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.
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.
New author James Islington brings back epic doorstop fantasy with The Shadow of What Was Lost. On the surface this is another fantasy about a young man discovering his strengths as he does a lot of walking around while trying to save his world. But with everyone around him keeping secrets the group dynamic is always shifting as the characters learn more about each other and themselves.
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.
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.