I have a soft spot for Sanderson books. This one is a novella, which is a refreshing change from his usual epic fantasy novels. It works perfectly as a novella, the storyline being the right length, the pacing brilliant and with just enough unanswered questions to make room for a sequel at a later date.
The work centres around the nature of madness, another soft spot of mine. Although I don’t believe it’s a particularly helpful representation of schizophrenia and delusion; coming across more of a method of genius that’s more exciting and useful than it is a life altering condition. The majority of people diagnosed with schizophrenia aren’t blessed with ‘aspects’ that can speak many languages, read faces and been versed in historical knowledge. Leeds does name his diagnoses as schizophrenia, but the novel indicates it has more of a fantastic backgrounds, which gives Sanderson a slight get out clause, but not enough in my opinion.
It does however raise brilliant questions. What are the limits of madness? How can someone external make a diagnosis?
Once again Sanderson writes a brilliant tale, and I hope there will be more in this arc in the future.