After watching several video reviews and discussions online about more modern fantasy, I decided to dive into the world of Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere.
I didn't start like most people do with Mistborn though. In a weird way, I have a fascination with going head first into the biggest books I can get ahold of, so my first Sanderson novel ended up being the Stormlight Archive book 1: The Way of Kings. And I was hooked immediately into his writing style, the deeply flawed characters that go through so much but still come.out as good, the very strange land of Roshar with its highstorms, Shardblades, Cremlings and Knights Radiant. It's a very fantastical world, which is exactly what I've been craving for a long time in fantasy.
I personally wasn't able to get into A Song of Ice and Fire in the same way. I enjoyed the TV show well enough, and the books are written really well, but the way the last few seasons were handled left a sour taste in my mouth, and the long wait for the final two books has kinda put me off wanting to reading the rest of them (I made it to halfway through A Storm of Swords). I appreciate the darker fantasy and historical angle that series takes, but I also feel like Martin focuses too much on details that... don't actually matter. I don't need to know the details of the incestual romance between the Lannisters. And the more fantasy elements being pushed aside for the sake of "grittiness" is actually a turn off for me.
The Stormlight Archive, in contrast, finds a better balance for me. It's dark, especially in the epic battles where characters are quite capable of getting killed off, the political backstabbings and betrayals are there without it taking away from the fantastical aspect of the world. The landscape itself, the creatures and beings who inhabit Roshar, down to the strange way weather, seasons, and even currency works are all alien, weird, and intriguing. Sex is something that is acknowledged, and obviously happens in this world, but handled in a "fade to black" way I find far more tasteful personally. Not everything needs to be shown in graphic detail!
The focus is definitely on characters, and their innate human flaws that they must learn to overcome. Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, and Adolin are so nicely developed, and I'm rooting for them to pull through to the end.
I'm currently starting book four, Rhythm of War, and I have the Mistborn Trilogy on my shelf for when I am finished with it. I have most definitely added a new author to my list of favorites.
Dalinar Kholin said:
The most important words a man can say are, "I will do better." These are not the most important words any man can say. I am a man, and they are what I needed to say.
The ancient code of the Knights Radiant says "journey before destination." Some may call it a simple platitude, but it is far more. A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us.
But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fall, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination.
To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one.