Book Review

Book Review: Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive #4) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: High/Epic Fantasy
Length: 1,232 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 17th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The eagerly awaited sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling Oathbringer, from an epic fantasy writer at the top of his game.

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage.

Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.

At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure.

READ IT.

How do you write a review for a book you basically consider perfect?

There aren’t words.

I loved this so much (and also highly recommend on audio, the narrators do a FANTASTIC job).

The incredible character development for every single person in this book was off the charts. The amount of emotion put into the words and scenes broke me down (no really, I almost cried a few times). I also found myself laughing, fist-pumping and preparing to pummel some characters too. There’s a clear raw, beautiful talent to Sanderson’s writing and you hardly notice you’ve spent 1,000 pages enraptured by the lives of these people.

I have more, lots more, but for fear of hinting at *any* spoilers I’m keeping it more brief. If you’re looking to try a fantasy or a big book, look no further. Read this series and come to be caught up in it all as the rest of us. It’s an amazing and stunning piece of literature.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: war depictions, swords, magic, battle scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depictions of grief and depression, suicidal ideation, a lot of discussion on mental health (struggling with it, coping, and finding help, etc.)

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Book Review

Book Review: Age of Empyre (The Legends of the First Empire #6) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 395 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Riyria Enterprises, LLC
Release Date: May 5th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A door opens. An army of dragons advance. And the fate of the living rests with the dead.

After obtaining the secret to creating dragons, the leader of the Fhrey has turned the tide of war once more—but gaining the advantage has come at a terrible price. While Imaly plots to overthrow the fane for transgressions against his people, a mystic and a keeper are the only hope for the Rhunes. Time is short, and the future of both races hangs in the balance. In this exciting conclusion to the Legends of the First Empire series, the Great War finally comes to a climactic end, and with it dawns a new era in the Age of Empyre.

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Michael J. Sullivan comes the concluding installment of his six-book epic fantasy. This series chronicles a pivotal point in Elan’s history when humans and those they once saw as gods warred until a new world order was born. Set three thousand years before the Riyria tales, Legends is a standalone fantasy series that is independent of the Riyria novels. But for those who do read both series, Legends will unmask lies and reveal the truth about Elan’s history and the men and women who shaped what the world became.

WELL, THAT’S IT.

I have mixed feelings over this series.

First three books (where it was originally supposed to end) stellar, loved them. These last three books? I’ve had a much harder time getting into them. Many things changed gear and direction that I struggled to catch on to.

Not to say that this story isn’t amazingly thought out, and written well. They’re a quicker fantasy that is still stuffed with an incredible amount of story.

I did enjoy these characters and loved the emphasis on forgiveness, letting go of the things you can’t control, love, compassion, and other qualities. They were all a continual theme throughout and I felt there were many highlight worthy quotes.

The ending did feel a bit rushed, or maybe not even that, just not as fulfilling as I hoped. There was some information about where characters ended up, but not for everyone. There were some storylines left open when I was hoping they’d be closed. I’m sitting here with too many questions about where everyone is and what they’re up to.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: very little, light
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: battles, war, dragons, swords/arrows, physical altercations, magic; fairly detailed but not overly gory

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Book Review

Book Review: Elantris (Elantris #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 638 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: May 1st, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.

AMAZING. PER USUAL.

I’m never surprised that I always end up loving any book by Sanderson. Occasionally with a favorite author, you run across a book that just doesn’t click, 13 books later, and I DO NOT HAVE THAT ISSUE. I love them all.

This was no exception. Elantris is one of Sanderson’s older titles that I *think* some claim is a lesser novel of his? While no Stormlight Archive, it’s still a superb read. I listened to it on audio and thought the narrator was great too.

One of my favorite parts was the romance (who’s surprised?). It’s nothing major or anything, but the lost loves finding one another was precious and just sweet. I adore Sarene and Raoden as characters. Talk about a power couple. Both strong, courageous, and didn’t take a thing laying down. One of the best character arcs was for Hrathen. He went from someone I hated, to someone I understood and appreciated as a POV in Elantris. All three of these characters had points-of-view and it really gave angles to all sides of Arelon and Elantris.

I loved the magic system and the way the world worked in general. I thought it was interesting how heavily the world’s religions played into the characters and the nation itself. It was a solid combination of all of these that kept up the intrigue and mystery.

I hope one day we do get a sequel because there’s clearly plenty more story lines that Sanderson could pursue. This one ends without any cliffhangers and with a great close out that doesn’t leave you hanging.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: poison, sickness, physical, demons, swords; not overly gory

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Book Review

Book Review: Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 1,248 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 14th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times bestselling 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.

STUNNING.

Yet again. I’m sitting here wondering how I read 1,200+ pages and never felt bored. THAT is the wondering world of Brandon Sanderson and his ability to create these magnificent tales where I don’t even care how big the book is, I’m picking it up stat.

But also, how do you even put into words a review for a book so long? Just know, I really do love these and hope if you’ve been considering reading them you will. Take a chance on the big books! The audio book is the best too. I love the narration, the voices, the fact I can easily listen at a faster speed. All good things.

Some of my favorite pieces in Sanderson books are the later stages when bombs start being dropped. When the world literally gets turned upside down and you aren’t sure what you read is making any sense because it’s completely changed the entire book. Oh how I love these moments. It’s hard to even guess what they will be so enjoy the ride and know you’ll never know who dies, who lives and if the world will actually survive.

The massive world built with intense magic systems that are intricate yet you can understand everything. I feel apart of the political landscape, the characters lives and the fate of the world.

I could talk forever about all of these characters. How I love them so. All of them have strengths, weaknesses, great moments, and moments where you want to shake them. I love how human they really are. There’s emotion and turmoil that leads their decisions and connections. Nothing is laid out in black and white. In this installment I got to see Dalinar’s background and at last got all the answers and more. I love that each book is dedicated to an in-depth look at a character. I’m curious who book four will be about!

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic/high fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: battles, swords, magic; intense and violent

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