Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $8.11 shipping
Rhythm of War: Book Four of The Stormlight Archive (The Stormlight Archive, 4) Audio CD – Unabridged, December 15, 2020
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Praise for the Stormlight Archive
“Classic Sanderson, with multiple story lines and unexpected twists and turns . . . Successfully balances introducing new elements and satisfactorily resolving some threads, leaving fans to eagerly await the next in the series.”―Publishers Weekly on Oathbringer
“Excellent . . . cranks up the level of intrigue to dizzying extremes…Sanderson’s experiment is working, and he gets better with every book. The journey will be worth it. Yes, you should buy this book. Yes, this is a series worth following to the end.”―Tor.com on Words of Radiance
“Absolutely revels in its fantasy world, one of actual gods, bizarre magic, knights with superpowers, spirits and sorcery, monsters, demons, and magic sword called Shardblades. It embraces the fantastic, and does so with an astonishing amount of creativity . . . Words of Radiance is a must-read.”―io9 on Words of Radiance
“Words of Radiance may be the most accomplished followup to a popular first novel in the last 15 years.”―Buzzfeed on Words of Radiance
“Sanderson is a master . . . Fans and lovers of epic fantasy will find the ending satisfying, yet will eagerly await the next volume.”―Library Journal on The Way of Kings
“Epic in every sense.”―The Guardian on The Way of Kings
“Sanderson is a master of many aspects of the fantasy genre: epic world-building, coherent systems of magic and unforgettable character development. All those are in peak form in his masterwork, The Way of Kings.”―Paste Magazine, “The 50 Best Fantasy Books of the 21st Century (So Far)”
“Brandon Sanderson’s reputation is finally as big as his novels.”―The New York Times on Words of Radiance
About the Author
Kate Reading is the recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been named by AudioFile magazine as a “Voice of the Century,” as well as the Best Voice in Science Fiction & Fantasy in 2008 and 2009 and Best Voice in Biography & Culture in 2010. She has narrated works by such authors as Jane Austen, Robert Jordan, Edith Wharton, and Sophie Kinsella. Reading has performed at numerous theaters in Washington D.C. and received a Helen Hayes Award for her performance in Aunt Dan and Lemon. AudioFile magazine reports that, "With subtle control of characters and sense of pacing, Kate’s performances are a consistent pleasure."
Michael Kramer has narrated over 100 audiobooks for many bestselling authors. He read all of Robert Jordan’s epic Wheel of Time fantasy-adventure series as well as Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive series. He received AudioFile magazine's Earphones Award for the Kent Family series by John Jakes and for Alan Fulsom's The Day After Tomorrow. Known for his “spot-on character portraits and accents, and his resonant, well-tempered voice” (AudioFile), his work includes recording books for the Library of Congress’s Talking Books program for the blind and physically handicapped.
Kramer also works as an actor in the Washington, D.C. area, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer Mendenhall (a.k.a. Kate Reading), and their two children. He has appeared as Lord Rivers in Richard III at The Shakespeare Theatre, Howie/Merlin in The Kennedy Center’s production of The Light of Excalibur, Sam Riggs and Frederick Savage in Woody Allen’s Central Park West/Riverside Drive, and Dr. Qari Shah in Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul at Theatre J.
- Publisher : Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (December 15, 2020)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1250771544
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250771544
- Item Weight : 2.13 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 4.3 x 6.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #144,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The end being really good does not make up for the meat of the book being disjointed and not fun.
It is not a bad book in the grand scheme of things, but it IS a bad book in comparison to the other Archive books.
The vast majority of characters we see repeat themes from the previous books. Mental health is a major thing in this book both to its credit and detriment. I understand it is a constant struggle for many people but I feel as though that very constant struggle hurts the book.
There just seemed to be very little progress in the book. It would be one thing if it was at least fun to read but that was not really the case. It more depressing and dark than previous books especially adding in the mental health bits.
The flow of the story was constantly interrupted, mainly by flashbacks. Flashbacks that added nothing into the story of any relevance.
This was easily my favorite series that I was reading, I looked forward to each release. In the previous books I found myself reading constantly with as few interruptions as I could.
This book was not like that. With this one I found myself putting it down to do other things, especially when one of the aforementioned flashback chapters came up.
This book combined with Sanderson saying he plans on this being a 10 book series divided into two 5 books parts leaves me sad, disappointed and worried going forward.
These books were 10x better when it was warriors with massive magical blades in almost indestructible magical-powered super-armor just fighting in huge battles and sometimes duelling. Go back to that, please.
