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Publisher's Summary

The eagerly awaited sequel to the New York Times best-selling Words of Radiance, from epic fantasy author Brandon Sanderson at the top of his game.

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times best-selling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin's Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost. The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar's blood-soaked past and stand together - and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past - even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC  (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

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Story

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A mixed bag of brilliance, marred by missteps

Brandon Sanderson is one of the greatest story tellers writing today; and this series is his magnum opus. Book 3 is not the strongest of the series. But it still soars in many places, despite some missteps throughout.
Parts of this book left me cheering out loud! Parts of this book are truly awe inspiring.

Other parts had me shaking my head, as long established characters suddenly behaved in ways that contradicted everything the author has told us about them in the past.
For such an immense book, it surprised me how many times an obvious shortcut was taken in order to setup the next scene.

There was one long scene involving a female lead that had no purpose other than comic relief. This bungling, slapstick detour was so jarring, it was hard to return to the rhythm of the story. Worst of all, it felt amateurish, and just wasn't funny.

Almost every competent character had a moment of incompetence so glaring that it became obvious this was a deliberate gimmick. Possibly a recommendation from an editor, but taken too far?

But still, with all of that said, this is still a mostly brilliant story. The action scenes top any blockbuster movie put out this year.
It was filled with many pay-offs from the previous books, some of them setup so expertly that they still surprised me, despite the clues revealed before.

Like all of his books, this was also a vehicle for the author's social, political, and moral view of the world. Presented nicely as part of the story with not-too-much outright preaching.

44 of 58 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 11-21-17

Perfection in literature.

If you have read the first two books in this series, then you already know Brandon Sanderson is the greatest storyteller of our generation, and, one of the best to ever put pen to page. That is not grandiose hyperbole. It is understatement. So, now that my opinion on the author is clear, the book. The book is excellent! The pacing is great and the story progressed just the right amount for me. In my opinion, what Sanderson does the best of any writer I have ever read, is the tear-down and rebuilding of characters. I will say, that this book seems to spend more time making everything seem like it's getting worse and worse before finally we see positive change and victories for the main characters. Not really a negative for me but it does feel like there is no hope till nearly the end of the book. I am so glad Sanderson doesn't suffer from whatever George R.R Martin and Patrick Rothfuss have been afflicted with. I think we can reasonably expect the next book in 2-3 years, which is amazing considering he will also be churning out other incredible books and stories along the way.

40 of 54 people found this review helpful

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Holds up to high Standards

When you've got standards set for you by some of the best books of all time, you've got a tough bar to meet. But Sanderson does it again, with none of the angsty hiccups from book 2. Well done good sir.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 12-17-17

Journey before destination...

Brandon Sanderson finally delivered Oathbringer, the highly anticipated third entry in the Stormlight Archive, and amazingly this volume is even bigger than the first two. As the books get bigger so does the scope of the story being told and that is almost hard to believe. Each of these books would be an entire series for many other authors and the truly amazing part is that Sanderson has 7 more entries planned before he is done. This book focuses on Dalinar Kholin and the events throughout his past that shaped the man he has become. Dalinar bears the nickname Blackthorn and it is time to learn why that is.

Although Dalinar is the focus of this book, all of the main characters return and many new ones are introduced. Now that the Parshendi have summoned the Everstorm, all of Roshar is under threat and Dalinar seeks to unite the various factions together in order to survive the wrath of the Parshmen. They escaped their millennia of slavery in book two and they want to take back what they believe to be rightfully theirs. Dalinar tries to lead the defense from Urithiru, but unfortunately for him, the reputation that earned him the nickname Blackthorn comes back to haunt him.

The scope of the story once again expands significantly and this is the first time in the series that I started to worry about that fact. At this point I am invested in the existing characters and although they all still play significant roles, things have gotten so big that I wish I could spend more time with Kaladin and the men of Bridge Four than learning about the next level of story being told. The first two books of the series were the best fantasy I have ever read, but I must sadly say this one felt a little bloated. The flashbacks that explain Dalinar's past are all excellent but the larger story took center stage and the characters that I wanted to spend time were reduced to cogs in a big machine. More Bridge Four and less Shadesmar please.

The story continues to be read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading and that makes listening an extremely enjoyable way to experience this amazing story. Despite the fact that this is the weakest of the three books so far it is still the work of a master and a must listen. Book 4 is supposed to focus on Eshonai and is due in 2020.

13 of 19 people found this review helpful

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I Will Read That Which is Awesome.

As a disclaimer, this 4-star reveiw is relative strictly to the remainder of the series. If you are new to the stormlight archive, begin with the first book, The Way of Kings, which is pretty much amazing beyond words. If you are choosing to continue the series from where you left off, here's a few general warnings (This review does not contain specific spoilers, unless you have not read TWoK or WoR).

