Tag Archives: Brandon Sanderson

Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson : Review

25188109
God-Emperor Kairominas is lord of all he surveys. He has defeated all foes, has united the entire world beneath his rule, and has mastered the arcane arts. He spends his time sparring with his nemesis, who keeps trying to invade Kai’s world.

Except for today. Today, Kai has to go on a date.

One of the things I have come to love about Brandon Sanderson is that he proves with every new release that he is not done growing as a writer and that he isn’t afraid to let his stories get a little weird.  And there is no denying how weird I found Perfect State to be, it is an odd combination of science fiction and fantasy. Throughout all the years that I have been a reader I have only ever found one author who can combine elements of science fiction and fantasy and not have it turn out horrible–Anne Mccaffrey. I probably shouldn’t be as surprised as I am that Brandon Sanderson nailed that combination so well with Perfect State.

In the last 300 years God-Emperor Kairominas has managed to conquer and unify all of his known world, and has managed to master all aspects of his Lancing ability except weather control, and one day he knows he will learn that as well. There is only one thing left in the world he has yet to do, and it has been determined it is time for Kai to find an appropriate mate and procreate. When you have the power of a god you would think that there would be nothing left that could scare you, but Kai is terrified.

Despite the fact that this is a non Cosmere novella– I haven’t been a big fan of the non Cosmere stories Brandon has released so far, Perfect State has turned out to be one of my favorites. Despite being another of his shorter novella’s, I found the world building of Perfect State to be surprisingly solid and detailed without feeling rushed or crammed. Plus, Brandon Sanderson almost wrote a sex scene…I almost dropped my book while I was reading it thinking he was going to take the scene to its conclusion, it’s a very risque book by Brandon’s normal standards!

I really hope Brandon continues the story of this novella in the same way that he has continued the story of Legion and that we really get to see exactly where Kairomina’s story ends up going.


Shadows For Silence In The Forests of Hell by Brandon Sanderson : Review

21411388


When the familiar and seemingly safe turns lethal, therein danger lies. Amid a forest where the shades of the dead linger all around, every homesteader knows to follow the Simple Rules: “Don’t kindle flame, don’t shed the blood of another, don’t run at night. These things draw shades.”

Silence Montane has broken all three rules on more than one occasion. And to protect her family from a murderous gang with high bounties on  their heads, Silence will break every rule again, at the risk of becoming a shade herself.

I wasn’t sure what I would think of Shadows For Silence In The Forests Of Hell when I started reading it, I had heard a little too much about how short it was compared to the rest of Brandon’s stories. While I don’t think it was long enough to justify it being called a novella, the fact that it’s so slow is a testament to Brandon’s skill as a writer. He has taken a very short story and filled it with an impressive amount of character and detail without having the story feel weighted down.

 Silence Montane is a Forescout–those who were the first people to leave the Homeland to explore and settle a new continent. She has learned to survive in a world where the very trees around you seek your blood, and the shades of the dead seek to destroy you. The owner of one of the safest waystop in the Forest, Silence will do whatever it takes to protect her waystop and keep her family safe, even if it means breaking every rule of survival she has learned from birth.

Despite the lack of the interesting magic systems that have become the trademarks of a Brandon Sanderson story, Shadows For Silence In The Forests Of Hell is probably one of the best things I have read this year so far. I did not expect to read one of Brandon’s stories and be glad I left my bedroom light on while I did so, it is truly the creepiest story I have seen him write so far. Threnody may not be one of the more important Shard/Cosmere worlds, but I really hope Brandon chooses to revisit it some time in the near future.

While any fan of Brandon Sanderson would love this story as much as I do, I would really suggest anyone who has not read any of Brandon’s works read it as well. I would be shocked if they were not a die-hard fan by the end of the story.


Firefight (Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson : Review

15704459

They told David it was impossible–that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart–invincible, immortal, unconquerable–is dead. And he died by David’s hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there’s no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic–

. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

I wasn’t really surprised at how good Brandon Sanderson’s Firefight was — the man is a writing machine. I don’t think it is possible for him to write a bad book, in fact I would be shocked to find a book of his I did not enjoy. What I did find surprising however, was how much better I found Firefight to be when compared to Steelheart. It has always been my opinion that Sanderson’s YA books read more like middle grade but with Firefight I didn’t find that to be the case. I feel like the characters deal with issues darker than ones Sanderson has broached before in one of his YA books. It really made the book that much more enjoyable.

In the first book of the series we meet David Charleston a teenage boy who has dedicated his life to the study of Epics in an attempt to learn their weaknesses in an attempt to bring down the Epic who killed his father–Steelheart. After joining a group of freedom fighters known as the Reckoners David is finally successful in his lifelong goal. He has killed Steelheart and the city of Newcago is finally free. But without his quest for vengeance to sustain him, David soon finds himself without goal or sense of purpose.

After another High Epic begins sending lesser Epics to Newcago to kill the Reckoners for daring to kill the cities ruler, David soon finds himself on his way half way across the country. David soon learns though, that everything is not as it seems in Babyilon Restored, the city formerly known as Manhattan, and he begins to question everything he thought he knew about Epics. Can an Epic be saved from his or her own power?

I really enjoyed how fast paced this book was, I burned through it in a single day and it wasn’t even because it was short. There was just so much action and every chapter ended on a one liner or cliffhanger that forced me to keep reading to know what happens next. I even found I enjoyed David a lot more this book than I did in Steelheart, he’s still as driven and motivated as before but he has a new goal and after the events of Steelheart he isn’t so narrow minded when it comes to Epics. He shows a lot more maturity, thought, and common sense than most of the adults in the book who are supposed to know better.

In addition to the awesome new setting and David’s new and improved attitude, the newly introduced Epics are really quite something. We get a really good look at the broad spectrum of super powers available, and get a good look at the fact that not all Epics are high powered, semi-invincible monsters. Firefight really throws some light onto just what the Epic’s are, where they get their powers, and why they corrupt them the way they seem to.

I was really disappointed in myself for finishing this book so fast, I kept telling myself I would take my time and spread it out over a few days. Now I have to wait an entire year for Calamity to released and to get the conclusion to the story that I desperately crave.

While I think anyone who is a fan of Brandon Sanderson, urban fantasy, or superhero fiction would enjoy this story, I really do suggest everyone reads Steelheart and the short story Mitosis first. I didn’t read Mitosis and I found myself a bit confused at time because of all the references, so I can only assume it will be 10 times worse to someone who hasn’t read the first book.

