Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson, A Quick Review

Rysn travels with Chiri Chiri on her ship Wandersail to Aimia.  And really,  you just need to read and find out what happens because once again,  Sanderson has made the impossible possible!

I loved this short story.  It was heartwarming and full of fun characters that I love reading about,  particularly The Lopen.  I highly recommend this, especially to be read between Oathbringer and Rhythm of War.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson, A Review

Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Just to explain, Rithmatist’s are people chosen by the Maker that can basically bring specific chalk drawings to life. They can create circles and lines of defense and also create drawings and symbols for attacking.

Joel is pretty lucky, though. He attends a great school, Armedius Academy, that is famous for not only basic education but teaching learning Rithmatist students as well. This gives Joel an opportunity to at least learn as much as possible about the subject, even if he cant actually perform as Rithmatist. However, Joel’s situation takes a major change when he learns that Rithmatist students are being murdered and he puts himself in the middle of the case.

This was a great, fun and light read. Honestly, I thought I had everything figured out but I was surprised by the ending. It’s so easy for me to believe that I know an author, like Brandon Sanderson, so well that I can guess all his tricks, his next moves. However, this is why Sanderson is so great, because he keeps things unpredictable. And, did I mention that there are unicorns in this book???

I highly recommend this short read, and the amazing yet simple art work (and UNICORNS!!!). Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

Calamity, Book Three of the Reckoners, A Review

After the wild ending of the second book, Firefight, David Charleston finds himself being the leader of the group he has always held in such high esteem, the Reckoners. In this last book of the series, David and company make it to Ildithia, former Atlanta, which has a very surreal manner of maintaining itself under Epic rule.

David still believes that an Epic can return from the darkness and evil that is caused by embracing their powers. He wants to save them, especially one high Epic in particular. This somewhat creates a moral saying that no matter how bad a person can get, they can always come back if given the right opportunities.

I loved this action packed ending to a great series. I also loved that the bad metaphors continued throughout the book and kept me smiling. Brandon Sanderson is a pro at creating intense stories and situations, but still having sentimental elements that I felt really connected me to the characters.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

Firefight, Book Two of The Reckoners, A Review

The first book took place in what used to be Chicago, now known as Newcago. However, in the sequel, Firefight, David gets to discover a new city and learn about a different way of life in what is left of NYC, also known as New Babylon or Babilar.

In New Babylon, David (also known as Steelslayer), has the opportunity to meet a new group of Reckoners and learn how they cope with their local Epics. He also gets to see how a different population survives. The New Babylonians are incredibly laid back and follow the belief that they should party while they can.

David is also still very much in love with Megan and its really interesting to watch that develop throughout this sequel. He still, unfortunately, really struggles with his metaphors and similes. Often creating such a bad allusion that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

This book had me constantly questioning who I could trust. Are the Epics all bad? Or is there still a chance to turn them around and back into decent human beings? I really liked this book better than the first of the series, Steelheart. Firefight simply is more interesting and seems to be more mature in its content. This series is evolving into something truly unique and yet still has that awesome Brandon Sanderson style.

I highly recommend this series! Next up is Calamity, the third and final book of The Reckoners Trilogy. Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!

Steelheart, Book One of the Reckoners, by Brandon Sanderson, A Review

David Charleston loses his father at a young age when one of the most powerful Epics attacks the city of Chicago. Chicago becomes Newcago, but the name is not the only change. Most of the city is changed to steel by its tyrannical ruler, Steelheart, who uses other Epics powers to also keep the city in constant night and full of fear.

Later, at age 18, David finds his chance to become one of The Reckoners, an underground group of talented people that fight against the Epics. This finally gives him the opportunity he’s been dreaming of for the past 10 years, to kill Steelheart. However, David learns so much in this process, perhaps even that friendship and love are more important than vengeance.