1. Expect Exposition:

The first eight entire hours or so of the audiobook are, frankly, pretty boring. It picks up nicely after that point, but the story takes forever to start gaining steam. After the epic climax of the last book, the sheer amount of reveiw, summary, and reorientation is pretty bewildering, and felt a tad... too much. Be ready, because its worth it.

2. Is NOT a Post-apocalyptic Rosharian Action Novel:

At the end of WoR, the everstorm is sweeping accross the world and supposedly transforming placid parshmen into terrible, overpowered, hyperathletic, naturally armored, ruthless demons that can also shoot lightning. I opened this book with the expectation that violent battles and genocidal slaughters would be pretty much the norm right off the bat. That... Isn't what happened. Don't let it get in the way of enjoying the book.

3. Suspend your Disbelief:

The dangers and stakes of this series grow ever more cosmic in nature, to the point where in this last text, I personally had a really hard time undergoing an actual, concrete visualization of the threat through most of the work. In book one, it is the Parshendi arrows, hurtling toward you as you helplessly charge beneath your bridge. Doesn't get much more real than that. In book two, the danger is mostly from aformentioned Super Lightning Demons, which are a different kind of scary awesome. In book three, the overarching threats seem a lot more... Surreal, I guess. And just a little "evil dark lord ______" ish, where the true villain's only defining charactistic is that they're a really, really Bad Dude with Cosmic Powers. Not to be disparaging-- one thing I appreciate about Sanderson is that most antagonists (especially the minor ones) have very realistic, and often even nobel, aspirations.

All in all, the book was amazing, despite a few weaknesses. Sanderson continuous his tradition of majestic conflict, excellent charicterization, subtle and elegant foreshadowing, and a world as intricate and unique as it is grand. If you have not read the first book, know that the series as a whole is about seven and a half stars out of five, and that the four star reveiw is because I can't give it six out of seven and a half instead ;)

17 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Very VERY disappointed

All I have to say is if you are a Kaladin this book will disappoint you. It is like half a book for Kaladin. He is the only main character who doesn’t make any progress and seems to actually go backward. When it looks like the book is building up for something for him it ends up going nowhere. When he is in a big battle he lets the readers anticipation down.

All the other characters had decent progression especially of course Dalinar since this band ok is mainly about him. I would have been happy if something worth rereading happened to Kaladin but nothin of note did, unless you include his short return home. Definitely not something I will reread 4 or 5 times like the first two book. Probably won’t reread it until the next book comes out.

18 of 27 people found this review helpful

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DISAPPOINTED

I recommended the other two books to many friends and family and unfortunately I cannot recommend this one. The book was easy to put down for days and seemed just a long set up for a next book. This story focused too much on the human flaws and frailties of the main characters which is not that interesting or fun to read/listen. All victories were short lived with the next threat looming and that gets tiring after 55 hours. It might be that my expectations were too high after the first two books in the series which I had trouble putting down and wished for more. I prefer an epic tale of heroes with super skills and powers that have great adventures to a series of battles and failures. I still think Brandon Sanderson is a great writer and although I did not enjoy this book I certainly could not do what he does and create and write a story like his.

16 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Not the best he has written.

I loved the first two books in this series but I had a hard time keeping my attention on the story. I went back many times and listened to parts again and again. There are great parts but there are more that just lag. This isn’t the best he has written.

12 of 18 people found this review helpful

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WOW!!!!! ITS GOOD TO BE BACK

just like the 1st two books, this one is fantastic! Hands down 5 stars to the story and to Kramer. If you are any kind of fan of fantasy/syfy books, this one will NOT disappoint. The only thing i cant figure out, is who thought it would be a good idea to have Kate Reading perform in this novel. I so pose if she read a book that had only one character, and it was a female at that, she mite do fine. So listeners be warned that you mite find your self putting the story on 2x when it comes to the Shalon Davar parts of the story.

this 3rd book answers a lot of questions about the series, and i found it about impossible to put down after i stated this book. I would purposely take detours to work just so i could listen longer.Its a must read book and if you can just soldier though any Kate Reading parts of the book you wont be disappointed its in your library.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Great book for hardcore Sanderson Fans

My daughter who is a hardcore fan loved it. I was not nearly as impressed with the book. I felt that there was to much time spent exploring of the Sanderson universe or the Cosmere, as the fans call it, and not enough time on plot development. For me the first 4/5 of the book dragged. It did improve in the last portion of the book. But by the end of the book the characters were still in about the same place they were in at the beginning.

11 of 18 people found this review helpful