Review: Rhythm of War

Series: The Cosmere

Series: The Stormlight Archive: #4

“Heroism is a myth you tell idealistic young people—specifically when you want them to go bleed for you. It got one of my sons killed and another taken from me. You can keep your heroism and return to me the lives of those wasted on foolish conflicts.”

Well dang. After the absolutely bonkersiosity of the first three Stormlight Archive books, I hadn’t the slightest idea how Sanderson was going to pull off yet another (and another and another coming down the pipeline). And yet here we are.

One one hand, it somehow manages to be a ‘smaller’ book. You don’t quite have the gigantic battles and epic, world changing revelations of the previous books. Instead, you get a much more focused look, dealing more directly with some very broken people or battles on much smaller scales (the Tower city of Urithiru). And that’s not at all a bad thing. It’s absolutely fascinating to see how Kaladin and Shallan (in particular) are broken. Some of that–I’ve dealt with it. Let’s just say that Sanderson did an almost painfully good job at times. And there’s one scene in particular near the end of the series. He always has the best lines.

On another hand, this book has by far the most worldbuilding/universe building I think we’ve seen yet in a cosmere novel. We learn more about the nature of Magic on Roshar, but also some pretty crazy implications for other worlds as well. There are whole chapters of SCIENCE in there that I can absolutely guarantee (because I’ve seen it) that people are going to love or hate. But me –I loved them. It’s one of the things I love most about Sanderson’s work and in this, he delivered.

Both of these make this a bit of a slower book and at over 1200 pages… that’s kind of painful. But at this point, I don’t think this is the book that’s going to make or break the series for you. If you’ve made it this far, you’ll read it and I hope love it as I did. But now, even with Sanderson’s prolific release schedule… we have to wait. ONWARD!

“And … what happened to your shoes?”

Shallan glanced at her bare feet, which poked out from under her dress. “They were impeding my ability to think.”

“Your…” Adolin ran a hand through his delightfully messy hair, blond speckled with black. “Love, you’re deliciously weird sometimes.”

“The rest of the time, I’m just tastelessly weird.” She held up the carafe. “Drink. It’s for science.”

He frowned, but tried a sip, then grimaced. “What is it?” she asked.

“Shin ‘wine.’ They have no idea how to ferment a proper alcohol. They make it all out of the same strange little berry.”

I really do like Shallan. :D