The Stormlight Archive continues with Rhythm of War, which is unbelievably even bigger than the first 3 books, both in number of pages (1,232) and scope of story. The war between humanity and the Dawnsingers has been waged back and forth for millennia in waves known as Desolations which are separated by centuries of rebuilding for the human civilizations that always get ravaged. This time around is different though as the Heralds who always lead humanity against the Dawnsingers are no more. They declared victory after the Last Desolation and have lain down their weapons for good. Of course the Dawnsingers were not defeated and now that they have returned yet again they find their human opponents woefully unprepared. Despite this disadvantage, Dalinar Kohlin has managed to lead a coalition of forces to keep them at bay but in his heart he knows he can't win a traditional war. Therefore he is looking for a way to strike a killing blow that ends this endless cycle of war for good, but unfortunately for him, so is the enemy, and they know a lot more about this conflict than he does.
Given that this is Brandon Sanderson it is no suprise that the world and magic of Warbreaker are both unique. However, he wanted this book to be the opposite of what he did in the Mistborn trilogy so it is messy, chaotic, and full of surprises. There are four distinct point of view characters. Siri, the unwanted princess who is sent to marry a king that was born dead. Vivenna, the responsible princess who prepared for that marriage and thinks she can rescue her sister by inciting a rebellion. Susebron, the God King, who was stillborn and Returned, hides his self-doubt under an indolent and irreverent attitude. And finally, there is the enigma Vasher, the mysterious man with an unknown agenda but amazing skill in the magic called Awakening. In the city of T'Telir the enemy is well hidden, no one is what they seem, and accepted knowledge is often the opposite of truth.
According to Brandon Sanderson himself Skyward is a combination of How to Train Your Dragon, Top Gun, and Ender's Game and I can see the influence of each. Spensa's people were forced to land on a deserted world that once belonged to an advanced civilization who left behind an extensive orbital defense system that protected them at the same time it prevented all communication with the rest of humanity. They are under near constant attack by aliens whose nature and motives remain a mystery centuries later. Once they managed to manufacture fighters they started to fight back but in the first critical battle Spensa's father he was labeled a coward and shot down by his own people. She has always dreamed of being a pilot like her father and proving everyone wrong.
Brandon Sanderson finally delivered Oathbringer, the highly anticipated third entry in the Stormlight Archive, and amazingly this volume is even bigger than the first two. As the books get bigger so does the scope of the story being told and that is almost hard to believe. Each of these books would be an entire series for many other authors and the truly amazing part is that Sanderson has 7 more entries planned before he is done. This book focuses on Dalinar Kholin and the events throughout his past that shaped the man he has become. Dalinar bears the nickname Blackthorn and it is time to learn why that is.
Brandon Sanderson's magnum opus continues with Words of Radiance (Book 2 of The StormLight Archive) clocking in at 1088 pages which makes it the biggest book ever printed by Tor Books. I only wish it were bigger - it's that good. The world is rich and deep, the characters are complex, and the magic systems are true Brandon Sanderson - well defined, unique, and interesting. All of the main characters are back and the story just gets bigger and bigger. For most authors the end of this book would be a satisfying conclusion to any series but it is obvious that this one is just getting started. Sanderson set the bar so awfully high with the Mistborn series that I am truly impressed he was able to surpass himself with the Stormlight Archive.
Just wow. This is the first book of the Stormlight Archive series and it represents over ten years of world building on the part of Brandon Sanderson. The world is so rich and the magic systems are so detailed that this single book contains more depth than most Fantasy series do in their entirety. The paperback version is 1280 pages (the audiobook is 45+ hours) of great character development and story telling. The entire series is planned to be 10 books in total composed of two story arcs of 5 books each. The Way of Kings is an amazing work of fantasy that grabbed my attention from cover to cover and is not to be missed.
A red burst in the sky known as Calamity suddenly knocks human society into a post-apocalyptic world ruled by evil super villains known as Epics. The series kicks off in the city of Newcago (formerly Chicago) where an Epic known as Steelheart has ruthlessly established his dominion over the inhabitants of the city, both humans and lesser Epics alike. Everyone knows that Steelheart is invincible and even the Reckoners, a group of humans rumored to hunt and kill Epics, won't mess with him. However, young David Charleston has a secret that he has kept hidden for the last 10 years. On that fateful day many years ago when Steelheart killed David's father he witnessed something that no other living person has ever seen - he saw Steelheart bleed!
Elantris, Brandon Sanderson’s first widely distributed book, is named after the ruined city of Elantris, which is the focus of the story. A standalone fantasy novel, the book won the Romantic Times award for best epic fantasy of 2005, was chosen by Barnes and Noble editors as the best fantasy or sf book of the year, and has been released in twenty languages. It is an excellent book and a stand alone story, despite the fact that Brandon does plan to eventually write a sequel. This book started the career of one of the best Fantasy writers alive today and you should not miss out on reading it.
Mistborn is an excellent series and I thoroughly enjoyed every book in the original trilogy: The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. I was completely drawn into Sanderson's world of Allomancers and all of the interesting things they could do right from the start. Allomancy is the art of "burning" a metal that you ingest to enhance your own physical and mental abilities. There are 8 metals that can be burned and most Allomancers can only burn a single one; however, there are rare individuals who can burn all 8 and these are known as Mistborn.