Revisiting the the epic saga of the Stormlight Archive, I'm generally impressed with several things that Sanderson does to compel the reader.
He builds the story, the world, if you will, upon the struggle of dark and light. We enter the story upon the back of a new war with an old face, and are instantly transported to the anguish and hardships that it has wrought. Much like Tolkein and Herbert before him, Sanderson is a master at weaving a story with people and places that are unique and breathable, where each character is glowing with life and personality.
Kaladin, as I stated in a previous post, is the most compelling thus far, likely because he is the focus of most of the book, and because of him being a slave. Now, he is not just a slave to his master Lighteyes, but a slave to his code of honor. This is ultimately what draws his honorspren, Syl, to his aid and what allows her to grant him the great power to ride the winds of the storm.
I think we find that struggle of any sort, builds character. It opens the mind to ideas and abilities that might have remained dormant otherwise. We are reminded each day, whether it be in the media or in our own lives, that life is precious and often very difficult. However, we as human beings seem to take it for granted. We have great suicide rates, abortion rates and ridiculous wars that work to polarize us, pushing us to oppose each other in a way that feeds our core values.
Much like Kaladin, I find myself having to take a stand. I have to look within myself and become something more than just a man...and to do such, takes an idea, an action and a commitment.