Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson| Review

Stormlight #2.5

Pages: 270

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Synopsis

Lift has appeared a few times in the first two Stormlight books, but here you get an entire story around her. From how she saved the prince, to seeing more of how she is able to use her awesomeness, Lift being hunted and hunting the Darkness and trying to find out if she wants to take on responsibilities.

 

My thoughts

Rating out of five:

fire

I read this fairly quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it. I just picked this book up because I wanted to start Oathbringer and saw many recommendations to read this first. Lift’s story was a really positive surprise, as there wasn’t much focus on her in the first two Stormlight books I didn’t realize her childish personality had such a context and background. She’s smart, in ways I recognize from Mistborn’s Vin and that helps to take her seriously. I really liked her as a character and am looking forward to finding out her place in Oatbringer and why Sanderson seemed it necessary to tell this story. Not that I’m complaining as it’s a good one!

The story itself managed to surprise me a couple times. Like I suspected certain people to be more than appeared, which Sanderson always does in these books, but not in the ways that mattered in the end. I especially like how the whole self-discovery of Lift is well-done, without being very obvious about it as she’s running away (again), handling a new city and plotting her way through every crisis. There’s no better way to get to know characters personalities than through their interactions with others and a few moral dilemmas.

It had started to consume her. If she’d stayed, how long would it have been before she wasn’t Lift anymore? How long until she’d have been gobbled up, another girl left in her place? Similar face, but at the same time all new?

Also Wyndle is absoloutly adorable, even if he seems pretty annoying to have to deal with all the time. I love the dynamic talking with Voidbringers or other daemons/magical animals brings. In every book, but this one in particular, Sanderson writes with such a playfullness that I sometimes think he’s mocking us all and it’s wonderful.

I would recommend reading this book if you’ve started the Stormlight Archive and is interested! I read it between the second and third book, as seems to be right. A tips is to get the “Arcanum Unbounded” by Sanderson as it contains Edgedancer and other Cosmere short stories by Sanderson, for about the same price.

The feelings this book gave me: pure glee and grinding my teeth in fear of Lift getting caught at every corner, warm feelings for this world and all the personalities in it.

 

favourite quotes *spoilers*

“I want control,” she said, opening her eyes. “Not like a king or anything. I just want to be able to control it, a little. My life. I don’t want to get shoved around, by people or by fate or whatever. I just . . . I want it to be me who chooses.”

“I will listen,” Lift shouted, “to those who have been ignored!”

 

 

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson | Review

Stormlight Archive #1

Pages: 1000

Genre: epic fantasy

 

Synopsis

A new Cosmere novel, it’s an epic story of war and kings battling for power on the world of Roshar. Shardblades and Shardblades transforms normal men into near invincible warriors and to obtain them many has given their life and even traded kingdoms. The battle of the Shattered Plains one of the worst, and the place Kaladin was brought as a slave. He was a soldier before a betrayal, and now he’s in the front line carrying a bridge and watching everyone around him fall by the enemy’s arrows. In a war that doesn’t make sense, where the armies are uncordinated and the many leaders always has more slaves coming to take the dead one’s place, Kaladin’s trying to survive. At least most of the time.

At the same time a Brightlord and commander of an army Dalinar Kholin is having visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant and he can’t decide if they’re real. His late brother, the king, seemed to go mad with the same thing at the end. Across the ocean a young woman named Shallan is plotting her own plans trying to save her family. She’s trying to train under a scholar, heretic and overall unusual person, Dalinar’s niece Jasnah. Everything is intertwined in this confusing war.

 

My thoughts

Rating out of five:

fem

It’s the best series I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson yet, having read Mistborn, some of The Reckoners and Warbreaker. They’re all complex, amazing stories. But in this series you really start to see the connections to the Cosmere universe, if you know where to look.

The characters are all well-written and dimensional, with unique personalities and their own motives, like any Sanderson characters. My favourite in this book I would have to say is between Kaladin and Dalinar. Kaladin has been betrayed and branded a slave, he’s basically sent on suicide missions the whole book with his team at bridge four. The momen he takes on the responsibility of his fellow bridgemen’s lives my interest of him as a character along with respect for him was through the roof. The things he accomplishes from there and the journey he has, where he’s beaten down so many times physically and mentally, it really makes this book.

But he’s nowhere near the only character this book is about, I think I even like Dalinar even better. He’s the perfect general-character, with his flaws and strengths and mannerism. How does Sanderson write every trope so well? Shallan is another great character, as she travels to the scholar Jasnah to train under her and steal something from her. But Shallan has her flaws, which sometimes made me really annoyed at her character and how – understandably – immature she is compared to the rest of them.