* I love Brandon Sanderson stories, but RoW falls into the same trap as many fantasy series that drag on past 3 books.
* I'd only recommend this book to those readers who are very Invested in The Cosmere. It basically has The Architect scene from The Matrix strung out through much of the book.
* Shallan, Navani and Venli are interesting characters. Wit's always good and I could've read more chapters about The Mink. Dalinar and Jasnah are just kind of there. Lift is awesome, but she's lost in the shuffle. Lirin (Kaladin) and Adolin drag down the entire book.
* RoW should've been the first book in a new trilogy. As book #4 in the Archive, it's about 400-600 pages too long. Sanderson should have just included Dawnshard if he needed 1200 pages for publication.
1. Lirin drags down all the Kaladin chapters and eventually the entire book. His character is so flat that it's nearly impossible to read his and Kaladin's chapters. Point made after 2 chapters. Time to move on.
2. Adolin drags down all of Shallan's chapters. The whining gets incredibly old after a very short period of time. Got the gist 2 books ago.
3. The interludes aren't needed. They're either a PoV for a character in the main story arc (should've been a chapter) or too short to add anything to the world. For example, I-8 adds very little and that's a stretch unless you've read Dawnshard.
4. It feels like there are too many facts not in evidence. I've read the 6 Mistborn books, Unbounded and Dawnshard. I still feel like I had to buy and read Warbreaker about mid way through reading RoW. Didn't help, which wasn't a great feeling. RoW would be especially confusing without Unbounded and coppermind.net (fair warning, coppermind has many RoW spoilers in addition to other useful information. The best books are the ones you can reread and still enjoy after knowing everything though).
I laughed. I cried. I was on the edge of my seat. Worth the wait and excited for the next volume!
Top reviews from other countries
I won't say much about the plot except that it's set around a year after book three and mainly follows Kaladin, Navani and Venli. Shallan has a fair few POV's as well though not as many as the others and the rest of the main characters just have a few bits here and there.
Unusually, so far anyway, the flashbacks weren't as prominent as they have been in other books and only started in part three. That meant that the vast majority of the book was set in the present day timeline. You would expect that meant the plot moved forwards loads but it didn't really. This was very much an introspective book and so though we had a lot of character development, the plot didn't move forward all that much.
So the heart of this book is about self realisation. Kaladin is severely traumatised and needs to learn to take a step back. Shallan is even more messed up and has to come to an understanding with herself. Venli is trying to live with what she's done while moving on to what she is to become and Navani is trying to balance her responsibilities as a ruler with her desire and skill as a scholar. It's an unusual book in that respect and fair play to Sanderson for tackling such issues in a truly epic fantasy setting.
Saying that parts of it I felt dragged a bit. The parts with Navani and Raboniel were some of my favourite bits but it got very technical in places and I found myself glazing over it. Some people are probably going to love it though. This book also got very cosmere heavy which is both a good and a bad thing. Myself twenty years ago would have absolutely loved it, I had the time to constantly re-read my favourite books and I'm sure I would have read all three again in preparation for this. However me nowadays still loves it but since I've only read most of his books once, I was constantly wondering what bits of the cosmere he was talking about and if I should know certain names etc. I know the most obvious ones but I'm sure I missed loads and the significance of some stuff we found out. It is still pretty great and again this will be an added bonus for others.
As you will expect if you've read any of his other books, Sanderson has ended it with a bang (which I'm still thinking about) and now must wait patiently for another three years until the next one. This time I will re-read them as it will be the final part of this arc.
'General but no specific spoilers'
deep depression and Schizophrenic split personality disorder, on a roller coaster ride of a story dealing with mental health issues, long extremely drawn out 'scientific experiments' and best of all, almost no actual movement of characters physical location or trails.
In this insanely detailed book of personal growth? Of three characters, watch out for the trap of believing three books were enough to understand the characters strengths and their very well detailed weaknesses, as this will take you down to the depths of how to write an extensive book detailing Internal issues.
So, what was good?.
The ending was split 50% between truly brilliant and 50% wtf.
I better understanding of the world building that is happening.
A Bond that is starting to be be reawakened.
And the bad.
Almost no movement of the storyline and I mean actual physical movement
A complete continuation of mental health issues to the point of almost not caring anymore.
Trying to make a specific character story line in any way have any importance or interest while not actually doing anything!.
