I knew going into this to expect slow, but after I’d heard the same about Words of Radience yet preferred it to Way of Kings, I wasn’t sure if I actually believed it. Unfortunately, this was…slow. The first bit was great, and the last bit was just as incredible as the endings to the first three novels (I cried at least twice), but good god Venli is the most tedious character ever and maybe one of the flashback chapters total had anything remotely interesting in it.
Unlike Edgedancer, I don’t think Dawnshard can be read on its own; it’s too tightly embedded into the overall story arc of the Stormlight Archive. But I wanted to write a review of it anyway, because it deals with physical disability so incredibly well, something pretty rare in fantasy. Major spoilers for all Stormlight content up to and through Oathbringer (but not Dawnshard itself) follow.
Finally, a return to the scale of a Cosmere novel! Not that I would have minded more of the intimate setting of the first two, but…this is really what I’m here for. Being so late in the series, I don’t have much to say without spoilers, but overall a very solid novel. I think my favorite of all of the Mistborn so far, really.
A whole which is not greater than the sum of its parts, Shadows of Self is at once a return to the urban fantasy setting of The Alloy of Law and also an expansion to the greater mythos of Scadrial. Each of these halves on its own works and is engaging, thrilling, enjoyable, all of the things you want out of a Mistborn novel, but put them together the way they are here, and you get an unsatisfying explanation for events that falls flat.
The Alloy of Law is much more urban fantasy than the high fantasy of the rest of the Cosmere, in a Scadrial that is suddenly…the Industrial Revolution? Electricity? Railroads? Fifty-story buildings? What? Yeah, okay. I wasn’t convinced by this for the first 20% or so, but of course this is Cosmere, so I fell in love with the characters and the plot was amazing and I loved it and it’s a great book. Of course.
What a ride! I knew to expect intense, and Oathbringer completely lived up to expectations! I don’t have many non-spoilery things to say, but I laughed and I cried, and I reread some parts to laugh again two or three times as I was reading them, and oh man the ending was intense.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things meets the Marvel Cinematic Universe embedded into the Cosmere in this absolutely delightful novella. Lift showed up for one interlude chapter in Words of Radience and now gets her own almost 300-page-long spotlight in the most adorable story ever, as she and Wyndle travel from Azimir to Tashikk.
Based on comments from reddit, I expected this book to be a lull compared to book 1, but I didn’t really find that to be true at all. Being not the first in a series I don’t have much to say without spoilers, but if anything I enjoyed this more than book 1!
Finally I get to start Stormlight Archive! I’ve been waiting like a month for this, which is like 20 novels or something.
You can take for granted that a Brandon Sanderson novel will have a unique, compelling magic system with the necessary depth of worldbuilding to support it, and his debut novel Elantris is no exception. From the Shaod to Aons to Seons, every bit of magic on the planet Sel is captivating, and the story of Elantris is just as compelling. The only complaint I have about the novel is its characterization of women, but even that isn’t enough to knock it down from a 5/5 rating, everything else about it is so good.