The plot is great, and I won’t say much about it in fear of spoiling it. There’s lots of battle scenes, and I enjoyed following Kaladin and his bridge the most, as they tried to survive being in the front line, basically as bait for the Parshendis attacking. The magic system, with the storm-infused spheres as sources. What can I say, except gush over how incredible it is. Something that used to be of value to magicians has since become actual currency, which becomes vital for the plot, it’s great.

I feel myself wanting to say this is not the book to start with if you haven’t read Sanderson before, maybe with the exception of being really into high fantasy. It’s easy to get into the world in comparison to other similiar books I’ve read, but it’s still a lot of info, especially connecting it to the Cosmere plotline and I won’t understand everything until further read-throughs. I’m so excited to see where the rest of the series is going!

 

– favourite quotes –

*warning: minor spoilers*

“Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”

“A man’s emotions are what define him, and control is the hallmark of true strength. To lack feeling is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.”

“He’d never been an optimist. He saw the world as it was, or he tried to. That was the problem, though, when the truth he saw was so terrible.”

“The immortal words: ¨Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.”

 

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson | Review

Pages: 690
Genre: epic fantasy

wb2.jpg

Summary

The people of Hallandren’s Gods, like Lightsong, are regular humans who died in a heroic way and was brought back to life using magic. No matter how hard Lightsong tries, he can’t remember his death or past life, as is the same with all gods, and he questions the belief people hold of him. After all, the thought of him being the god of bravery proves something’s gone wrong.

The God King, Susebron, are to marry one of the princesses Vivieanna or Siri of Idris. Vivienna has been trained for court and this fate her whole life, but her father the king considers her too valuable to let go. With that decision war would be on them, and so he sends his younger, more unruly daughter Siri instead.

Vasher is an immortal and exactly what he’s planning no one knows. His bloodthirsty, talking sword Nightblood are by his side and so are thousands of Breaths. Magic is colorful in this world and it comes in the form of breaths. Every person carry one Breath each and if one buys or gathers enough, few things become impossible.

My thoughts

fire

I really enjoyed this book. It has a lot of elements I have missed in fantasy, like the quality of the interesting political intrigues. Not to forget the fantastic world-building, twists and mysteries that makes you constantly question the gods’ place and how this world actually works. Sanderson’s one of the best at playing around with gods and belief-systems, and this is a perfect example of that. Theology is a corner stone in the development of characters and the story, without overlessing you with facts or becoming too complex to follow for regular readers.

There’s five (i believe) different points of view and Siri is telling the story a lot in the beginning, as she’s beginning her journey. I didn’t like Siri or her sister Vivenna as much as I would’ve liked, but I still cared enough to worry about them. Siri is a strong, if young and inexperienced, main character and it’s not her fault she’s thrown into this new country without preparation. Or maybe a little, since she quickly realizes she should’ve paid attention in her classes. Vivienna on the other hand is a leader, but perhaps in over her head. They’re both faulty people, and the book shows that well.

Vasher’s point of view was interesting, but there’s so much mystery surrounding him it can get a bit overwhelming. His sword Nightblood has to be my favourite magical object and it’s worth reading the book just for its sarcastic witty comments and fights. 

I completely fell in love with Lightsong and his place in the story. He’s a minor god of bravery and automatically controls parts of the troops, even if he jokes about giving the responsibility away. No Lightsong on board = no war. He’s tried to stay out of the political intrigues and works hard to convince himself and everyone else he’s useless. The reason I love him is how he thinks about how lazy he is and unfit for the job, while sneaking around trying to find answers. That’s devotion. I mean;

“Have you no thoughts on the matter?“ Blushweaver finally asked.
“I try to avoid having thoughts. They lead to other thoughts, and-if you’re not careful-those lead to actions. Actions make you tired. I have this on rather good authority from someone who once read it in a book.”
Blushweaver sighed. “You avoid thinking, you avoid me, you avoid effort… is there anything you don’t avoid?”
“Breakfast.” 

I didn’t like Warbreaker as much as the Mistborn series, I just prefer those characters and magic-system, but it’s absoloutly worth a read or three. It’s a good place to start with Brandon Sanderson’s books since it’s only one book (for now) with a complete story, where many others are series. Warbreaker had a perfect balance of humour, focus on characters and solving the mysteries of the plot!  

– favourite quotes – 

“I swear, my dear. Sometimes our conversations remind me of a broken sword.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Sharp as hell,” Lightsong said, “but lacking a point.” 

“Lightsong had never bothered to learn the rules.
He found it more amusing to play when he had no idea what he was doing.”

“So much evil, Nightblood said, like a woman tisking as she cleaned cobwebs from her ceiling.”