Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive #4) by Brandon Sanderson

A year after the revelations in Oathbringer, technology has advanced, but Navani and her scholars realize there is still so much that they don’t know. The fight against Odium continues, and everyone must help in what ways they are able.

Fantasy, 1,232 pages, published in 2020

A year after the revelations in Oathbringer, technology has advanced, but Navani and her scholars realize there is still so much that they don’t know. The fight against Odium continues, and everyone must help in what ways they are able.

Spoiler Free Review:

(This WILL contain mild spoilers for the first three books, and reference to the Cosmere, but not specific spoilers for books outside of the Stormlight Archive)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: mental illness, depression, trauma, general violence

This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It took me absolutely forever to read, and I’m not sure if it’s the book’s fault or mine. I switched to the audiobook about halfway through because I was just making no progress.

I was kind of shocked that this book had a full year gap after the last one. There were certain scenes in that time that I would have liked to have seen, and some references were thrown in about things that had happened in that time.

This book kind of broke the rhythm (pun possibly intended) of this series, as the focus on flashbacks was greatly decreased. I didn’t love the flashbacks, so I guess it was fine that there weren’t as many. I think I would have liked to hear about this character earlier on, in order to connect with them a little more initially, because currently (even after the flashbacks), they aren’t one of my favorites.

The characters were kind of split into three main groups for this book. There was one group that I wished we got to see more of and once again, it felt like important scenes were skipped. I had that issue with Oathbringer as well. There are so many scenes that I’ve wanted to see, but they actually happen off-screen and are referred to. I get that this is already a massive book, so it doesn’t need to be longer, but it still irks me.

Navani works to understand how the world works in this book, which I thought was both interesting and kind of over my head. It is cool to follow characters that have so much more to learn about how their world works and the history of it, but the details were hard for me to grasp, especially as the research went along.

One of the things that I really liked about this book was that a lot of the characters had to confront the fact that they aren’t necessarily the person they or others think of them as. It was interesting to see them all kind of going through the same thing in different ways.

This book also delved pretty deep into depression and mental health. There was a plot point devoted to learning more about mental illness in order to help people and I loved it.

There were also quite a few Cosmere references, more than in any other Stormlight book so far (in my opinion). There are definitely things that go over my head, but there are a few key words that tip me off when something Cosmere-related is being discussed. I think the events of this book are huge for the Cosmere and I’m really excited to learn more!

I’m very curious about the next book in the series! Considering it’s the last in the first “arc” of this series, what happened at the end of the book, and the implications for the greater Cosmere, I think it is going to be absolutely wild!

Although I initially had a hard time getting into this book and had some issues throughout, I loved the themes discussed and the ending was really a ride!

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The Original by Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal

Holly wakes up in hospital room and is told that she is a replica of herself with the sole task of hunting down the real Holly for murdering her husband.

Sci-fi, 183 pages, published in 2020

Holly wakes up in hospital room and is told that she is a replica of herself with the sole task of hunting down the real Holly for murdering her husband.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content Warnings: guns, murder

This is a futuristic sci-fi, audio-first novella narrated by Julia Whelan that is a collaboration between Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal, who work on the podcast Writing Excuses.

Two things about the audiobook specifically: Julia Whelan does an amazing job and there is background music/noises. The background noise was a little…annoying at times, because I couldn’t tell if the sound was coming from the audiobook or in real life, but overall, I think it worked to increase the atmosphere.

The premise of this story is so interesting. Everyone has ‘themes’ that they use to see the world around them differently than what is reality, and if they die, they can have their backed up memories transplanted into a new body. This information is all delivered by Holly discovering what reality is actually like, which I thought was a cool way of showing it all.

I actually wish this was a full length novel, not a novella. I think it had the potential to explore a lot of ideas, but only focused on a few. I would definitely like to read more in this setting, or even something similar.

The ending was…not my favorite, but it didn’t change how much I enjoyed the rest of the story.

One thing that made me laugh a little is that I saw some reviews being upset by excessive profanity being included…I didn’t notice any at all. At one point, I’m pretty sure she says “hella” which I don’t think is profanity, and also feels like a very dated term in a futuristic world.

Overall, if you have a couple hours and you want to get lost in a cool, futuristic murder mystery, I would definitely recommend this!

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson

The violent Everstorm rips across Roshar, awakening the parshmen. Dalinar tries to get the whole continent to work together to stop the Voidbringers, but is met with complications because of his past. Kaladin, Shallan, and Adolin go on a dangerous mission together.

