Book Review

Book Review: Shadows of Self (Mistborn: The Alloy Era #5) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 383 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they’ve been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.

TALK ABOUT HOLY PLOT TWIST.

I’m still shook. Story: my husband and I have been listening to this together-ish (both when we can but not actually at the same time). He finished the day before I did when I had ONE hour left. Well, the biggest drop in the entire came during that hour and I literally ran out of my bedroom shouting WHAT?!?!? **and more spoiler-ish content I will not say here**. Sanderson is trying to break my heart, I can feel it.

Any who, this was another great installment of his shorter books. I loved listening to it. Michael Kramer is such a great narrator and does all of the voices SO FLIPPIN’ WELL. He’s read all 6 Sanderson audiobooks I’ve listened to so far and it’s been fantastic.

The dynamics between Wax, Wayne, and Marasi are THE BEST. They are a great team with different strengths that pick each other up when their weaknesses show. I love the banter, the love they have for one another and just everything. This is a team I want to be on.

There’s still a Western vibe to this with the gun-slinging vibes. And I’m still into it. I thought I might waver, but the way Sanderson crafts a story has continually left me breathless. I’m seriously trying to work my way through all of his books. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO DO THIS.

These books are much shorter and easier to follow. The amount of twists and story lines that play in from the original trilogy amazes me though. Even if this is a spin-off that I know some people aren’t a fan of, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I love seeing old characters, hearing about the original crew, and learning how their choices have shaped this newer world.

SOMEONE GIVE ME A HAPPY ENDING PLEASE?!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy / Sci-Fi
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: guns, murder, knives, swords, dueling canes; occasionally a bit bloody

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Book Review

Book Review: The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 1007 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

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. 

EPIC FANTASY IS RIGHT.

I am once again kicking myself for not picking up Brandon Sanderson’s novels sooner. I HAVE LOVED THEM ALL (Current total: 5). I also listened to this as a FORTY FIVE AND A HALF HOUR audio book. It admittedly took me months to get through. But, now I want them as actual books because hot dang. I love his fantasy writing.

So much world building. And it’s clever to boot. The more intricacies that are woven into the daily life of everyone astounds me. I can’t even begin to imagine how he comes up with all of this to make anything coherent. I find it fascinating and entrancing to listen to how Sanderson’s world comes together for his characters.

Speaking of characters, Kaladin. KALADIN. I am here for the greatest that this man will command. He was fearless, lovable, and I would be in his bridge crew too (but not really because that sounds awful). Dalinar was amazing too. In audio books, I know it always takes me longer to get into them because I’m trying to remember who’s who and where people are. And after that point I was heavily invested in these lives colliding. They’re so many other characters I can point out and talk about, but trust me. Everyone is well thought out, serves a purpose and makes this book what it is.

I love how I can never quite figure out where Sanderson is taking us. It’s not until the last chapters of the book where you realize where everything has been building towards. I love being on my toes and being hooked by this kind of format. There’s enough teasers along the way that keep you flipping pages (or in my case listening, but either way you have to love it to do this for 1000+ pages).

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic fantasy
  • Language: bastard used a few times
  • Romance: a kiss, some hugs
  • Violence: war and battle scenes, swords, creature battles; all fairly detailed, a bit gory & bloody

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Book Review

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

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 592 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: June 9th, 2009
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Warbreaker is the story of two sisters who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn’t like his job, and the immortal who’s still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago. 

Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery; and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.

BOOK TWO COMES OUT WHEN?

Note: I listened to this on Audible (not an ad, just an FYI). It was narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan. Unfortunately, I didn’t love her. She did the female voices totally fine, but it with trying to do the male voices that was iffy.

This book did take me a little to get into (though, I’m learning that might be the case anytime I listen to an audio book). It has a SUPER complicated magic system that took me a minute to figure out. Once I did, everything was fine and things made sense. And now I’d love color-changing hair, k thanks universe.

I absolutely adored all of these characters. Even the evil ones. They were somehow lovable (for at least a time) and I enjoyed everyone’s personality. Vivenna seriously had the worst time and I felt so bad for her! She got the short end of the stick every. single. time. Til about the end. But I’m really feeling her vibe with Vasher, so YES. SOMEONE GIVE ME THE SEQUEL.

Siri was a bit frustrating, but I did appreciate that she didn’t take anything lying down. Not letting the God King, Susebron, frighten her (or any of the priests). Y’all, I loved Susebron. This precious King, DIDN’T KNOW WHAT SEX WAS. And I burst out laughing. That might be the best little nugget in a book I’ve read in awhile. Their relationship progressed in the sweetest way. You could really see them fall in love and when Susebron really shows his godliness, you could hear me clapping outside. YOU TELL ‘EM GOD KING.

Can we give a shoutout to Lightsong? I should have seen his purpose from a mile away, but didn’t realize it til after it happened *whoops*. I thought he was a great comic relief type of character and really gave some humanity to the gods.

Sanderson yet again weave this crazy beautiful tale filled with world-building and long planned story lines. The last few chapters are always the best part because you can’t help but be like ooooooh over and over as it all falls into place. I love his writing.

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses, an implied love scene
  • Violence: knives, poison, torture, war

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