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Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Words of Radiance

by Brandon Sanderson, Julius Gopez (Illustrator), Rik Hoskin (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Stormlight Archive (2), Cosmere (10)

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1,836775,670 (4.6)84



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Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
This was EPIC. I loved every minute of it, even the interludes (which appear to have some importance if only to shed more light on the world building and some characters that will probably reappear later on). I wish I didn't have to wait 2 to 3 years to read the next installment. ( )
  Sept | May 21, 2019 |
Again, this year at Christmas, I was in the bookstore picking up some gifts for myself, and after purchasing the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s STORMLIGHT series last year before the holiday, I went all in on this epic again this year, and bought WORDS OF RADIANCE: Book Two of THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE, and as soon as New Year’s passed, I opened the first page of this proposed 10 volume series. I enjoyed the first book, THE WAY OF KINGS, very much, impressed with the way Sanderson navigated the pitfalls of the opening volume of a fantasy epic, where the land of Roshar, the Knights Radiant, Soulcasting, the Spren, and the deadly Shardblades are introduced without Sanderson losing his way in the maze of world building and characters’ back stories.

I am happy to say there is no sophomore slump with WORDS OF RADIENCE, even though if it does weigh in at just over 1300 pages. It builds upon the first book, widening the fantasy world the first book set up, including giving us living islands, where natives live upon the backs of massive sea creatures or raging cyclones capable of decimating civilizations. It picks up where the first book left off, and continues the journeys of our two protagonists, Kaladin and Shallan, the former having won freedom for himself and his fellow bridge men (used as cannon fodder) and are now guards to a great general and member of the royal family, Dalinar; while Shallan finds herself in dire straits on the way to the war camps on the Shattered Plains, losing her mentor, Jasnah Kholin, early on, and having to fend for herself. Kaladin is a Windrunner, capable of using Stormlight to make himself faster and stronger, capable of defying gravity itself, while Shallan is a Lightweaver, capable of remembering and recreating anything she has seen with a single glance. Though they are not romantically involved, a highlight of the book is when Kaladin and Shallan are stranded on the Shattered Plains, and must battle a Chasmfiend, an enormous crustacean like creature, where they must depend on each other to survive. Sanderson does a great job with the tension between them, and he resists having them suddenly be attracted to each other, as Shallan has been betrothed to Andolin, Dalinar’s warrior son, who is presented as a brave man worthy of her. A duel in the arena is another high point of the book, where Andolin, and his younger brother, Renarin, find themselves in a tight spot when a plan goes badly. The flashbacks with Shallan’s family might seem like an indulgence, but they do have a proper payoff. And Sanderson does end this volume on a high point, with a desperate battle against the Parshendi, and a quest for the Oathgate in the middle of the world ending Everstorm. The ending does a good job of wrapping up some plot threads, giving the reader some surprise revelations, and setting the stage for the next installment of the series.

Though this series is marketed as fantasy, I feel that WORDS OF RADIENCE reads much more like a super hero story dressed up in fantastic garb, as we get protagonists who discover they possess great powers that make them part of a mythic band of God like beings in a world where a dark evil is arising and old prophecies of doom are coming true. It’s a book where characters die and villains are slain, only to be miraculously resurrected. This is a book written for the fantasy fan, the kind who are not phased or daunted in the least by more than a millennium of pages, who actively seek out books of such length, and care not in the least that some parts drag and lag because only the likes of George RR Martin can write that many words and not prod the reader to skip a few pages. There are a couple of faults in Sanderson’s writing, the first being the use of strictly modern terms such as “paranoid” in a world that seems modeled on the 17th Century. And though many characters are clearly attracted to each other, no one seems to be having an active sex life, it wouldn’t hurt the story at all if one or two relationships were consummated.

Still, as a self published writer, and one who has tried pounding out a fantasy novel, I respect what Sanderson is doing in putting out books of this length that manage to hold a reader’s interest; looking forward to OATHBRINGER, the next book in the series. ( )
  wb4ever1 | Mar 15, 2019 |
After reading 'The Way of Kings' again I was cognizant of this series' flaws - but it got full marks anyway, because of how much fun it was to read.

Sanderson's characters may be overpowered and their attitudes run on fixed tracks, but the story is solid. The novelty of a new fantasy saga that doesn't make me cringe while reading it is too good to pass up. The bad cover art is part of the flavor.

'Words of Radiance' picks up where 'Way of Kings' left off, and features a lot of Shallan, which was great since her's was my favorite point-of-view in 'Way of Kings'. The aftermath of the assassinations of leaders worldwide is beginning to be felt in the most remote regions, and spurs on Dalinar's need to unite the high princes of Alethkar under the king and end the war on the shattered plains. There are greater designs at work, however, and difficult tasks become near impossible after setbacks for the characters.

I still don't care for Kaladin and was disappointed when Sanderson did the obvious and played out the attraction between him and Shallan. I was sure that was a red herring right up to the tipping point. I'm glad Kaladin accomplished what he did, of course, it moves the story along, but I would rather he wasn't so petty and whining. If Sanderson wanted him to act his age he should have him do so from the start. I did like how Sanderson made the struggles of Shallan in this book possible by eliminating Jasnah right away and introducing the Parshendi perspective gave a little more dimension to the story - even if some characters continue to wade through and kill hundreds of them at a time without a second thought.

For being only the second part of a ten book series a lot of ground has been covered in 2,300 pages - despite what some other reviewers are claiming - unlike other series which start with a narrower focus this series begins with a global cast and will have to move at that pace. I won't argue for it as a cross-genre classic, but if you like epic fantasy its worth the investment.

Stormlight Archive

Next: 'Edgedancer'

Previous: 'The Way of Kings' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Mar 7, 2019 |
Although it was good, it wasn't nearly as good as the first book. For every step taken forward in the narrative there are two steps back. Sanderson recklessly and inconsiderately kills off some important characters. His cosmology surrounding spren is also troubling, suggested too high a regard from humanity set apart from the rest of nature. I will keep reading the core of this series, and will likely enjoy much of it, but don't have the patience for the side books. ( )
  willszal | Jan 21, 2019 |

Second in the trilogy of Very Long Books by Brandon Sanderson, following on from The Way of Kings which I read earlier in the year. Our three viewpoint characters, after long journeys for two of them, end up together in a factionalised court facing existential threats from mysterious fantasy entities. Shallan is the best of the three, but the two chaps both have interesting enough character arcs as they deal with conspiracy and constant threat. Both the society and the rules of the magical world are mapped out convincingly through the protagonists’ learnings. I still felt it was way too long (at 89 chapters and 1087 pages), but if you have the patience, it’s a good read. ( )
  nwhyte | Nov 25, 2018 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gopez, JuliusIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoskin, RikAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The war with the Parshendi moves into a new, dangerous phase, as Dalinar leads the human armies deep into the heart of the Shattered Plains. Meanwhile Shallan searches for the legendary city of Urithuru, and Kaladin, leader of the restored Knights Radiant, masters the powers of a Windrunner.… (more)

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