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Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

The Wheel of Time, Book 13

Orbit (2010)

ISBN: 97811841498683

Reviewed by Gillian Polack

This is the thirteenth (and second last) in Robert Jordan’s enormous Wheel of Time series. Jordan died when the series was not quite finished, but he left extensive notes. Brandon Sanderson was commissioned to complete The Wheel of Time. My review of the previous volume is here. And now we’re all on the same page.

It’s a very long page. Towers of Midnight checks in at over eight hundred of them. Hard to handle – best read in bed. Probably even better read on an e-reader of some sort, where you don’t have to struggle to find ways of holding it at the beginning and at the end of the tome. Also best read by those who know the earlier books and remember them well – there is little time given to backstory early in this volume and the narrative is complex and really does require some sort of understanding of what went before and what the politics are in order to enjoy it..

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Brandon Sanderson

Book 1, The Stormlight Archive

Gollancz (2010)

ISBN: 978-575-09735-3

Reviewed by Mitenae

When I first received this book for review I groaned because of the sheer size of this novel. To call it a doorstopper would be to understate the size and scope of this work. But once getting past the cover this book is a delight to read.

Kaladin was once a leader of a squad but now is a slave. A slave who’s escaped and been recaptured ten times and is once again travelling on his way to being sold. Then he makes it to the Shattered Plains where the King’s army is gathered fighting the Parshini, once for vengeance over the death of their late king, now over the highly prized gemhearts. Kaladin must overcome his sense of defeat if he is to survive being a bridgeman.

Shallan has travelled from city to city trailing after Jasnah Kholin to save the fortunes of her family, in the hope of becoming her ward. But Shallan discovers Jasnah’s invitation was only an offer to meet and she must earn her wardship if she wants to save her family.

Adolin Kholin, the son of Dalinar Kholin, a highprince is unsure of his father. Dalinar has been having visions each highstorm, has been reading The Way of Kings, and has made his army follow the Codes, which grate on everyone. Adolin wants to court women and fight for gemhearts. He doesn’t want to have to deal with the rumours surrounding his father’s apparently increasing instability. But Dalinar knows something larger is looming.

The Evenstorm is coming.

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Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn, Book 3

Gollancz (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 575 08994 5

Reviewed by Mitenae, August 2010

Vin and Elend have secured Luthadel and in the process of securing the rest of the Final Empire they discover that the Lord Ruler has left behind 5 caches, filled with food, supplies and messages scribed in metal. After locating the fourth cache, and finding clues to where the fifth is they hope they’ve finally found where the atium is stored. But Vin is being manipulated, and Ruin has the destruction of the world in mind. Unless she can find a way to prevent it, they are all doomed.

The Hero of Ages is the final volume in the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. My world building concerns with The Final Empire are resolved in this book. But rather than the explanations arising naturally from the story and the culmination of events, the reader is informed of these largely through italicised excerpts before the beginning of each chapter. These excerpts are relied upon far too much to fill in the holes, and without them the story wouldn’t have the effect that it does.

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Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn, Book 2

Gollancz (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 575 08993 8

Reviewed by Mitenae, July 2010

The Lord Ruler is dead and Elend Venture is king of the central dominance but Vin patrols every night, preventing his assassination. Lord Straff Venture and Lord Ashweather Cett with their own forces are preparing to take Luthadel and claim the Final Empire for themselves. But a more dire threat lurks in the mists and few believe Vin when she tried to tell them.

Most second books in a trilogy run the risk of being little more than space filler getting from book one to book three and although a lot happens in this book the first half was little more than the aftermath of the collapse of the empire. It didn’t engage me as much as it could have and it isn’t until the final third of this book that the story really begins to ramp up. But for me it takes far too long to tell what happens. By the time the spy (go on, you knew there was going to be one) was revealed, I didn’t care who it was, nor did I really care about who ended up claiming leadership because all the politicking that goes on is just a front for a larger story that was evident from the first book.

Brandon Sanderson is clearly an author with talent and this story is good, but it isn’t great. I like the world and the overall tale but I was hoping to read a book that continued the strength of The Final Empire and for me The Well of Ascension fell short.

Brandon Sanderson

Book 1, Mistborn

Gollancz (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 575 08991 4

Reviewed by Mitenae, June 2010

Vin is a street urchin, thieving and scamming with a crew on the streets of Luthadel to survive. But when Camon’s scam backfires and she’s discovered, Vin is rapidly plunged into a new world of Allomancy, balls, dancing and a plot many skaa have tried, but have never achieved in a thousand years.

Kelsier should be dead. Instead he’s stirring trouble and comes across Vin, a mistborn, like himself and introduces her to a world of Allomancy. But he has plans, big plans to overthrow the Lord Ruler of the Final Empire and he intends to keep the biggest plan a closely guarded secret.

While waiting for this book to arrive, I saw it in a bookstore, but I only picked it up because I got a chance to see what was coming. Neither the cover, nor the marketing would ever entice me to look it at it. The line on the front cover “What if the Dark Lord won?” is misleading, inaccurate and risks giving away the punchline. I love the pencil drawings on the cover, but the design as a whole is bordering on being a derivative version of what is currently popular and does nothing to make me want to pick it up nor does the style of it reflect the world found within its pages.

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