If you’re interested, check out this 5 minute clip from the Firefight audiobook courtesy of Audible.


Best Books of 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, it seemed fitting to look back over the past year and share our favourite reads. There are some duplicates, and there are quite a few we didn’t review… but read on, and share your thoughts!

Meagan’s (ARamone):

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe

What if

What If? is a good read for scientifically-minded and just plain curious people alike. With often high-end science being explained in a down-to-earth, accessible way, this book is going to make you laugh while also making you think.

Dragons at Crumbling Castle, by Terry Pratchett

Dragons

A collection of Pratchett’s earliest work, written and published in his teenaged years, Dragons at Crumbling Castle gives us a look into the mind of a young but already skilled author. A true delight for all Pratchett fans, and a must-have for fans of his work.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss

slowregr

This book focuses on Auri, one of the most relatable characters in The Kingkiller Chronicles, and takes us through a typical week of hers. Rothfuss’ writing makes her odd logic and justifications seem perfectly normal, making this book a delightful read for any fan of the books.

Continue reading


It’s Giveaway Time!

Everyone loves giveaways, and I have a fondness for giving things away.

I do have a Rafflecopter linked below (WordPress STILL doesn’t allow them to be integrated on sites), however, I want to do something a bit more fun than that.

After careful deliberation and crawling through Google, we’ve come up with:

 

Comment with one (or two) quotes from a novel, which, without context are seemingly inappropriate/absurd.

(Click here for some examples)

You can of course comment with more than two if you so desire, but you’ll only get bonus entries for the first two. They’re worth +2 entries each.

At random, one grand-prize winner will be selected, as will five others.

Prizes

Not pictured (still in the mail):  Jim Butcher bookplates 2 Sam Sykes bookplates

Not pictured (still in the mail):
Jim Butcher bookplates
2 Sam Sykes bookplates

  • 5 signed Brandon Sanderson bookplates
  • 3 signed Jim Butcher bookplates
  • 3 signed David Anthony Durham bookplates
  • 3 signed Sam Sykes bookplates
  • 2 signed Brian McClellan bookplate
  • 2 signed The Rithmatist bookmarks
  • (many) Tai’Shar Manetheren bumper stickers
  • 4 Wheel of Time info booklet
  • 3 Signed Larry Dixon art prints

The grand-prize winner will receive one of each available prize, provided they respond within 48 hours of being contacted. The five other winners will be able to pick a prize of their choice, subject to availability, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

As mentioned earlier, there’s also a rafflecopter live on our Facebook page right now. Head over to check it out. The winners will be chosen from both the comments and there.

The contest is open worldwide, and ends November 13th, 11:58pm. EST; winners will be contacted no later than November 15th.

Good luck!


Compilation of ALS Ice Bucket Challenges Completed by authors

For those who have been living under a rock for the past week or so, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a challenge to dump a bucket of ice on yourself. Once you’ve done so, you nominate three others to take up the challenge themselves. However, it’s not just doing it for the sake of doing it. The intent is to promote awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and to encourage donations to fund research and support. More information can be found here. (Link leads to ALS US, additional links have been included at the bottom of the post.)

There’s been no shortage of well-known people who have taken up the challenge, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, George Takei, Bill Gates, The Foo Fighters, and dozens of others. However, I’ve decided to round up videos from authors who have accepted the challenge.I know there’s likely quite a few that I’m missing, feel free to let me know of any, and I’ll add them to the post.

Patrick Rothfuss

Tad Williams (not on Youtube, it’s a Facebook video)

George R. R. Martin

Neil Gaiman

Brandon Sanderson

Jim Butcher

Stephen King

Alex Bledsoe

Dan Wells

Chuck Wendig

Hugh Howey

Pierce Brown

What’s been your favourite one so far? Any that I’m missing and need to be added? Let me know!


ALS Global

ALS Canada (English)

ALS Canada (French)

MND Association (England, Wales, Northern Ireland)

MND Scotland (Scotland)

Stichting ALS Nederland (Netherlands)

The ALS League of Belgium/ALS Liga België (Belgium)

Asociación ELA/EMN (Spain)

Asociación Española de Esclerosis Lateral Amiotrófica (ADELA) (Spain)

ALS-Vereinigung (Switzerland)

MND Australia

MNDA (New Zealand)

Associazione Italiana Sclerosci Lterale Amiotrofia (AISLA ONLUS) (Italy)

 


Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson : Review

17182126

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. 

Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. 

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

While this isn’t the type of book I typically read, (I tend to avoid superhero type books), Brandon Sanderson‘s Steelheart is an imaginative, and enjoyable read. Taking place in future Chicago,Steelheart follows David on his quest for revenge, ten years after Steelheart kills his father.

While this was an enjoyable read, I found myself not entirely a fan of the characters. The protagonist, David, felt to be too perfect, with no real flaws besides for some awful metaphors (a bit ‘Mary Sue’ in my opinion), The characterization felt weak and a shallow (with only a couple exceptions) compared to many that we see in his other novels, which was a bit disappointing. However, I did enjoy the dynamics between the Reckoners, and as always with Sanderson’s works, there’s more to them than there seems to be on the surface. There were some great backstories to go along with a couple of the characters.

The plot of the book felt a bit formulaic — being extremely reminiscent of the first Mistborn novel (fans of his other books will feel right at home while reading Steelheart). However, the story had an interesting premise, was well-executed and was a fast-paced story. And as with all of Sanderson’s novels, his world-building skills showed clearly throughout the novel.

While this isn’t my favourite of his works, Sanderson once again proves himself to be a fantastic writer, painting a vivid picture of a strange new world, with vivid battles and a new magic system. Steelheart was a fun and entertaining read. It’s definitely written with a young adult audience in mind. I did enjoy it more than I did his other YA novel, The Rithmatist which came out earlier this year.

Steelheart will be released September 24th, and the sequel is set to be released sometime next year.

The prologue is available to be read here.


Unfettered Anthology edited by Shawn Speakman : Review


Unfettered-Cover

Normally in my reviews I’ll take a step back, and try to remove all bias. They’re formulaic: a description, the good, the bad, something else good, a general summary, and the release date of the novel, or the sequel, if there is one. That’s not something I did here. Be warned, this is a long one.

