*Published November 17, 2020*
You Guys!!!!!! You. GUYS!!!!!! This book is so good!!! I love it so much and I just have to tell you all about it! Promise, there will be no spoilers in this review, but there will be a lot of spazzing and fangirling.
Also! TW: Depictions of Mental Illness
The eagerly awaited sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling Oathbringer, from an epic fantasy writer at the top of his game.
After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage.
Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.
At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure.
This book has so much going on in it! And I mean, just so much! You have the story with Shallan and Adolin; you have Kaladin and his family, specifically his father; you have Taravangian; you have Venli and Eshonai; you have Navani; there are just so many stories and yet they still are all able to get the limelight that they need in order to move their stories forward. And with three bibles worth of stories before it, there are going to be some characters who don’t get as much story time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you will miss them as you start to notice who is written about as much.
You can definitely see that this book is about connections and how these connections serve a purpose, even if we don’t see this purpose from the start. You can see the connection between Kaladin and Lirin as Kaladin tries to find a new purpose, a new way to live and protect when others start to notice that his “battleshock,” his depression and anxiety have become too much for him to handle as well as being Highmarshal. You can see it again with Syl and Kaladin as Syl struggles to figure out how to help Kaladin when he’s in spiraling into a dark mood and she doesn’t understand.
We can see the connections that Shallan has, not only with her spren, Pattern, but with Adolin as well, how much these two (three? Several?) love each other and how they all try to keep Shallan going in such a way as to keep her mentally stable. We see Adolin’s connection with Maya, the deadeyes spren of his sword, and the love that Maya and Adolin have for each other.
We see the connections that Navani makes, not only with the science, and spren, of her world, but with others who are just as scholarly minded as she is, even if that pursuit of knowledge is coming an unexpected ally/rival. We see the sisterly connection, as well as the competitive connection, that Venli has/had with her sister Eshonai. We just how they came to be the people they were in previous books, and who they are now.
CONNECTIONS! Connections are what make this book go forward, and around and around. If this book could survive on perpetual motion, it would just because all of these connections pull on one another and there is always something being caused by another connection. I will say that I absolutely loved learning more about the world of Roshar and more about the Cosmere, and just a tiny bit more about Wit/Hoid as well. It’s always interesting to me to see what little bits of lore and knowledge we are able to pull from him when we get a look into his POV.
The whole of this book is about connections and how you interact and use those connections in your life. It’s also about the connections you made upholding you and keeping you going as well. It’s well shown a lot from Kaladin’s perspective, on how he seems to keep losing his connections, either with Bridge Four, or with his Windrunners, or even just losing those he was sworn to protect. In one specific part of the book though, we see Syl go and grab Adolin to encourage and bolster, and essentially bother Kaladin enough to not let him spiral down into darkness. This is how connections are supposed to work, to uphold and uplift us in our times of need, and we do the same to others in their times of need.
If you couldn’t tell by now just how much I LOVED this book, then you haven’t been reading this review. And if you haven’t read the book yet, then you need to read it and then come back and tell me what you think of it! Also, how do you use the connections in your life? How have they helped you? Comment below and let me know!