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Oathbringer: Book Three of the Stormlight Archive Hardcover – 14 Nov 2017
Mass Market Paperback, Import
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Praise for Brandon Sanderson
"Sanderson is an evil genius. There is simply no other way to describe what he's managed to pull off in this transcendent final volume of his Mistborn trilogy." ―RT Book Reviews (Gold Medal, Top Pick!) on The Hero of Ages
"It's rare for a fiction writer to have much understanding of how leadership works and how love really takes root in the human heart. Sanderson is astonishingly wise." ―Orson Scott Card
"Sanderson is crafting an extremely well-thought out saga with Mistborn, one that looks to stand above the pack of his literary peers. The magic system is perfectly detailed, the world, though not completely revealed, has a great sense of natural logic to it, and the characters are a reflection of both." ―SFF World
"Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexly in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters." ―Booklist on Mistborn
"Highly recommended to anyone hungry for a good read." ―Robin Hobb on Mistborn
"Enjoyable, adventurous read." ―Locus on Mistborn
About the Author
Brandon Sanderson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He lives in Utah with his wife and children and teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. He is the author of such bestsellers as the Mistborn® trilogy and its sequels, The Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, and The Bands of Mourning; the Stormlight Archive novels The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance; and other novels, including The Rithmatist and Steelheart. In 2013, he won a Hugo Award for Best Novella for The Emperor's Soul, set in the world of his acclaimed first novel, Elantris. Additionally, he was chosen to complete Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time® sequence.
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Nevertheless I completed the book with mixed feelings, there is a change of tone in the book as other reviewers have remarked and like all changes there is good and bad in it. The good is there is a lot of detail on the history of the Knight Radiants, their past battles with the Voidbringers and some revelations which change the nature of the conflict for the entire future series. There is also a greater amount of world building and a focus on the lesser characters such as Moash, the rulers of the various other kingdoms, we get a lot more of Teravangian and almost all his appearances are very good, ditto for Hoid who is fast becoming my favourite character.
On the other hand, while the first two books focused on the three main characters, kaladin, Shallan & Dalinar, Oathbringer skimps on Kaladin totally here. He does not appear at all for long sections and when he does little happens, he is still wallowing alternatively between self pity, anger and his principles, not much development for his character.
Shallan is worse, her character here is plain irritating, her split personality interludes are literally a pain to get through and there are hints of a totally unnecessary triangle. Thankfully there is a seeming resolution towards the end and we will hopefully not have to grit our teeth through her passages in book 4.
This is Dalinar’s book though, his backstory occupies a majority of the book like Kaladin & Shallan in TWoK & WoR respectively and some of his backstory chapters are easily the best writing of the series though the backstory got a bit predictable towards the end. He is also the main guy taking the story forward since a lot of the book is all the kingdoms figuring out how to deal with the new threat and that for the large part works quite well.
So the general pace is pretty slow with all the politicking and world building - but never uninteresting till the last couple of hundred pages which are all out action and great action. No overstatement to say the book ends at a high and the climax is unputdownable, was up till 3 AM.
So why the mixed feelings, (minor spoilers ahead), firstly some major characters and characters and plotlines are summarily dealt with in what I felt was a very unsatisfying manner - I’m looking at what Amaram & Ekholar, the entire Saldeas saga these plotlines are dealt with in what seems (at least for now) like a pretty illogical hamfisted way. Odium makes his first impressive appearance but by the end of the book, lets just say there were some underwhelming things happening. Adolin & Renarin are still criminally underused, hopefully that will change soon.
Also while this is not really a fair gripe - so much has happened in book 3 that I’m not sure what is left for 7 more books. I am having bad visions of the Half Way Curse hitting Stormlight like it hit The Wheel of Time and Song of Ice & Fire. On past form one cannot imagine Sanderson writing books where nothing happens like RJ & GRRM did. That is just not his style, the way he resurrected Wheel of Time was masterful and I will choose to believe he has a good plan for 10 books. After all I had the same misgivings after Mistborn – Well of Ascension and the Hero of Ages resolved everything that seemed like defects of the previous books (but actually weren’t) in a phenomenal mind blowing manner. I’m hoping that’s the case here too. Waiting 3 years for Book 4 and may the Stormfather be with Brendan Sanderson.
The character growth was another factor that made me like this book.
Would recommend to all fans of fiction even if you guys don't like fantasy, Brandon will make you fall in love with the genre.