Book Series Wednesday: The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

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This week we are finishing the last of the Cosmere series that have been released to date, The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson. More after the jump.

Explanation of Brandon Sanderson’s work: First and foremost, if you’ve never heard of the Cosmere universe of works let me sum it up for you in a few sentences. Every single one of Brandon Sanderson’s Adult Fantasy novels is set in the same universe (not the same planet necessarily), and there are certain characters you will see in every book. There is an over arching story to the Cosmere, which we don’t know the specifics of except a few scant details, but if you pay attention to certain words that pop up in each series it’ll make sense. If you have read all his books and are still looking for the rest of the little information we do know go to the 17thshard.com and look up their Cosmere posts on the forums. It’s a mind-boggling read in and of itself, but there are plenty of spoilers for various books so only do that after you’ve read all his Adult Fiction stuff that’s been released.

Plot Synopsis: The world of The Way of Kings is one constantly assaulted by hurricanes, referred to in the book as highstorms. Flora and fauna have evolved to cope with this condition

In response to an attack by malevolent entities (known as Voidbringers), the Almighty fashions magical weapons and suits of armor, called Shardblades and Shardplates. The Almighty equips knights, known as Radiants, with these, and, eventually, the Radiants defeat the evil Voidbringers.

Then, for unknown reasons, the Radiants turn against mankind, ignoring their cause and vanishing. They leave their Shardplates and Shardblades for all who want them, thus creating wars and strife. The book begins 4,500 years later at a phase where warlords have, for many years, been gathering armies around Shardblade-wielding fighters. These armies fight over possession of the remaining Shardblades in an attempt to acquire a decisive advantage

The story rotates between the points of view of Kaladin, Shallan, Szeth, Dalinar Kholin, and several other less major characters, who lead seemingly unconnected lives. Szeth, a Shin man cast out by his people and condemned to do the bidding of his constantly changing masters, is sent to murder the king of one of the world’s most powerful nations, Alethkar. 

Plot: First off this series is one of Brandon Sanderson’s two main series, which will make up the Cosmere mega-series. The other is the three Mistborn trilogies, for a total of nine Mistborn books. The Stormlight Archive will last for 10 books, with a break after book 5 of Stormlight for the second of the Mistborn trilogies to be released. If you’ve been paying attention and reading all the books up to Way of Kings before reading it, you will start to notice the crossover characters becoming more obvious. A certain traveler is even a point of view character and we’ve seen him, in one disguise or another, in every single Cosmere book up to now. Now onto the plot review portion. This is Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy series, inspired in large part by The Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan. If you want a quick read you won’t be happy with this series, as each book is well over 1,000 pages. The first book, The Way of Kings is the largest book I’ve ever read and I got a paperback version. I love the plot, and the way it intertwines each characters story arc is amazing.

Characters: I personally find that I love Kaladin, the main point of view character of The Way of Kings, and while other characters are intriguing, Kaladin is who I relate to the most. The characters in this book series are just amazing, with one of the interlude characters in book two being made of pure awesomeness, at least according to her and I have to agree.

Magic: The magic systems in this series are, like all of Sanderson’s series, amazing. If you pay attention in a certain flashback in book two you’ll notice someone use another series’ magic system.

Overall: If you’ve read every other Cosmere series, and enjoyed it, read this one and you’ll start to see the threads come together. I can’t wait for more of Sanderson’s books to come out so I can devour them and analyze them for new hints to the Cosmere story.

For those who like: Characters who are flawed and broken down, Epic Fantasies, The Cosmere, Brandon Sanderson’s work, Amazing magic systems.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but most importantly long books. This series is for those who really enjoy a long read.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Book Series Wednesday: The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

  1. Brandon Sanderson was recently at the Salt Lake Comic Con Experience and I gave some of the similar information out on my blog about his site. He was actually handing out some of the Szeth Shardhunt cards that unlocks extra information to some deserving fans. His signings are really fun experiences because he will answer most of your questions so you always want to listen to what the fellow fans ask. Great article!

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