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Publisher's Summary

"Powerhouse narrating duo Michael Kramer and Kate Reading bring their outstanding skills to this stunning continuation of the Stormlight Archive series... This audiobook is truly a masterpiece of story and performance." (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner)

An instant number-one New York Times best seller and a USA Today and Indie best seller!

The Stormlight Archive saga continues in Rhythm of War, the eagerly awaited sequel to Brandon Sanderson's number-one New York Times best-selling Oathbringer, from an epic fantasy writer at the top of his game.

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage, and the threat of a betrayal by Dalinar’s crafty ally Taravangian looms over every strategic move. 

Now, as new technological discoveries by Navani Kholin’s scholars begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength. 

At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure. 

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books

©2020 Brandon Sanderson (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

Barnes & Noble Best New Books of the Year - 2020  

What listeners say about Rhythm of War

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

50 hours of wheel spinning.

He is trying so hard to do justice to a cast of characters with mental health issues and I appreciate that but it's starting feel like he's transcribing a medical text rather then telling a story about people. This book feels like the balanced tipped and the characters are fare more defined and overshadowed by their issues rather then being one aspect of a character. Like he lost sight of the forest because of all the trees. As a result the plot crawls along as characters endlessly agonize, hand wring and navel gaze about their struggles, Running in such mental circles is very realistic but makes for an exhausting and repetitious narrative.

22 people found this helpful

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Worst Sanderson Book Yet

Interesting story that was poorly executed; it could have been summarized in 500 pages, and with better quality. His known issues with approximating characters, their actions and natures, poorly is even worse in this book. Their decisions are as if they came from children, the enemy is impotent and has to become threatening with plot manipulation.

The whole time I was thinking "oh no... Don't screw this up; your cosmere is so interesting so far and losing steam as an author now will ruin it all."

Brandon: dig deep, learn how to prose, focus more on character details, and be more concise.

Michael Kramer and Kate Reading were superb as usual. 10/10

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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While I loved books 1-3, I hated this.

I can't believe I just spent an entire 6 days and nights listening to this, and ended up pretty much HATING it! Started off loving it, but stop Brandon S with all the psychotherapy/mental illness crap. I don't need that in my fantasy, it's part of real life. It doesn't make Kaladin or Shallon one bit more relatable- we loved them before, when they were still just crazy. And it doesn't make me care about Navani, who had way, way too much space in this book. Every time her chapters came on with these long complicated explanations about artifabrial science and stuff, my head went- I don't care. And I ignored her chapters, ignoring important info in the process. Like Warlight and Anti-voidlight. I was busy not caring and missed some humdingers.

Honestly, this was a long, drawn out depressing uphill slog of a book. While he is often disjointed in his writing, this time it's monumental. My favourite characters, simply didn't exist in this book. Kaladin, needs to learn to explain stuff, and let go. And take the Rosharan equivalent to antidepressants. Shallon needs Lithium...and some psychotherapy. Why is this exposition in infinite detail so important for fantasy characters?

Rock didn't hardly get a single storming paragraph. Lopen got none. Balat, I even wonder about him! You know- Shallon's bro's? Do I have to remind you who'se in your books, Brandon? You made me care about them Brandon, don't just mention them in previous books and walk away. :( We miss them for the humour and there was absolutely NONE in this book, not even enough to smile about.
Shallon, Adolin, Kaladin, were not really big parts of this book, though there was some big and interesting things happening in Shadesmar, and I did actually cry at Maya's "We CHOSE". "You cannot have my sacrifice!", those people who made me absolutely love The Way of Kings, and Words of Radiance, failed to show up here, as in Oathbringer. Well they were here, but mere husks of themselves. Stuff just went on and on and on and on and ON, and I stopped caring. Yes, Kaladin had a lot of material in this book but it was such depressing stuff, I only half listened. I completely missed him getting his plate/swearing the 4th ideal... Either I missed a lot, there seems to be material missing, chapters or something including the epigraphs. Adolin, poor Adolin only exists to advance plot points. I liked the duellist who was a dandy...who cares about people AND spren.
Instead, a bunch of new characters were introduced, and we are almost forced to like them, relate to them, while they are literally completely unrelatable- being "the Fused", Rabonial and Leshwi, and to a lesser extent Venli. I liked Rabonial, wish she'd stuck around... Venli's been unlikable since the start so she actually went up a bit in this book to merely annoying. I'm still trying to figure out how some people in different books were important here at all.

Brandon Sanderson is absolutely brilliant at world building, magic systems, but characters seem to either be mythically great or stormingly bad. This book doesn't even give us the entrancing visuals we imagined by reading- the tower in Uriuthiru is just a big cube where we know very little about this magical place. It was not described in a way to allow our imaginations to "see" it. My often repeated phrase is for those who are unsighted to get into this complicated a series, build that scene, that world, and please "Paint it", so my mind's eye can see it. That was missing this book.

