Tag Archive | brandon sanderson

Review: The Way of Kings

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

Greetings Fellow Booknerds,

Every time I finish a Sanderson novel, I think to myself; “There’s no way that he’ll be able to write anything that can top this.” And every time, without fail he makes me eat my own words.

The scope of his imagination is simply astounding, as if it’s an actual living thing that grows with every story, feeding off of his creative energy until the words take on their own life. He takes you on an epic journey, one that literally knocks the wind out of you, because every time you think you’ve got things figured out, Sanderson punches you in the gut with the truth, leaving you breathless and stupefied.

 

**WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

 

51hpm256bgl__sx258_bo1204203200_Book Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

5-stars

The Way of Kings is just one might gut punch after another, and most of them you won’t see coming. This first installment of the Stormlight Archive is an introduction to another corner of Sanderson’s Cosmere, and when I heard that there could end up being at least ten more books in the series, I knew that I was in for a heart pounding, adrenaline pumping thrill ride. You see, when you read a Sanderson novel, there are no dull moments. There are only very brief quiets before the storm, which happen on almost every page.

Like most of his books, The Way of Kings follows the stories of several different characters, whose lives eventually become intertwined in a way you don’t see coming until it happens. A large portion of the story follows Kalladin, a former soldier turned slave who is sold off to work as a bridge man for the Alethi army, who are currently fighting a war against the Parshendi over a highly valued resource; gem hearts.

Another part of the story follows the journey of Shallan, an aspiring scholar with a secret agenda as she seeks to become a ward to Yasna, a genius in her field who is very selective when it comes to whom she is willing to teach. She’s possibly one of my favourite characters, because she starts off as a nervous, sheltered girl who has strayed far from home and into a world she doesn’t know how to navigate, and grows into a bold, witty badass.

And then you have Dalinar, high prince of Alethkar, also known as the Blackthorn on the battlefield. He does his best to aid and serve the new King of Alethkar following the assassination of his brother, Gavellar, an event which fueled the hate and need for revenge against the Parshendi.

There is just so much going on at all times in this book, that it’s next to impossible to go into much more detail without giving anything more away. So, I’ll finish by saying that this book was one of the longest books I’d ever read, and it was well worth every minute I put into finishing it. If you’ve read a Sanderson book before, then you already know more or less what to expect. If you haven’t, then be warned; once you’ve entered the Cosmere, there is no backing out.

Also, I would like to wish all of you who are participating in Nanowrimo this year the best of luck, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

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Book Review: A Mistborn Novel Book #3 – The Hero of Ages

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I just want to start by saying that I have never experienced such a thought provoking and emotionally overwhelming from reading books before. I mean, sure, a tear or two may have squeezed their way out after reading each of the later harry potter books – you know, the ones where somebody dies in each one – but those were a reaction to isolated events. Reading Mistborn was entirely different: you felt every emotion they felt, you experienced their every pain, and when faced with a life altering decision, you were damn near convinced that it could have an impact on your reality as well. That’s the kind of writer Sanderson is: he doesn’t just pull you into the book, he pulls your entire world into it, a rare talent that I heartily applaud.

**WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW. I WILL TRY MY BEST TO AVOID THEM, BUT JUST IN CASE, CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED!** 

The Hero of AgesThe Hero of Ages: A Mistborn Novel by Brandon Sanderson

5-stars

The world is ending. It is a terrible truth that many citizens still refuse to believe, but the signs are there: the ground is nearly invisible beneath the sea of ash, buildings are falling victim to the quaking of the earth, people are growing ever more fearful of the mists, and there last hope to fix it all turned out to be the worst mistake they could have possibly made.

Elend, king turned emperor, is doing his best to bring as many people as he can under Luthadel’s protection, but resources are already being stretched thin, and there are new dangers lurking on the horizon. However, since their visit to the Well of Ascension, Elend feels a renewed confidence that he can do so much more, not to mention no longer having to rely on Vin to play the role of bodyguard.

Vin is still doing what she does best; following her instincts to decide the best course of action, but even she is beginning to doubt herself; after all, in her attempt to save the world, she inadvertently did the one thing that could lead it to its inevitable doom. Self doubt and hopelessness seem to be going around quite a bit in this point in the story, especially for dear old Sazed, who seems to have lost all faith in the religions he had striven so hard to commit to memory for future generations to benefit from, as he continues to reel from the aftermath of the battle against the Kolloss.

