Overview (No Spoilers):
The Stormlight Archive has easily been one of my favorite series I’ve read of the year. After Words of Radiance, I fully succumbed to fangirling over the series, besotted with Sanderson’s brilliant world building. I’m not typically one to gush in an overview section, however I’m attempting to establish my state of mind as I was getting ready to pick up Oathbringer. Sure I was making a solid effort maintain some level of unbiased, but what fun is levelheadedness when you’re so thoroughly enjoying a series. Although, there was the bittersweet inkling in the back of my mind though that upon finishing this novel I’d be caught up in the series and be left waiting potentially years for the next installment. Well, I’ve never been a patient person so I could only drag my feet for so long before diving in. Within Oathbringer, Sanderson continues adding depth to this already delightfully detailed literary world by the chapter. Many mysteries that had been alluded to within the first two installments were revealed from Dalinar’s past to the fate of Kaladin’s family. Despite many of these tantalizing holes being filled in, there were so many new curiosities introduced that will make waiting for book four an eternity. Throughout this book I found myself laughing out loud, crying, or exclaiming at the various interactions and edge of your seat action. It has been since A Song of Ice and Fire (Kingkiller Chronicles coming in a close second) that upon getting caught up with the most recent installment of an unfinished series, I’ve been this excited for the next book. Unfortunately, we have to likely wait till 2020 for book four in The Stormlight Archive! That being said, I’m a fervent defender of Martin and any other author that takes a long time finishing their series as it is the absolute worst when an ending feels rushed and not thoroughly flushed out. As such, let us not pressure Sanderson. Allow him take the time he needs to continue developing and improving upon this fantastic series, without unneeded harassment!
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- How can the Radiant, e.g., Kaladin, Dalinar, or Jasnah create their shardplate?
- All the tears when Szeth chose Dalinar. Really that whole scene was a mess of tears. I’ll admit to you my friends that I was mowing my Grandma’s yard when I was listening to this edge of your seat volley. And yes, I was making a messy cry face throughout this whole scene while I was mowing, all the while hoping no one would notice.
- Interestingly, the sword Szeth carries is both terrifying and highly amusing. I can’t help but enjoy its banter.
- My heart is still swollen from Dalinar finally forgiving himself, ultimately saving himself at least for the moment from Odium. As heartbreaking as it was to find out his past, especially the role he played in his wife’s death, it was satisfying to finally figure out what the mystery was behind the huge hole in his memory.
- Jasnah is back from the dead, however she hardly played a role in this book. Yes, there was the gut wrenching scene with Renarin, but that was arguably the most action she received after being relegated to Chief Oathgate Operator. Well I guess she was named Queen. Perhaps her role will grow in the next installment.
- Speaking of Renarin, what is his deal? He isn’t a true Radiant due to bonding a corrupted spren, but yet he still has powers and is not a ‘bad guy’.
- I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this but it took me much longer than it should have to realize there was a difference between the Radiants and Heralds. How did I miss this distinction? Thank you Google for all the information I should have obtained through my read.
- Poor, poor Teft. I hope that he can get through his addiction.
- I really enjoyed Sanderson giving us the perspective from Rlain. Will he be able to draw stormlight eventually? We know it is possible because of Venli.
- Will Rock be able to cope with taking up a bow to kill Amaram. What is Rock’s story? There has to be more to it. Has he bonded a spren? How did he pull a shardbow?
- Who would have thought that ‘honorable’ Amaram was actually a bad guy this whole time being spoken to by Odium? And didn’t Kaladin ever watch the movie Scream before? The bad guy always comes back to life for one last scare.
- Who was Highmarshal Azure? Where did she come from? How does she know to travel the Shadesmar? Really that whole scene was a fascinating bit of world building as we finally got a glimpse of a realm that was only perceived as mystery and danger before.
- I have not been a fan of spoiled Elhokar, however his death might just be the most heartbreaking scene in this whole book. When Moash killed the King who held his son in his arms and was speaking the words of the First Ideal with Kaladin frozen I was stunned into silent shock. I so wanted Moash to have a redemption arc, alas now he can burn. I can’t decide what would be the most appropriate ending for this traitorous fiend.
- Venli bonded Timbre! How does that work that she is now a Knight Radiant? Is she a good guy? I guess King Taravangian’s Surgebinder (Maltata) isn’t a good guy so it is a bit mindboggling that they can be good or evil. It is interesting too that Taravangian went over to Odium. For the longest time I was trying to puzzle out Sanderson’s roles of good and evil and where everyone fit in. Oathbringer started to bring this question into clarity.
- I loved that we met Adolin’s dead sword spren even if she has horrifying scratched out eyes and a piercing scream. How will he bring Maya back to life? Will he be Radiant then?
- Who or what is Hoid?
- If anything was tiresome in Oathbringer it was Shallan and Kaladin’s mental issues. I realize this is healthy for the character building and especially Kaladin’s, which is refreshing from the perspective of having your hero suffer from depression in a fantasy series.
- Lift was again one of the best characters of the story. Love love love her. When she stole Dalinar’s dinner I can’t capture how hard I laughed in words. I may or may not have been at work in my lab coat, safety goggles, pipetting standards for my calibration curve just giggling away at Lift’s antics. Thankfully none of my coworkers happened to pass my bench at that particular moment. In all seriousness, when Lift showed up next to Dalinar as he stood up alone to the evil masses I may had shed a tear or two (or three). Cue all the emotions.
- Another emotional scene that was everything and more that I wanted was Kaladin going home! All the feels. Will he be able to convince his family to move somewhere safer?
- How did nothing really come of Sadeas getting stabbed? It seemed so quickly forgotten! I’m sure this will come into play at some point but for being a significant cliffhanger at the end of Words of Radiance I was surprised this thread didn’t play a more prominent role. (Not that I’m complaining.)