For this edition of “Fantasy Review,” the book covered will be Calamity, the third and final installment of The Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson.
There will be slight spoilers below. Read at your own risk!
By Brandon Sanderson
After the events in Babilar, David and crew are out on a new mission: remove the darkness from Prof—AKA Limelight—and free him from the evil of his powers. To do this, the group needs new allies and new plans. After getting what they need from an unlikely source, they set off for Atlanta (Ildithia, the city of salt).
However, there are a few things left to worry about. First, David still hasn’t come to terms with the fact that he might be an Epic himself. And there’s still the little problem of finding out Prof’s weakness before they can face him in combat. Not to mention that the David still have plans of killing Calamity, the Epic of Epics.
I will not deny that I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson. His writing is phenomenal, thought provoking and humorous, dark and optimistic, and this novel is no exception. He’s a master with action, moving the plot forward constantly. At the same time, the depths of character development and motivation is clearly explored and satisfying.
David’s character is wonderful. He’s funny, dedicated, hardworking, and a true leader. As the new leader of the Reckoners, he grows. He suddenly sees how difficult it is to be the one in charge, waiting for the right moment to strike instead of rushing in prematurely. His underlying powers—used more by accident—are interesting in the way they don’t shape him. All the Epics we’ve seen have been driven by their abilities and it’s nice to see the flipside of that in David.
I also loved the dynamic of the relationship between David and Megan. It’s a partnership, each one risking their lives repeatedly as they continue their mission, and letting the other risk their life. It’s so common in fiction to see a partner become overly protective, and while David and Megan do fear for each other’s lives, they understand that it’s necessary. There’s no coddling or making the other sit out; they respect each other enough to know that is not an option.
While the pace of the book was well done—the action keeping the story constantly moving—there was a feel of being rushed with the ending. David sets up his plan early on to 1) Rescue Prof 2) Destroy Calamity 3) Save the world. So when the book’s three-quarters done and step one hadn’t been completed yet, there’s a bit of a sense of rushing. And while the ending was very well done, greatly satisfying, and absolutely logical, it was difficult to not feel impatient for the conclusion.
This book was fantastic, a truly wonderful read. David’s observations were often comical and I laughed a lot throughout the story. It’s a great combination to have war and death mixed with light-hearted humor. Of course, that’s always something Sanderson has excelled at, in my opinion.
Though the trilogy is complete, I feel there is a lot of room for exploration in this world (and parallel worlds). I really hope that, if Sanderson has time, some of these avenues will be revisited in the future.