Review From 2017: Okay. It's official. I absolutely love this series!
First, let me begin by saying that Brandon Sanderson is a world-building genius! It's amazing how developed and complex the world of Roshar is. I kid you not, I spent a good chunReview From 2017: Okay. It's official. I absolutely love this series!
First, let me begin by saying that Brandon Sanderson is a world-building genius! It's amazing how developed and complex the world of Roshar is. I kid you not, I spent a good chunk of time visiting fandom sites so I could research all the background information in this book. There's just so much there! Upon re-reading this book, I discovered exactly how important the interlude chapters were, as well as Easter Eggs that connect this series to Sanderson's other works. Re-reading the books definitely helped me better understand what was going on and how everything worked.
The writing isn't as stellar as J.R.R. Tolkien, but it's still pretty good. I think what really makes this book awesome is the action and the pace of the plot, which is supplemented by the complexity of the fantasy world. Despite being such a thick book (over 1,000 pages), it's still quite a page-turner! I was in fantasy heaven!
If I had to complain about one thing (and it's really a little thing), it's some of the personality traits of the characters. I found Kaladin tended to change his mind about important matters a little too much, and there is definitely a possible love triangle in development. I don't like love triangles, but I'm loving this series so much that I won't mind if Sanderson takes the story in that direction.
Overall, this is a fantastic series. Any hard-core fantasy fan would have a whole lot of fun with these books.
If I could make a recommendation though: feel free to listen to this series on audiobook, but the hardcover editions of these books provide so much more. The drawings, the chapter headings, they all add so much to the story. I also found that having a computer nearby was handy, so that I could look up the smaller details. This story requires a little commitment if you want to get as much as you can out of it, but you can choose to just read the books and you would still really enjoy it.
(A final note: before reading the next installment, Oathbringer, the author advises that you read a novella called Edgedancer first. Seems like good advice.)
Review From 2016: ★★★★ and 1/2, rounding up to 5
Okay, I'm a little sleep-deprived right now; I finished this book at about 2:15 in the morning....because this book is just too exciting to put down!
This is the kind of book that you'll finish in a week (despite it being over 1,000 pages long), and then you'll have to read it again in the not-so-distant future because there was just so much going on the first time around.
There were points in this story where I just couldn't read fast enough. Too many times I kept thinking "wait, what?! No!!!", frequently followed up with "Helllll yeah!" In addition, the characters were just plain fun to read about; in fact, it's the conflicting emotions of our protagonists that really provide the momentum to the plot, a momentum that puts your own emotions into a tailspin.
And, God! The world-building! The world of Roshar has so much detail, so much history, that I would put right there with Tolkien's Middle-Earth. It must have taken the author decades to create this place. Brandon Sanderson, I salute you!
I did knock off 1/2 a star though.
Chances are I'll like this story better the second time around, and the third installment in this series might improve how I look at things, but there were a few things that bugged me a little. Just a tiny bit.
First, there's a hint of a love triangle in development. The formula for it is all there, and might develop into something bigger in the next book. You can blame Twilight for this, but I hate love triangles.
Second, the twist in the end was kind of obvious. Not a bad point, really. Just saying.
Third, I'm not sure I liked the conclusion. Once again, I'll have to read the next installment to see how everything lays out, but the ending just seemed too......neat? Not to spoil anything, but what happened to two of the characters at the end just seemed too engineered. I might change my mind once the next installment comes out, though.
Despite the minor issues I have with this story, I still loved it, and I so, so want to read it again, preferably when the third book comes out. This is a great fantasy series, and totally worth a look....more