The Hero of Ages is where it all ends, but of course just like every Sanderson book, the question of what will ultimately befall our beloved characters remains unanswered until the very last page. It almost feels like the purpose of the books is to try and see if you can figure out what’s going to happen before they figure it out, which has proven next to impossible for me. This time, I was actually able to figure out one of the key plot points before it was revealed, for which I felt rather proud of myself when faced with Sanderson’s writing genius.

I must confess, I almost didn’t finish the series. After what happened to Kelsier in the first novel, I just didn’t think it would be worth my time to continue through the other two. I mean, Kel was my favourite character, and then he had to have THAT happen to him. But in the end, Kelsier’s fate served a very important purpose to the overall story, and I am incredibly thankful that I was able to carry on. After all, by the second book, I had fallen in love with a number of other characters, most notably Breeze.

Every book needs at least some comedic relief, and in this series, it comes in the form of Breeze. I feel like he is one of the few characters who remains at least somewhat optimistic throughout the entire series, ignoring that one moment of paralyzing fear he experiences during the Kolloss battle in the second book. Other than that, he’s always been the one to make others problems his business, offering encouragement in the form of his characteristic witty remarks.

Another one of my favourite characters was Tensoon. I think the only issue I had with him was trying to figure out what his voice should sound like whenever I read his dialogue, because one moment he would have the growly voice of a wolf hound, and then the next moment he’s supposed to have a more human voice, but seeing as he never had a human form before becoming a dog, I had no idea what his human voice was supposed to be. Really, though, I absolutely loved Tensoon, and I can assure you that it has nothing to do with my love for furry, four legged canines 🙂

I could easily go through every single character and the hundreds of reasons why they’re awesome, but for those of you who haven’t read the books yet, I shouldn’t deny you the fun of discovering them for yourselves. Going back to the novel at hand, however, I would just like to say that I LOVED the ending. I won’t say whether it was happy or sad, but I will say that everything was tied up so well in the end, leaving little if any loose ends. Usually, when I get to the end of a series, I wish they would write another book so that the story wouldn’t end so soon. With Mistborn, I had no such thoughts. The ending was damn near perfect, that anything more would feel unnecessary.

An epic adventure, which delves into questions of love, destiny, faith, religion, politics, philosophy, and the greatest question of all: how would you face the ending of the world?

I would love to hear what you guys have to say about the book, and the entire series for that matter, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blogs facebook page. I hope you liked this weeks review, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd   

An Inspirational Quote from Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn Trilogy”

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

As I continue to read my way through the Mistborn trilogy, I have come to the realization that these books contain what I think are some of the best literary quotes… heck, the best life quotes, of all time. With every page I read, my own yearning to write grows, in the hopes that I can tap into the deepest recesses of my imagination and pull out something as brilliant and thought provoking as what Sanderson has managed to create.

This quote, from Sanderson’sThe Well of Ascension“, really spoke to me as someone who has chosen to follow the writers path, which today is highly competitive and difficult to get into. At times, it feels a lot like drawing lots; sometimes you’ll get lucky with a big break, and other times you’ll encounter failure after failure after failure. You pretty much need to have a will of steel, otherwise the continual rejection could become a rather daunting, impassible wall.

However, if we were to succeed at everything on the first try, then we would be missing out on the thrill and satisfaction that comes from giving something our all until we finally succeed. This feeling is summed up very well in the following quote:      

“It’s easy to believe in something when you win all the time…The losses are what define a man’s faith.”

                                                                                                                     ― Brandon Sanderson, The Well of Ascension      

As I read this quote, I’m reminded of when I used to play badminton with my siblings when I was little. It was, and continues to be, one of my favourite sports of all times – yes, it is a sport, all of you out there who don’t see it as such – but there was a time when I wanted to give it up altogether. Whenever I played against my siblings, I did pretty damn well, and when I found out that my school was holding tryouts for the badminton team, I was convinced that I would be able to get on it, no problem. My own confidence surprised me, since I’m probably one of the least confident people I know, yet I had a pretty good feeling about my odds.

