If you’re looking for my typical review format, you can do that in my original review right here.
As for these subsequent reviews, I try to focus on whatever drew my attention.
I remember having an oddly polarizing set of emotions for Oathbringer, and this time going through reminded me of some of that, but I didn’t feel it as intently as I did the first time through. I don’t remember what I focused on for the second review or even The Thrill, which was sort of a cheat in my opinion.
What I remember is this is the book that (for me) confirms that Dalinar’s arc is one of the better arcs in fantasy fiction. I think what I come away with most is that if you are (or possibly were before this book) a fan of Kaladin’s this book might have rubbed you the wrong way. This relies on something I can appreciate in that it relies on an understanding of PTSD and how Mr. Sanderson conveyed that. If you understand that problem, then the debate is how it was conveyed, and while I do understand the condition to a degree, I think the problem is how the condition was conveyed depends how familiar one is with the actual condition.
That’s an interesting study in and of itself. I feel that this conversation is debatable. I wish it was conveyed better, and I wish there was more effort to address Kaladin’s abilities, which make it much harder for a casual reader to buy off on because it can be pretty hard to understand what Kaladin was actually going through. I personally feel it was accurately conveyed, but only to the degree I mentioned above. Now that’s awesome in the effort Sanderson obviously put forth to treat the condition with dignity, and I appreciate that. However, if I were a bug in Sanderson’s ear, I might have asked that he create the circumstances to make it more difficult for a Windrunner.
I would also argue that the degree to which I was disappointed in Kaladin’s arc was at most equal (if not less than) the degree to which I loved Dalinar’s arc.
Watching Dalinar grow from beginning to end would have created a far more complex situation than letting us get to know the man he is before we see the man he was, and that’s something some authors need to consider. A lot of writers (especially new ones) are very linear, and while that might really work in most situations, to get locked into a certain formula cuts one off from opportunities that might be even better.
Ultimately I feel this book is polarizing and depends on where fans of the series weigh their love of Dalinar in comparison to their love of Kaladin. Thankfully, the next volume brings all that back together.
Thanks for reading,