Spoiler Free Summary: Oathbringer is the third book in the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. My review for Book One is here. My review for Book Two is here. Dalinar Kholin has reached Urithiru. The Voidbringers have returned. However, Roshar isn’t united. While Odium’s forces gather, Dalinar must strive to find a way to get the nations to work together. But as he works toward his goal, his past begins to haunt him all over again. Kaladin returns home to face his past and learns the Voidbringers aren’t what he thought they were, in fact, they’re not what anyone thought they were. Shallan’s secrets mount against her, but the only way for her to progress is to continue to face them. Each role she takes fractures her mind again, and she must take control before she faces the challenges before her.
I wanted to do something different for this review since it wasn’t so long ago I did the original review. First off, I’m a huge fan of Sanderson. I’d read a napkin he scribbled on if he cared to sell it to me. So I wanted to point out some things I think are quintessential Sanderson using this book as an example.
The endings: Dear goodness this man knows how to write endings. They’re always fast paced and satisfying. This book is no different. To quantify it, I read the last fight in a night, maybe three hours. When I listened to it (additional readings are always done via audiobook), it turns out that’s seven hours. He drags you through. From the formation of the army at Thalen City to the last scene of the book, I couldn’t put it down, and every single event was total fan gratification. I count three “hopes” my brother and I had which were all met during that last portion of the book.
The magic system(s): Sanderson has a comic book nerd level of magic in his books. I love this because I remember being a kid and arguing who would win in a fight. I have a lot of fun theorizing what could be done with certain ability or how it might be used later. This book has a few cool new tricks, and hints at more cool stuff to come. I think anyone who loves X-Men or other superpower comic books should check out his work.
The characters: I’m simultaneously impossible and easy to please. I need sympathetic, proactive characters. Even the guy pouring the tea in this book has some degree of motivation and sympathy. I genuinely believe Sanderson has this wiki-document, and every character in it has an entire life story we haven’t seen. I don’t personally take that much effort. I’m like, “Dude, I just need someone to pour the tea.” This level of care is what separates the great from the rest, and frankly, I need to start respecting that. Dalinar and Kaladin are two amazing characters. I’m also personally a fan of Adolin, who I feels like the Dangerfield of the series. “I get no respect at all!”
The potential: What I mean by this is my favorite thing about a series (any long-format story) is the ability to theorize and guess. As I mentioned above, my brother and I had a lot of fun 1) trying to guess who Odium’s champion would be and 2) Rooting for Adolin to…well…do something he did. For the record, Ben was right, and I was wrong, but I’m very happy I was wrong. This sort of conversation starter is why shows like Walking Dead and Stranger Things are so popular. They generate conversation and fun.
Worldbuilding: Ok, this honestly isn’t something I personally love, but he’s great at it. The history, scope, and detail of this world (and the Cosmere) make a beautiful spiderweb look like a 2-year-old’s rage scribble. I don’t dislike it, but I think there are times when he’s just showing off (look how expansive this planet is). But I love the fact that I know there’s a rich history. Much like Wheel of Time, I’m interested in so much of the history. I’d rather not get that history lesson right in the middle of a book, but I’d honestly read a book about the ancient history of Roshar. Honestly, I’d read the book Way of Kings (not the actual book, but the one referenced). I’d read Dalinar’s Oathbringer, and I’d really love to get my hands on Hessi’s Mythica. I mean, I’d honestly buy those books if Brandon writes them or makes them available. I won’t read a textbook on grammar, but I’d read Mythica to learn more about the unmade (shows why my priorities are jacked).
Some of these items are things I review every time, but I want to expand on them a bit to better articulate why I feel Sanderson is simply the best in the game. I hope it adds a bit of spice to my usual Wednesday reviews.
Thanks for reading,
4 thoughts on “Book Review: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (Second Read)”
Thank you for the reminder I totally forgotten about this series of books. Your review is very good.
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Glad to see another Sanderson fan! Oathbringer was an amazing book, and I really enjoyed reading your review! : )
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Thank you so much. I feel in love with Sanderson after he was chosen to finish Wheel of Time. I read Mistborn to see if he held up to Jordan. I read Mistborn like, why is this guy right to finish this. Then I read Mistborn and I was like, “Oh, that’s why.’