As I’m sure you can guess, I didn’t make it. In fact, during the tryout matches, I lost every single time, and I was shocked. How could that be? What did I do wrong? Am I really not as good as I thought I was? All of these questions whirled around in my head as I dragged myself back to class, my shoulders slouched by the weight of my failure. It was one of the worst moments in my life… and yet, I have absolutely no regrets.

The following year, I decided that I was going to tryout for the high school baseball team, but unlike with the badminton fiasco, I worked hard to hone my skills, practicing every day after school, and not making the same mistake of putting the cart before the horse. I reminded myself that there was a chance I wouldn’t make it onto the team, but that I wouldn’t know unless I tried. This time, I achieved my goal, and I honestly believe that I wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for my failure to make it onto the badminton team.

I know it’s a rather simple example, especially when compared to the context in which this quote was uttered in the novel – I won’t give away any details, for those who have yet to read it – but I think the meaning is clear: our faith in something, even our own abilities, is strengthened more by our failures than our successes, because if we fail yet our faith remains intact, then that is a testament to how strong that faith truly is.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this quote. Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blog’s facebook page, and if you have any quotes of your own you would like to share, I would love to read those as well. Comment away, and as always, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Book Review: A Mistborn Novel Book #2 – The Well of Ascension

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

Yet another summer has come and gone, yet as we lament its passing, we can still look back upon those months with fond memories of the books we read, and look forward to the books we still have yet to enjoy in the months to come. For many of us, this will prove to be a challenge, as some of us will be returning to school, others getting back to work, and the sunny beach weather will gradually transform into the chilly snow globe that is Canada’s more natural state. But remember, time as we know it was created long ago from the human need to organize an otherwise chaotic world, so even in the chaos that is our daily lives, we have the power to use that time to our advantage. Now, before I ramble on for too long, let’s get to the review!

The Well of Ascension
A Mistborn Novel #2: The Well of Ascension

By Brandon Sanderson

stars-5

The first book was amazing. I had a hard time putting it down for even a second. I didn’t think it would even be possible for Sanderson to write anything that would top it… and yet, somehow he did it. The Well of Ascension is a brilliant masterpiece, and I’m not just saying that either. I don’t know how he does it, but right up until the very end of the book, I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. I was even sure to read it very closely, to see if I could pick out any of the subtle hints that would give me the answers to some of the major plot points, yet every time I found my mind being blown by something that should have been obvious, yet somehow wasn’t.

 

**Warning: The remainder of this review may contain some spoilers, although I will do my best to be as discreet as possible with regards to any major plot points.**

The second book takes place a year after Vin killed the Lord Ruler, which may have brought freedom for the many skaa who had been oppressed by his rule, but it also through them into chaos. With the Lord Ruler, they at least knew what to expect in life, and what was expected of them. Now, they were without direction, and to make matters worse, certain noblemen have taken it open themselves to try and put themselves in the Lord Rulers place. Elend Venture, however, has a different idea in mind.

Now the new king of Luthadel, he seeks to create a government that will give the people the power to affect their own change. He has big ambitions, and even bigger ideals, but unfortunately, neither the skaa or the noblemen are ready or willing to go along with it. Most of Kelsier’s crew are still warming up to him, not used to taking orders from a nobleman, and Vin is doing her best to act as Elend’s bodyguard, while at the same time trying to deal with a lot of her own problems, most notably of which is the mysterious thumping that fills her head night and day.

Politics, assassins, betrayals, mind games, prophecies, a complicated romance, a plot riddled with unexpected twists and turns, combined with some of your favourite characters from the first books and some new faces you quickly grow to love, and with a dash of Sanderson’s uncontainable wit, and you’ve got a book that someone will have to tear from your hands to get you to stop reading it. It’s really hard to put my feelings for this book into words that would do it justice. You’re just going to have to read it to understand… no pressure or anything 🙂

Now, no book is perfect, and I tried to find something about it that I could pick on… but there was nothing. I mean sure, he killed off some of the characters I really liked, and he threw in all these little hints that I felt I should have noticed after the fact, but those are just some of the things that mark him as a great writer. No one wants to read an obvious story. The obvious has already been done. We want to be thrown for a loop, taken on a completely unique journey where the possibilities truly feel infinite, and that’s exactly what Sanderson delivers.

