Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson : Review


The eagerly awaited sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling Oathbringer, from an epic fantasy writer at the top of his game.

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage.

Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.

At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure.

Since I often find it a bit difficult to be unbiased when reading a new Sanderson book I figure I the first thing I should do here is get my obligatory fanboying and my sometimes blind praise of the series out of the way first. The Stormlight Archive has easily become of my favorite book series in the last decade and I’m always ridiculously excited to read each new book as it released and Rhythm of War was no exception. Yet as excited as I was when I received my copy in the mail it still took me almost three days to actually start reading Rhythm of War once I had received it and I couldn’t figure out why I was so hesitant. Until I sat down and started reading and then found it nearly impossible to stop reading. On my final day of reading, I actually started around 10 PM and didn’t stop again until I had finished it at almost 7 AM and I think I’m still feeling the effects of the lack of sleep.

Now if I step back and try and look at Rhythm of War and the Stormlight Archive as a whole in a more analytical manner I think I would say that this is probably one of the better books in the series. One of the criticisms I have about Oathbringer whenever I reread the series is that other than Dalinar I didn’t think there was a lot of character development and that is definitely not the case here. I thought all the major characters in Rhythm of War grew and evolved in some pretty satisfying and surprising ways instead of just remaining unchanging and stagnant throughout the book. 

I don’t want to really talk about the plot or anything that happens because I wouldn’t want to spoil things for anything for anyone but GODDAMN! So much happens over the course of Rhythm of War that it honestly left my head reeling a bit at times as I tried to keep up and follow everything that was happening. I don’t think anyone will be able to read this book and say that nothing happened or that there were no surprising elements to it because I can’t tell you the number of times I found myself on my feet in shock or surprise. 

I will say that there were some issues I had with the pace of the book at times and I thought the last quarter of it was a bit of a mess. As events started to speed up and more and more characters started to come together I thought the way the viewpoints were broken up was a bit confusing at times and there were a few viewpoints that I don’t think were in sync with the rest of the book and featured characters doing things that we had already seen the repercussions from in previous chapters. I could be wrong though and my rush to find out how the book was going to end might have just meant I read the end too fast to properly process everything. 

All in all, I think Rhythm of War was everything that you would expect from Brandon Sanderson and the Stormlight Archive. I can’t wait for the next book in the series and by the time this review goes live, I’ll probably be listening to the audiobook as I walk to work every day.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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