In the end I'm storming angry, Brandon and while you can have my sacrifice, I don't think you'll get any more pre-paid orders from moi. I really can't see me spending anything more on this series- I expect Roshar will become a planet without humans next book, because that's what it feels like it's building to. I'll remember the Roshar from The Way of Kings.

6 people found this helpful

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Couldn't finish it was so slow.

I really enjoyed the previous books in this series, however this book is so painfully slow and the dialogue is so cringey. Couldn't finish.

5 people found this helpful

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Missing from library

I’m hooked on this set of books. A great and original story.
Only thing, is that I had it pre-ordered and it hasn’t showed up in my library. I’m stumped as to how to d/l right now.

It’s now in my library! Not sure how I got it there. Possibly from launching it in the app from the web site. Hope this help anyone with the same issue. Enjoy!

5 people found this helpful

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Love it!

Read all the pre release chapters, PLEASE SHOW UP IN MY LIBRARY, STORE SAYS IT IS BUT NOPE! LOVE IT SO FAR!

4 people found this helpful

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Incredible Story, anticipating the next one!

The story was great and carried us both backward and forward into the depths of the story arches and world lore. I feel as though this book did suffer from what I've heard been named the Brandon "Sanderlanche", like an avalanche, the final dozen chapters or so went off at breakneck speed while the rest held a steady pace.

Expect the story to slow at times, whole still staying I credibly engaging, I feel as though the chapters closer to the end just delivered punches at a different tempo (very fast) then the rest of the book.

3 people found this helpful

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Out fucking standing

From characterization to pacing to mental health to action to prose. This book is outstanding. And the actors do it so much credit. The voices of the characters will forever be in my mind as Reading and Kramer.

3 people found this helpful

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Journey over destination

Yet another great addition to the series, with lots of twists and turns. The characters come to life and are so relatable. Their inner struggles are the ones that matter most and the book challenges these thoughtful characters in ingenious ways. We get to see how many such a variety of heroic behaviours through tough decisions from both the villains and the protagonists.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Forced heavy handed adventure into mental illness.

This is the first miss for me by Sanderson, a lot of the book took the characters on a regression to work out issues we've been over already. Much of this book is a plodding slog of psych 101 attempts to cover ptsd, depression and identity disorders. The other books i never stopped but this one i took long breaks before going back to. The flashbacks added little to the book, there are some decent ones but not much is gained from them. The book suddenly decided it needed to end at one point and raced to setup the next book.


Characters who at this point need to be decisive leaders become wavering and meek when confronted with problems. Many of these characters grew so much in oathbringer that it is just irritating here to see them going this way. This book could have been a few hundred pages shorter and probably been a better read.


I hope Shallan finally comes into her own in the next book or actually has to realize a consequence. Shes born rich, becomes the disciple of the best scholar after trying to steal from her, marries a prince, and is bonded not once but twice all while being a kinda terrible person lieing constantly to everyone. Everyone gives her a pass, hell she is often rewarded for betrayal and has been committing borderline treason with the ghostbloods. Something needs to be done with this character where she isn't acting like a foolish child playing pretend, i hope this was the last book we get of her naive incompetence. I'd like her to actually realize a consequence of her foolishness for once.


Kaladan depression arc needs to be finished here. I cannot take another few hundred pages of this. Please let it be resolved and move him into a heroes arc even if its a flawed hero. Another page of him crying on the floor is a page too many.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Louis
  • 2020-11-22

Meh - boring

The characters have been battling their emotions and their pasts for several books now. Instead of progress past these issues they continue to get worse and these issues are brought up non stop. It annoying and makes for a very slow story. I’m so sick of Kal’s dad. His is content to being a slave. His not going to be happy until Kal becomes a surgeon. Otherwise Kal’s just worthless to him.
I was really looking forward to this book. I’ve read some of the other reviews and like always their are those who give 5 star rating just because they like the author. They are just fanboys. This book just isn’t as good as the other books in this series. I’m not reading this book to learn about PTSD or schizophrenia. The author is getting lost in the details of his story and in doing so, is losing the thread of the story.
I understand that I’ll be among the few bad reviews for this book but I’m use to Brandon’s other books were I don’t want to set down the book until I’m done. I’m struggling to finish this book because all I want to do is just delete the book.

267 people found this helpful

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  • M. T. McCourt
  • 2020-11-18

Missing PDF with Illustrations

THIS EDITION IS MISSING THE ILLUSTRATIONS.
WHERE ARE THE ILLUSTRATIONS, AUDIBLE?
I've no doubt the book itself is amazing, the reading performances entrancing and 95% of this is the perfect continuation of what has already been an outstanding series. This edition is missing an important part of the experience and I would recommend you do NOT purchase from here. Get the physical copy or get the audio edition somewhere else after confirming that it comes with the illustrations. Very disappointed in what I'm sure would have otherwise been a perfectly wonderful experience.

172 people found this helpful

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  • lavoe
  • 2020-11-22

15 hours of good reading forced into 50 hours

I have to say, I am very disappointed with this book. Too many characters having the same issues that they were having from the last books. Sanderson seemed to take a plot that should of taken maybe only 1/4 of the book and forced it to cover all the book. Really spent most of the book wanting to fast forward to the end. It is rare in a book when you wish the main character would just die so you can just get on with the story.

