Author: Brandon Sanderson
Length: 1087 Pages (Hardback)
Publication: March 2014
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Pure brilliance. That's really all that needs to be said about this book. This and the previous novel The Way of Kings are two of my favorite books of all time. They are just beautifully crafted stories. So let me tell you about some of the things I loved about this novel.
The characters. This novel has a large cast of characters, with some getting more attention than others, and I feel that every single one of them is important. In this one we get to see more of Shallan's history. There are flashbacks that outline her journey toward the woman she becomes in this novel. And we get to see so many of the characters from the first novel finally come together. It's beautifully done.
The story itself is brilliant. Sanderson has written many novels that are all set in the same universe but on different planets. What I love about this novel is that as it moves from character to character, further developing the story and giving the reader new connections between places, people, and events, it also connects more of these other stories to this world. It's just brilliantly done and I cannot wait to see where he takes this next.
Kaladin and Syl: This human/spren bond was one of the things I loved most about the first novel. The bond is tested here and is so heartbreaking yet beautiful that I couldn't get enough of it. And they are so hilarious together. I just loved their dialogue.
Kaladin and Adolin: These two as friends is just something I love. They are two of those characters who kind of love to hate each other, but love each other more. There were some perfect moments between these two in this novel. They are so different and yet so much the same.
Kaladin and Shallan: These two together is more hilarious than anything else. They are so much alike, with so many of the same demons, and watching their relationship unfold is fascinating. I was always prepared for a shouting match when they were around each other. And there was so much growth to each of them for being exposed to the other. Their story lines progressed so far here and I feel like they were a big part of that progression for each other.
The bridgemen: Being able to see all of Bridge Four together and overcoming their pasts and their demons was perfect. Just perfect. And they are so funny. I love humor in Sanderson novels.
There was so much going on in this novel and I have so many questions that I cannot wait for the next book in the series to answer (hopefully)! I don't feel like I can go super into detail here without major spoilers for The Way of Kings and even some spoilers for this novel. Just know, if you love fantasy with an intricate and detailed plot and marvelous characters, this is definitely for you.
I'm always happy to discuss this or any other Sanderson novel with a fellow Sanderson fan, so comment with your thoughts! This is a beast of a book, but a brilliant one. Definitely worth the read. I do believe I will be re-reading these two in the not too distant future. I may be back to add more to this review once I've let my thoughts settle more. It's a heart wrenching and beautiful tale.