As promised last week, this will be our review for Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn as a whole, assembled trilogy. We’ll be talking in more detail about the story as a whole, and the writing specifically, across all three books.
I'm not one to pat myself on the back too much, especially with regards to my writing - if anything, I probably spend a little too much time talking about what I perceive as the flaws in the writing that I'm trying to convince all of you to read - but this is just a really good episode, at least to me.
It’s probably for the best that not every book I pick up seizes me in quite the same fashion that the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy did, because it would severely interfere with my writing output if that were the case.
Sometimes, when I’m writing back-to-back reviews within the same series, I find that I don’t have enough to say about each book, specifically, especially while reserving series-wide thoughts for the series review. That isn’t a concern here.
This might seem like a little bit of a slow story to some of you, and that’s okay; I don’t want every story to involve a lot of action in the traditional sense.
There are two main ways to read The Dragonbone Chair and its sequels in the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, and they are not mutually exclusive: this can be thought of as a historical fantasy story with sorcerous elements, or as a Tolkien-style fantasy with strong historical elements.
I think a lot about writing action scenes. I don’t mean action scenes in the literary sense, but action scenes in the sense that probably attracted a lot of us to speculative fiction in the first place, the kinds of action scenes with flashing swords, sparking wands, roaring dragons, and pirouetting starships.
Will Wight’s Cradle series might be my current guilty pleasure read. These fast, light, action-packed, “martial arts” fantasy novels aren’t Brandon Sanderson masterpieces that will massively alter my understanding of how to write fantasy, they aren’t four thousand year old tomes of philosophy or history, they aren’t detailed technical analyses of obscure mathematical theorems (a textbook on the disc embedding theorem might hold the prize for the strangest book currently on my reading list), but every time a new one comes out (which happens with impressive frequency), I get a copy within weeks, and read it within days.
For all that I really enjoyed writing this story, and think that you will enjoy reading it, I don’t have very much to say about it. It’s a simple story, really, introducing Arval and providing a little context and a little conflict.
I debated whether I should do a reflections post for season two at all. Since I started doing the release posts, most of the ground that I would cover in such a post is covered in those, instead, and I don’t want to be redundant. While Blood Magic is a major part of IGC Publishing at this point, making up the bulk of its content, I still want to be able to appeal to and attract readers who may not be interested in that particular series. However, I found after I finished the season two finale that I had enough to say about the season as a whole to make this post worth writing. Plus, I try to keep from putting spoilers to the events of the episode in the release posts, so consider this you spoiler warning: I do not intend to be so careful here.