Unfettered is a fantasy anthology, containing stories from many of the biggest names in fantasy out there right now. It’s a wonderful amalgamation of talent, put together by and for the editor, Shawn Speakman. The anthology was put together in order to help Speakman’s medical debt after a fight with cancer back in 2011. The stories in this anthology are exactly what the title says — unfettered. They’re all unique; some take place in familiar worlds, while others are a step away into a different fancy of the authors.

I’ve met a bunch of the authors in the anthology, and for many of those I haven’t  yet had a chance to meet, I’ve read their books, talked to them online,  or heard things about them… and it’s one thing to know them and to think of them as being good people, but it’s another entirely, to realize just how caring, and how close the SF/Fantasy community is. If anything can show it, it’s this anthology — the 20 or so authors coming together to support one of their own in a time of need. It really is amazing, and it made this anthology all that much better. To me, it kind of served as an affirmation of the good that is out there.

I wasn’t entirely sure how to write this review — so, I’ve decided I will start at the beginning, and just have a few sentences for each of the stories. For some of them, I could write full reviews on, but I think it will be best this way.

Anyways, without further ado, the stories:

Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks:

This is an older story by Brooks, first published back in 1990, and served as a prototype of sorts for his Word and the Void series. It was an interesting read, and very different for me, as I’d only read his Shannara books previously. It’s an enjoyable read of self-discovery and overcoming challenges.

How Old Holly Came to Be by Patrick Rothfuss:

First off, don’t go into this story expecting a story from the Kingkiller Chronicles world; it isn’t. I’m not entirely sure on my feelings about this story, it’s very different and interesting. It’s written in a very rhythmic and almost simplistic way… I found it to be poetic, and rather sad.

The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams

This story was a bit of a fun twist on the old “Knight vs Dragon” story. In this one, the knight and the dragon work together to con the kingdom. I found it to be a cute read, well written and very enjoyable.

Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn

This was the first story of Vaughn’s that I’ve read, and I think it to be a good introduction to her writing. Her story contained a dynamic world, backstory, and characters — it felt to be that this was part of a novel, not just a short story.

The Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey

This one was another first for me, having never read her Kushiel series or anything else by her before. However, The Martyr of the Roses serves as a precursor to the Kushiel series, and serves as an interesting introduction to the world, though I did find myself feeling a bit lost at times.

Mudboy by Peter V. Brett

Brett’s story is probably amongst the top three stories I was looking forward to reading most in this anthology. Set in the Demon Cycle world, it’s the story of what would have been one of the main characters in the series. It was similar to that of Arlen, Rojer, and a few of the other characters in that it’s an encounter with the corelings. It was quite good, well written; and helps as a tie-over while waiting for book 4. (Plus, it included bacon!)

The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian

Instead of being a short story, this one was more of a novelette, or a novella. Set in the same universe as The Vault of Heaven, it had an interesting magic system based on music. There’s a lot of raw emotion in this story; frustration, anger, regret, grief and mourning. This story is written in response to the question: What would you write if you thought your friend was going to die?

The Coach With Big Teeth by R.A. Salvatore

I expected something very different when I saw that Salvatore had a story in the anthology, after all, I’ve read almost all of the Drizzt Do’urden novels, and yet, this was very different. This story was probably the hardest for me to get through, as it was a baseball story, following a young timid baseball player.

Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood

Lockwood’s story is another that I was really looking forward to. I grew up recognizing his art; seeing it on many of my favourite novels, and admiring his talent. So when I heard that he was going to step into writing, I had an immense curiosity as to if he could write as well as he could draw, and well.. I really enjoyed this story, it was interesting and well-written. I think Lockwood is a promising writer, and I look forward to reading more of his writing.

Heaven in a Wild Flower by Blake Charlton

I was really uncertain about this story at first, quite frankly I found it odd, and I wasn’t sure if that was in a good way or not. However, after a few short pages I found myself loving it. It has an interesting concept; the story was beautiful, and so very sad.

Dogs by Daniel Abraham

I was kind of at odds with this story; as with Salvatore’s story, it wasn’t really fantasy. However, after rereading it, I find that it was a good read, it’s a horror story more than anything, and quite well-written.

The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne

This story was a retelling of The Holy Grail story, only, it was very different. The changes to the story, featuring Attricus O’Sullivan (from The Iron Druid Chronicles) as Gawain, and as the finder of the Grail. It was certainly interesting, and not a bad read at all.

Select Mode by Mark Lawrence

This is a Jorg story from The Broken Empire novels, I found it to be a good read, and it certainly doesn’t require you to have read the series in order to understand what’s going on. Though, it does serve as a good introduction to Lawrence’s writing, and the series in general.

All The Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham

I don’t really have any words for this one other than “cute”. I heard Durham read this story back in November at the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto. It follows Michael Stein, the ghost of a dead cat who won’t let death get in the way of him caring for the girl he loves, and was his companion in life.

Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth

This is the origin story for Iris and Ivan from Bosworth’s Struck. It can be read without reading the novel. The story was interesting, though I think it may be easier to appreciate the story already knowing the characters.

Nocturne by Robert V.S. Redick

Redick’s story is another that took me a little while to get into before I enjoyed; however, after reading a bit of it I found it to be an engaging story. I don’t know if I’d say that it’s a great introduction to his writing, though, that could just be me.

Unbowed by Eldon Thompson

I haven’t read the Thompson’s Legend of Asahiel series yet, but this story serves as an introduction to Kylac Kronus. The series, and Thompson’s writing seem to be interesting and quite good, after reading the story I find myself looking forward to reading the series.

In Favour With Their Stars by Naomi Novik

Set in the Temeraire-universe, fans of Novik’s novels, and readers who haven’t yet picked them up will enjoy this story. I believe it serves as an intriguing introduction to her world, and writing. I’ve only read the first novel so far, but this story reminded me of how much I do enjoy her writing.

River of Souls by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

… Can I skip this one, please…? This story was extremely bittersweet. As a longtime Wheel of Time fan, I had reconciled that A Memory of Light would be it, then shortly after, I heard about this short story. So, there’s a lot of the same feelings, the knowledge that after so many years: this is it. River of Souls is a deleted scene from AMOL, featuring Bao and his time in Shara. Though, readers who haven’t read the series or AMOL should be wary of some minor spoilers.

