White Whale: My brother has been telling me to read these books for two years now!
THIS was actually the last book I had on my backlog of reviews, I swear, and it’s not even in the backlog–I just finished it!
This definitely gets categorized on the (one of many) white whale novels shelf, because I read the first book over two years ago on the advice of my brother, and then promptly decided since I didn’t need to read the next one right away (no obvious cliffhangers) I just…wouldn’t? I also re-read my review of Mistborn: The Final Empire and wow, was I harsh!
So, I’ll admit that I haven’t read much of Sanderson’s work, even though I’m well aware that he’s widely acknowledged to be a great author. Honestly, I’ve been sneaking by in nerd circles pretending to know his work based solely off of the one book that I have read. I really should listen to my brother (and the chorus of Sanderson fans) because this book is just a masterpiece in how a good author can elevate any story, in any format, and turn it into something great.
There’s a lot that shouldn’t work in this novel. The first, ironically enough, was super helpful for me–Sanderson does some recapping along the way to remind you of what happened in the prior book, which I could imagine would read a bit pandering-y to readers unlike me who hadn’t forgotten all but the broad strokes of what happened prior. But somehow in his hands, it’s decently unawkward and fits within the overall tone.
The one that I’m more impressed by is the scope of everything that’s going on. In one book you have: a comprehensive world with different rules (allomancy), a political intrigue/Machiavellian adventures story (Elend and his attempts at bringing if not democracy then something close to the former feudal empire), a High Fantasy quest (Vin and her questions about the Deepness), multiple romance plots (including Vin + Elend), and numerous POVs none of which are omniscient.
Somehow it all works together–although I gave this four stars because it does feel a bit disjointed (or maybe it just feels naturally like a second novel in a trilogy) (although I do feel like other second novels, like or The Last Graduate have more cohesion). I purposefully didn’t want to finish this book because I didn’t want the story to end! [Also…as an unrepentant romantic, I couldn’t bear Elend and Vin slowly destroying their healthy, supportive relationship! Imagine my surprise when that’s not how it ended, and when Sanderson brought them together while maintaining both of their agencies…excellent job. It’s not necessary for relationships to go through strife to maintain tension and interest in the storyline!]. I will be waiting to read the third one though…I don’t want the series to end (and what if it’s not as good??? I doubt it but what if???)