No...Ultimately I was disappointed in this novel.
Brandon seems to pull his punches and holds back for some reason. This is likely my own bias but I want something more akin to Robert Jordan...when you fall things break, when shot you bleed and characters die (even the ones we care for) in the best of books. The best descriptions of conflict and confrontation have tangible stakes for those involved (the first of the book) and for much of this book this seems absent. He needs a dose of reality / grit in this book which is missing. The beginning had me hooked and I was prepared for an incredible story...it never arrived. I won't spoil the book and perhaps sequels will explain things in greater detail but the way this story begins and it's ending don't seem to match. There should be some connection and a strong one. The book started on I thought I was in for a ride with twists and turns. The plot plows down a predictable and straight decent into boredom with a few memorable moments.
Kramer does a great job with what he has to work with in this novel. I loved his voice in The Way of Kings and it cheapens the experience to have him narrate this novel in comparison.
My first encounter with Brandon was through the books he completed for Robert Jordan which are fantastic. The Way of Kings is perhaps one of the most incredible epic fantasy books I have ever read. The mistborn series was fair at best and this book in no exception. I keep reading / listening to his books with the expectation of something along the lines of TWoK or WoT books and I have been deeply disappointed so far. It is almost as though these are written by a more immature Sanderson or written without thought. He (Sanderson) seems to write these books walking on egg shells for a teen audience rather than adults. His attempts at romance are juvenile and unconvincing and he should just leave these parts out of this book (and others) altogether. The characters are fun but their actions make very little sense and the motivations are absent. This is particularly true for the villains in the story. The book rambles on and toward the end I was only listening to see how the confrontations would turn out.
More depth to the characters.
I keep reading / listening to Sanderson's books expecting a new Wheel of Time or The Way of Kings book. Sadly, I remain disappointed. There is such potential in Elantris and the magic system is unique. The story is compelling to begin and then becomes muddled in the middle and end. There is a lack of character motivation in these stories and the intent and purpose behind many of the characters actions seems...wrong. I would not recommend this book to those seeking depth similar to TWoK or WoT books.
I recommend this book without reservation. The narration was fantastic and the story was quite engrossing.
The strong historical element interwoven with the main story.
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