The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan

The Jester is a standalone story that takes place after The Rose and the Thorn and before Theft of Swords; it features an adventure that Royce and Hadrian go on. This was quite possibly one of my favourite stories in the anthology, I found it to be a quite enjoyable read, and simply put, I love his writing.

The Duel by Lev Grossman

Set in the same world of his Magicians trilogy, fans of his writing and the series should enjoy this story. This was my first time reading a story by Grossman, and while he’s undoubtedly a talented writer, I couldn’t quite get into his story. Though, I intend on rereading it.

Walker and the Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks

The penultimate story in this anthology, it’s probably more along the lines of what I went into his first story expecting: a Shannara story. This story is exactly what the title says it is — a discussion between Walker Boh and the shade of Allanon. I enjoyed reading the interactions between the two. This story is a short deleted scene from one of the Shannara novels. Though, readers who have no yet read the Shannara series may find themselves lost. I’m not entirely sure.

The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman

Yet another bittersweet moment, though, that was mainly due to it being the final story in the anthology. This story is set in Speakman’s The Dark Thorn world, though, many years before the events of the novel. At first I was a bit put-off, as in the introduction he mentioned that it contains both vampires and urban fantasy — two things I tend to avoid, yet, I’m glad that I stuck through it, as it definitely was an enjoyable read and quite interesting.

Well, that’s my two-pence on each of the stories. I tried to keep it brief for each of them, not wanting to give anything away, while still sharing a bit of my opinion on each — I hope I succeeded in doing so.

I implore you to go out and get a copy of the anthology and support Shawn Speakman. He’s a deserving guy, and can really use the help. Plus, it IS filled with fantastic stories from some of the masters of fantasy, you’ll get a bunch of great reads, and snippets from authors you might not yet be familiar with.

E-copies are available on Amazon, or if you’d like to get a physical copy, head over to Grim Oak Press to order a copy — there’s a limited number of them, so get it while you can.


The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson : Review

10137823

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.

The Rithmatist, the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s YA series, was an enjoyable read, with an interesting concept. In The Rithmatist, the magic system is unlike any I’ve read before —  based on chalk drawings which can come to life when drawn by certain people, and have the power to kill. All of this is explained quite well, and clarified through the use of diagrams which helped to enrich the story.

As I said, this was an interesting concept. While reading a story about people who are able to magically draw chalk figures and circles might sound a bit odd, I always find myself looking forward to what Sanderson writes, and what magic systems he comes up with. Though different than his typical style, The Rithmatist did not disappoint, and the back story he created for it — which, not fully revealed in this novel, integrates itself in the world quite nicely, which is an “alternate Earth.”  The world is set in early 20th century, mentioning a lot of familiar figures and locations — America, Europe, Da Vinci.

While I don’t typically read novels intended for young adult or young readers, I still enjoyed this novel thoroughly. Adult readers will still find this to be a satisfying read, it’s just told through a younger protagonist’s perspective.  The Rithmatist is a mix of fantasy, steampunk, alternate reality and mystery; the latter playing a huge role throughout the story. 

This definitely wasn’t among my favourite of Sanderson’s novels, though by no means does that mean it was bad. His characters were well-developed, and his protagonist was quite competent. Though, one of the main characters, Melody, grew tiresome at times, as she has a tendency to be obnoxious and self-centered, which you might say, was a bit tragic.

I don’t actually have anything negative to say about this story, it’s one I think Sanderson fans will enjoy (though, they may note the absence of a familiar face), and will appeal to younger readers. Though, as I mentioned it wasn’t my favourite of his, and I’d probably direct readers take a look at any of his other novels first, to get a real taste of Sanderson’s full writing ability.

The Rithmatist will be available on the 14th in US/Canada, and will be available everywhere May 23rd.

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

(Update: 15/05/2013) As aforementioned, The Rithmatist isn’t my favourite of Sanderson’s works, however, since someone asked in the comments:

If you’re looking for a short read, and you’re on the edge about his writing, you can start with his novella, The Emperor’s Soul, though Legion lends itself nicely if you’re looking for one that’s off-the-wall different and fun. If you enjoy heavily descriptive novels, and you’re willing to go in for a long-term commitment, read “The Way of Kings”, it’s the first of 10, and I believe the sequel to be coming out later this year. I really enjoyed it, though, the entire novel is essentially world-building, and sets the stage for later novels, which some people dislike.

Overall though, The Mistborn Trilogy is probably the best gateway into his writing though, and none of the novels are overly long… So perhaps start with those.


The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson : Review

When the Emperor’s mind is damaged after an assassination attempt, Shai — an imprisoned Forger who has been sentenced to execution must create a Forgery of his soul within 100 days — a task that would normally take years.

With the tenuous promise of safety, Shai must work to understand the mind and heart of the Emperor, while working to uncover the true intent of her captors. One hundred days to forge a soul, to uncover the intent of her captors and to escape from the clutches of the empire.

Like in his Mistborn novels, we’re shown a character — the Emperor, a figure of power, one which our protagonist opposes, but comes to understand him to the very core of his being, and as Shai comes to understand him, so too do we come to understand her in much the same way. Developing from being a petty criminal faced with execution, to becoming a master in the arts and manipulation.

The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson is a short fantasy novella. Set in the same world as one of his other novels, Elantris, The Emperor’s Soul is a fun and enjoyable story. Sanderson continues to show his ingenuity and creativity with yet another unique magic system, and characters which draw readers into the novel.

Having magic, like Soulstamps — things able to rewrite the history of an object, and pretty much what the object itself is, is an interesting concept. Sanderson details the magic and how it works explicitly, which while it does help to give a clear image of how it works, what Shai is doing and why, it was a bit much. Normally, I thoroughly enjoy the descriptive nature of Sanderson’s works, but for a story this size it seemed to detract from the actual storyline.

Taking only a few hours to read at most, The Emperor’s Soul is a good introductory novel to Sanderson’s writing, showing beautiful examples of his characters, world building, and his ability for subtlety, plots and intrigue between characters.

While not being one of Sanderson’s best works, The Emperor’s Soul is still definitely worth the read, and has an interesting cast of characters, telling a fantastical tale where nothing is as it seems.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Interview with Brandon Sanderson

This past weekend I was at the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto, and Brandon Sanderson, author of the Mistborn series, The Way of Kings, and co-authored the last books in the Wheel of Time series was kind enough to let interview him earlier today.

