Woof. This is was so so epic. Where to even start??
In Oathbringer, the third volume of the Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.
Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost. The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction. In its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.
In the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together. Unless Dalinar himself can confront that past–even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.
So I loved it. We got some more backstory…met the big bad…our heroes are becoming super badass…got a few twists…went to shadesmere…had a giant epic battle…
The Stormlight Archives are set out as two five book cycles – Oathbringer is third of the first five. While Way of Kings was mainly about Kaladin and Words of Radiance mainly about Shallan, Oathbringer continues with Shallan’s growth but brings Dalinar as main focus. Oathbringer definitely proves that not all sequels are worse than the original. So far I think this might be my favourite in the series.
Full confession though… I did not reread The Way of Kings or Words of Radiance. On the advice of husband Joe, I found it came back in the first chapters and I was straight back into the world of spren. I know Joe doesn’t like and will often skip the mini-chapters from characters we don’t know. But I felt like in Oathbringer there were a few that were necessary or at least interesting enough. Hopefully, we’ll see some of their stories in books to come.
As always we have some complex character development. Our main characters are attempting to understand about the oaths they have taken with their spren. They are constantly questioning themselves and how their decisions affect those around them. They struggle with the complexities of being a hero which makes them more human. The only things I did not enjoy so much was a little bit of whining from Shallan and Kaladin. Shallan especially as she struggles with her different persona’s and her love triangle.
A cool twist was getting to hear from Odium which was unexpected and very interesting! I also really liked the little notes about the Unmade who sound super badass. Oathbringer definitely explores some heavy themes, in particular surrounding the parshmen. Sanderson explores their oppression, discrimination, and slavery. We got some answers but more questions as well though feels like a natural progression of the story.
Highly highly recommend but be prepared to disappear for a while. It’s a bit of a serious undertaking! I’d say take it on holiday but it’s not the easiest to throw into a beach bag… or hold in bed #bookproblems
If you like this check out my review of the final in The Painted Man series – another epic brilliant fantasy series that should be on your TBR list!