Tad Williams has a new book set in Osten Ard, The Heart of What Was Lost. At only 224 pages it seems more like a novella compared to what he produced for his original series. The last of that of that trilogy, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, To Green Angel Tower, weighed in at more than 1,000 pages in the original print hardcover edition (of course it was split in two for paper back).
People are talking about how Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Book was an inspiration for series such as A Song of Ice and Fire. First, Williams finished the series in three books. So that’s a huge difference. Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Book produced large narratives on a per publication basis, but the story was relatively spare compared to what people are attempting now (Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive is already coming out with 1,000 pages books in a projected ten book series). Additionally, William’s world-building was relatively thin and superficial, while the ultimate resolution of the plot threads of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Book struck me as a bit cliche and pat.
This is not to denigrate what Tad Williams achieved with Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Book. But to be honest I think the past generation has seen huge changes in epic fantasy. Whether for the worse or better, that is up to you….