This was such a fun book to read and I can’t wait to continue my Reckoners journey with Firefight. Steelheart is full of non-stop action and plot twists that made this an exciting page-turner.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson, A Review

Spensa and the rest of her homeworld, Detritus, are still fighting the Krell, although on different terms now. There is also now a new name for people like Spensa, who can hear the stars. She is no longer referred to as having a defect, but as being a Cytonic.

This sequel begins six months after the awesome finale of Skyward. The DDF is learning more and more about the Krell guarding the humans on this prison like planet so they dont escape.

So much of this book is about realizing how an “enemy ” is not always an uncontrollable monster, but a real person that has normal emotions just like everyone else. Its important to see both sides of an argument and not to focus on hatred and judgment but to understand that we all really aren’t so different when it comes down to it.

Spensa once again showed me what it means to be a hero. To trust and accept others while staying true to yourself. To do the right thing.

I cannot recommend this series more! Brandon Sanderson is my author hero who just seems to know how to write great books/series that feel like they are speaking directly to me personally. Read this series and love it!

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, A Review

This first book in the Skyward series begins with a young Spensa stargazing for the first time with her pilot father, Chaser. But when Chaser takes off to fulfill his last mission, he is forever branded a coward which deeply effects Spensa and the rest of the family moving forward.

Years later, when Spensa is 17, she still wants to become a pilot like her dad, coward or not. However, even though she has the ability to ace the pilot test, she may not be allowed to become a cadet because of her family’s past.

This is a story about not giving up, ever. Spensa is fierce and passionate, she even gives me courage to not only face life but to fight for what I believe in. This tale is also about the importance of friendship and being accepted even when your darkest secrets are revealed. Spensa learns a lot about herself in this book. Particularly how it’s okay to be human, to not always have to be the toughest person in the world all the time.

This book also got me thinking about how I define the difference between victory and failure.

I highly, highly recommend this series. It is exceptional in every way. Just another amazing example of Brandon Sanderson’s talent.

Next, I’m reading Starsight, the sequel to Skyward! Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

“What was the most important step a man could take?” Spoiler-Free Review of Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

This massive third volume to the Stormlight Archives not only introduces a lot of new information about all the characters, but releases the past of Dalinar and leads him into finding the true answer to the question, “What is the most important step a man could take?”. Reaching the answer to this question is not as easy as it may seem, and WOW the answer written by Brandon Sanderson will blow you away!

Oathbringer deals with many real-world issues including drug addiction, alcoholism, depression and Dissociative Identity Disorder. This book really holds for me the reason I love fantasy so much. I love the way it tackles these kinds of issues in such a relatable way especially for someone like me that lives with Bipolar Disorder and Depression. I also am close to celebrating 2 years of being sober from alcohol and 3 years of being clean from any kind of drug use. These are very serious issues and the most serious thing about these issues is how widespread they are. So when an author like Brandon Sanderson writes such an eloquent book concerning these things, it lifts my spirits knowing that somebody is okay with talking about this in such an open way. I have no idea if Brandon Sanderson has ever experienced these things, but he is giving people like me a chance to feel like a hero. If the men of Bridge four can overcome, then honestly I think I can too.

In this book, we also get a peek into the thoughts of the members of Bridge Four, and I believe this is one of the best parts. I especially love this quote from Rock,

Some days, it seemed you couldn’t break Kalidin Stormblessed with all the stones on Roshar. Then one of his men would get wounded, and you’d see him crack.”

Rock, Oathbringer, Brandon Sanderson

Kalidin is one of my favorite characters. He deals with an almost constant depression and feelings of guilt based on events that were not in his control from his past. It is so refreshing to see the viewpoints of his men in Bridge Four.

Okay so this next quote is a bit of a spoiler… so stop reading if you havent read Oathbringer yet. Teft was by far for me the most break out awesome character in this book. He actively struggled with a real addiction, something that hasn’t been spoken of before in a Sanderson Stormlight Archive Novel. I truly relate to these words and I have to share them with anyone who has gone through a mental helath issue, addiction, or alcoholism… yes, Teft says the Words…

I will protect those I hate. Even… even if the one I hate most… is … myself.”