Fantasy, 1,243 pages, published in 2017

The violent Everstorm rips across Roshar, awakening the parshmen. Dalinar tries to get the whole continent to work together to stop the Voidbringers, but is met with complications because of his past. Kaladin, Shallan, and Adolin go on a dangerous mission together.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have a feeling this is going to be such a hard review for me to write! I love this series and the characters, but I struggled with this book. There are just so. many. words. and I had a hard time finding the motivation to pick it up. If you haven’t read my reviews for The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, I would suggest reading those first.

I was very excited because I knew going into this book that there would be a focus on Dalinar’s past and he is one of my favorite characters. I realized that I actually don’t like chapters from his POV, but I like him more when he is seen from other characters’ POV. The story we get of his past in this book was…rough to say the least. I was really questioning for a long time if I should even like him, because he did some terrible things, but I overall really loved the message that came out of exploring his past.

There were a lot of scenes in this book that I really enjoyed. Some were really meaningful, while others were funny and awkward (specifically talking about Dalinar’s butt). I love the way that this series deals with depression, guilt, self-hatred, and grief. Scenes that deal with these things always end up really impacting me.

To me, one of the strongest things about this series has always been Bridge Four and their bond. In this book though, Kaladin and Bridge Four are not together for the majority of the story. Bridge Four characters get their own chapters in this book, but it just didn’t feel the same and it was something that I was really missing.

The romance in this book has it’s moments, but a lot of the time it feels kind of awkward and based on the fact that they can joke around with each other.

I didn’t love this book because it felt like not a whole lot happened, especially for 1,200 pages. There was a bunch of stuff about Kholinar and Shadesmar that seemed too drawn out. I feel like a lot of characters were focused on that I didn’t necessarily want to hear about. It just fell a little short for me, but I still love the series and characters.

I’m nervous and excited for Rhythm of War. This book really feels like a turning point in the series, especially given the revelations at the end of the book. I’m super curious about who will get flashback chapters in the next two books. I want to see more of Renarin, but I feel like he always kind of gets pushed to the side.

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The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Joel has dreamed of being a Rithmatist, from studying theories to reading about old duels, but he unfortunately doesn’t have the Rithmatic powers of being able to bring chalk to life. When students suddenly start disappearing from his school, he must team up with a Rithmatics professor and Rithmatic student, Melody, in order to figure out who is kidnapping his classmates.

Fantasy, 448 pages, published in 2013
(please ignore ‘forbidence’, it was early when I did this and I was focusing on writing with chalk because it was a struggle)

Joel has dreamed of being a Rithmatist, from studying theories to reading about old duels, but he unfortunately doesn’t have the Rithmatic powers of being able to bring chalk to life. When students suddenly start disappearing from his school, he must team up with a Rithmatics professor and Rithmatic student, Melody, in order to figure out who is kidnapping his classmates.

Spoiler Free Review:

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I definitely didn’t dislike this book by any means, but considering how much I love everything else I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson, I am a little disappointed. I was totally ready to love everything about this story, which I unfortunately didn’t.

The strongest thing about this book for me were some of the non-main characters and the overall relationships between characters.

Melody is ‘weird’ and an outcast from the rest of her classmates for not having a skill that everyone thinks she should have, but she rarely lets that bother her and keeps on being herself. She is skilled in ways that aren’t valued much in this society. I love her attitude and how funny she is.

Fitch, the Rithmatics professor, is kind of nervous and timid, but he’s strong when it really counts. I loved the relationship between him and Joel. Joel can be kind of headstrong and harsh, but I think Fitch did a good job getting Joel to realize that his words and actions might hurt others.

I also really enjoyed seeing Melody and Joel become friends! At first, Joel is kind of jealous of Melody’s powers and can’t understand why she wouldn’t want them, so he doesn’t have the best opinion of her. However, this changes later on and they make a pretty good team because they compliment each other.

I didn’t love the pacing of this book. It felt very slow at the beginning to me, especially when I felt like all the time we spent with Joel could have been spent on more interesting characters or learning about the world more. There is a lot of information at the end of the book about certain characters and the world that make me really want the sequel (if it ever happens).

The absolute downfall of this book to me was Joel. I thought he was pretentious and he always thought everything would go his way. I found him so annoying, so I was bummed that the entire book is about him. He kind of grew throughout the book, but not enough for me to even come close to liking him.

I thought there were some weird sexist and racist undertones in this book. Joel was constantly saying weird things about Joseun (Korea), because in this world, they have become a global power that influences the rest of the world. The society is also strict on what women are allowed to do. I found this really strange because normally Brandon is pretty inclusive in his stories.