Slight spoiler warning for Towers of Midnight

For convenience, BS = Brandon Sanderson, and R = Rebecca (myself),

RAFO = Read And Find Out

R: So.. Hoid. We see him in almost all of your books, though I don’t think I saw him in Emperor’s Souls..

BS: He’s referenced in Emperor’s Souls, but he got cut from the book.. I actually wrote the scene with him in it.. But it didn’t fit so we had to cut it.

R: Are we ever going to get his origin story, or learn more about him?

BS: Yes, we definitely will learn more about him.. A book that has more of him is Dragon Steel.. Which I wrote when I was undergraduate as my honours thesis.. It’s not his origin story, but it’s one he’s mostly part of. We will find out everything, and get the complete story for him. It will happen eventually.

R: Well, I look forward to reading more about him… He’s an interesting character. Also, a question about Wheel of Time.. But Mat Cauthon’s fox head medallion is described as having only one eye, and that’s in the shape of the ancient symbol for Aes Sedai.. Was this foreshadowing the events that happened the Mat in Towers of Midnight?

BS: I believe it was probably foreshadowing.. James knew since book one what was going to happen, so I would say yes. My instincts say yes, but there’s nothing in his notes which said so one way or another. I’ve always felt that it was

R: In Lord of Chaos, there’s a point when Rand is in Shadar Logoth, and Lews Therin whispers to him “I must kill Demandred.” Is there some sort of connection between Demandred and Shadar Logoth?

BS: There may well be… I’m not sure if I can answer that question, so… RAFO.

R: Okay, so can Darkfriends or maybe even Forsaken be bound to the Horn?

BS: Let’s see if I can answer this one.. They’re not going to be, I don’t think there’s a law against.. But only the greatest heroes are bound to the horn. They are not the greatest heroes. So, why are you asking this?

R: I’m pretty much asking about Verin, and the likelihood of her being bound.

BS: Okay, I don’t know that there would be anything forbidding Verin from being bound to the horn..

R: Is there any mention of that in a Memory of Light?

BS: That’s a RAFO.

R: Alright, thank you though.. Also, not so much about your stories in particular.. But you’ve written a lot of different types of books, the huge epic fantasies, short stories.. Different types of fantasy, and the odd ones like Legion.. Which do you enjoy writing the most?

BS: Answering questions like this one is difficult, it’s like “Pick your favourite food”, if you eat that food every day you’re going to eventually hate it.. Or slowly find the food less and less enjoyable. For me, that’s how it is with writing.

Epic Fantasy is my favourite form, but if I’m only ever doing Epic Fantasy, I feel like I will get burned out on it, and I’ll stop enjoying it as much and so I don’t want to see that happen.. So when I start to feel like it, I let myself within certain bounds write whatever I want to write so that when I get back to Epic Fantasy I’m feeling fresh. It’s not a matter of what I like to write the most, it’s a matter of what I’m feeling like at the time. Sometimes you may not want to eat your favourite food,

R: And when you’re switching between these different types of stories, are there any major difficulties that you face?

BS: If I do, then it means something’s going wrong and I kind of need to look at why I’m trying to write it… Switching is not hard, usually.. You get to know your writing style, you get comfortable with how you approach things.

R: Okay, and, next year, we’re getting Stormlight Archive book 2? Or will that be early 2014?

BS: It should be Christmas 2013, that’s what we’re aiming for.. In fact, I have to name it this weekend so TOR can start the publicity for it.

R: And then we’re also getting A Memory of Light, obviously, and The Rithmatist?

BS: Yes, that’s the book I wrote just before Wheel of Time in 2007, back before I was offered a Wheel of Time offer.. And it languished for years because I was so busy with Wheel of Time and when I had any free time, The Way of Kings, I wasn’t even able to do revisions.. The three of four months it would have taken would have slowed down one of those two books, so I was able to take those months after A Memory of Light was done.

R: And is there anything next year?

BS: I don’t know when Steelheart will be out, but probably 2014.. But it is on people’s radars, this is another one before I took up before Wheel of Time, but I wrote it in gaps between books, so people know about it. I’ve been trying to shop it Hollywood for years, but I was finally able to polish it off and sell it. Once Wheel a Time was done I was finally able to spend time on these things which have been put aside for years.. Things like this are good, but to give them the time to make them great while I was working on them would have taken time away from a Memory of Light.. And it wouldn’t have been right to let them demand that time, so it wasn’t until recently that I’ve been able to give them that time.. So, I think that’ll be 2014, but we do get three books next year most likely.

R: Yep, and that’s great.. I’m looking forward to reading them all.. and with a Memory of Light being finished, is it odd not having it to work on?

BS: It is.. It’s very strange experience since it’s been such a part of my life for so long, to not have it to work on.. But I do intend to be a part of fandom for the rest of my life. So, there is that..

R: I know a lot of people are looking for it, and there will always be more theories.. I do remember last year when I spoke with you, you did say there will be loose ends, so people will be theorizing on those for a while.

BS: Yeah, there will be loose ends, and I can talk to that when the book comes out.

R: Alrighty then! You’ll just have to come back to Toronto then.

BS: Okay, well that’s a deal then.

R: Alright, I think that’s it… Thank you!

————————————–


Brandon also read a passage from A Memory of Light while he was here in Toronto (the beginning of the first chapter/the wind scene), as well as a bit from the Stormlight Archive Book 2.

405036_4172256457123_744298166_n


Highly Anticipated Fantasy Novels of 2013

Last year I compiled a list of highly anticipated science fiction and fantasy novels that were to be released this year. And, with a new year only a couple of months away, the holiday season approaching and many great books coming out in 2013 it seemed only fitting to create a new list.

There aren’t really any Science fiction novels on here, as I’ve had more of a focus on Fantasy this past year and haven’t had a chance to read any of the latest novels in the genre. I’m definitely missing some books, and there are some books on here that you might disagree with. Feel free to let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

1) A Memory of Light – Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

– The Eye of the World (book 1 of the Wheel of Time) was published back in 1990. 23 years later, the series is finally coming to a close. With the Last Battle between good and evil approaching; and  the end of an age, Rand, Mat, Perrin and the rest of the world must unite under a common goal and put their own wars and differences aside to fight the Dark One and the Forsaken, along with their hoards of evil creatures.

Release Date: I had this on my 2012 list as well; but with the date changed, A Memory of Light, the epic conclusion to the Wheel of Time series will be release January 8th 2013. 