Teft, Oathbringer, Brandon Sanderson

WOW. Yes Sir, Mr. Sanderson, that pretty much sums it up for me. I have to admit I cried at this point. It was a deep struggle for Teft this whole book and when it got to this point… my emotions got the better of me.

I already knew that Dalinar struggled with alcoholism in his youth but its an amazing reveal when I got to live through some of his darkest days. We see deep into Dalinar and truthfully this is his book. You may be able to surmise that by the title alone, Oathbringer, the name of his Shardblade, which we also get a history of. The ending with Dalinar is unreal and gave me such a strong feeling of hope. Brandon Sanderson seems to know that hope is vital to his readers. Do not worry! Sanderson sums everything up beautifully no matter how dark it seems while reading.

I wish I could thank Brandon Sanderson personally for this journey through the Cosmere I have taken. It seemed like he was writing for me personally at so many points. I have gotten so much more from this series of series than just a joyful jump into a gorgeous fantasy world. I have received real hope from his wise words and his characters that will now always be in my reach and always in my heart.

The next book I am reading is Dune by Frank Herbert. I am so excited to finally sink my teeth into this exciting world of sand, massive worms, Spice and the possession and protection of a very important resource, WATER. Thank you for reading and please follow for updates on my thoughts on my current read!

Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson, Spoiler-Free Review

Arcanum Unbounded is a one of a kind short story collection by the author Brandon Sanderson. It includes nine short stories that are based in six different systems in the Cosmere. These systems include the known Selish System (Elantris), the Scadrian System (Mistborn), the Taldain System (White Sand), and the Rosharan System (Stormlight Archives). The lesser known systems that are included are the Threnodite System and the Drominad System. There are also detailed pictures of each system and a descriptive picture before each story. This is definitely a great way to enhance your knowledge of the Cosmere but be warned! This book is not Spoiler free for all of the systems involved and definitely is best read after reading the whole of the works mentioned above.

Arcanum Unbounded begins with the short story The Emperor’s Soul which is based in the Selish System. This is one of the most intriguing stories in the whole book mainly because it deals directly with the idea of what all would go into the actual creation of a soul. There are some more frivolous seeming creations that are discussed in this short story but they still deal with the “soul” of the object itself and convincing it to change into something better. I would like to share a spoiler free quote that relates the struggles of the main character, Shai, with creating a soul:

He hadn’t understood. There was rarely an obvious branching point in a person’s life. People changed slowly, over time. You didn’t take one step, then find yourself in a completely new location. You first took a little step off a path to avoid some rocks. For a while, you walked alongside the path, but then you wandered out a little way to step on softer soil. Then you stopped paying attention as you drifted farther and farther away. Finally, you found yourself in the wrong city, wondering why the signs on the roadway hadn’t led you better.”

Brandon Sanderson, The Emperor’s Soul

This quote really shows how introspective this short story is to the inner workings of what makes us human. Like I mentioned before, it also gives a sense of life to the objects that are changed as well, as if they have a choice to make in the result of the change. I think Brandon Sanderson masterfully creates a conversation of the hidden depths and secret stories not just about an individual, but about what surrounds us in our daily lives. I think this quote gives a good example of this idea:

People, ” Shai said, rising to fetch another seal, “by nature attempt to exercise power over what is around them. We build walls to shelter us from the wind, roofs to stop the rain, We tame the elements, bend nature to our wills. It makes us feel as if we are in control.

Except in doing so, we merely replace one influence with another. Instead of the wind affecting us, it is a wall. A man-made wall. The fingers of man’s influence are all about, touching everything. Man-made rugs, man-made food. Every single thing in the city that we touch, see, feel, experience comes as a result of some person’s influence.”

Brandon Sanderson, The Emperor’s Soul

As you can tell, this simple short story holds layers of meaning that go way beyond simply creating or changing aspects of an object or an emperor. This is the basic idea that I have come to believe about Brandon Sanderson and his writing. Whatever I am reading, look deeper! There is meaning here that can show me a new way to not only view the world that Sanderson is so good at creating, but a new way to view my personal world and the people I interact with on a day to day basis.