A focus on the minutiae of stormlight and experiments to the detriment of the story
Rhythm of War is a lot. It's the latest in a lot of books: this is the fourth of ten planned books in the Stormlight Archive series and the twelfth of a planned thirty-odd books in the wider Cosmere universe. It's a lot of pages: at more than 1,200 pages this is the longest epic fantasy novel published since the previous volume in the series, Oathbringer, which in turn was possibly the longest fantasy novel published in over a decade. It's a lot of characters, with dozens of major and minor characters playing important roles in the story. It's also a lot of worldbuilding, with fabrials and Shardplate and voidlight and stormlight and half a dozen different magic system employing different principles being discussed at chapter-stretching length (not helped by the three-year gap since the last book in the series; keeping the Stormlight wiki on standby during reading may be advisable). This is not a series for the faint-hearted or the short of time.
Rhythm of War is also, it is pleasing to report, a stronger novel than its forebear, arresting a slight decline in quality that the series had been suffering since the start. The Way of Kings was a strong novel which set up an unusual, alien setting with an interesting story and worldbuilding and characters who were among Sanderson's best. Words of Radiance was almost as good, but suffered some pacing issues. These pacing issues became overwhelming in Oathbringer, a relatively simple and focused novel that was diffused and made more complicated than it needed to be by immense amounts of worldbuilding and backstory discussions that, strictly speaking, didn't really need to be in the book.
Rhythm of War shores up a building that was, if not in danger of collapse, starting to list under its own weight. The novel is helped by dropping the completely self-contained side-stories that appeared in previous novels and by setting up very clear stories around its four main characters: Venli, Shallan, Kaladin and Navani (with Dalinar, Wit, Adolin and Lift having reasonably important secondary roles). Each story is told clearly and intersects with the others in a well-laid out manner, with Sanderson expending a lot of energy on making these characters jump off the page more than previously.
It's also a heavy novel, in the sense that both Shallan and Kaladin's stories revolve around mental health, stress, PTSD and other issues revolving around personality disorders and the need for good mental health practice. It's a strong theme that was touched on in the previous books but becomes a major plot point in this novel. It's welcome to see a contemporary issue being fleshed out in a fantasy novel in a respectful and mostly well-handled way. However, given the novel has come out in the middle of a global pandemic and many readers will be suffering stress and pressure as a result, readers should be forewarned going into the book that it is tackling weightier-than-normal themes for the author.
The clear demarcation and semi-equal screen time between the four leads helps tremendously in overcoming the pacing issues from the previous novel (thinking of this more as four much more reasonably-sized 300-page novels, each focused on a strong lead character, helps).
That said, problems remain. There are immense stretches of time, especially in the Navani storyline, where characters sit around and discuss worldbuilding issues between them. The idea of characters in a epic fantasy novel acting like scientists and trying to work out how the magic of the world works in an experimental manner is really interesting, but the novel does feel it goes a bit overboard as we see people using magnets and beakers to try to catch stormlight and voidlight in bulbs and do weird things with them. It's a cool idea that is overindulged in.
In addition, the splitting of time between the characters feels a bit uneven at times, with the Shallan/Adolin/Shadesmar plot benched for the entire central third or so of the novel because the author ran out of things for them to do. That's a reasonable solution and better than giving them filler, but it's a bit odd that Shallan is a such a hugely important character at the start and end of the novel but then completely vanishes between.
There's also a perennial Sanderson problem that he's improved on a lot book-by-book but still pops up at odd moments, namely that Sanderson is traditionally a writer who works from the head rather than the heart. There are sections in this book that do feel more like they've come from the heart, excellent action sequences as characters confront old enemies or moments of major character revelation, but some of the book feels studied, analysed and written with something of an absence of passion. This is particularly notable whenever Odium appears live on-page. The Dark Lord showing up to confront the characters (even in a vision where they can't touch or fight one another) should be a major event, but pretty much every time this happens some kind of odd debate on rules of conduct unfolds; the last such major confrontation has all the tension of Odium and Dalinar debating the small print of a text like two opponents who've paused a board game to check the rules online to see if an odd move is allowed. There is a last-minute, genuinely impressive plot twist that might change this for future books, but that remains unproven for now.
Rhythm of War (****) is a stronger novel than the one that came before it and continues to display Sanderson's strengths to full effect: immensely detailed, convincing worldbuilding, solid action and a logical, considered development of the plot, as well as interesting characters. Some of his weaknesses remain, such as a tendency to overwrite, occasionally getting bogged down in the minutiae of the setting and a lack of writing flair in some scenes which doesn't sell big events as much as they should be sold. But it's hard not to remain impressed by the sheer size and scope of the story he is telling here.