To learn more about The Mistborn Trilogy, and other Sanderson novels, you can visit his website at www.brandonsanderson.com . If you’ve already read the book, I’d love to hear what you have to say about it. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below or on the blogs facebook page, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Book Review: Mistborn

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I know it has been a while, but that’s what happens when every single one of your professors thinks it’s a good idea to have all of their projects due in March. For once, I actually can’t wait until April, so that all I have to worry about is studying for exams 🙂

So, as promised, today’s post is going to be my own personal review of the book Mistborn, the first installment of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. I still have a little ways to go until the end, but it is just so amazing that I can’t wait. This is literally a book like no other, with memorable characters, a strong female hero, unexpected twists and turns at every corner, garish creatures from your worst nightmares, and thought provoking philosophic discussions that would make you question even your most devout beliefs about human nature. There really is no book out there like it, at least not among all the ones I’ve read so far.

Mistborn Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

stars-5

This is the story of a man by the name of Kelsier who, after nearly dying in the Pits of Hathsin, has vowed to overthrow the Lord Ruler and the empire he has built upon the backs of the beaten, bloodied and impoverished Skaa. His ambition causes his path to cross with that of a young girl by the name of Vin, who possesses a power she is barely aware of, and who may be the key in mounting the biggest rebellion the Empire has ever seen. Although reluctant at first, Vin eventually agrees to join Kelsier’s crew, although more out of curiosity than anything else. He teaches her the ways of the Mistborn, those who can use different types of metals by means of Allomancy towards different ends, whether it is to increase ones physical strength, to sharpen ones senses, or even to use the metals as a weapon by pushing and pulling on them. If one is lucky enough to find the eleventh metal, they can even predict the movements of another before they happen, which has inspired and motivated to join Kelsier and his cause. However, now that things have been set in motion, what will be the final outcome?

This is one of those books where, no matter how insignificant a character may seem, or how briefly they appear in the story, they are still very memorable. It’s hard to say if it’s thanks to Sanderson’s writing skills or his ability to design realistic and charming characters, but if this were to ever be made into a movie, it would be difficult to replicate their personalities. This is not to say that I wouldn’t want to see it if it were ever to make it onto the big screen. I just keep thinking about this one character, a member of the army Kelsier was putting together, who only said a few words but still managed to make me laugh my butt off. I think it has to do with how Sanderson has the main characters interacting with the less noticeable ones, bringing out personality traits that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Another thing I love about this book is that even though it’s a fictional story, it really gets you to question things about humanity that you most likely never would have thought about on your own. Ham, who works closely with Kelsier, is always bringing up ethical and philosophical debates, even though it bugs the heck out of Kelsier every time he does. My first reaction is to laugh at what he says, because it just seems like a really dumb question with an obvious answer, like whether the Lord Ruler, or just the members of royalty in general, were born physically and psychologically different than the Skaa (this is basically their version of slaves). Of course, I would instinctively say no, believing that people are born the same but then grow up differently through social interactions and unique environmental factors. But then he brings up the issue of Allomancy, and how only those of a royal bloodline are born with it. That definitely threw me for a bit of a spin!

Lastly, I want to talk about Vin. Now, I have a read a lot of books with female protagonists, and I’d say there’s about a 5o/5o split between those I did like and those I didn’t. Too many of those female characters were just much too typical; they are either too feminine and rely on a man to save them from imminent danger, or they are too masculine and barely resemble a female character anymore. What I like about Vin is that she is cunning, smart, a bit of a wise-ass, wary of those around her, doing whatever it takes to survive, and above all else, she has a genuine charm. I think the only other female character I might appreciate as much as Vin is Hermione from Harry Potter, and that’s only because she is the real yet unrecognized heroine of the series 🙂

I could write about this book for hours, but I feel like I might let slip too many spoilers if I do. If you have nothing else planned to read this Summer, I would definitely recommend this book. If you have read it already, and would like to share what you think, post your thoughts in the comments. Even if you didn’t like the book, feel free to share why, for even I am rational enough to know that no book exists in the world which is universally liked. That’s all for today, so until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

New Publishers, New Books, New Year!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

How quickly time passes sometimes. It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly two whole months since last I posted something, and it is not for lack of nothing to say. The month of November was plagued with essays, projects and exam preparations, while December… well, aside from exams, it really wasn’t all that busy, but my brain has a tendency to shut down for a few weeks following that taxing exam period 🙂 That does not, however, mean that my love of books and reading them has waned in the least! I have many new books to share with you all, but first, I have some BIG NEWS!

