Oathbringer

- Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Book Blurb:

In Oathbringer humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together—and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past—even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.

Series / Genres:

My Review:

enjoyable/easy to read:
3.5/5
3.5 stars

The story starts to stagnate in Oathbringer. It almost feels like too much happened in Words of Radiance and Sanderson realised this is supposed to be a ten-book series and had to slow things down. Due to this, I was less immersed in the narrative this time around. In previous books, I couldn’t stop reading, but I found myself easily distracted while reading Oathbringer.

The focus on Dalinar was interesting but made his character less believable for me. Young Dalinar is not the same person we have come to know, and despite everything he has been through, the evolution here is almost too much. Dalinar describes himself as four people at one point, but I mostly see three disconnected versions if you count the weepy drunk one.

It seemed that Dalinar had been four people in his life. The bloodlusty warrior, who killed wherever he was pointed, and the consequences could go to Damnation.
The general, who had feigned distinguished civility—when secretly, he'd longed to get back on the battlefield so he could shed more blood.
Third, the broken man. The one who paid for the actions of the youth.
Then finally, the fourth man: most false of them all. The man who had given up his memories so he could pretend to be something better.

Shallan’s multiple personalities are making me like her less, not more. The more power she gains, the weaker she becomes. Around Jasnah, she’s petulant and childish, she relies too much on her disguises, and her condescending attitude towards Adolin is terrible. She treats him like a child, and just because he’s a happy, optimistic person, she assumes he’s ignorant. Even Kaladin can admit Adolin’s good qualities and skills, and he’s not the one betrothed to him.

One of the few characters getting more interesting is Renarin. Everyone seems to forget about him, but I want to know more. I feel bad he’s constantly being ignored or dismissed when there seems to be so much underneath the surface. If we ever get more of a look into his character, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he knows more than he’s letting on.

Renarin did his best not to squirm. It wasn't the first hug he'd endured from Rock. But … storms. You weren't supposed to just grab someone like that.
"Why?" Renarin said after the embrace.
"You looked like person who needed hug."
"I assure you, I never look like that."

This instalment could be considered the multiple personality book – everyone seems to have lost themselves a bit, and no one seems capable of managing the pressure. It’s probably more realistic, but not really the epic heroic fantasy I was expecting. There was a false start around 50% where it felt like things would get exciting, but it didn’t last long. Finally at 90%, shit starts getting good but 90% of 1586 Kindle pages is a lot to read before good things start happening.

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