The long-awaited 3rd book in the Stormlight Archive series! Although, really, this wasn't THAT long a wait. I mean, the guy wrote his longest book yet (1220 pages) in 3 years (which is one year less than he took to write book 2). So, kudos to him for that.
More kudos to him for writing something worthwhile reading. This book was never a slog. Also, it did three very important things:
- Bolstered his case for why religion matters to the masses. As with any book Sanderson writes, he does not write it from the viewpoint of the Mormon faith (although maybe a teensy bit more in this one, with complicated mysteries being revealed to some extent), but instead from the viewpoint of why religion should not be discounted as a major factor in people's lives (and certainly not as an opiate or a crutch).
- Developed further his theories around forgiveness. You could put this into the same box as the first thing, but this book actually made these theories explicit. He took each of his major characters (Shallan, Dalinar, Kaladin, and to some extent Teft, Adolin, Jasnah and Szeth) and described their hardships further, why it was difficult for them to forgive themselves, and what they needed to do to get there. Plus all the reasons why it's important to forgive yourself the right way, not the wrong way (specifically, learning from your mistakes).
- Continued the story! We want to know a lot lot lot more about who the Parshmen are, who the Voidbringers are, who our protagonists' true enemies are or will be, what the storms really mean, and why the heck spren and humans can bond or not bond. He moves all those stories forward in significant ways (but the biggest mystery surrounding Urithiru remains). The book itself is not actually about the sword (Oathbringer), it's about the war (which the sword factors into). And fear not, he completes that war. Sanderson is not one to leave you hanging on a major plot point. He has 7 more books to go, and has a lot of story to tell.