162 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Spencer
  • 2020-11-17

Why is the artwork not included!?

I love these books and I loved how they included a pdf version of the artwork with the audio book for the previous books but for some reason they didn’t include it this time

135 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 2020-11-23

a Dirty Trick

I had extremely high hopes coming off the fantastic Words of Radiance and Oathbringer, so Rhythm of War had big shoes to fill. Unfortunately it does not, and instead falls prey to the bloat that faces many similar series such as The Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire. While it starts off strong, it loses steam around chapter 10 and then plods along until around the mid-90s. If you were hoping to see the Coalition's war against Odium and the Fused, you will be disappointed. Sanderson instead deals with two of the main characters retreading their personal issues despite the outcomes being forgone conclusions to anyone who has stuck with the series thus far. New main PoV characters Venli and Navani are a mixed bag. While they shine early on, they quickly turn into delivery systems for Sanderson to info dump about the past, present, and potential future of the series. I think both of these character's arcs would have been more interesting if they did not share the same present day setting/situation of several other PoV characters.

Sanderson has a habit of packing an incredible amount of content into the climaxes of his books, and RoW is no exception. The difference is that in RoW he uses this to pull of a case of storytelling legerdemain; what you've spent 50 hours listening to thus far was all in service of distracting you from one singular moment. I would compare it to the last season of the Game of Thrones series, in which scenes are delivered for shock and awe, rather than in service of the story. It is not what happens nor when, but how, and the lead up (or almost lack there of) that disappoints. Worst of all is the epilogue in which a character, who may as well be acting as an author insert, gloats about misdirection, story telling, and dirty tricks.

I would have taken a star off for Performance because while Kate Reading and Michael Kramer themselves are fantastic, what ever recording equipment Michael was using was not. The audio on his voice is notably bad when he used several "stressed/intense" voices. However this could easily due to the pandemic and RoW is a massive undertaking, so I will give them 5/5.

In conclusion, while I will certainly read the next book in the Stormlight series, Rhythm of War feels like a massive red flag about what is to come in terms of storytelling quality. Hopefully Sanderson returns to form, because looking back RoW feels like only the destination mattered, not the journey.

132 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • rafojas
  • 2020-11-26

I'm Done

Really should have stopped at "The Way of Kings" but I didn't.

I get it, Sanderson really likes damaged characters. But, if I wanted to be confronted with dysfunctional people beating the dead horse of their crappy childhoods for endless hours I'd go to work. SooOOoo .. . . Long. SooOOoo .. . . Whiny.

I'm just done.

116 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Phx17
  • 2020-11-23

Too beholden to the Cosmere

Upsides: for once there’s a few somewhat big action scenes and deaths in part one... a departure from Sanderson’s love of keeping the big reveals, actions, deaths for the last 10%. Also, no more Dalinar flashbacks. I enjoyed the stories for Adalin, Rilayne, and Dabbid (probably spelling these wrong).

Downsides: Missing a lot of Bridge 4 (no Lopin or Roc, boo!). Big chunks focus on Shallan, Navani, and Venli, and all three have long, angst filled storylines where no one progresses until the last 10% (Yep, the leopard can’t completely change his spots). Kaladin is present throughout, but with the same retreads of his self flagellation and father-son conflict.

Worst-side: What could have been a great series leading to a climactic world-wide conclusion in book 5 instead undoes much of the series progress here by switching to a universe-wide series... and forecasting entirely new plots, heroes, villains, and Cosmere tie-ins. I feel like I’ve invested 200 hrs in a series, only for Wit/Hoyt to inform me that it was just a story he was telling within the real book... and that book only begins in the final hour of book 4 (I know how much Sanderson and his fans love Wit, but I just find him to be a sanctimonious cheat of a plot device). This book is for fan boys / girls to geek out over the callbacks and connections to Sanderson’s other series. I wish Sanderson would stop trying to impress me with the size of his Cosmere and stick to the fantastic story of Roshar.

114 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe Watson
  • 2020-11-17

missing Accompanying PDF images

100% best narration!
Phenomenal story.
The Accompanying PDF is missing (book #3) had one. Fix for 5 stars

88 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Suspect
  • 2020-11-22

High Expectations, Unfulfilled.

Not in the same league as past Stormlight novels. The plot is incoherent, there’s very little action, and absolutely no resolution to the overall plot line. This is a 2.5-star book, despite the myriad positive reviews written by BS fanboys/girls.
If you’re already invested in the story, then it’s worth a listen; however, do not go into it with high expectations. Also note: approximately 26 hours is focused on Chalon’s multiple multiple multiple personalities — Boring and annoying.
The entire book is worthy of only 2.5/3-stars. The narration is superb, 5-stars.

71 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • super gamer
  • 2020-11-19

Brandon is fantastic, where’s the pdf though?

Another great entry in the cosmere, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are the best in the business. Where’s the pdf though audible?

61 people found this helpful