I’m really intrigued after the ending of this book. There were so many things that were brought up at the end that I need to know more about! As always with Brandon, the ending was a wild ride. I would definitely read the sequel if it ever comes out.

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Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson (Part 2)

This collection of short stories from Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere universe include stories from Elantris, Mistborn, and The Stormlight Archive.

Fantasy, 672 pages, published in 2016

This collection of short stories from Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere universe include stories from ElantrisMistborn, and The Stormlight Archive.

Spoiler Free Review:

This review will cover the second half of this collection. Part one is here!

WHITE SAND

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I haven’t read the White Sand comics, but there is a snippet of it in this collection. That is followed by the original story that Sanderson wrote. I didn’t like reading the comic, then reading the story. It presents the same information, but I liked reading the story more. As always, the world was super interesting. However, I didn’t like the main character. It was a really short story, but I still didn’t want to follow that character any more. The art style of the comic was cup of tea.

SHADOWS FOR SILENCE IN THE FORESTS OF HELL

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I really enjoyed this story! I love the main character because she doesn’t seem like much at first glance, but she is really a survivor. I think this was an interesting story because the characters themselves don’t have magic, but they have to survive in a world were magic exists. I believe Sanderson is planning to write more in this world, as this is the only story set on this planet, and I can’t wait!

SIXTH OF THE DUST

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The setting of this story feels very different from anything else I’ve read by Sanderson. I initially found that a little off putting, but I slowly got used to it. This is another world were the citizens don’t have magic, but there is magic around them. I thought the way that this was done was very cool! I think this world has a lot of potential.

EDGEDANCER

This story takes place on Roshar, following the character of Lift, who was introduced in Words of Radiance. She had one short POV chapter in that book, and I didn’t like her then. Sadly, I still don’t like her, even though she is a fan favorite, apparently. I think she can be funny, but in general, I just find her annoying. For that reason, I found this story especially slow going.

I think some of the information provided was interesting and I love seeing other parts of Roshar, but this story didn’t do it for me. I am dreading the time where Lift becomes a main character in this series.


Have you read this collection? If so, which was your favorite story? I think mine was The Emperor’s Soul!

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Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson (Part One)

This collection of short stories from Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere universe include stories from Elantris, Mistborn, and The Stormlight Archive.

Fantasy. 672 pages, published in 2016

This collection of short stories from Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere universe include stories from Elantris, Mistborn, and The Stormlight Archive.

Spoiler Free Review:

I decided to split this post into two! I will be doing mini reviews for each of the nine stories in this collection, so if I did it all in one, this post would be very long. I am going to rate each story, instead of the book as a whole. Look forward to part two, coming on February 20th!

THE EMPEROR’S SOUL

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I really enjoyed this story! It took place on the same planet as Elantris, but no prior knowledge of that story is required to enjoy this one. At first, I was a little hesitant because I didn’t know if it would be hard to understand an all new magic system in a short story. I’m sure he could have gone more into depth with it, but it was kept simple enough.

What I enjoyed the most about this story was how much the main character analyzed and understood people. She has to recreate the soul of someone she’d never met, so the lengths she went to to understand him were really interesting. I also enjoyed how creative the magic could be, but it could also be very tricky.

Overall, I just really enjoyed this story and I can understand why it won a Hugo!

THE HOPE OF ELANTRIS

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This takes place during the climax of Elantris, so I won’t say anything about the plot. However, I thought this story was pointless. It was super short, so I didn’t mind too much, but still, I didn’t like it. It was information that I just did not need. The reason why he wrote it is sweet, but it doesn’t make up for how unnecessary it was.

THE ELEVENTH METAL

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This story takes place before the events of The Final Empire in the Mistborn series. It shows a vital character to the series and his motivations. For the most part, I enjoyed this while reading it, but it has since kind of faded from my mind. I did feel super nostalgic returning to this world, so I may just have to reread this series soon.

ALLOMANCER JAK

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This story takes place in the second era Mistborn books. There aren’t any characters from that part of the series. It is about Allomancer Jak, who writes his adventures down and publishes them in broadsheets. There is heavy usage of footnotes in this story, which I normally don’t like, but they were so funny in this! This story was just the right length. Any longer, and it would have gotten old, but it was just long enough to be super funny. I really enjoyed it!

