The Stormlight Archive, Book 1, Part 1
Synopsis: SPEAK AGAIN THE ANCIENT OATHS,
LIFE BEFORE DEATH.
STRENGTH BEFORE WEAKNESS.
JOURNEY BEFORE DESTINATION.
AND RETURN TO MEN THE SHARDS THEY ONCE BORE.
THE KNIGHTS RADIANT MUST STAND AGAIN.
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.
One such war is about to swallow up a soldier, a brightlord and a young woman scholar.
Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.
Review: I should know it: Melliane is often right. I did not say all the time, eh, do not exaggerate, but when she advises a book, she is mostly in the truth. Even when it comes to fantasy. Because you see, I’m full of apriori when it comes to this genre. Not a good thing, I know that. I fear the multitude of characters who drown you, the lengthening descriptions that put you to sleep and the infinite number of pages. For the number of pages, this volume 1 of the Roshar Archives does not deviate from the rule, but as for the rest …
The gallery of characters is varied, but remains reasonable. Each chapter is devoted to one of them, whether it be Shallan who aspires to become a scholar while concealing a gloomy design, from Kaladin, the man of deck with the greatness of soul or Dalinar, the warrior who becomes wise, and assembles little by little the pieces of the narrative.
It will be extremely difficult for me to summarize this story which is really dense, my words would not do justice to its complex web. The author has been able to recreate a completely separate universe, which alternates spaces like so many jumps on a map: the library where the beautiful Shallan waits for her time while drinking her thirst for knowledge, the Broken Plains which not only see Kaladin (how I loved this character…) who tries to survive by saving his companions in misfortune, but also Dalinar, haunted by dreams that he does not understand but that seem to open a new way for The kingdom, a way that will not be easy to borrow while the opposition is that fierce.
Add to this a bestiary composed of sprens of all kinds, monsters with hearts of gems and horses who choose their rider, armor that defy the laws of what is known and weapons that appear after ten heartbeat, and you will have but a very thin idea of the richness of the narrative.
And to top it off, wealth does not rhyme with confusion: the pen is elegant, precise and at no time have I lost the thread of my reading. The almost 1000 pages of this volume 1: pouf, flees … They parade one after the other and I savored this novel as the men of deck enjoy a good meal: hungry, enthusiastic and with the desire that it Never ends.
So here I am, I have to confess. From now on, I love fantasy. It’s my banker who is not going to be happy: who says fantasy says new genre in my shelves, and that says a new kind says buying books and so a bank account not frankly delighted. QED.