloved series among fantasy enthusiasts.

AuthorTad Williams
Number of Books3 (Original Trilogy)
Publication Years1988 – 1993

Main Characters

  • Simon Snowlock: The protagonist, once a kitchen boy, who becomes a key player in the events that shape Osten Ard.
  • Binabik: A wise and loyal troll who becomes one of Simon’s closest allies.
  • Miriamelle: The headstrong and brave princess of the realm.
  • Ineluki, the Storm King: An ancient and vengeful spirit who seeks to dominate Osten Ard.
  • Josua Lackhand: A prince and one of the primary leaders against the forces of the Storm King.

Themes and Motif

  • Coming of Age: Simon’s journey from innocence to maturity is central to the narrative.
  • Power and Legacy: The series delves into the consequences of unchecked ambition and the legacies left behind by rulers.
  • History and Prophecy: The cyclical nature of history and the weight of prophecy play significant roles in the unfolding events.
Popular:  The Broken Earth Series in Order: Complete Book Guide in Chronological order

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Series in Order

S No.Book’s NameYearBook’s Price
1The Dragonbone Chair(1988)1988Check Price
2Stone of Farewell(1990)1990Check Price
3To Green Angel Tower(1993)1993Check Price


  • Critical Reception: “Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn” has been praised for its rich world-building, complex characters, and intricate plot. It’s often cited as a significant influence on modern fantasy.
  • Reader Reception: The series has a dedicated fanbase and is often recommended to those who enjoy epic fantasy tales.

Trivia and Fun Facts

  • Tad Williams has mentioned in interviews that the series was a response to traditional fantasy tropes, aiming to provide a fresh perspective on familiar themes.
  • The success of “Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn” has led Williams to revisit Osten Ard in subsequent novels, expanding on the world and its characters.
  • Many modern fantasy authors, including George R.R. Martin, have cited the series as an influence on their own work.

Written by

Rajat Mehta

Meet Rajat, the coolest cat at The Serial Binger! This writer is all about that Manga/Manhwa and Book life. With an unbreakable love for the lovely stories, Rajat hooks readers up with the freshest and mind-blowing updates. Get ready to groove and geek out with Rajat's funky articles!