MISTBORN: SECRET HISTORY

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This takes place during The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages. Again, I won’t say anything about the plot since it contains lots of spoilers. It kind of explores the events of those books from a different perspective. There is a ton of information in this story about the magic of this world and about the Cosmere in general. It was kind of overwhelming to take in, to be honest.

I thought the actual story was fine for the most part. The ending was my favorite section because it made me super emotional. I appreciate the story and all the information, but I did think that this story was a little bit too long.


Stay tuned for the second part of this review!

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Books I Plan to Reread This Year!

One of my goals this year was to reread a lot, so I’ve come up with a lot of books I want to try to get to this year. I was originally going to make a schedule of when I wanted to reread everything, but that’s really not who I am.

One of my goals this year was to reread a lot, so I’ve come up with some books I want to try to get to this year. I was originally going to make a schedule of when I wanted to reread everything, but that’s really not who I am. These are in no particular order!

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES

I had lukewarm feelings about the first and third book of this series, and with the next book coming out soon-ish, I want to give these a reread. ACOMAF was an all-time favorite of mine, so I want to see if my opinion has changed on that.

THE BOOKS OF BAYERN

I’ve read The Goose Girl probably close to 10 times, but I’ve only read the other books in this series once, maybe twice. I finally bought them all when they came out with these gorgeous new editions! They are gonna be super quick reads.

SIX OF CROWS

I really loved this series when I was reading it, though I do remember being confused by Crooked Kingdom. I would like to savor these a little bit more this time around because I was definitely rushing the first time.

MISTBORN

As I am writing this, I just started reading The Eleventh Metal, a short story to go with this series, and it gave me a HUGE rush of nostalgia for these books! The atmosphere, the characters, the magic, I loved it all! I can’t decide if I want to reread the second era as well. I think I would enjoy them more the second time around because I know what to expect.

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO

I seriously adored this book the first time around! I want to feel that way again. This book is unlike anything else I’ve read before.

STRANGE THE DREAMER

Laini’s writing is absolutely stunning and I want to experience it again! Also, these books just speak to my soul, okay I need to reread them.

AKEMI DAWN BOWMAN BOOKS

I related to Starfish when I read it more than any other book I had read before. Both of her books are beautifully written and are so powerful. I can’t wait for her next book!

THE LUNAR CHRONICLES

I read this series right when I started getting back into reading and I loved it! I know I got a little burnt out on them by the last book, so I may try and space them out a little more this time.

THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS

This book is absolutely gorgeous! I don’t normally love books of short stories, but the artwork combined with the creative and memorable stories makes this one of my favorites.

Do you have any goals to reread this year?

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Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Six months after saving her people from destruction, Spensa is a pilot in the Defiant Defense Force. She is trying to fight back even harder at the Krell, humankind’s alien jailers, when she finds a way to gain an enormous amount of technology and knowledge from their enemy.

Six months after saving her people from destruction, Spensa is a pilot in the Defiant Defense Force. She is trying to fight back even harder at the Krell, humankind’s alien jailers, when she finds a way to gain an enormous amount of technology and knowledge from their enemy.

Spoiler Free Review:

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Skyward was the book the originally got me interested in Brandon Sanderson and I really enjoyed it when I read it in January and again in December of last year. While I enjoyed this book, I didn’t contain all of the things I loved from the first one.

Initially, I was annoyed because I feel like Brandon went a little heavy on recapping the information from the first book. If I hadn’t just read the first book though, I would have appreciated it more.

I loved the characters and budding friendships in the first book, but in this one, Spensa goes somewhere alone, so we got to see almost no interaction with her friends from the DDF. Instead, she goes on to make new friends, but I couldn’t really get attached to them because I was already attached to her original friends.

There was a lot more worldbuilding in this book. The first book is contained to one planet, which I liked, but we get to learn more about the universe in this book. On one hand, I liked it because learning about different alien species was cool, but on the other, I missed the contained setting of Spensa’s planet. The transition from a contained world to an entire universe was a little abrupt for me.

The aliens were probably my favorite part of this book. We get to know quite a few different species of alien, not all of them humanoid! There was so much care put into creating alien species. They were all really different from one another and they were all very different from humans. There was an extra effort to address gender pronouns in this, which I really appreciated. A lot of aliens go by ‘they’ because the idea of male and female is a very human thing.

So, there is a little bit of romance in this book. I had picked up on some romantic hints in the first book and I was into it, even if these characters remained friends. However, I needed more development from their relationship. If it continues in subsequent books, I’m going to see more from them. Otherwise, I really like their relationship and their dynamic! I just need to see more from them.

