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review 2018-11-21 15:10
Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)
Oathbringer - Brandon Sanderson

The Everstorm is striking Roshar and a new Desolation has begun as the once docile parshman become conscious gathering to face off against humans who’ve owned them for millennia, however nothing as it seems in the long view of history.  Oathbringer, third installment of Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive, immediately picks up where the story left off as the survivors from the clash on the Shattered Plains regroup in the legendary home of the Knights Radiant and attempt to bring together all the humans on Roshar but hard truths and politics stand in the way.

 

Dalinar Kholin’s actions in the past and those in the present dominate the book like Kaladin and Shallan’s did in the previous two installments, whether through his own eyes or those of others.  Setting up base in Urithiru, Dalinar begins slowly and diplomatically piecing a coalition together though his own past is a major liability.  Using his connection with the Stormfather, Dalinar has other rulers join him in his visions setting up a connection with Queen Fen of Thaylenah and slowly building a relationship.  However his attempts with doing the same with the Azir Prime is complicated by Lift no trusting him initially and the bureaucracy around the young man as well.  But its Dalinar’s bloody past which turns out to be his own worst enemy as we see through his flashbacks a different man who loved battle and bloodlust, two traits nurtured by Odium to create his champion for the conflict to come but which turn against the enemy when Dalinar accepts his past and uses it to defend Thaylen City.

 

Kaladin and Shallan continue progressing through their respective development while Adolin’s slows a bit so as to give time to his cousin Jasnah and the former Assassin in White, Szeth, time to develop into major secondary characters throughout the book.  Through scouting and spying, Kaladin first assesses the actions of the newly awakened parshmen though not without gaining relationships with them, a fact that haunts him when he faces them later in battle and creating a moral crisis that prevents him from stating the Fourth Ideal and almost kills him, Adolin, and Shallan if not for Dalinar’s actions.  Shallan has her own growing crisis throughout the book, multiple personality disorder, which is exacerbated through her Lightweaving and attempts to not be the “scared little girl” she’s always seen herself as.  Though she does not fully overcome it by the end of the book, she has begun dealing with it especially with help from Adolin who is dealing with his own issues stemming from his killing of Sadeas in regards to his place in Alethi society now that the Knight Radiants are reforming.  Though Szeth’s progresses through his Skybreaker training with “ease”, his view of the order and of the overall conflict dovetails with the revelations that nearly destroy Dalinar’s fragile coalition.  These revelations also correspond with Jasnah’s development and her concern for Renarin, whose own spren bonding is a revelation in and of itself as history and expectations are quickly being subverted.

 

Unlike the previous two books, Oathbringer is not as action-packed but is more centered in expanding the understanding the various peoples and politics of Roshar.  While the beginning of the “overall” story was a bang, Sanderson turned the focus from one main area to many which resulted in building the world he created with different peoples with different cultures and long complicated histories interacting with one another during the beginning of what might be a long conflict.  Add on top of this the fact that the ancient history that many believed to be true was not and as a result some are choosing a different side than what is expected of them plus the influence of Odium on everyone, and the next seven books in the series look to be very intriguing.  Though the book’s length is once again an issue, around 1250 pages, attempting to do so much in one book it was the only result.  And if there were flaws, it was mostly the perceived open-ended ways some events happened that were either a mystery to be solved later either in this book or another or just to be left open for no reason.

 

I will not say that Oathbringer is a perfect book, but it was a different change of pace after the first two books in The Stormlight Archive which helped continue the narrative while expanding it over more of Roshar.  Knowing when to “subvert” the standard grand fantasy narrative is always a challenge, doing it this early in the series right now looks like a good move on Brandon Sanderson’s part and I’m interested to see where the story develops going forward.

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review 2018-11-12 03:46
The Gathering Storm, The Wheel of Time #12 by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan
The Gathering Storm - Robert Jordan,Brandon Sanderson

There was an understandable amount of fanfare around the release of 'The Gathering Storm'. Jordan's death in 2007 left many fans wondering if they would ever see the end of the beloved series. The announcement that Brandon Sanderson would finish the series was a relief - though I had never heard of him - and anticipation began building. 'Knife of Dreams' had began the process of moving the many and varied story-lines back towards the single arc of the march towards the Last Battle. 'The Gathering Storm' reaps the benefit of that with two killer story arcs.