Arcanum Unbounded is full of another 8 stories that will not only entertain but possibly give you a new perspective on the world around you. There is so much to discover, and as Brandon Sanderson hints, there is more on the way concerning the systems that do not already have a foundation in an individual novel.

I am continuing my journey with The Stormlight Archives with Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer (and yes, I am very excited). Please follow my blog to read my review of this gorgeous and massive novel in the next few weeks. Thank you for reading!

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson Spoiler-Free Review

I realize that I am joining the Sanderson fan club late, but this is the perfect time in my life to become enveloped in the Cosmere. I started earlier this year by reading the Mistborn Era 1 and Era 2 sagas which I can only say are fantastic and full of page turning excitement. As the year progressed, there were some personal and family related issues that would begin to overcome my life, leaving me in a desperate place looking for hope wherever I could find it. And that is when Brandon Sanderson entered the scene again, I picked up Warbreaker and followed that with The Way of Kings which led me to read Elantris to learn more about the start of the Cosmere’s journey. Now I have completed the second book in the Stormlight Archives, Words of Radiance, and I want to share my thoughts on Sanderson’s marvelous continuation of this epic story.

The Way of Kings was really a foundation for Brandon Sanderson to not only create these character’s backgrounds but to build the story firmly from the ground up. Words of Radiance is much faster paced and also has much within its pages that literally made me laugh out loud at some points and at others want to scream in excitement. There is a joy to this book that overwhelms the seriousness of the first in the Stormlight Archives and it was exactly what I needed at this moment in my life.

We get to read about Shallan’s past in Words of Radiance as opposed to Kalidin’s in The Way of Kings. This is perfect timing considering the story line that Shallan is going through during the present of this book. Her past certainly holds many secrets and the most interesting and exciting of these secrets are not revealed until the end. We also see some different sides to Shallan in this book. We get to read about her interacting with some interesting characters in only a way that she can and it creates some of the most fun scenes.

Kalidin’s story also picks up right where it left off and goes through some moody and emotional up’s and down’s that took me from feeling hopeless to feeling ecstatic with joy. Kalidin is a character I really can get behind, I understand many of his internal struggles and that is definitely something that is highlighted in this book.

One of my great joys is Adolin’s character, especially now that we get to see Adolin interact with Kaladin. As you can imagine, this is not a perfect relationship, but it brings up many thought provoking ideas about the differences and how these characters act about the differences of being “light-eyed” and “dark-eyed”.

Dalinar is not exactly treated as a constant main character in this book as he was in the last one. But do not worry, that does not diminish is role as being an important figure-head in the least. I did love seeing Dalinar react to now not only Adolin but to Kaladin as well, and truthfully, I feel like Kalidin can almost be included in a family father-son role with Dalinar which proves interesting and heart warming in Words of Radiance.

I do want to include a quote that will not give away any spoilers but to show Brandon Sanderson’s caring writing style when it comes to some of the difficult situations that not only his characters find themselves in during past and present but that Readers can relate to,

The sensation- its not sorrow, but something deeper- of being broken. Of being crushed so often, and so hatefully, that emotion becomes something you can only wish for. If only you could cry, because then you’d feel something. Instead, you feel nothing. Just… haze and smoke inside. Like your already dead.”

-Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

It is moments like this, after I have read something so brilliant and so gut-wrenchingly true and relatable for me, that I realize what a real powerhouse author Brandon Sanderson really is. His works, all that I have read so far, have touched me deeply on an emotional level. And this is what makes him great. Yes, his imagination, his world-building skills, everything he creates is above and beyond the typical. But this is where he really effects me. This is not something just any author can do. This is a real master.

I hope you have enjoyed my review. I am reading Arcanum Unbounded next and yes, I am very excited to continue my adventure into Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere. Please follow my blog for updates and for a review of my next read.