I enjoyed this book, but I am hoping that the next book in the series will get back to the stuff I loved about the first one.

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Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Synopsis: The Assassin in White has returned and the Parshendi make their final stand in the war. Kaladin, now a captain of the guard, must protect the royal family, while Dalinar tries to figure out how to keep his people protected. Shallan travels to the Shattered Plains, but her trip goes awry.

Fantasy, 1087 pages, published in 2014

Synopsis: The Assassin in White has returned and the Parshendi make their final stand in the war. Kaladin, now a captain of the guard, must protect the royal family, while Dalinar tries to figure out how to keep his people protected. Shallan travels to the Shattered Plains, but her trip goes awry.

Spoiler Free Review:

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If you haven’t read my review for The Way of Kings, please do that first! I covered the format, plot, setting, and more in depth.

In this book, we got to follow Shallan’s backstory. Unlike with Kaladin’s, I kind of figured out what the big reveal was going to be ahead of time. I felt like her past chapters were less frequent than they were in The Way of Kings, which I appreciated. They showed what they needed to, but they didn’t overwhelm the present part of the story.

Shallan in the present was so fun to watch. She starts off as such a timid girl because she is still quite young and has never left home before, but she grows into herself so much. Throughout her journey to the Shattered Plains and her time there, she learns a lot about herself and what she can do.

I absolutely loved the dynamic between Shallan, Kaladin, and Adolin. I loved that Shallan and Kaladin would just insult each other whenever they were around each other. I loved how Adolin and Kaladin were reluctant friends and I especially loved the dynamics between Shallan and Adolin. It was just so fun and these were definitely my favorite parts of the book.

Dalinar was my favorite again. There is just something about that is so…respectable and honorable about him and I just love him. I am very excited that Oathbringer will be focused on him!

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE

I thought the interludes in this book weren’t as insightful or as interesting as the ones in TWOK. They just felt kind of irrelevant. I know Lift is a popular character among fans, but her one chapter was just annoying to me. Maybe they will make more sense later on, but for now, I didn’t love them.

The ending actually felt a little rushed to me. It felt like the conflict and the resolution both came about very fast, and some of the revelations felt like they came out of nowhere. Normally, Brandon does such a great job with weaving in hints for the big reveals, but either they just weren’t there this time or I didn’t pick up on them.

Kaladin made some decisions that I found so stupid. I was so frustrated with him for a fair amount of this book. He eventually got it together, but it definitely was a little bit of a struggle to get through.

This book overall gave me some problems. It was just so long and intimidating that I had trouble wanting to pick it up. I definitely enjoyed it, but there was something about this one in particular that made it feel like I took absolutely forever to read it.

FINAL THOUGHTS

There is still so much about this series I love and so much I want to know. The ending of this book changes everything, and I can’t wait to read Oathbringer. I am going to wait a bit before then because I think reading the first two within a couple of months of each other burnt me out.

Overall, I think I enjoyed this book about equally compared to TWOK. I truly can’t wait to see where this series goes! So far, these two books have already covered a lot of ground, so it could go anywhere from here.

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The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Where do I even start with a book this size? I considered breaking this up into multiple posts, but I wouldn’t even know how to break it up. I went into this book used to Brandon’s writing, so I tabbed a lot of things (look at the picture about) that I thought I would need to remember later on. I don’t know if this necessarily help me in the future but I think it made me think more critically about what was happening.

Fantasy, 1007 pages, published in 2010

Spoiler Free Review:

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Where do I even start with a book this size? I considered breaking this up into multiple posts, but I wouldn’t even know how to break it up. I went into this book used to Brandon’s writing, so I tabbed a lot of things (look at the picture above) that I thought I would need to remember later on. I don’t know if this necessarily help me in the future but I think it made me think more critically about what was happening.

THE FORMAT

The format of this book is definitely a little daunting. There is a prelude, then a prologue, then finally part one of the book. Between each part, there are interludes. It was a lot for me to take in, especially after seeing a pretty long table of contents. Another thing that initially scared me was that there seemed to be a lot of time jumps. After the first few chapters that take place in the past, there are chapters in the present and also chapters in the past following a specific character. The past chapters are all chronological and I’ve gotten the impression that each book shows a different character’s backstory with these chapters.

In each section of the story, you follow a different mix of characters. The interludes follow seemingly random characters throughout the world. There are also pictures and maps thrown in between chapters are certain points. These really helped me grasp the world and the creatures in it.

