Brothers of the Wind by Tad Williams: Epic

Pride often goes before a fall, but sometimes that prideful fall is so catastrophic that it changes history itself.

Among the immortal Sithi of Osten Ard, none are more beloved and admired than the two sons of the ruling family, steady Hakatri and his proud and fiery younger brother Ineluki — Ineluki, who will one day become the undead Storm King. The younger brother makes a bold, terrible oath that he will destroy deadly Hidohebhi, a terrifying monster, but instead drags his brother with him into a disaster that threatens not just their family but all the Sithi — and perhaps all of humankind as well.

Set a thousand years before the events of Williams’s The Dragonbone Chair, the tale of Ineluki’s tragic boast and what it brings is told by Pamon Kes, Hakatri’s faithful servant. Kes is not one of the Sithi but a member of the enslaved Changeling race, and his loyalty has never before been tested. Now he must face the terrible black dragon at his master’s side, then see his own life changed forever in a mere instant by Ineluki’s rash, selfish promise.

Tad Williams as an author is able to infuse his writing with a rare quality; he combines beautiful characters with rich details to create epic masterpieces, like Tailchaser’s Song or the sage of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. In “Brothers of the Wind”, he has created a triumphant story that is a continuation into the history of Ord Arden, featuring characters from a thousand years prior to “The Dragonbone Chair”, adding details to what we’ve known but also allowing it to stand on its own as a novel. 

One of my favorite elements of the novel is that it is told from the viewpoint of a servant, Pamon Kes. What makes me like it is the rich lyrical sense it brings to the novel as well as insight that we might not have if the story was told from one the point of view of the brothers. Indeed, this allows for a more unbiased view of both Ineluki and his brother Hakatri. The voice is compelling, engaging, and drives you deeper in the story with every word. Tad Williams has lost none of his touch and has blended together a story that is epic in scope but with authentic and believable protagonists. 

If you love Tad Williams or you like any of the other epic novelists of the last twenty years, you will love this novel. Tad Williams is the inspiration for much of the current generation of writers and is clearly shown in this novel. I loved every word and every detail.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. 

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