John Scritchfield spends his days wrangling three future readers and his nights wearing costumes and pretending to hit people with blunt weaponry. There is very little money it. He holds an MFA in Acting, which he puts to use by teaching at a Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan and as the Creative Director for the Calvin Theatre Company. In his free time, he enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, reading, writing, and spending time with his wife, three children, and two cats (Jasnah and Vin). Oh, he's also the new Booknest Admin.
Rhythm of War, Brandon Sanderson’s most recent doorstop entry in the Stormlight Archive, was released in November of 2020. At 1,232 pages, it is the longest novel in the series and for this reviewer the densest. I began my journey with Sanderson in December of 2017 with The Way of Kings, and despite having never read anything else by him, I was instantly hooked by his mysterious world, compelling characters, and thrilling magic system. Little did I know how essential the rest of his Cosmere was to this series, and how much more I would appreciate Rhythm of War having gone back and read specifically the six Mistborn novels and Warbreaker.
How many other authors set out to write a novella and accidentally write a novel? To be perfectly honest, I don’t know of many. I do know a former professor of mine who once received a master’s degree he didn’t know he was working toward if that counts, but I don’t think it does. In any case, this was the case with Brandon Sanderson’s Dawnshard, the second Stormlight Archive “novella.” Written as part of BranSan’s kickstarter for the leatherbound Way of Kings, Dawnshard was originally supposed to be about the same length as Edgedancer but ended up over 56,000 words (double what it was intended to be). While this is short for a SFF novel, it is technically long enough to be considered a novel.
As I believe I have mentioned in previous reviews, I have greatly struggled this year to actually sit down and read a physical book. My last six reviews, I believe, have all been audio books. It is therefore with sincere happiness I can tell you about Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi, the first physical book I have managed to read in its entirety since February.
Piranesi tells the story of a lone man’s life in an otherworldly house comprised of labyrinthine corridors, populated by stunning statues, and filled with a boundless ocean. His lone companion, apart from a wide variety of birds and fish, is the Other, a mysterious man who seeks Piranesi’s aid in discovering A Great and Secret Knowledge within the House. But in search of this secret knowledge, Piranesi uncovers a far more sinister truth than he could have possible imagined. What follows is a tale comparable to likes of Carroll, Lewis, or L’Engle.