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Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson


by Brandon Sanderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Stormlight Archive (3), Cosmere (15)

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3551530,716 (4.4)26



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This series pulls you in and grabs you and won't let go. You want to read further to find out how things work in this world, what can the characters do, what new powers will they get when they move through the levels of Radiance, what exactly is a spren, etc. I am looking forward to reading further, but at the moment I would rather that Brandon wraps it all up in the next book. Don't ruin a masterpiece by fleshing out the future storyline too much ... please. ( )
  Jawin | Mar 8, 2018 |
Massive book that is unfortunately not quite as good as the previous ones. There's just so much going on on so many different levels. Fortunately the plot does move forward, mostly in the second half of the book and there are quite a few interesting revelations. ( )
  Guide2 | Feb 21, 2018 |
Finishing all 1242 pages of Oathbringer felt like such an achievement.

During the first half, I kept thinking Why is this book so long, why didn’t someone force him to edit it more?, because I found the book physically unwieldy and relatively easy to put down. It’s not uncommon for books to take a quarter, or even a third of the story to set everything in motion and to suck me in, but it is uncommon for that act to so storming long!

However, by the second half, I’d worked out which reading postures didn’t put as much strain on my hands, or neck, and the story had gained a lot of momentum. There are great moments, interesting - sometimes unexpected, sometimes anticipated - developments, and general epicness. And the way everything came together in the end was so satisfying.

This took longer to read than I’d anticipated; I don’t read books of over a thousand pages very often.
I think I was also reading a bit slower than I sometimes do, especially at first, because I was doing extra processing. It’s a few years since I read Words of Radiance, so - even though I’d read a recap/refresher online - there were a lot of characters and complex worldbuilding with which to re-acquaint myself. As I read, I was also trying to remember things and making connections with the previous books.

Oathbringer is Dalinar’s story. It’s about his attempts to build a coalition and it’s about his past - the things he’s forgotten and how he deals with his memories and how this all connects to his present. His narrative arc is a fascinating one about choices, consequences and changing who you are. And it was interesting seeing his struggles with addiction. He’s not the only character who continues to suffer from mental health issues in this series and I like how realistically they’re handled.
I like Dalinar - at least I like middle-aged Dalinar; his younger self is not very honorable or compassionate, and sometimes that made it hard to read about him. However, I find the younger characters, such as Shallan and Kaladin, easier to relate to - and they’re more likely to engage in banter too, either because of their own personality or that of those they’re closest to. For me, the story really picked up once those characters were sent off on a mission together.

There’s a character who turned up at a point in the story where it was bothering me how, with the exception of Shallan, the female characters were relegated to supporting, background roles. This character doesn’t change that - she’s a minor, non-POV character - but she’s introduced in such a way that other characters assume she’s a man and it was such a nice surprise to discover that they were wrong. More capable and intriguing women, please and thank you!
And then I realised who she was! Cue much gleeful flailing.
Anyway, as the story progressed, I felt like there were more female POV sections, or maybe just more opportunities for those characters to demonstrate their awesomeness.

Oathbringer takes a couple of characters I previously did not care for and made me a lot more interested in reading about them. One I was not surprised by, as after Words of Radiance, it looked like they’d be spending time with another character I find amusing. And I am here for the humour, more so than the epic worldbuilding - or rather, I’m only interested in epic worldbuilding insofar as it affects characters I care about.
But the other was definitely unexpected.

I still think this could have been a tighter story, but I don’t mind so much now. It all feels worthwhile.

But next time I need to remember to reread the previous books first.

“Funny, isn’t it, how so many of our stories start the same way, but have opposite endings? In half, the child ignores her parents, wanders out into the woods, and gets eaten. In the other half she discovers great wonders. There aren't many stories about the kids who say ‘Yes, I shall not go into the forest. I’m glad my parents explained that is where the monsters live’.” ( )
  Herenya | Feb 4, 2018 |
Book Three of the Stormlight archive should have been the last book, but it isn't. Unfortunately, it doesn't advance the story very far or fill in enough gaps from the previous books. A lot of pages are wasted on backstory in this book, where by now in the third book, we should be past that. In particular, a lot of time is spent on the backstory of Dalinar Kholin and not enough on the other characters, or other elements of the plot. I found this book very slow going. The characters are good, but not enough time is spent on the setting, plot or other basic elements of the story. After three huge books on the subject, there's still too much mystery about the central mystery of this series - the relationship between humans, parshmen and spren and how that all relates to magic, the gods, the Radiants and other really important aspects of the series that still aren't clear. This also has the unfortunate tendency of other large fantasy epics in that it saves all the key action to the end. Other things happen in between but it creates the inevitable sense that we're just being forced to read to get to the end - and a lot of what we're reading isn't important. Disappointing and over-rated. ( )
  Karlstar | Jan 30, 2018 |

The long-awaited 3rd book in the Stormlight Archive series! Although, really, this wasn't THAT long a wait. I mean, the guy wrote his longest book yet (1220 pages) in 3 years (which is one year less than he took to write book 2). So, kudos to him for that.

More kudos to him for writing something worthwhile reading. This book was never a slog. Also, it did three very important things:

- Bolstered his case for why religion matters to the masses. As with any book Sanderson writes, he does not write it from the viewpoint of the Mormon faith (although maybe a teensy bit more in this one, with complicated mysteries being revealed to some extent), but instead from the viewpoint of why religion should not be discounted as a major factor in people's lives (and certainly not as an opiate or a crutch).

- Developed further his theories around forgiveness. You could put this into the same box as the first thing, but this book actually made these theories explicit. He took each of his major characters (Shallan, Dalinar, Kaladin, and to some extent Teft, Adolin, Jasnah and Szeth) and described their hardships further, why it was difficult for them to forgive themselves, and what they needed to do to get there. Plus all the reasons why it's important to forgive yourself the right way, not the wrong way (specifically, learning from your mistakes).

- Continued the story! We want to know a lot lot lot more about who the Parshmen are, who the Voidbringers are, who our protagonists' true enemies are or will be, what the storms really mean, and why the heck spren and humans can bond or not bond. He moves all those stories forward in significant ways (but the biggest mystery surrounding Urithiru remains). The book itself is not actually about the sword (Oathbringer), it's about the war (which the sword factors into). And fear not, he completes that war. Sanderson is not one to leave you hanging on a major plot point. He has 7 more books to go, and has a lot of story to tell. ( )
  khage | Jan 25, 2018 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Eshonai had always told her sister that she was certain something wonderful lay over the next hill.
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