Title: Stormlight Archives (series)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Page Count: 1007~
Publication Date: 2010-2020
Category/Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Magic,
Good Reads Rating: ★★★★★ (4.6)
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5)
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.
One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.
Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.
I just spend the last 2 1/2 months on a Stormlight Archive reading marathon.
To the unitiated of the Brandon Sanderson world, that is over 1000 pages each. The last book (so far) of the series, Rhythm of War is over 1200 pages and was just published in November 2020.
So a reading marathon means four books of over 1000 pages each.
And I regret nothing.
Absolutely stunning work, easily to be defined as the best fantasy series written when finally complete. Yes, this highly (and long) anticipated book 4 is not the end of the series. Not that I am complaining. In fact, I had a gaping whole left in my life when I finished the last page of Rhythm of War. I had just spent 6 weeks with these characters, going through all of their trials and tribulations, their growth and changes. We were one.
Speak again the ancient oaths:
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.
and return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.
Rhythm of War continues a year after the end of Oathbringer (book 3). But first, in a similar fashion to how everthing starts with The Way of Kings (book 1), Rhythm of War starts with a prologue that shows the Assassination of King Gavilar; this time we get to witness the event from the POV of Navani.
The character development is magnficiant. The answers Sanderson gave and the questions he repeatedly provided are mindblowing. This ridiculously high level of plotting and the absolutely spectacular story-telling are unparalleled, considering the length and span between these installments. They flow effortlessly and timelessly.
Another piece to note is that while the world building is superb, there is an increasing introduction of technology and blend of fantasy and science fiction as things progress.
I devoured all 7 parts (my first three books are separated into two parts each) of these monstrous size books and didn’t feel any tedium. It was filled with action, existential conflicts, character growth and development, shocking backstories and turns, humor, darkness and hope. And also Wit. I love Wit. Everyone needs a Wit in their life.
I can not believe that the series is still incomplete….. and yet, it doesn’t feel like I am ready to let it go either. Storming incredible and I can’t stress enough that fans of fantasy should be obligated to read this.