Books, How's This Book?

Oathbringer: The Biggest of Big Boys (How’s This Book?)

Written By: Brandon Sanderson
Published By: Tor Books
Hardcover: 1248 Pages
Audio Version Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
Release Date: November 14th, 2017
Link to Purchase

With this, we can put a bow on our trek through ‘The Stormlight Archive’. At least until I finish ‘Edgedancer’.

‘Oathbringer’ is the latest and longest book in ‘The Stormlight Archive’ series. It brings all the characters you’ve known and loved since the first book back for their grandest and most difficult adventure yet, all while introducing new ones to help spruce the world up even more! It is an absolutely huge book, one that any fantasy fan should read!

After you’ve read ‘The Way of Kings’. And ‘Words of Radiance’. Both of which will take you a long fucking time. Which this book will also take you. But if you do have the time, there are few better uses that I can think of!

Plot: Of Radiants and Voidbringers

Be warned: this is the third book in a series. There will be spoilers for the prior books in this section. It’s kind of impossible to avoid.

This book is fucking long. Yes, the other books were also really long. But this one puts both of them to shame, being the single longest book in the whole series. And it doesn’t let even a moment of that length go to waste!

Following the final battle on the Shattered Plains, the world of Roshar has dramatically changed. The Everstorm has left every kingdom crippled. The Parshmen have transformed and abandoned their owners, becoming their own, independent people. Our heroes have found their way to Urithiru, the former home of the Knights Radiant.

In this heroing time, each of our three heroes must deal with their own great challenges. Kaladin grapples with his new responsibilities as a Windrunner as he realizes that the freed Parshmen are equally as justified as the humans are. Shalan searches into the secrets of the Urithiru, developing numerous personas to get the job done but forgetting which one was the true Shalan in the first place. Dalinar struggles to unite the kingdoms of the world in their fight against the Voidbringers, which is proving all the more difficult thanks to the pressure of the church and his returning memories.

Time is short. Powerful Voidbringers called Fused are appearing to lead the confused Parshmen. Worse yet, the terrible god Odium, slayer of the Stormfather Honor, is making moves against the world. Will our heroes unite the world and fight back? Or will Odium and his forces finally wipe out humanity?

Out of all three books (not counting ‘Edgedancer’), this is easily the darkest. Our heroes face some of their greatest failures with some devastating and far-reaching consequences. Characters both new and old start dying brutal deaths or falling onto dark paths. For the majority of the book, it seems completely hopeless for our protagonists.

This is why this book has the most exciting, heart-pounding and emotional finale in the whole series so far!

‘Oathbringer’ is just as incredible as the other books, if not more so! Each character, new and old, undergoes their own emotional arc, all of which are incredibly engaging and satisfying! The action is as breathtaking as ever! The world, which was so beautifully fleshed out in the last book, is completely transformed in an incredibly interesting way!

Better still, this book resolves most of the mysteries set up in the prior books in a tight and satisfying way! Why did the original Radiants abandon their oaths? What happened to Dalinar’s wife that made him go to the Nightwatcher? Who is Odium? Each of these questions and more are answered, and it makes this book incredibly exciting while setting up further events to come!

Events which will either come next year or in twenty years.

Voice: Sanderson at His Best

It’s Brandon Sanderson. It’s good.

Sanderson is the master of detail. Each description paints an extremely clear picture while safely avoiding becoming excessive or boring. Every single detail is important to the plot or characters, no matter how minor it is. While listening to the audio version, you could easily close your eyes and become completely engulfed in the story!

He also has a great sense of action! Each fight is clear, concise and exciting! Even when everything the laws of physics are being completely shattered and everyone is flying around like a Dragon Ball Z character, you the reader are never lost in any of it!

I could go on and on, but I’d be repeating myself. Point is: Sanderson is a really good writer with a really good creative voice. If you didn’t know that after both of the previous reviews, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Narration: Third Verse Same as the First and Second

Once again, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading return to narrate the novel. And once again, I have the same praises and critiques.

I’m sorry, I just can’t get used to Kate Reading. She isn’t a bad narrator, but she simply pales in comparison to Michael Kramer. She does put energy into her performance and she does give semi-distinct voices to each character. But she doesn’t have the same vocal range that Kramer does.

Also, I noticed a few oddball takes from both readers this time around. There are a few points in which they change how they pronounce certain character’s names. That, or they seem exhausted. It is definitely more good than bad, sitting at a 95/5 ratio if I were to put a number to it. But it is odd.

Conclusion

If you haven’t read any of these books yet, then I have no clue what you’re doing! They are some of the best modern fantasy out there! Yes, they are super fucking long. But not a second of it is a waste.

Once again, I would highly recommend this book. Yes, you need to read ‘The Way of Kings’ and ‘Words of Radiance’ first. But those two are like an excellent meal, and ‘Oathbringer’ is the third course!

Now we just need to wait for the fourth course. But at least we still have ‘Edgedancer’ to further wet our appetites. But that’s a discussion for next week.

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