  • Read “Eastward the Wind Blew” (Chapter 1) here
  • Listen to “The Choice of an Ajah” (Chapter 2) here

2) The Daylight War – Peter V. Brett

Humanity is fighting back. Although the night still belongs to the demons that arise as the sun sets, new wards and weapons are giving those willing to fight in the darkness a chance to retaliate against their core-spawned enemies.

But, as humanity is about to learn, not all monsters are confined to the dark.

Civil war ravages the north and south, battles fought between those who should be working together. It is up to Arlen – the Painted Man – and Jardir – the self-proclaimed Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer – to put aside their differences and bring their people to terms if they are to have any chance of saving their civilisation from demon-rule.

The Daylight War is another one that was on my list for 2012, but with the date finally announced, I’m happy to say that the third book in the Demon Cycle will be out next year!.

My review for the first book, The Warded Man can be found here.

Release Date: February 12th 2013 – My review for The Daylight War will be posted around mid-January.

3) Bloodfire Quest – Terry Brooks

Long ago, many dangerous creatures were locked behind a magical barrier, bringing peace and prosperity to the land. But now those barriers are eroding, and generations of embittered prisoners are about to escape. War seems inevitable… unless a few brave souls can stem the tide.

While some venture into the forbidden lands, others must undertake a perilous quest – a quest whose success will mean the death of a young girl who has barely even begun to live, but whose failure will have unimaginable consequences.” – source.

Book Two of the Dark Legacy, Bloodfire Quest continues the tale of The Wards of the Faerie in Brook’s world of Shannara
Release Date: March 7th 2013. – My review for The Bloodfire Quest will be posted mid-late February. 

The third, and final book in the Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy will be out shortly afterwards on July 16th 2013.

4) The Gate Thief – Orson Scott Card

“Danny North is still in high school, yet he holds in his heart and mind all the stolen outselves of thirteen centuries of gatemages. The Families still want to kill him if they can’t control him…and they can’t control him. He is far too powerful.

And on Westil, Wad is now nearly powerless—he lost everything to Danny in their struggle. Even if he can survive the revenge of his enemies, he still must somehow make peace with the Gatemage Daniel North.

For when Danny took that power from Loki, he also took the responsibility for the Great Gates. And when he comes face-to-face with the mages who call themselves Bel and Ishtoreth, he will come to understand just why Loki closed the gates all those centuries ago. –source

The Gate Thief is the second book in the Mither Mages series, picking up from The Lost Gate it continues the tale of the mages of Westil whom have been exiled to Earth.

Release Date: March 19th 2013

5) A Tale of Tales – David Farland
“The great war with the Wyrmling Hordes is over, and mankind has lost. Lord Despair has gathered an army of fell creatures, planning to unleash them like a wildfire across the stars.
Those who oppose him know that the battle is all but lost. Though they stand against the darkness, they cannot hope to win with arms. Indeed, they stand against him armed with little more than principles.
Fallion and Tuul Ra, with only a handful of allies, must hope that with resolve and cunning alone they can win the day — before darkness closes upon them forever.” – source
I haven’t had a chance to read The Runelords series, however — readers of Farland’s Runelords will want to read the ninth, (and final) instalment to the epic series.
Release Date: April 1st 2013
6) River of Stars – Guy Gavriel Kay
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay is set in the same alternate historical China as his novel Under Heaven, but centuries later. Following the tales of Lin Shan, the daughter of a scholar, whose intelligence capitvates the emperor whilst alienating her from women of the court, and Ren Daiyan after he takes the lives of seven men and joins the outlaws in the forests of Kitai and emerges years later.
Release Date: April 2nd 2013
7) Blood of Dragons – Robin Hobb


Blood of Dragons
 is the fourth and final novel in the Rain Wilds Chronicles. No description of the book has been released yet, but I plan to have a review for the first book in the series — Dragon Keeper up later next week. {Will update when a description is available/review has been posted.}

Release Date: April 9th 2013

8) The Silver Dream – Neil Gaimen and Michael Reaves

“Sixteen-year-old Joey Harker has just saved the Altiverse — the dimension that contains all the myriad Earths — from complete destruction. After mastering the ability to walk between dimensions, Joey and his fellow InterWorld Freedom Fighters are on a mission to maintain peace between the rival powers of magic and science who seek to control all worlds.

When a stranger named Acacia somehow follows Joey back to InterWorld’s Base, things get complicated. No one knows who she is or where she’s from — or how she knows so much about InterWorld. Dangerous times lie ahead, and Joey has no one to rely on but himself and his wits — and, just maybe, the mysterious Acacia Jones.” – source

This book is partly on this list just because I’m a fan of anything Gaimen, however I have heard lots of praise for the first book, InterWorld and I am sure that The Silver Dream will be an excellent follow-up novel.

Release Date: April 23rd 2013

9) The Rithmatist – Brandon Sanderson



The Rithmatist
 is an epic fantasy set in an alternate version of out own world. The Americas are under treat by creatures known as Wild Chalkings (two-dimensional drawings infused with life). Following the tale of Joel, a boy wanting nothing more than to be one of the Rithmatist and his adventures as he follows a trail of discovery which could change their world forever.

This book is primarily on here because I’m a big fan of Sanderson’s writing (if you hadn’t noticed by the number of his books appearing on this list, and by how many I’ve reviewed..) but aside from his Alcatraz series which I’ve yet to read, Sanderson has proven himself to be a great writer of epic fantasy, and I’m sure The Rithmatist will not be an exception to that.

Release Date: May 14th 2013

10) The Ocean at the end of the Lane — Neil Gaiman

I’ve yet to read anything by Gaiman that I haven’t absolutely love, and this one sounds as if it’ll be no exception to that.

It began for our narrator forty years ago, when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.

His only defense are three women on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

To quote Neil himself, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a novel of childhood and memory. It’s a story of magic, about the power of stories and how we face the darkness inside each of us. It’s about fear, and love, and death, and families. But, fundamentally, I hope, at its heart, it’s a novel about survival.” – source

Release Date: June 18th 2013

11) Emperor of Thorns — Mark Lawrence

15804760

To reach the throne requires that a man journey. Even a path paved with good intentions can lead to hell, and my intentions were never good.

