A year after the revelations in Oathbringer, technology has advanced, but Navani and her scholars realize there is still so much that they don’t know. The fight against Odium continues, and everyone must help in what ways they are able.
Spoiler Free Review:
(This WILL contain mild spoilers for the first three books, and reference to the Cosmere, but not specific spoilers for books outside of the Stormlight Archive)
Content Warnings: mental illness, depression, trauma, general violence
This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It took me absolutely forever to read, and I’m not sure if it’s the book’s fault or mine. I switched to the audiobook about halfway through because I was just making no progress.
I was kind of shocked that this book had a full year gap after the last one. There were certain scenes in that time that I would have liked to have seen, and some references were thrown in about things that had happened in that time.
This book kind of broke the rhythm (pun possibly intended) of this series, as the focus on flashbacks was greatly decreased. I didn’t love the flashbacks, so I guess it was fine that there weren’t as many. I think I would have liked to hear about this character earlier on, in order to connect with them a little more initially, because currently (even after the flashbacks), they aren’t one of my favorites.
The characters were kind of split into three main groups for this book. There was one group that I wished we got to see more of and once again, it felt like important scenes were skipped. I had that issue with Oathbringer as well. There are so many scenes that I’ve wanted to see, but they actually happen off-screen and are referred to. I get that this is already a massive book, so it doesn’t need to be longer, but it still irks me.
Navani works to understand how the world works in this book, which I thought was both interesting and kind of over my head. It is cool to follow characters that have so much more to learn about how their world works and the history of it, but the details were hard for me to grasp, especially as the research went along.
One of the things that I really liked about this book was that a lot of the characters had to confront the fact that they aren’t necessarily the person they or others think of them as. It was interesting to see them all kind of going through the same thing in different ways.
This book also delved pretty deep into depression and mental health. There was a plot point devoted to learning more about mental illness in order to help people and I loved it.
There were also quite a few Cosmere references, more than in any other Stormlight book so far (in my opinion). There are definitely things that go over my head, but there are a few key words that tip me off when something Cosmere-related is being discussed. I think the events of this book are huge for the Cosmere and I’m really excited to learn more!
I’m very curious about the next book in the series! Considering it’s the last in the first “arc” of this series, what happened at the end of the book, and the implications for the greater Cosmere, I think it is going to be absolutely wild!
Although I initially had a hard time getting into this book and had some issues throughout, I loved the themes discussed and the ending was really a ride!