It’s hard knowing where to begin with a Sanderson book. His name on a cover means that whatever you are about to commit to reading is going to be sweeping and epic. Even writing a summary would probably put me at a 2000 word count. Since I have no idea where to begin, I’m just going to jot down my thoughts in some bullet points.
- I can’t stand the Alethi. I know that to have a plot, there must be conflict and for the Alethi, that conflict is going to be their culture’s taboo of asking for help/joining forces. The defense of “that’s just the way we’ve always done it” is a personal pet peeve, though, so that’s where my frustration comes from. It’s going to be a bit of a struggle for me to get through the series as Alethi culture is predominant.
- Dalinar and Kaladin are both to be the catalysts that shake up this culture, but I also dislike both of them. Dalinar’s ambition to embody the codes within The Way of Kings (it’s a book within a book) is admirable, but I have to agree with Sadeas’s opinion of him, at least as far as the following the codes and being a humorless stuffy general. (Probably the only likable thing about Sadeas.) Kaladin also hates Alethi culture, but his vendetta is self-serving and focused on ‘the Alethi are bad because bad things happened to Kaladin’, not ‘the Alethi are bad because they are essentially racists and stubborn to the point of cutting of their noses to spite their faces’.
- I hope the next book has way more Shallan and Jasnah, but also more of Shallan’s drawings. (By the way, if you do pick up the book, spend the extra money for the regular size or hardcover. The mass market paperback size does not do the illustrations justice. For me, I needed those pictures because the world feels very alien to me, especially with the crustaceans everywhere.) I like strong female characters and I can always count on Sanderson to provide those.
- If I could have a dinner with five people, alive or dead, I think I would want to fill one of those chairs with Sanderson. His writing fecundity is insane, on top of also having a teaching job. Also, since it’s an imaginary dinner I can be as rude as I want, I would want to discuss his religion with him. He creates a lot of worlds that have been abandoned by the high powers that created them. He also, again, makes some great strong female characters. It just a weird juxtaposition to write like he does and have the personal beliefs that he does.