THIS is what I read science fiction and fantasy for.
Five stars for the world and the ecology (and architecture and social custom and technology) that all cohere in a marvelous way. Five stars for the study of different ways men arrange themselves in government. Five stars for the invention of an entirely new class of magic creatures: the spren. (which in the second book are actually a very old idea, BUT that pieces of this old idea can break off, be seen, and achieve sentience still seem like a new idea to me) Five stars for some of most appealing heroes in an epic fantasy, especially Kaladin. Five stars for raising questions about how we choose our actions. In the first book, Kaladin always chooses the hard but right thing to do. In the second book, what the right thing to do becomes murkier, and he ends up making a choice based on a morality everyone else seems to be ignoring. You want to cheer. And yet another young man makes a choice that is nearly the opposite of what Kaladin chooses, and you want to cheer for that also. So.... how do you decide? Thank you, Brandon Sanderson for giving us so much to think about.
The books are long. It took me over a week to read the first book, and over a week for the second one. And I still hated reaching the end of each book. I am not happy that I am going to need to wait for the third book. Ah, but I'll get to reread the first books when the third one comes out.