Saturday, January 26, 2019

Review: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Book: Oathbringer
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: The Stormlight Archive #3

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Timesbestselling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin's Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar's blood-soaked past and stand together--and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past--even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.

Holy snap, this was one heck of a book to read! The longest I've ever read, in fact, with the page count at a whooping 1248 pages. Jeez!

This book was divided up into 5 distinct parts, which made it quite interesting to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning and ending parts, especially how each of the main characters (Kaladin, Shallan, and Dalinar) got their own mini character arc or journey within each one. Combine it all together, and you have a complex, extremely well-thought-out-of character development!

Kaladin, thankfully, did NOT sulk in this book. I was afraid his sulking would become a heavy determining factor to his character, but it wasn't. Apart from a little bit (which was justified), Kaladin was finally the cool, level-headed protagonist I knew he would become since book one. Shallan was an especially interesting character in this book, given that the last book focused mainly on her background. Specifically, she was finally grasping just how badly she hiding from her true self. Her different personas were both her but not her, to the point where she didn't know which persona was the "true" Shallan. I found this quite neat, since it addresses the whole "who is a person really when they different faces for different people" question. As for Dalinar, his character evolved about as much as I suspected him to. As the Bondsmith, I figured he would have to undergo a lot of political maneuvering and facing his past in order to actually unite everyone. His background did reveal a few surprises, but it was generally along the lines I had assumed. Nevertheless, it was still enjoyable and a relief to have my suspicions confirmed!

The world of Roshar continues to grow wider and wider and more of its amazing magic system revealed with each passing book. Similarly, the questions that arise continue to pile up, none with any answers to come until future book. There was also this crazy revelation which I won't go into, but that seriously changed EVERYTHING on a moral level. I'm very keen to see what becomes of these characters' fates, and how the author will tie everything together! Sadly, that probably won't happen for a while, since there's supposed to be 10 books (10!), with at least a 2 year gap between releases. And we're only on book 3. Meaning...probably 14 more years until it's resolved? *wails*

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