The Hundred converge for Congression to politic upon the corpse of Empire, and while they talk the Dead King makes his move, and I make mine. The world is cracked, time has run through, leaving us clutching at the end days, the future so bright that those who see it are the first to burn. These are the days that have waited for us all our lives. These are my days. I will stand before the Hundred and they will listen. I will take the throne whoever seeks to thwart me, living or dead, and if I must be the last emperor then I will make of it such an ending.

This is where the wise man turns away. This is where the holy kneel and call on God. These are the last miles, my brothers. Don’t look to me to save you. Don’t think I will not spend you. Run if you have the wit. Pray if you have the soul. Stand your ground if courage is yours. But don’t follow me.

Follow me, and I will break your heart.

I only just picked up Prince of Thorns recently, but so far I’m loving it. While I’ve heard mixed reviews about the series, I have to say I’m enjoying it so far. I’m sure the sequel, King of Thorns, and Emperor of Thorns are going to be equally enjoyable, if not better.

Release Date: August 1st 2013

12) Republic of Thieves – Scott Lynch

“After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover and Locke must live with the fallout of crossing the all-powerful magical assassins the Bonds Magi. It is a fall-out that will pit both men against Locke’s own long lost love. Sabetha is Locke’s childhood sweetheart, the love of Locke’s life and now it is time for them to meet again. Employed on different sides of a vicious dispute between factions of the Bonds Sabetha has just one goal – to destroy Locke for ever.” – source

I haven’t actually read The Gentleman Bastard Sequence yet, however, I have heard great things about it, and have heard a lot of praise for Scott Lynch. With the release date being repeatedly pushed back, fans of the series have had to be patient and wait for the next instalment in the series — hopefully though, this time the release date will hold true.

Release Date: I’ve found conflicting data.. My guess is either September 3rd, 2013 or May 6, 2014. I’ve been told that there’s no official release date yet.

10) Stormlight Archive Book 2 – Brandon Sanderson

Continuing in Sanderson’s epic world he created in The Way of Kings (My review for tWoK can be found here). Not much information has been released about what the unnamed sequel will be about, but with the the intriguing characters, and expansive system he set up in the first book in the Stormlight Archive, I’m sure it’ll be great.

Release Date: December 2013

11) The Blood Mirror – Brent Weeks

The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks is the concluding novel in the Lightbringer Trilogy. Wrapping up the tales of Kip, Gavin, Karris and the rest of the Chromeria. While no official description/cover of The Blood Mirror has been released yet, I am sure it will be a great conclusion to the series, and I’m highly looking forward to reading it.

Read my review of The Black Prism (Book 1) here
Read my review of The Blinding Knife (Book 2here

Release Date: Sometime in 2013, potentially.

Possibly being released:

Kingkiller Chronicles Book 3 – Patrick Rothfuss

The story of Kvothe; a young man who has killed kings, spoken to gods and rescued princess. A man who has known the name of the wind, trained with the legendary Adem and has sought out the secrets of the Chandrian.

Readers have followed him on since his days travelled as the Edema Ruh, through University, love and pain, and as he has slowly turned into a figure of legend. In this third book, we see the conclusion to Kvothe’s tale.

Update: This won’t be getting released in 2013. No release date is set yet, but 2013 highly unlikely.


You tell me: What books have I missed from this list? What are you looking forward to reading in 2013?

Keep checking back! I’ll be updating this list frequently over the next couple months as more information on upcoming books is released.


Most anticipated fantasy/sci-fi novels of 2012

2012 is just a couple of days away, and with the new year comes new books.. Here’s some great books to look forward to (in no particular order). I’m sure this list will be updated a bunch over the next few days, so keep on checking back — and please feel free to share what books you’re looking forward to, and they’ll be added to the list!

1) Wheel of Time book 14 – A Memory of Light by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World (book 1) was published back in 1990. 22 years later, the series is finally coming to a close. With the Last Battle between good and evil approaching; and  the end of an age, Rand, Mat, Perrin and the rest of the world must unite under a common goal and put their own wars and differences aside to fight the Dark One and the Forsaken, along with their hoards of evil creatures.

A Memory of Light is set to be released in Autumn 2012.

2) The Grigori Legacy book 2 – Sins of the Son by Linda Poitevin

–  Sins of the Angels was the first book I reviewed on here (that review can be found here). With Sins of the Sons, Poitevin continues the adventures of homicide detective Alexander Jarvis. Armaggedon on Earth is fast approaching; and as Alex tries to protect those she cares about; the conflict that arises may push the world into the very chaos they’re trying to avoid.

Sins of the Sons is set to be released March 27th

3) The Lightbringer book 2 – The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

Sequel to the Black Prism (my review for which can be found here)… No summary or description is available yet, this will be edited/updated ASAP. — I’ve read some of the excerpt he’s made available though, and it’s sure to be awesome.

The Blinding Knife is set to be released September 1st

4) Dark Eden by Chris Beckett 

– On the sunless planet of Eden in an enclosed valley, a family of 500 live; their two ancestors had been marooned there over a century ago. Living with the hope of returning to Earth one day, John Redlantern defies the Family’s sacred traditions leads a group of followers across dark, frozen mountains in search of wider lands. With a cost of bloodshed, and division, the price may just be too high..

Dark Eden is set to be  released January 1st

5) House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier

Two orphan sisters, sweet and innocent Karah, and Nemienne are in search for their fortunes. As they both start to settle into their new lives – Karah, secure in a glamorous Flower House, and Nemienne the apprentice to a mysterious magician – soon find themselves entangled in a plot threatening to upset their lives; and destroy their kingdom.

House of Shadows is set to be released July 10th

6)  Crusade book 3 – Vanquished by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié

–  War has come between the Cursed Ones and humanity. With humans laying down their fight; bedazzled by the glamorous vampires, the Cursed Ones have come to rule the night. Only small groups of humans (and the occasional werewolf, and witch) are fighting back. Jenn and the rest of the Hunters must band together and become stronger than ever to fight back — while Antonio and Heather must fight a battle of their own; a battle which may destroy them and the one they love and care about the most. (No summary has actually been released about Vanquished.)

Vanquished is set to be released August 28th

7) The Shadow Saga book 5 –  Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card

At the end of Shadow of the Giant, Bean flees to the stars with three of his children–the three who share the engineered genes that gave him both hyper-intelligence and a short, cruel physical life. The time dilation granted by the speed of their travel gives Earth’s scientists generations to seek a cure, to no avail. In time, they are forgotten–a fading ansible signal speaking of events lost to Earth’s history. But the Delphikis are about to make a discovery that will let them save themselves, and perhaps all of humanity in days to come.

