Previous books written by the author and reviewed by me here on this blog:
Once again I let the book sit on my shelf for a month and in the last week that I could (without paying a fine), I sat down to tackle most of the book. I seem to do this mostly because I am not a reader who reads every word thoroughly(when faced with a book of this size) and continues down the book. I let images form and if there are sufficient ones, I can keep going. This not to say I skip anything but I do skim over some sections. If something doesn’t make sense I go back and re-read the section that is supposed to assist in completing the picture. This mega book is not meant to be read in this way. So I push it (while admiring it perched on my shelf) till I have no other alternative but peruse it in the most concentrated fashion that I can.
I decided to review this book in two parts. One is for someone who has not read the series and if considering that possibility, the contents of this section could help decide. This is the third book in a series and some people may find it odd to review since by itself it does not mean much, without the casual and electric building up of secrets of millennia enclosed in the previous books. People should also know for a fact that even in the third book the excitement is palpable and it is worth starting the series (since the next book is set to release in 2020). The second part will be for those who have read the first and second and whatever the delay for this third read is, they will know if they have to step it up and acquire it (spoiler alert: you do!). Lastly, both parts are a call out to those who have read the series and feel like I do and want/need people to say “can you believe it!!” to, I am always game to exchange exclamations with such people.
Part 1. For those who are new to the series:
If the gorgeous covers or the previously linked reviews have not conveyed enough, this is a series worth following. There are more than the standard number of people that we ‘bond’ (reading the book will let you understand the wordplay here) with. I actually thought to keep a neatly tabulated set of events next to each person in a book, something I never do. I thought I would need it to properly write this review. The best part about the narration, the world-building, and all those character arcs is that no external paper is needed to keep it straight. By the time I turned the last page, every person had a separate persona with their own baggage and goals which made so much sense that I laughed and cried a little (just a little).
There is a colation being attempted in this installment, and while our leader is striving for it there are forces (supposedly) stronger than his own, which has sown seeds of distrust in the world. Some revelations are heartbreaking and some people are beyond redemption by the time the war in this one ends, but we still can harbour hope for a better tomorrow. This installment is predominantly meant for revelations, things make more sense about the past and possibly the future by the time you will be done reading this.
Part 2. For those familiar with the people.
If you need any other reason to read the book, I give you the status or the trials of the people you might be familiar with.
- Dalinar: His history is clarified to us, it is hard to not let that colour your judgment of the man. He has big plans but his struggle is worth tracing all the way from the past to where we leave him at the last page.
- Navani: Is excited about the newness in her life, she brings steadiness and joy to the pages where she participates and it is not hard to watch out for her.
- Renarin: My heart ached for the man but when he is with bridge four he is happy. His parts were surprisingly interesting, especially since we do not actually get a chance to hear his personal thoughts in the first person.
- Adolin: The more popular brother provides lighter relief in darker times, and it is hard not to join all those who find it hard to dislike the man, despite the privileged world he inhabits.
- Shallan: In experimenting with her new skills, she divides herself in ways that may not be controllable. She is more vulnerable in the life she now leads but towards the end, with little help things seem better.
- Kaladin: Although I did not like the way things are between him and Shallan( The only part I felt seemed a little off in this entire book), he bears many weights. Syl tries to help but can only go so far. He is most conflicted throughout and every bit of new knowledge he gains gnaws at him. Another person that we cannot help but admire
- Moash,Teft, Rock and Lopen are few who are given a more prominent role in this new life with the Radiants amongst them. Some of the decisions some of them make are hard to digest and they leave a mark on me as I hope there is something better for them in the next book.
- Venli is learning hard lessons and is more isolated in a world she could never have imagined. She may serve a higher purpose in the next one, and I wait for that information with restrained excitement (I have to restrain it since I have to wait at least for another year before I find out)
- Taravangian is odder than before and there are so many things connected to him than we can unravel even in this book.
- We have a few surprising people make appearances with very powerful roles to carry on their shoulders, and revealing their names would just take away from the joy of finding them in these pages in the first place(At least I felt so)
I do not know if having so many people mimicking the chaos of real life is the reason I am drawn to this series but having so many lives criss-cross as the world writhes in chaos is something of a draw. The ideas of honour, righteousness, and friendships are just a few of the emotional bonds that the author depicts brilliantly. Their presence makes me hold out for a satisfying finale many, many books down the line.