Publishing Date: 2011
Review: What does backstory have to be in order to engage the reader in compelling fashion? For me the gaps in the current story line must be mysterious enough to evoke curiosity. If it involves the character, then the development must be consummate with the reveal. In other words the character is built from the uncovering of their past. With Kaladin, he is built in such regard that any casting back tends to undermine his current state. So, when I found myself torn from the current story line, and hurled back in time to in-substantive moments, I skipped those chapters as they lent little to his current circumstance. And that is a real subjective view by the way.
This novel is long and very, very good. Self-indulgent ? Maybe? I did not get the feeler that this was modeled on self-exploration into the abyss of narcissistic tendencies (as did some reviewers). I found each chapter (except for the backstory ones) to be successively built which created tension and often left you wanting for the consummation of those events. As bound to characters as I was, I was in a constant state of demanding retribution. This is a good thing, as the characters are built for transformation under the yoke of evil.
I think I am gonna hang around for this series and see what haps.