Wednesday, September 8

Book: Edgedancer, Brandon Sanderson Click for more info

The funniest thing is how Sanderson describes this book as a "novella". At almost 200 pages it's in the same ball park as a Mistborn novel. But compared to the next book on the list - Oathbringer - it's an almost a distraction[1].

That's not to take away anything at all from Edgedancer, and is in fact one of the reasons I'm so bemused by it. It's as full a story as I would like, while remaining as accessible and lean as Sanderson does. In fact, I'd suggest that a few of the Stormlight books could do with a bit of splitting up.

Unlike some of the other entries in Arcanum Unbounded it's also pretty essential reading. Otherwise the usual Cosmere feedback applies here too - Edgedancer is a well written, technically apt block in the world constantly being built up, and both gave as much as left me looking for more.

[1]Spoilers: Oathbringer weighs in at 1500 pages. Expect the review to hit in 2023.

Tuesday, September 7

Film: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Click for more info

Although technically Black Widow marks the real return of the MCU post COVID, it's Shang-Chi that really starts the engines of Phase 4. That said, it's a great film in its own right that manages to get things mostly correct.

Its little surprise that Shang-Chi has the best martial arts of the MCU, if not the best fights overall. What is a surprise is that the plot matches the action (with some marvellous use of non-linear storytelling), and even the characters do a fabulous job of keeping us engaged (and I'm delighted to confirm that Awkwafina isn't the annoying side character I was expecting her to be).

In many ways this was the film I personally wanted Black Panther to be, and fixes many of the shortcomings I felt that it had. This is even more impressive given the paltry attention and marketing budget it was apparently given during its release. Very much recommended.