I'm positive I read this book, oh, probably 15 or more years ago now, but I have to say that virtually none of it sparked any kind of recollection. All I remembered was that I read the first one, and I think the second, but never got around to reading the third. Which is usually a pretty good indication that it wasn't really thrilling me, if I didn't feel compelled to finish the series.
1) I read in someone else's review that the book didn't really take off until around 150 pages in -- I would go so far as to say 200. That's just plain ridiculous. This is the 20th anniversary edition (I think - maybe 15th? - anyway) and Williams in his foreword says that his initial thought was that this would be a single, stand-alone book, but his editors laughed at him and said, "your OUTLINE was 125 pages, and it included notes like 'and then some other stuff happens that I haven't quite worked out yet.'" Much of the girth of The Dragonbone Chair
, IMHO, could be greatly reduced if someone had taken a firm hand with Williams and said, really, no one wants to slog through this much set-decoration. Protagonist Simon spends probably 100 pages trudging around the Hayholt, musing about the crumbling abandoned parts of the castle and avoiding doing any work. It isn't until he is forced to leave the castle that he begins to develop a spine and some interest in something other than his own next meal; simultaneously, the story begins to move, and my interest grew substantially.
2) There are several points at which Simon is vaguely reminded of something that will eventually prove important - e.g., he has a vision of his friend Marya in the company of a short, bald monk who seems familiar. Well, of course he does - Simon has already met the man twice. Sure, Simon is prominently identified as a "mooncalf" (i.e., space cadet) but really? he *still* can't put a name/identity to that face? It's just such a fake-out way of delaying having the information come out. Likewise his inability to remember having encountered Ineluki's Red Hand and the sword Sorrow in the lichyard outside the castle
- that is slightly more understandable, as he was pretty traumatized by the experience.