I read this book the first time in 2012. Since then, I’ve reread it 3 more times. The second time, I skipped every other perspective but Kaladin’s. The third time was a slower read where I paid attention to portions of the story I’d missed, especially the foreshadowing. The fourth time was this last week: I needed a good book to cheer me up: I’d just read one I hadn’t enjoyed at all.
First the bad:
Shallan’s perspective is slightly boring compared to Kaladin’s. Seth’s angst is made so obvious that it gets tiresome. Both Shallan and the Wit are supposed to be witty but I didn’t agree. The humour felt very forced. There were funny because the author reiterated they were. Several times.
This is an epic; I find it extremely satisfying to read books this size. The world and magic-system are very detailed and fully imagined. The effort this must have taken is boggling.
The honor-spren are genius: they allow characters to have an internal monologue and ethical debates without seeming angsty. And there were several instances where I paused and had to admire the cleverness.
One example which bowled me over were the words that Kaladin had lived by and finally finding out the circumstances in which he'd first heard them
Kaladin’s perspective is beautifully done. The perspective switches to the past and to the present - and the suspense is handled masterfully.
The big reveals at the end of the book were all surprises. I hadn’t guessed any of them. And what impressed me was that I realised the clues were there throughout the book. The one I liked especially was the revelation about the source of Dalinar’s dreams.
Highly recommended. Among one of the best books in epic-fantasy you’ll probably read.