Publishing Date: 2014
Review: When a novel goes wrong is when it grates against your own expectations, specifically (for me) character outcome and development. I ask myself, “Why invest so much into a character only to have them retain their antiquated/infant tendencies?”.
Case in point: Jasnah is/was a great character that spanned the first novel, and gave the underbelly some needed grit. She makes a notable departure from the story-line to be replaced by a flouncing Shallan, questioning her own place in the world while blushing and biting her lip….A LOT. So why keep fukwit as central to the theme? Yeah, she becomes a “this and a that” but the ride is just dismal. During Shallan’s tenure in this novel, she “blushes” 117 times. This from a gurl that stabbed her mother and strangled her father. She also kills a cohort in crime in the wild. Despite her sinister beginnings she is still oh so perky and hot and brilliant and sensitive and stuff. Quite the feminists’ wet dream. As Shallan makes no sense to me, I subtract a star.
Good thing this novel is outstanding and exceeds the first via superb continuance. Kaladin, Dalinar and Sadeas continue to grow into different characters as the story line deverges, creating differing pressures on the characters. Adolin is still a bit dim so it makes perfect sense that he may shack up with Shallan, the ass of many hats.
While there are a few problematic issues with this novel, like extended dialogue that goes nowhere and phrasing that gets annoying (add “softly” to the list), I was still captured by the movement. Lets hope shjt gets better with Shallan being eaten by a huge Chasmfiend.