Published: May 2011 Gollancz
According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed . They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne. On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few days is a young spearman ,forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn't understand and doesn't really want to fight.
The publisher published the paperback in 2 books since this is one HUGE book. And it was much nicer reading it like this, instead of holding a 1000 page brick.
This book, how to describe it? So much is going on and if I would say anything negative about it it would be that is just is too well imagined. There is a lot to keep track of and know. I have read anything fantasy to be used to it but sure sometimes I wished there would be some more explanations at the back of the book. I like to look things up. Don't get scared now, at least he did not introduce a 1000 different characters like some authors do.
The book was mostly about 3 characters. Kaladin who was my favourite and his parts where the ones I wanted to skip forward to and read. He is a soldier and then a slave fighting a war that does not make sense. He is honourable and wants to protect his men, and I fell at once. Then there is Shallan is a woman and women on this world are the scholars. Men are the soldiers and do not even know how to write (loved that, so interesting). She was, well I guess I liked her, she had goals of her own and spent time studying in a city far away from battles and such. But in the end I do not have any particular feelings for her or her teacher Josnah. The last one is Dalinar, a prince fighting in the war, and he has these strange visions. I can see things getting interesting there and I kept hoping he would run into Kaladin and buy that poor man. Then there was a few authors too, like the assassin who kills the king in the first chapter. So yes there is a lot of things going on, I could not begin to explain since this series will go on for 10 books or so I have heard....a lot more will happen.
Sanderson is quite the master when he builds truly complex systems of magic. They just have to be read about to understand. And the world is fascinating, a world of rocks, almost no soil and winds that sweep across the world and kill those not inside. He is a master world builder.
What more to say, great book. It is about a war and revenge, and finding new means to get more power. War, I like it, mystical pasts, magic and a fight for something that I do not know why about yet. And yes I really liked Kaladin's parts.
This is fantasy when it is at its best. When I finished I wanted more at once. I think this is the start to a great new epic series and I will continue to read, and so should all of you :)
Winners Midsummer Contest