Tad williams is very good at the hole subplots thing. I will say some are more interesting than others at times, but thats the mark of a good author, its not actually surprising that Williams is one of George R R Martin's idles, ---- there's even an amusing nod to MS&T in one of the game of thrones books in which your told about a nightly house who's standard is three swords and a dragon, where the two sons are Joshua and Elias ;D.
I don't tend to find subplots bother me if they go! somewere. My major problem with subplots is when you've been forced to follow a character and there actions and there is no payoff, or the thing just peter's out mid flow as unfortunately does happen in some of steven King's earlier books (the tommyknockers in particular i remember as quite bad for this, though the stand doesn't seem to be).
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