The Stormlight Archive Review
Spoiler free, as best I can.
The Stormlight Archive is a series of fiction books by Brandon Sanderson. I believe they are based in the same universe as his Mistborn series, so if you are a fan of those then these will be right up your street. There are currently 4 books released in the series, with more planned, and each book focuses a main characters back story whilst covering the continuation of overarching world events.
I am new to reviewing anything in any sort of official sense, the closest I get to any sort of review normally is me trying to pressure my friends into joining me in reading, playing or watching what I am really fond of. I am extremely fond of these books. You may have followed my instagram if you are on this site and you will have seen some of my favourite quotes from the books on there. Back to the actual Review...
As I said this will be as spoiler free as possible so I will only give the outline of the first book. Book 1, or book 1 and 2 if you get the paperbacks, is The way of Kings. The way of Kings focuses on a character called Kaladin, who is a slave. The book takes us on his internal and external journey with his situation and him coming to terms with it. Kaladin may be the focus but much of the book shows us other characters perspectives, namely- Shallan, a sheltered country girl on a quest to help her family, and Dalinar, a prince and warrior general for a nation at war. With these 3 perspectives, plus a few more between sections, we discover the vast differences between the world they inhabit and our own- from culture to nature. There are just enough similarities to draw your imagination in the right direction but nowhere did I feel I could pull any direct influences. The world building in these books in astounding, occasionally on my first read I found myself slightly overwhelmed when one strange creature invented in the book is used to describe another, luckily the fantastic artwork between chapters helps balance this out. There are enough changes in pace, shock twists and surprising losses to keep the overarching story very interesting- especially as the book presses on- but it is in the individual characters stories that this book excels. By the end of the first book you feel as though you know how each character would react to a circumstance thrown at them, not because they are two dimensional, because you know them and why they do what they do. The characters are thrown into some seriously dire situations, and learning early on that the writer doesn't mind killing off an interesting individual, I found myself leaning forward and biting my hand trying to read quick enough to know what was happening. The end of the first book leaves you satisfied with the all encompassing finality of many of its set pieces whilst blowing the world further open and thirsting you for more.
As I did promise this would be spoiler free I will not mention any more of the series so far, bar to say, they are absolutely fantastic. Each book is not only bigger than its predecessor, the third being over 1200 pages, but far more vast in coverage of the world and it's all its inhabitants. Do yourself a favour and get into these books before someone attempts to ruin them with a film or series that could never do them justice. I loved Lord of the Rings and was a fan of Game of Thrones, but there is nothing like your first experience of a world- and if that isn't in your imagination via a book then it is forever based on someone else's version.
I could ramble on about these books for hours- instead:
The Stormlight Archive- 10/10. Artistically and narratively original, thoroughly told with great pacing.
I would recommend these books to anyone that enjoys fantasy. From the Lord of the Rings and Game of thrones through to fans of things like Harry Potter. The themes are adult but never unnecessarily so. There are many views of death and war but themes of sexual assault or similar are not explored so should be safe for victims of the latter to read. I would also class myself as a historical fiction fan and believe fans who enjoy similar could definitely find this series their path into fantasy.
If you have any recommendations on books I could read or wish to share your -spoiler free- opinions of The Stormlight Archive please join up and drop a comment below. Happy reading.