Similar to Mistborn, there are epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. The style changes each section, sometimes being a letter, others being a collection of excerpts from different texts. It was fun to try to figure out what exactly each one meant.

THE SETTING

This story takes place in Roshar, which is comprised of many countries, most notably Alethkar and Jah Kaved. Highstorms are intense storms that ravage the continent every few days. The landscape and people have adapted to them. People from different countries are quite distinct. Some have weird features, like foot long white eyebrows (my personal favorite), while others have unique skin, like red and black marbled.

I feel like in general, Brandon tends to lean into stereotypes for nationalities a little bit too much and this was no exception. If a character is from a certain country, you pretty much know their personality because its the same at everyone else from their country. There are exceptions of course, but most of the time, this is true.

In the main areas of the story, the ruling people are decided by the color of their eyes; lighteyes are in power while darkeyes are beneath them.

There were a few gender things that were odd to me. Men and women have very different roles. Men are for war and battle, while women are for science and art. Women also have a “safehand”, a hand that is covered and isn’t used for anything. Men don’t know how to read, and I couldn’t tell if this was because it was beneath them or if women just have the capacity for it. Men and women also eat different food. This aspect was weird for me. In this book, nothing was done on either end to challenge these restrictive roles. I’m hoping that in future books, something will be done to challenge and change these traditions.

THE PLOT & THE CHARACTERS

It is hard to pin down a plot for this book because there are so many things happening to so many different characters. Kaladin is a slave who has to run carrying bridges to dangerous battlefronts. Shallan is trying to convince a heretic to teach her so she can get close and steal an artifact that could help her family. Dalinar is struggling to find a purpose for the war he is fighting, as well as keeping political rivals off his back.

In this book, we get Kaladin’s backstory. It shows his motivations for why he is willing to fight back, unlike the other slaves around him, as well as how he even became a slave in the first place. I think Kaladin is really interesting. He comes up will all of these grand plans for him and his bridge crew and while they work most of the time, sometimes they don’t. These moments reminded me of how young he still is because he definitely didn’t feel that way when he was leading his men.

I loved the community Kaladin ended up creating. I was totally rooting for his bridge crew throughout and it was sad every time anyone from the crew died in the dangerous job they were forced to do.

I liked Shallan, but I would still love to know more about her. She is thorough and loves to draw and learn. I thought her story was fun, but it definitely got more interesting towards the end.

My favorite character actually ended up being Dalinar. I didn’t like him or care about him at all at first, but by the end, I was totally rooting for him. He experiences visions during highstorms and I thought those were very insightful to understanding the world and the past. He is very traditional and honorable, which can sometimes get in his way, but most of the time, it saves lives. I am so excited to see more of him in future books.

Like most Brandon books, the beginning of this one was slow and grew to a huge climax at the end. I personally love this, but I know for people who predominately read YA, it will feel slow in the beginning. Brandon does such a good job of not giving away all the information at once. There were definitely moments where I was confused, but later on, it made sense because I was slowly given information about the world.

OTHER RANDOM THINGS

There was actually a lot of information about the Cosmere, the universe that all of Brandon’s adult fantasy novels are a part of. In everything else, there are vague hints and things that you would only pick up if you knew about the Cosmere, but in this book, there is a lot more information. It isn’t a lot by any means, but more than I was expecting.

I was really disturbed by the treatment of Parshmen, the race of slave people in Roshar. They are basically mute and will follow any orders. They are basically ignored until needed and aren’t even really treated as people.

The war going on throughout this book was also kind of disturbing. It is really being fought for no good reason and the cost of human life is astounding.

I am very intrigued by the Parshendi, the group of people that the war is against. They are so different than anything anyone in the world has experienced and it is cool to see how their culture differs from what is normal in the world. I am looking forward to learning more about them, hopefully outside of war.

For a fantasy book, this didn’t have as much magic as I was expecting. It is present and I know there will be more in future books, but there really wasn’t a lot in this one. There were magically powered swords and armor, but those are still pretty mysterious.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you made it this far, thank you! This was a looong book, so I had a lot I wanted to say. I don’t know if I’ve made this clear, but I really loved this book! I can definitely see how this would need to be a 10 book series because the scope is huge. There are so many other thoughts I had that I just did not have time to mention in this review.

If you like fantasy and have read other Brandon Sanderson books, I would highly recommend this! I think it is helpful to have read something else by him to get a sense of his style beforehand. I am beyond excited to read more from this world! I ordered Words of Radiance before I even finished this book, that’s how excited I am.

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