 

 

Rand has been trapped in his flesh case of emotion ever since his capture and beating at the hands of Elaida's Aes Sedai. He has been moving ever more towards hardness and retreats further from any hope of a life after confronting the Dark One. As he moves into Arad Doman to head off the Seanchan and attempt to repair the kingdom that has arguably suffered the most at the hands of the Forsaken, he is about to be pushed beyond the brink. Cadsuane, Nynaeve, and Min can do little but watch, and Aviendha is dealing with her own problems and avoids Rand, which probably doesn't help his situation. He has an interesting meeting with Tuon, now at the helm of the Seanchan Empire.

 

Egwene, however, is one hundred percent winning the game all the time. Her imprisonment in the White Tower continues to work to her advantage. Siuan, Gareth Bryne, and, shockingly, Gawyn along with some back-up singer Aes Sedai POVs lead up to a satisfying climax to the divided White Tower story-line. Just imagine me gushing for several paragraphs. I loved every minute of it.

 

Plain and simple - this is the best overall book since 'The Shadow Rising', a bit ironic seeing as how the breakout star of that book - Mat Cauthon - is the sole liability of 'The Gathering Storm'.

 

On my first read of the book when it came out I didn't really notice the discrepancy in Mat's character - he had never been a favorite, and there is too much awesome going on elsewhere in these pages - but on this reread with everything being experienced so close together the difference was glaring.

 

Sanderson does an excellent job of continuing the story that Jordan left behind, but he's not funny and his attempt to conjure Mat's 'wool-headed' conception of women came off as misogyny rather than charmingly naive. That opening diatribe at the opening appearance of his character was almost painful.

 

But, I never did mind about the little things.

 

Wrapping up, there is very little Perrin here - he examines some wagons - and Faile takes care of some business. Thom is with Mat and holding on that letter of his....

 

The Wheel of Time

 

Next: 'Towers of Midnight'

 

Previous: 'New Spring'

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url 2018-09-27 22:15
The 10 Best Completed SF and Fantasy Series According to. ...
The Runelords - David Farland
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré
Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson
The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Heroes Die - Matthew Stover
The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story - Stephen R. Donaldson
The Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe
Chronicles of the Black Company - Glen Cook
The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
Source: www.tor.com/2018/09/25/the-10-best-completed-sf-and-fantasy-series-according-to-me
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review 2018-09-07 00:48
The Sandman
The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie - William Joyce

This is the story of how the Sandman came to be. The man in the moon tasked the sandman with giving children good dreams. This story follows the Sandman has he carries out this task and encounters the nightmare king. The Sandman fights back after some new friends help him get better after his battle with the nightmare king. Sandy comes out victorious, and continues to give children good dreams to this day.

 

This book would be a great tool to introduce the basic elements of plot. Students could organize the plot based on the plot elements. Students could also do a writing activity about dreams.

 

AR Level 4.6

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text 2018-08-31 15:40
August wrap up
Blackbeard: The Birth of America - Samuel S. Marquis
Legion Excerpt - Brandon Sanderson
Behind the Door - Mary SanGiovanni
Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles, Book One) - Tamora Pierce
Rattus New Yorkus - Hunter Shea
Ireland the Best - Sally McKenna,John McKenna
Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants and Substances - Cody Johnson
Hero at the Fall - Alwyn Hamilton
Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind
Sound—The Fabric of Soul, Consciousness, Reality, and the Cosmos - Ramiro Mendes,João Mendes

Wow, 10 books in a month is good for me!

 

I'm reading more in the run up to Bingo. Some of these could even fit Bingo squares, but I have new choices.

 

Stand out books Are Legion and Hero at the Fall, both good Fantasy. Behind the Door and Blackbeard were also worthy.

 

3 non-fiction, of those Ireland the Best was excellent reference material and the others were each interesting in their own ways.

 

Funny enough, the two well known Fantasy writers were the disappointments.

 

I was getting close to finishing all current reads, then a couple more got approved at Netgalley. At least I'm going to have plenty of good stuff to read for the next couple of months!

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