Oathbringer (Stormlight Archive, #3)
by Brandon Sanderson
Cover Artist: Michael Whelan
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765326379
Date: 14 November 2017 List Price $34.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The Parshendi are free from the magic that held them in thrall for years. Now they sweep the land at the command of a new set of masters. The new Radiants are in disarray trying to match a foe which seems to be one step ahead. The Everstorm which awakened the Parshendi destroys cities and ravages the world. An ancient enemy finally steps onto the field while an old ally chooses a new path and nothing may ever be the same for humans again.
Dalinar is haunted by his past and that which he cannot remember. He slowly regains his memories and the pain which he hid from. He struggles to unite a world which is afraid of him and his plans. His bond with honor provides him special benefits he will come to learn. His love for Navani is an additional problem as she is his brother's widow.
Shallan continues to learn about her powers. She creates great illusions for others and separate personas for herself. She is engaged to Prince Adolin but is attracted to others based on which self is dominant at a given time. After her mentor, Jasnah, returns she struggles to be in someone's shadow.
Kaladin is a leader and a fighter. He attempts to find and help people but ends up questioning himself and his motives. His bridgemen support him without question. He is more because of their support. He is also the most direct.
This is the third novel in an ongoing series, as such, it is not the best entry point for new readers. The series is planned to contain two sets of five book arcs. There are multiple characters and points of view. The rich backstories develop each character fully, but there is always more to learn. This is a very good series and fans of long series that develop characters will find much to love here. Sanderson continues to complete stories at a rapid pace which should keep readers entertained for years to come.
The length of each volume allows the exploration of the world, its history, and the characters in depth. Readers learn about the history of each character in bits. In this volume, the history of Dalinar is provided additional focus. One of the most interesting aspects of this story are the historical scenes shared with Dalinar.
There is quite a bit that happens in this volume. The world is turned upside down as the truth about why the original Heralds walked away is revealed. The additional information about oaths, spren, and shard blades and plate adds depth to the story. The uses of spren in this world are still being developed. There are some potentially interesting uses forthcoming.
The big twist in this novel definitely changes the perception of events. It will be interesting to see how each character learns to rebalance their beliefs and actions. Additionally, there is a whole new history which can be explored. I definitely did not expect the revelation, but it will make the future action more interesting.