I’m going to do something I never do and start off my review of Rhythm of War with a rating.
That five comes easily and without regret.
If you’re even reading this review, that likely means you’ve read plenty of Brandon Sanderson books, and if you’re here by chance not knowing Rhythm of War is Book 4 in a series and deep into the Cosmere, then let me enlighten you.
Brandon Sanderson is a storming genius.
Rhythm of War Review
I’d been putting off reading Mistborn for almost two years when I discovered my love for Brandon Sanderson.
Mistborn had been lauded all over the internet, so I started it way back in 2017 or 2018, I can’t remember. I read about 150-200 pages and couldn’t get into it.
But I finally gave it a chance again back in June of 2020, loved it, and have been reading Brandon Sanderson books back to back to back for the last 8 months.
Rhythm of War is the first for me to review, but my feelings echoed here easily transfer to all of his books.
Rhythm of War opens with a flashback.
Storms, I hate those flashbacks.
I’ve never liked them, going all the way back to The Way of Kings. Yeah, they have some valuable insights, but I used to skip them entirely.
For Rhythm of War, I decided I’d actually listen to them, because I knew there weren’t any more books out, and I wanted to milk this book for all it’s worth.
I could have skipped them.
This first one is from Navani’s point of view, and it’s actually very helpful, so don’t skip this one. But the rest are Venli and while there are a few good moments in there, most of it didn’t interest me.
Anyway! A year has passed since Oathbringer and the war between mankind and the singers is on in full force. Very shortly after the start of the book, Dalinar and crew go off to war, and Uritheru gets invaded by the enemy.
The entire conflict for this whole book revolves around, not the war effort, but the invasion of the human’s base.
What I loved
He’s easily my favorite character in the whole series, and Rhythm of War is no exception.
Kaladin has hit a new low in this book, and it really bothered me early on. I want Kaladin to be the strong hero, and he did a lot of whining in Rhythm of War. But of course, we’ve already established that Sanderson is a genius, so it’s all intentional.
The payoff at the end of the book is worth it, and everything that happens leading up to that point makes the moment all the sweeter.
Adolin is probably my second most favorite character. I didn’t like him early in the series, but he’s grown on me as he’s matured as a character.
There are some very excellent moments of Adolin, and particular one really awesome moment involving Maya that is probably the most memorable moment in Rhythm of War for me.
What I didn’t like
You’re talking about things you didn’t like, yet gave the book a 5 star rating?
That’s why I shared the rating up front. Because I wanted you to know this book is totally worth every star. That doesn’t mean I don’t have things that irked me. It just means that Brandon Sanderson is so masterful with the pen that he evoked emotion.
Shallan drives me nuts.
I really liked her in The Way of Kings, but in Oathbringer, she cracked emotionally. Now, in Rhythm of War, she’s like three different people, and she switches back and forth between personalities in a single conversation.
It drives me insane.
I hated any conversation involving Shallan early in the book. She whines more than Kaladin.
But once again, the payoff was worth it.
By the end of Rhythm of War, I wouldn’t say I’m totally satisfied with Shallan, but she’s making significant enough improvements that I’m no longer frustrated with her.
I really didn’t talk about Rhythm of War at all. And I can’t really. Very nearly everything is important. Such is the genius that is Brandon Sanderson.
Aside from the storming flashbacks, I feel like everything is crucial to the development of the story.
I used to skip the Interludes between Parts, too. They never seemed to be valuable, but in Rhythm of War, they very clearly take place during this same conflict, showing valuable information. Sanderson just uses the Interludes as a way to show some POV characters that don’t get to make it into the main writing itself.
POVs like Taravangian or some of the Heralds.
He even uses the POV of a cremling at one point. I really thought that plot line might have been going somewhere, but that POV was about the heralds, not the cremling.
I loved Rhythm of War. Now begins the long wait for Book 5.
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