A dear friend of mine has recently started his own publishing company, which you should know as fellow book lovers is a pretty big deal in the world of literature. Its official launch is in January, but you can already get to know a bit about them by visiting one of the following web locations:

Drawn Forth Publishing - Stirling, Ontario Drawn Forth Publishing: Books for a Better World

Facebook: www.facebook.com/drawnforth

Website: www.drawnforth.org

Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrawnForth

Whoever said that literature was a dying art was greatly mistaken, for it is alive and well so long as there are skilled writers with limitless imaginations, and publishers willing to give them the opportunity to share them both with the world. I’d like to wish them the best of luck, and I hope all of you lovely BookNerds will do the same.

Now on to the next bit of news!

As I am sure I have mentioned time and time again – to the point where you guys are probably sick and tired of hearing it but I’ll probably keep mentioning it anyway – I am a bit of a slow reader. I like to take my sweet time while I read, which means that months can pass and I’ll still be on the same book. However, that hasn’t stopped me from building up my reading collection, providing me with even more books that I’ll be able to enjoy as I’m sitting in my rocking chair, poking the ceiling above me with a broom every time the upstairs neighbors get a little too rowdy.

One of the new books I purchased is actually one I had been meaning to get my hands on for quite some time, but I could never seem to find it. Although thinking back, I’m sure I could have found it on Amazon and ordered it in no time, but I’ve never been a big fan of online shopping. I like to go out and physically see and feel the things I’m going to buy, so that there’s less of a chance of me wanting to return them later on for whatever reason. Fortunately enough, I succeeded in finding the one I was looking for…

Good Omens Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

So many people have accused British humor as being dry, lifeless and just the kind of humor that goes right over your head. Well to those people, I say go buy any of the books written by Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman, and tell us what you really think. This book is witty, clever and at times I literally feel like my side is going to split because I’m laughing so hard! I never thought a book about angels, demons and the anti-Christ could be so wonderfully funny, but I guess that’s what happens when you get two of the worlds most brilliant authors working together.

On top of finding this little treasure, I also received the best birthday present one could get; an entire book series! Admittedly, I had never even heard of the series before, but after reading the first couple chapters of the first book, I felt guilty about my ignorance, as it is just so bloody amazing…

mistborn-trilogy Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

Just another fantasy book? I think not. Sanderson has a way of making every character relevant to the story, even if they only make a five second appearance. The protagonists are very multi-layered, making it hard to tell whether they’re the good guys or the bad guys, but either way you can’t wait to see what they do next. I’ve always had a hard time finding books that had a good, strong female character, who doesn’t immediately become a damsel in distress as soon as a handsome, muscular man appears. Vin is an excellent female heroine, one whose strength lies in her ability to read situations and react to them in a way which benefits her, without being annoying or too full of herself. Then there is Kelsier, the kind of male protagonist who you can’t help but be on his side, no matter what horrible thing he does. I’m only two chapters in, and already I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble they get into next!

  So many books to read, yet so little time to read them in. I guess I’ll just have to keep doing my best, and perhaps stop buying books for a little while so I can catch up on the ones I already have… nah! I’ll come up with a much better new years resolution than that. Speaking of new years resolution, I would love to know what my book loving followers have in mind regarding their vows for the new year! If you feel like sharing, feel free to do so in the comments below. I’ll try to get things started, as soon as I can figure out what my new years resolution is going to be 😉

That’s all for today. For my next post, I’m hoping to get a bit more insight into the up and coming publishing company Drawn Forth, in order to give you guys more details as to what kind of services they will be providing, and possibly even point some of you up and coming writers in their direction. Until then, bundle up nice and warm next to the fireplace, and happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd