I HAD ALL THE FEELINGS.
I did not, however, cry for forty pages straight as I had with the first book in the series: instead, I burned with all sorts of emotions for and with the characters. There were parts where I literally wanted someone to hold me back, because were it possible to enter a narrative, I would have flown right in there in a justified rage. And I cannot even with how nuanced and considerate Brandon Sanderson is with the many, many moral dilemmas at play here in this book. What does it mean to be honorable? What is the moral value of lies? How does circumstance create evil, and how much can we forgive? There are no easy answers in Words Of Radiance.
And how much did I love that the newly introduced Big Ambiguously Bad hearkens back to a precept of evil I’d most memorably encountered in fantasy via Terry Pratchett’s The Light Fantastic? I super need to go read Edgedancer after this (and before my editor sends me a copy of Oathbringer, squeeeeee!)
That said, I was a bit disappointed by the ending, not for content so much as for how oddly rushed a lot of it felt. We know that Kaladin and Shallan are destined for great things, but I felt the bit with Dalinar and his son joining them near the end seemed, while natural on the face of it, handled without Mr Sanderson’s usual deftness. Perhaps I was just a bit bleary of mind considering that I stayed up till 7a.m. to finish the book, and am still feeling the after-effects these few days later (oh, for the resilience of my well-spent youth!) I do know that the coda with Wit has me convinced I need to seek out more of the Cosmere books so I can get a better handle on what’s going on.
Gah, so much reading to do! It is so lovely to have these problems tho.