For there in space before them lies a derelict Formic colony ship. Aboard it, they will find both death and wonders–the life support that is failing on their own ship, room to grow, and labs in which to explore their own genetic anomaly and the mysterious disease that killed the ship’s colony. – From Amazon

Shadows in Flight is set to be released January 17th

8) The Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks

Set 100 years after The High Druid of Shannara trilogy; people of the Four Lands have become distrusting of magic after the failure of the Third Council. However, when a druid stumbles upon information on the lost elfstones of faerie, the Ard Rhys of Paranor must decide to undertake this mission to acquire them.

Others–
Demon Cycle book 3 – The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

– I can’t find an official release date, but I believe it’s supposed to be published late 2012 (September-ish), though there have been some sites reporting February 2013. Either way; it should be a great read.

Humanity is fighting back. Although the night still belongs to the demons that arise as the sun sets, new wards and weapons are giving those willing to fight in the darkness a chance to retaliate against their core-spawned enemies.

But, as humanity is about to learn, not all monsters are confined to the dark.

Civil war ravages the north and south, battles fought between those who should be working together. It is up to Arlen – the Painted Man – and Jardir – the self-proclaimed Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer – to put aside their differences and bring their people to terms if they are to have any chance of saving their civilisation from demon-rule.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter  – June 26th
-There really isn’t a description or anything else available for this yet, except for a release date.. We’ll just have to wait and see!

Dark Vegeance vol. 2 – Winter and Spring by Jeff Mariotte – May 1st
– While in most senses I’ve already read this (Witch Season Vol. 2 – Winter and Spring), I do enjoy a good re-read, and when it’s a book that has been edited and had some changes made.. Well, the reread can be all the more enjoyable. Especially, since you get to try and remember and see what has been changed.
Winter – Kerry, no longer the trusting person she used to be, is back on her own searching for the witch Season to avenge Daniel. Now armed with magic and knowledge; she must figure out who she can trust.
Spring – The only one who can end the war; one who has discovered more than she could ever imagine, Kerry is faced with a task that will irrevocably change her life, and the lives of her friends, forever.
—————————————————————————————–

Am I missing any? What books are you looking forward to? Leave a comment!


Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson : Review

 

Breathe.
Hallandren and Idris; two kingdoms sitting side by side.  Hallandren; an ostentatious kingdom of colors, gods, Breath and a spectrum of  colorfully dressed crowds bustling within sunny streets. And Idris, a humble kingdom laying within the mountains surrounding Hallandren. It’s people, subdued and live modest lives and worshiping only the god Austren. To the citizens of Idris who wear only browns, the ostentatious ways of the Hallandren is an abomination and blasphemous.

With tensions rising between the two lands, the King of Idris must send his daughter to marry the God King of Hallandren, as was agreed upon in a treaty signed twenty years earlier. But when he sends his youngest daughter Siri instead of his eldest, Vivenna; motives are questioned, and the sisters must learn to cope with their switched roles, and save their country from inevitable destruction.

Sticking true to his form, Brandon Sanderson uses multiple point of views throughout the story. Siri, the young rebellious princess; Vivenna, the eldest princess – who had been born and raised in preparation to marry to Godking; Lightsong, a self-proclaimed useless God who begins to raise questions that none will – or want to answer; and Vasher, a  mysterious and rogue swordsman.

There was one thing that I felt took away from the story though. There was a minor PoV change, which while it was only 2 pages long; was completely unnecessary. It did serve to explain what happened to something (sorry I know that’s vague – but I do what I can to stay spoiler-free) that would’ve been answered when the PoV got switched to Vivenna right afterwords. I just found the scene to be quite distracting from all the action which was taking place. Also, there were areas in the middle which just seemed redundant and repetitive, but those parts were definitely still decent.

While there were some things while reading this that seemed inevitable and quite predictable, Warbreaker was a fantastic and enjoyable read. With a unique magic system which perfectly complimented and balanced the plot, action, and a fair bit of humor. This book is definitely one that would be loved by fans of Brandon Sanderson or Brent Weeks (see the previous post, ‘The Black Prism’).

~

Brandon’s Website: http://brandonsanderson.com/
Follow Brandon on Twitter : @BrandSanderson

 


The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson : Review

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

Thousands of years past, in the lands of Roshar – a land of stones and storms. Storms so powerful and frequent as to have shaped both land and civilization alike. – the Oathpact of the Heralds has come to an end. Forsaking their vows to lead mankind against the Desolations which have ravaged Roshar since the exile of humanity from the Tranquiline Halls. Leaving humans to rely upon the Knight’s Radiant for centuries until they too fall; leaving only their mystical swords and armor which give ordinary men the power and near-invincible warrior prowess.

Now, after the King of Alethkar was assassinated; war has waged for seven years on the Shattered Plains against the race of the Parshendi. Contesting against each other to navigate across the plains – finding ways across chasms spanning sixty or more feet deep. The Alethi fight to honor the Vengeance path and to prove their abilities against the other high princes by acquiring gem hearts.

The story follows multiple characters. The main three being Dalinar – the king’s uncle, and brother to the assassinated king, he must find a way to unite the princes and redirect the war. Kaladin, an ex-soldier, slave and now a bridgeman working for one of the high princes, he seeks for a way to keep his crew alive and battle the odds. And Shallan a young artist who seeks retribution and money in order to save her family. Their situations all come at a cost – however, the price may be too high to pay.

Sanderson’s The Way of Kings is an epic fantasy spanning over a thousand pages long with political intrigue, discovery, magic and action-packed scenes. The world and the characters are both compelling in their own rights; with hints of demonic creatures, lost histories and old magic returning. He excels at keeping readers interested, with nary a dull moment throughout the entire book. Readers of  high fantasy won’t disappointed. Every chapter holds something new and hints of secrets, regrets, and of history.

 

Brandon does a wonderful job and keeps true to his style of developing an original magic system. The Way of Kings sets up the groundwork wonderfully for the next nine books of the Stormlight Archive, leaving readers hanging for more.  Book two is expected to be released Christmas 2013

 

~

Brandon’s website : http://brandonsanderson.com/

Follow Brandon on Twitter: @BrandSanderson


%d bloggers like this: