Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance, Book Two of the Stormlight Archive, continues the immersive fantasy epic that The Way of Kings began.Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status "darkeyes." Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin's master has much deeper motives.Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2) Details

TitleWords of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 4th, 2014
PublisherTor Books
ISBN0765326361
ISBN-139780765326362
Number of pages1,087 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy, Epic Fantasy, Fiction, High Fantasy

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2) Review

  • Petrik
    December 16, 2016
    Okay, this is finally happening. I’m ranking The Stormlight Archive as my number 1 favorite book series of all time, overtaking the throne previously held by Mistborn trilogy and I don’t think this will ever change. The Gods of Cosmere know how much I love the original Mistborn trilogy but Brandon Sanderson really raised the bar for epic fantasy genre sky high with this series.Words of Radiance, being only the 2nd book in the Stormlight Archive series and serves as the sequel to Way of Kings, ma Okay, this is finally happening. I’m ranking The Stormlight Archive as my number 1 favorite book series of all time, overtaking the throne previously held by Mistborn trilogy and I don’t think this will ever change. The Gods of Cosmere know how much I love the original Mistborn trilogy but Brandon Sanderson really raised the bar for epic fantasy genre sky high with this series.Words of Radiance, being only the 2nd book in the Stormlight Archive series and serves as the sequel to Way of Kings, managed to build upon almost everything done by its predecessor and improve every element necessary to be a masterpiece. I’m certain the title of this book almost literally reflect its content, each words are structured to give radiance into your life simply from reading them.The story, still told from multiple POV and while still remaining mostly character driven, is much more plot centered this time. Ever since the countdown mentioned in the beginning of the book, you’ll know there will be a lot of twists and turns coming. The plot glued me to the book from cover to cover, it was so addictive to read and I can’t wait to know more and see what happened with each pages turned.As I mentioned before, each book will shift its focus more on different specific main characters, this time the share goes to Shallan.Sanderson again managed to make me love a character which I was so-so with in their first book appearance. The first time this happened was to Steris from Mistborn spinoffs and now the same exact thing happened here with Shallan. Her character development here is stunning to say the least. She’s funny, lovable, intelligent and it’s really intriguing to see her relationship development with Kaladin, Adolin, Jasnah and Pattern. Her past are explored completely and the revelations in relating them to her current "smile" is very heartwarming.Even though there’s a huge amount of development and focus for Shallan, imo the best story line still comes from Kaladin’s POV, the main hero from Way of Kings and from my perspective, the true main protagonist of this series. After seeing his background and development fleshed out in the first book, it’s really interesting to see how he’ll develop more into a greater character by the end of this one and Stormfather he did. Not only the most intense and interesting plotlines come from his POV, every single epic and badass moments literally involved his actions and existence. “Honor is dead but I’ll see what I can do” The world-building level improve again as there’s more creatures, mythology, lore, and magic system explored in this book. The scale of the world remains grand as ever and by now I think I know more about Alethkar, the Shattered Plains, more than I know my real country and its history. (I wish this is an exaggeration but it's not.)The magic systems this time are explored in much more detail compared to the previous book, especially in regards to the class Windunner and Lightweaver. I won’t give too many details on the magic system itself, the book could do that for you. To simplify it, Windrunner deal with manipulating gravitational pulls and Lightweaver focus on creating illusions. A great example of the Windrunner ability could be seen from a PS4 video game called “Gravity Rush”. Look it up if you want to strengthen your imagination or if you think the the magic system will confuse you somehow but here's an image preview of what I'm talking about.Knowing the premise of the magic systems and simply from looking at the front cover of the book, you can almost predict there will be epic action sequences. There are much more actions this time and nothing can even compare to the climax of this book. It’s honestly the craziest and most epic climax sequences I’ve ever read, even more than The Hero of Ages from Mistborn trilogy or Way of Kings. There are so many things happening in the last 150 pages of the book that I’m surprised I could still write a review for this. Remember my praise for the climax to Way of Kings? Well, this one is superior by far, prepare yourself to be mind-blown completely. Here is the front cover of the Polish version of Words of Radiance to convince you more. Like in the previous book, the only con I have on this book is again, it’s not long enough and the sequel to this book is not out yet. 1090 pages long and filled with whooping 400k words inside and yet when I flipped the last page and closed the book, I still crave for more and the realization dawned on me that the sequel is not here yet.Binge reading this series inflicted me with a symptom which I called “The Stormlight Archives Hangover”. Basically it means I can’t start another epic fantasy books other than this series for a while without the implication of giving them a horrible rating. My heart and soul still remained in Roshar, with the characters I cared about deeply because of Sanderson's writing which always made every detail so vivid and immersive.Words of Radiance is the perfect example of a kind of experience I’m looking for in a book. It’s the reason why I read and why epic fantasy will always be my favorite genre.The epic fantasy genre has The Lord of the Rings in the past, A Song of Ice & Fire in the present and for the future, this genre has The Stormlight Archive series to look forward to. By the conclusion of this series, I’m sure it will surpass both those series mentioned, it already did for me. The Stormlight Archive series is the mark of epic fantasy at its best, there's absolutely no reason you should skip this series if you're a fan of epic/high fantasy genre, I really hope we could go through this series together, telling stories and living these tales with our future generations.Side note: I’m really glad I read Warbreaker first before reading this as two specific characters from there made an appearance here!
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  • Pierce Brown
    December 2, 2014
    Holy crap on a stick. I bow in supreme awe.That's it.
  • Obaid Haroon
    April 28, 2013
    FINAL REVIEWThis is it. The review no one was waiting for. First thing I must say, I have never given any book 5 stars. Because that would mean it is perfect. And that's a tall order. But I couldn't give it any less. Because it was phenomenal. Like "holy shit" amazing. On to the review. Needless to say...spoilers ho!The book was too large (not complaining) and there were too many insane parts (definitely not complaining) to do a blow by blow for each character. So I'll stick with the best five. FINAL REVIEWThis is it. The review no one was waiting for. First thing I must say, I have never given any book 5 stars. Because that would mean it is perfect. And that's a tall order. But I couldn't give it any less. Because it was phenomenal. Like "holy shit" amazing. On to the review. Needless to say...spoilers ho!The book was too large (not complaining) and there were too many insane parts (definitely not complaining) to do a blow by blow for each character. So I'll stick with the best five. Since it was obviously Shallans book, we will start with her. 5. Mapping the shattered plains on the flyThis was a pure scholar moment. One where every neurone lines up and the answer screams at you. SYMMETRY!! And who would've thought the inspiration would come from an assassin that almost killed her. So there goes my theory that something landed in the centre and "shattered" the plains. But alas it's merely another geometrically perfect natural occurrence that is so common place on Roshar. Either way, proving every single scholar wrong in the space of 5 heartbeats...Jasnah will be proud. She basically walked in, said her piece, dropped the mic and walked off. Great moment. 4."How do you poop?"Not only was this a hilarious moment. But it was a damn good question at the perfect moment. Adolin is doing what he does. Playing the brave soldier, impressing the ladies and everything is going as usual. And then Shallan throws him a curveball. She knew what she was supposed to ask but this was the man who she'll be spending her life with (supposedly). So she shows her true self. And in my own humble opinion, because it is my review after all, that is the moment where Adolin begins to fall in love with her. Aww3. Kaladins bootsAnother great moment for her. We all know she's not one for confrontation or lying. And when she does both it's gonna be damn good. The whole part where she meets up with the con artist was interesting. I wasn't a fan of her influence over Shallan because I could see this leading to losing her Radiance but she stayed cool and used her lessons for good. And by "good" I mean petty larceny. Then she killed and avenged her former teacher. Stay classy Shallan. 2. Becoming a spyBourne Identity mixed with high fantasy. Learning espionage from herself and working for the Ghost Bloods to accomplish her own aims. You have to respect that. Have to respect her. Also what the hell is the deal with MaskFace? The way Shallan had her committed was genius. Now she's a member and things are only going to get more convoluted. And that just makes me salivate. 1. Finding UrithiruThe mythical city. The focus of Jasnah's research. Some guy walked there but you can't find it? Kind of a slap to the face. So much work was put into hunting down the last repository of untainted knowledge of the Desolations. And she did. Centre of the Plains, Shallan manages to find the key to the portal to the secret city and saves the army from destruction. All. By. Her. Self. Number 1 moment indeed. Because it was a whole thing. The build up from book 1. Realising that they're buildings not rocks. Realising the Shardblade was the key to opening the portal. And realising a few other things I've probably forgotten. It was the culmination of a journey she started as a child. And it was perfect. In Way of Kings, Shallan was an interesting character. A nice read but nothing special. That all changed here. A depth was added to her as the deepest darkest secrets of her life were laid bare. And the true measure of her strength was made known. Dalinar was as always the Blackthorn. A great man and a true soldier. After everything he has been through and has accomplished there is no one who will ever compare to him. His top five? Let's find out. 5. "Where is our honour?"This wasn't a big bit of his but it was important. It was the moment he truly realised how far men had fallen. It was the moment he realised that the head of his Knights Radiant was a little bitch. Trying to jump in and save his sons sans plate and blade was pure Blackthorn. Noble and brave and suicidal. The right course of action was clear to him. Had it been anyone else, Dalinar STILL would have tried to help. But no one else would have. You've got a lot of work to do Blackthorn. 4. Admitting his visionsAs Wit said, this was a powerful move. Standard psychological tactics. Embrace your weakness and make it your strength. And what a place to do it. Kings feast. One giant Shardplated middle finger to the whole of Alethi royalty. Like. A. Boss. Once again a moment where he shows himself above the games and pettiness. The only adult amongst children. He raises the bar and invites people to join him. 3. Banishing AmaramThis wasn't what we wanted to see but it will suffice for now. Amaram. Acting like he didn't slaughter the entirety of Kaladins squad just for a fancy piece of metal. The look on his face at the duel when he realised who Kaladin was? Priceless. Then denying it and blaming Kaladin? What a dick. Didn't work did it you douche? Dalinar figured you out. And banished your ass. That was a big moment. Kal prepared to apologise for Dalinars sake. Dalinar prepared to alienate an old friend because Kaladin was right. Heartwarming as hell. And it wasn't just an afterthought. Oh no. He set a trap!Let's focus on that for a moment. The Blackthorn. A warrior. Despiser of politics and intrigue. Set a trap! Is there anything he can't do? No. Moment over. 2. Leading a force against the ParshendiDoes he have any idea where they are? Does he have any idea how long he'll be gone for? Does he have any idea what kind of forces they have? Does he fuck. But he doesn't need to know because he is the Blackthorn. Bold move. Risking the Highstorms and striking out at the heart of the Parshendi. Fulfil the Vengeance Pact once and for all. A move that would either see him rise to the top of Alethkar, or see his body fall beneath it. Yet he didn't do it for the potential gain. He did it simply because it needed to be done. Deal with the Parshendi before the desolation comes. Working with few resources against a deadline. A necessary move to give them the best chance of victory. Didn't quite work out as expected. But he did what he could. And that is why he was chosen to recreate the Knights. 1. Bonding with the StormfatherThis was, without a doubt, an amazing moment. The Stormfather himself. The legend of the whole world. Wherever the Highstorm lands, the Stormfather is known. Charged by Honour himself to pass on the message. He hates humanity. He despises their weakness. And what does Dalinar do to this most widely know of spren? Binds him to his side in a moment that will never be forgotten. No fanfare or anything, just business. Dalinar...I salute you. Now that we know the fates of the past spren, we know that this has never been done before. Never in all the Desolations before has anyone bonded with the Stormfather. Now the last Desolation is here and the Blackthorn will wield the Stormfather against the Voidbringers to reclaim the Tranquiline Halls. Adolin. Such a great guy. Always trying to do the right thing. Defend his father, his brother, his aunt, his king and his girl (whoever it may be at the time). Now for his best moments. 5. Cologne? In prison?The fact that Adolin imprisoned himself in protest of Kaladins punishment was amazing. Yeah we've always known he was a good guy. But this? Kaladin threw himself into a Shard duel with nothing but a spear. And earned Adolin's loyalty. He couldn't overrule the king, obviously, but he did the next best thing. The son of a Highprince. In prison. For a Bridgeman. The honour is boundless. Yeah he bathed. So what? He's not an animal. 4. IronstanceThis refers to his first duel of the book. When he decided to stop playing games. These cretins were discrediting his family, his father and his house. And Adolin showed him what happens when you do something so stupid. You get a battering. This was a no mercy moment and it was fantastic. You could see Adolin accept the responsibility of guarding his family. Standing up to take the weight on his shoulders. The maturing moment. Love it. 3. Final battle. This was a great moment. Not the greatest. But still awesome. Leading a battalion against the first Voidbringers of the Last Desolation? Too good. The entire charge was amazing. Going toe to toe with Stormform while the weather goes batshit crazy is a hell of a feat. AND THEN he manages to sneak a thousand guys round the back of the enemies line and single handedly stops them finishing their devil song. And while he's at it he kills their only Shardbearer. All in a days work. *Brushes off shoulder*2. Killing that rat bastard SadeasWe all wanted it. We all dreamed of doing it. No one cried. Everyone cheered. When Adolin wrapped his hands around Sadeas' neck and squeezed, we all went crazy. Parades were thrown and champagne flowed down the street. After what he did we all wanted him dead. Preferably at Dalinar or Kaladins hands. But given their new Radiant status it wasn't gonna happen. Enter Adolin. While I approve its gonna spell problems between him and Shallan especially since she is also a Radiant. Drama! But still, glad he killed him. What I don't quite get is how Sadeas was that unstable. The Radiants have returned, Everstorm has returned and he is standing in the lost city of Urithiru. And he still wants to steal Dalinars power and position. Idiot. 1. 4 on 1 duel.For me this was the greatest of all. A duel between Shardbearers is an awe inspiring thing. Then when Adolin proposed a 2 on 1 it was a thing of beauty. We were all waiting for the craziness to begin. Then it did. 4 fully armed and armoured warriors standing in front of Adolin. And we lost our shit. I still remember Zahels words "they're afraid of you...show them why". And he did. That was the best thing. The honour! The courage! Anyone would have conceded the fight. It would have been the obvious thing to do. The smart thing. But not the right thing. Attacking like the Whitespine, he showed no mercy and gave no quarter. And he held his own. For a while at least. Let's be honest, with those odds we all expected him to die but he survived. And won. Yes it was a group effort. Kaladin fought like a mad man and Renarin...was there. All in all. Adolin's best scene. Kaladin...is Kaladin. Need I say more? No. I don't. 5. Riding the RyshadiumThis was a really subtle scene. First of all I'd like to point out that one of the greatest warriors alive can't ride a horse. Does that not seem odd? I thought he was of a high enough nahn to get riding lessons but I guess not. Back to the scene. Despite the fact he had only started riding horses about an hour earlier he STILL went and rode the Ryshadium. Well, he tried anyway. But the biggest thing was that he laughed. Genuinely. For a few moments everything was forgotten and there was a simple joy in his life. And for THAT I have made this a top five scene. Because even the greatest need to laugh every once in a while. 4. First flightWe all remember him practicing in the plains. Lashing himself from side to side. Jumping around like a monkey on meth. And then he did it. That which we have all been waiting for since we realised its possible. He lashed himself upwards. And he flew!! Oh my days was it amazing! Rising into the sky. Ascending unto the heavens. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this but it was superb. Soaring through the clouds with Syl and a whole group of wind spren. He was free of the shackles of gravity and understood that the limits of his power were of his own creation. 3. Killing the ChasmfiendThis was a hell of a fight. Two Knights versus one Chasmfiend. I can't be sure but I believe that the Chasmfiend was actually Voidspren possessed. A few choice moments during the fight, like the intelligence in its eyes and the red spren leaving it's body after. But that's later. Being hunted by a Chasmfiend through the cracks in the plains was amazing. The sheer desperation of the chase was exhilarating. The way Kaladin killed it was superb. Sword to the brain. From inside the mouth. Chasmfiend steaks for all!2. "Honour is dead"This was without a doubt an amazing moment. A surreal moment. Surreal in that I actually believed I was on Roshar watching this duel happen, and I STILL didn't believe it was happening. This scene has made it into the top 5 of 3/4 of the main characters. And even though Shallan was there it was Pattern that did the work. Plus she had better bits. Leaping into an arena full of Shardblades is an act of supreme insanity. Unless you are Kaladin Stormblessed. With nothing more than a spear he leapt into a battle where each man counts as a hundred. But he is no man. He is a Knight. Weaving around strike after strike, he fought incredibly. A force of nature, long forgotten, now returned. Drawing Stormlight from his own reserves and the fractured plate itself. Now let's be clear on one thing. He was there as support. He was there to distract one or two while Adolin beat the others. That doesn't lessen his actions. Throughout this book he has been wavering between what he wants to do and what he should do. But when push comes to shove, he knows the right thing and he does it with no hesitation. 1. Resurrecting his OathThis was an emotional bit. Sounds weird but it was. Just to be clear the number one Kaladin moment stretches from "Elhokar was Dalinars Tien" all the way to the renewal of his Radiance. The revelation. He's injured. Weak, both physically and emotionally. And it's raining. Which is so very important. Tien would always cheer his big brother up during the rains. So in his vulnerable state it's no shock that he would think back to how his brother died. How Kaladin failed Tien. The guilt was weighing so heavily. His spirit close to breaking as he tried to justify killing Elhokar. Then the words come. Not the Radiant oaths but these were arguably more important. The words he uses to justify killing the king were the same ones that turned the lifeless body of his innocent little brother into a military strategy. And for the first time in a while, Kaladin was back. He realised that he cannot be that man who decides who to save and who to condemn. Then he realises that Dalinar loves his nephew like Kaladin loved Tien. And after that...nothing more need be realised. Charging up to the palace. Injured and weak. All to save a man he despises. Uses a spear to take out two armoured guards. Finds Elhokar drunk and unconscious. Manages to rouse him and runs straight into Moash. Wearing the plate Kaladin gave him. What a dick. In Moash's defense, tenuous though it is, he did try to get Kaladin to stand down. As far as Moash knows, nothing's changed. But everything has changed (Taylor Swift song. Good song). The battering Kaladin receives at the hands of those two is simply brutal. Add that to his pre-existing injuries and you wonder what is keeping this mans heart beating. Moash wonders the same when in awe he asks "Kal, how are you standing?"The answer? He sees himself clearly. Truly. The pain burns the falsities away and Kaladin knows who he wants to be. A true protector. Syl and Stormfather arguing over him. She claims him. Say the words Kaladin. Stretch forth thy hand."I protect even those I hate so long as it is right"There are no words to convey how insane I went at this point. My kindle was set down while I cheered silently but hysterically. Holy shit! He led us on such a ride. Even to the point of losing Syl. But he pulled through. He became a knight in truth. And so concludes the top five for the main four. What follows are writings on minor characters. Szeth. Ah man I feel so sorry for the guy. Lied to by his people and forced to become a murderer. His gentle nature broken by the weight of so many innocent lives. All because the Shin didn't want to admit that maybe things were about to get bad. Not only did they bury their heads in the sand but they decapitated the one guy who didn't. DicksHis duels with Kaladin were amazing. Not only because it was Radiant vs Radiant but because they finally showed him the truth. That he was right all along. Also Kaladin healing his dead arm? The implications are staggering. It was also good because that was probably the first assassination attempt where he failed to kill anyone. Ok on the plains not so much. The way he tried to kill Dalinar? Lashing him upwards just enough to ascend? That was amazing! True it might be my inner psycho talking but come on! And then it ends by him being resurrected to join the Knights Radiant as internal affairs. With Nightblood. Because that's gonna end well. Tarovingian is a hell of a mystery. A fluctuating intelligence level? Obviously a gift from that Nightwatcher. Who I maintain is a splinter of Cultivation. But he's basically got a quantum diagram detailing the future and has folk acting on it to guarantee survival. Not victory. Survival. So there's obviously a very large part of the diagram detailing the extinction of humanity. Whilst reading a few questions came to mind:•is the desolation happening because Odium is returning?•if he is returning, why? Honour is already dead and one must assume Cultivation is as well. Why would he kill one threat and leave another?•how is being around Kaladin, awakening the Radiance in his bridge men?•can Kaladin use Stormlight to heal other people? •what does Taln reacting to Shallans magic mean?•how will Alethi society change now that the major players are now in Urithiru?•in the face of another desolation will the Radiants be welcomed?•are the Parshendi the voidbringers or is it the spren that inhabit them?I will admit that my words did not do justice to these fine moments. You want good words? Read the book. Until next time fellow Radiants.May the words be ever on your lips. 28 JANUARY 2014Ok so after I read the early released chapters I figured it was time for an update to the review. I intend to approach this more objectively and less like a fan girl. That being said...OMGOMGOMG ITS ALMOST OUT AAAAHHHH!!!Ahem on to business. Also, spoilers ahead. Having read the chapters released online it's obvious that Shallan is a Knights Radiant. She has clearly acquired her own Honour spren. Known as Pattern. Cute name right? Typical scholar.So they are on their way to The Shattered Plains to study the Parshendi, Parshman and the Voidbringers. Not only that but she is betrothed to Adolin. Seems to me that Sanderson is closing ranks on our little group. Bringing everyone to one place. So is he gonna introduce others? Like the Shardblade assassin Jasnah employed in the prologue? Also Jasnah noted that in the time leading upto the Desolations, the Heralds would experience a surge in new recruits for the Knights Radiant. Is this going to be affected by the fact that there is only one Herald?Dalinar has clearly assumed his position as Highprince of War as he is ordering the movements of other princes. But it's gonna be an uphill battle as co-operation is as alien to them as the voidbringers themselves. But he is The Blackthorn. And he is on a mission. Kaladin Stormblessed has experienced a hell of a ride. Spearman to Bridgeman to Surgebinder. Given around 1000 men by Dalinar, he's in charge of making them into a fighting force. But he has a mission of his own. Amaram and Sadeas. A soldier first and a Radiant second. They will know what it means to target his men. I think it's clear that:•The parshendi are not voidbringers•Odium is a shard...THE Shard•Wit is, well Wit. •The Almighty is NOT SazedThat being said there are far more questions than answers right now. Hardly surprising seeing as how it's book 2 of 10. All I know is that, the closer we get to March 4th...I. Am. Freaking. Out
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  • Kogiopsis
    September 16, 2011
    March 5th: Done with first readthrough. It was, in fact, more perfect than expected. I only cried a little bit; mostly afterwards I just have this feeling of intense satisfaction.I will probably still wait to review until I've read through twice; I have a lot that I think I want to say but I haven't fully processed it.August 10: It's obvious to everyone that I'm not gonna get around to a reread for a while, right? Cool. I'll do it eventually, because I have a lot to say about this book, but it'l March 5th: Done with first readthrough. It was, in fact, more perfect than expected. I only cried a little bit; mostly afterwards I just have this feeling of intense satisfaction.I will probably still wait to review until I've read through twice; I have a lot that I think I want to say but I haven't fully processed it.August 10: It's obvious to everyone that I'm not gonna get around to a reread for a while, right? Cool. I'll do it eventually, because I have a lot to say about this book, but it'll take a lot more time and energy than I have right now.4 MARCH 2014: IT'S OUT! I'm going to leave this review up as-is until I can replace it with an actual review of the book; as I'm going to be reading it twice (one speed-read before Sanderson comes to my area for a signing, one thorough re-read afterwards) that may be some time.18 December 2013: Review rewritten/reorganized to be more coherent and remove out-of-date info.19 January 2014: Links added for TOR-released chapters. There will be two more chunks posted on the website before the book comes out.21 January 2014: First of those two remaining chunks released at noon EST. I feel pretty comfortable saying we'll see the last set of chapters - the ones Peter Ahlstrom has been hinting at by saying we haven't gotten the 'hooks' yet - at the same time on the 28th.28 January 2014: I was right. Links updated below. Note that now all the chapters we know to expect have been released; this may be the end of preview material.RELEASE DATE: March 4. This is pretty much set at this point.COVER/FLAP DESCRIPTION: can be found here. If you're not sure who's who, title explanations are under the spoiler cut: (view spoiler)[the Windrunner is Kaladin, the Lightweaver is Shallan, and the Explorer is Eshonai. We're pretty sure the Bondsmith is Dalinar; I'm hesitant to list that as an absolute ID because I still think he's a strong contender for being a Stoneward. The Assassin, obviously, is Szeth. (hide spoiler)]As of this review update, the version Goodreads has on their page for the book is the old version. There are obviously major changes between the two, but both provide interesting hints towards plot events.READINGS/EXCERPTS:- Eshonai interlude (Audio, part 1 (excerpt starts at 12:30), part 2 (overlaps somewhat with first part); transcript)- Shallan flashback (Audio, transcript)- Rysn interlude (Writing videos: prewriting, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve; transcript)- Taravangian interlude (Excerpt)- Jasnah prologue (Transcript)- Kaladin, chapter 2 (Transcript)- Dalinar flashback (Transcript)- Ym interlude (Transcript)- Lift interlude (Excerpt)- Teeny fragment of conversation involving Dalinar (Excerpt, sort of)-Prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2 at TOR (Excerpt)- Chapters 3-5 at TOR (Excerpt)- Chapters 6, 8, and 9 at TOR (Excerpt)- Chapters 10, 12, 14, and Interlude I-1 at TOR (Excerpt; note that Ch. 10 and Interlude I-1 were previously released in audio as Red Carpet, Once White and the Eshonai Interlude; however, there have been changes in the final versions.)As of right now, everything released via the Steelhunt is also on this list, so if you don't have a code you're not missing anything. One note: Everything marked 'excerpt' can be considered correct re: spelling and grammar, because it comes from an official source. Anything marked 'transcript' may have misspelled names or inaccurate punctuation. Obviously, any and all of these portions are subject to change before the final version.
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  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    March 5, 2014
    Don't judge me I made it a full year before rereading this monster book and it is even better the second time through.Kalidan and Syl I still ship you.Buddy Read May 1st with many friends over at Sanctum of Fantasy My apologies in advance for the ridiculous amount of updates I'm going to post for this book. It cannot be helped as my fangirling refuses to be contained. Original review April 2014: “Honor is dead. But I'll see what I can do.” I stand in awe of fantasy writers that can make an e Don't judge me I made it a full year before rereading this monster book and it is even better the second time through.Kalidan and Syl I still ship you.Buddy Read May 1st with many friends over at Sanctum of Fantasy My apologies in advance for the ridiculous amount of updates I'm going to post for this book. It cannot be helped as my fangirling refuses to be contained. Original review April 2014: “Honor is dead. But I'll see what I can do.” I stand in awe of fantasy writers that can make an entire new world, magic systems, cultures, history, lands and everything else that goes into making a great fantasy and fill it with so many details that while you are reading the story you can get so drawn in that you feel like you are there or that it is a real place. Brandon Sanderson is one such writer. I enjoyed The Way of Kings (WoK) and gave it a 4.5 rating Words of Radiance is even better and 5 stars just doesn’t seem like enough. The world is richer and we hit the ground running in this installment since the world has already been set forth. Sanderson still built up on the foundation he already created in WoK and everything he added to it made if all the richer.Sanderson is maybe the best writer I have read at giving a lot of ups and downs throughout the story but saving up and building steam for that last 15-20% where the shit hits the fan and the intensity just skyrockets all the way to the end. I was on the edge of my seat, reminding myself to read all the words and take my time but I was so excited to see what happened next that I found myself reading faster and faster as everything in the story was unfolding.Told from multiple POVs throughout the story gives the reader an all-encompassing understanding of the world and the various interests and plots of gods and men. Every new layer and character added something to the story. The end of each part of the book had me struggling to take my time through the interludes as I couldn’t wait to see what was happening with our characters. A few of the interludes were from the Parshendi POV and gave an interesting understanding of the war, and the Parshendi’s goals. Some of the interludes revisited a few of the characters from WoK and made more sense to me in how they fit into this story while I imagine others importance will make more sense later.While WoK’s was very much Kaladins story WoR is more Shallan’s. I was a little worried about this as I didn’t really like Shallan very much in WoKs. She was naïve and came to steal for Jasnah for that very reason she was less likeable. But she totally grew on me in this book as she really comes into her own and we have a chance to learn of her past. She has been hiding from it for so long that it is hard for her to face. “I seek the truth,” Shallan said. “Wherever it may be, whoever may hold it. That’s who I am.” I grew to really love her character. She is full of banter and wit and gets herself in just as much trouble as she gets herself out of. I had so much fun following her story as she travelled to the shattered plains and it was even more fun once she met both Kaladin and Adolin. I see the hint of a possible love triangle in there somewhere but thank god it hasn’t hit yet. I really enjoyed the time she spent with each of the men but her first meeting and later banter with Kaladin was some of the funniest dialogue in the book. “The only time you seem honest is when you’re insulting someone!”“The only honest things I can say to you are insults.” Oh Shallon does have a sharp tongue and it seems that she is unlike anyone else Adolin has tried to date before. She has the princeling a little twisted up with what he should do. The way that Shallon is able to affect the lives of those around her and change them for the better was amazing as well. She was able to change the lives a few people extraordinarily and her new found abilities are extremely intriguing. She does seem in a little over her head though.Adolin was also a character from the last book that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Compared to his father Dalinar and Kaladin he just wasn’t that interesting to me. Well that has totally changed in this book. Adolin is more than he seems for sure and as a few of the chapters are told from his perspective I really started to enjoy his character. The lengths he goes to for the people in his family and for what he feels is right are fantastic. But he still has the privileged air about him so he does it in the most comfortable manor possible. “Kaladin frowned. “Wait. Are you wearing cologne? In prison?”“Well, there was no need to be barbaric, just because I was incarcerated.”“Storms, you’re spoiled,” Kaladin said, smiling.“I’m refined, you insolent farmer,” Adolin said. Then he grinned. “Besides, I’ll have you know that I had to use cold water for my baths while here.”“Poor boy.” Kaladin’s arc is a journey of right and wrong, honor and betrayal, past and present. He has a big boulder on his shoulder against all lighteyes based on is past. Some warrant it and others do not. But it is a journey a true hero must take if he is to be a hero. I was happy I liked Shallan so much otherwise I might have got lost in Kaladin being a little bit of a downer through some of this. He was lost in his hate at times, although warranted it was hard to journey that with him. It was nice when a few people were able to drag him out of it. “I trust you. It’s a very strange sensation.”“Yeah, well, I’ll try to hold myself back from going skipping across the plateau in joy.”Adolin grinned. “I’d pay to see that.”“Me skipping?”“You happy,” Adolin said, laughing. “You’ve got a face like a storm! I half think you could frighten off a storm.” Kaladin really struggles with his vows and his relationship with Syl. Did I mention that I really hope somehow someway that Syl and Kaladin a destined to be together. That as their bond grows she will become more corporeal in our world and they can have a romance, which is totally the girl in me talking. I ship them so hard though. It is my dream and it is farfetched but I want it anyway. DALINAR was my favorite character from the last book and he had a few moments in this one where I wasn’t sure what to expect from him. It seemed that he might not be up to the task at hand and then he would pull something unbelievable out. I loved his pose and calm. He is everything that a leader should be, that a king should be. I always still seem to underestimate him and I am surprised by how he reacts to situations. “What you did tonight was clever,” Wit said. “You turned an attack into a promise. The wisest of men know that to render an insult powerless, you often need only to embrace it.” Sometimes he is played the fool but he recovers quickly and always moves in a positive direction no matter the cost to himself. He is truly a good man doing the best he can for his kingdom and with so much stacked against him that can’t be hard.He is the character that I worried for the most because that is who Szeth was sent to kill in WoK. Any meeting they had was intense and the conclusions to both their arcs in this book were unexpected and left my jaw on the floor. “He fought as he wished he had all those years ago, for the chance he had missed. In that moment between storms--when the rain stilled and the winds drew in their breaths to blow--he danced with the slayer of kings, and somehow held his own.” There are so many other characters that played great roles in this. Rock, Teft, Lopen, Wit, Jasnah, Sadeas (I hate that dude), Sebarial and Palona as well so many others, I couldn’t possibly name them all.There are so many reveals that will play a big part in other books and some that were shocking in this one. I was on a rollercoaster almost the entire book and so many characters had surprises in their arcs. The epilogue had me jumping out of my seat with excitement. What a fantastic way to end the story.All I know for sure at the end of this book is The Desolation Comes and it will be an epic journey that I can’t wait to participate in.Initial mini review:Squee....Happy Dance...Squee some more. There were so many things I loved, and loved hating in this book. OMG the ending and again the last 20% rocked my world/the other 80% was great too....but the last 20% WOW!!!
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  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    March 3, 2015
    Reviewed by: Rabid Reads WORDS OF RADIANCE is the second installment of Brandon Sanderson's STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE series, and, unfortunately . . . it fell a little flat for me.Don't get me wrong, I liked it. This was one of those occasions when my rating steadily declined the more I stewed about the ends and outs . . . but immediately upon completion, I was all, "Yeah! Sanderson rocks again. WOOT! But then came the stewing . . .I had several significant issues with this book:1. Cosmere crossover m Reviewed by: Rabid Reads WORDS OF RADIANCE is the second installment of Brandon Sanderson's STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE series, and, unfortunately . . . it fell a little flat for me.Don't get me wrong, I liked it. This was one of those occasions when my rating steadily declined the more I stewed about the ends and outs . . . but immediately upon completion, I was all, "Yeah! Sanderson rocks again. WOOT! But then came the stewing . . .I had several significant issues with this book:1. Cosmere crossover misfire.The Cosmere is the realm in which many of Sanderson's different series take place. There are different worlds for the individual series, but these worlds are all in the same universe. I believe the ultimate goal is to begin a new series (after the completion of its forerunners) that ties the worlds together in a less tangential way.Anyway, there are Easter eggs aplenty for a savvy fanperson, and I was made aware that a couple of important characters from a different series played important roles in WoR.So I read the book from which these characters came just prior to starting to WoR . . . and then I completely missed Crossover #1's big entrance."How is that even possible?" you ask, and that's an excellent question, b/c, yes, I had just finished Crossover's book, and, yes, everything from it should have been fresh.BUT.Sanderson decided to disguise Crossover. Changed his name and made him a "Master" of something he had previously only been good at. In fact, in Crossover's book, he wins fights against more skilled foe by distracting them, b/c he knows he can't win if he plays fair.How are we supposed to recognize Crossover if he's in disguise?Another excellent question. The obvious answer would be to make a point of gestures or catch phrases Crossover became known for, or references to key ideas from the world we last saw him in . . . and in a way Sanderson did this: he made up metaphors that referred to the most obvious aspect of the magic system in Crossover's world. BUT. There were no such metaphors used in the actual book. So despite the obvious nature of these "colloquialisms," they flew right over my head, b/c they weren't consistent to that world. Add to that the fundamental alteration of Crossover's abilities, and I failed to see the point of having a crossover at all.And that annoyed me. Greatly. 2. My previously favorite character became a Grade-A loser, whiny baby. 3. I HAVE RULES.And Rule #1 was broken. If you don't want to be spoiled, that's all I can say about it. For the Sandersonites who demand to know my reasons for casting more aspersions on their beloved namesake: (view spoiler)[I KNOW he wanted to make a point about the resilience of Surgebinders when he "killed" Jasnah, but he chose a crap way to do it. The fact that he had to explain his intent in numerous posts and even wrote a Jasnah POV detailing exactly what happened only makes my point for me.I'm glad Jasnah is alive.I think the point was an important one.I dislike the way he went about making it. The end. (hide spoiler)]Furthermore, the focus of this book felt completely different than its predecessor. In WoK, good triumphed over evil b/c valor and loyalty and determination to be better than the corrupt leadership. Slaves became bloody heroes, and I thought my heart would burst from the FEELS. In WoR . . . Shallan refused to unstick her head from the sand, and no amount of witty banter could overshadow her chicken-ness. Kaladin was the aforementioned loser, whiny baby. Dalinar shifted his stance on something he had previously forbidden b/c it was a convenient way to get rid of the competition, and Adolin had a psychotic break. Instead of steadfast perseverance resulting in victory, victory was obtained despite the lack of heroism, b/c last minute come-to-Jesus.I do not like this. At all.However . . . there were enough interesting plot developments and secondary characters to keep it from being truly awful. Lift was enough by herself to make reading WORDS OF RADIANCE a worthwhile endeavor, and in a series like this skipping installments isn't an option. But ultimately . . . I'd say we have a classic case of Second Book Syndrome on our hands. Recommended with qualifications.Welp. I did it. I was patient. I waited. BUT. Now it is finally (almost) time: BR of EPIC proportions with Sanctum of Fantasy. Starting 5/1/15. WOOT.Pre-Review:Dear Brandon Sanderson,Full RTC.My other reviews for this series:The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)
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  • J.L. Sutton
    December 6, 2016
    Words of Radiance is the spectacular 2nd book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. If you’re looking for an epic fantasy series, the Stormlight Archive is it! The world of Roshar keeps getting bigger and bigger (and, at the same time, more interesting). Words of Radiance picks up right where Way of Kings ended, and like the first book it is a fun and satisfying journey. The book will answer many of the questions you had after finishing Way of Kings while, of course, raising completely new Words of Radiance is the spectacular 2nd book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. If you’re looking for an epic fantasy series, the Stormlight Archive is it! The world of Roshar keeps getting bigger and bigger (and, at the same time, more interesting). Words of Radiance picks up right where Way of Kings ended, and like the first book it is a fun and satisfying journey. The book will answer many of the questions you had after finishing Way of Kings while, of course, raising completely new questions. I’ve already reread this monster of a book (1,087 pages), but I’ll need to be patient. Some questions need to remain unanswered, I suppose, at least until Oathbringer comes out!
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  • Felicia
    March 25, 2014
    I mean, Sanderson always puts the word "Epic" in "Epic Fantasy" and at over 750 pages...this is EPIC. I LOVED the last book, I loved this one as well. If you like Sanderson you'll love it, if you don't...well, this is definitely Sanderson! The same amazing characters continue from the last book, some Game of Thrones-type twists that are shocking as well, and as always, the lore and magic system RULE. Shallan continues to be an amazing character, and the growth of her abilities go into HELLA cool I mean, Sanderson always puts the word "Epic" in "Epic Fantasy" and at over 750 pages...this is EPIC. I LOVED the last book, I loved this one as well. If you like Sanderson you'll love it, if you don't...well, this is definitely Sanderson! The same amazing characters continue from the last book, some Game of Thrones-type twists that are shocking as well, and as always, the lore and magic system RULE. Shallan continues to be an amazing character, and the growth of her abilities go into HELLA cool territory. One thing: There's something vaguely disquieting about the class system and weird racism in this book, with the "light-eyes" and the Parshmen, that I can't put my finger on, anyone else feel that?
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  • Eon ♒Windrunner♒
    March 6, 2014
    I find myself having put off writing this review for a few weeks now. I am still at a loss for words. How do I deliver an appraisal of a book so mind-bogglingly fantastic that anything I write will fall short of conveying the joy of reading it? Words of Radiance might as well be my description of this book and not the title.WOR, being the second book in a ten book series called The Stormlight Archives, picks up right where The Way of Kings left off but does so at a faster pace. Where TWOK was a I find myself having put off writing this review for a few weeks now. I am still at a loss for words. How do I deliver an appraisal of a book so mind-bogglingly fantastic that anything I write will fall short of conveying the joy of reading it? Words of Radiance might as well be my description of this book and not the title.WOR, being the second book in a ten book series called The Stormlight Archives, picks up right where The Way of Kings left off but does so at a faster pace. Where TWOK was a slow burn towards an amazing climax, WOR definitely has a faster burning fuse with an ending that surpasses the former by weight of sheer jaw-dropping moments.And those moments? They. Were. Astonishing.The Way of Kings rocked your boat? That rocking was just a slight vibration. It was the tremor of the water in the glass, the promise of something to come, and this book heralds the arrival and the full roar of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.E-freaking-lectrifying. Yup. I’m making words up now. Maybe if I just found a shardplate helmet, threw in the words ambitious, grandeur, astounding, magnificence, stunning, masterly, extraordinary and blended them all together with a dash of stormlight, it would form the word that would start to give you an idea of the wonder of Words of Radiance.Brandon Sanderson just BROUGHT IT and dropped the mic before walking offstage.I should be worried for the rest of the series, as I cannot seeing him topping this, but then, he has already proven me wrong with this book.Go ahead and read this, you won’t be sorry. And if you find yourself nearing the end of the book and you are shouting and jumping and pointing towards the pages with exclamations of “HOLY GUACAMOLE BATMAN DID YOU JUST SEE THAT?!?!?!? “, just know that somewhere out there I am nodding my head and saying “I told you so!”
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    December 14, 2012
    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...I don't know what was more intimidating, the size of Words of Radiance when I first beheld it, or the thought of having to write the review when I finished. I took me about seven days to read this giant tome, and then five more just to let everything sink in. So many emotions. So amazing. Even now, I don't know if I can completely separate my subjective feelings for this novel, simply because of the MAJOR soft spot I harbo 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...I don't know what was more intimidating, the size of Words of Radiance when I first beheld it, or the thought of having to write the review when I finished. I took me about seven days to read this giant tome, and then five more just to let everything sink in. So many emotions. So amazing. Even now, I don't know if I can completely separate my subjective feelings for this novel, simply because of the MAJOR soft spot I harbor for this particular series. See, I wasn't always a fan of epic fantasy. I was the type to take one look at the page count and run the other way! Of course, that was before The Way of Kings became one of my favorite books. I guess you could say that I credit Brandon Sanderson and that book for being my gateway into this genre, and I've always been glad for that.To finally read Words of Radiance was like fist-pumping excitement and all my restless giddiness rolled into one. In this second volume, the world of The Stormlight Archive becomes even more incredible and captivating. My favorite thing about Sanderson's stories are his magic systems, and I know everyone always says that but I don't care! It bears saying again because it's true. Here I thought he was done laying down the ground rules for his world's magic in The Way of Kings, but clearly he was just getting started. It's actually getting so elaborate that part of me is beginning to worry this could become too confusing before long. But if you love Surgebinding, rest assured the storyline continues to build upon basic principles regarding stormlight and its uses in the various types of surges. When it comes to beefing up his magic systems, Sanderson never ceases to amaze.I've also noticed he has a way of writing inherently good people in the roles of main protagonists. This certainly applies to the important characters here -- Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Adolin, etc. -- all decent folks with decent intentions, natural leaders who always in the end succeed. It took tension out of the story at times, but it's also nice to feel exultant when a character gets ahead. That said, there were still plenty of twists and a couple of big surprises in this book, and of course when bad things happened, the impact of those setbacks felt all the more powerful. Sanderson knows how to pull me in and make me care, even when it comes to his more minor characters.But what I really didn't expect was how things turned around when it came to the major ones. Kaladin pretty much made the first book for me, so I was shocked to see that his chapters in this one failed to hold my attention the same way. Kaladin himself, the ex-soldier and former bridgeman who has become a Knight Radiant, spirals into self-pity, anger, and impulsion because of his new powers and responsibilities, and I just didn't like the man he was for most of this book. On the other hand, Shallan (who didn't really impress me in The Way of Kings) comes into her own, literally becoming a new woman.While Kaladin shrank into himself, Shallan branched out, becoming more adventurous and daring. Every time the story focused on her again, I was completely rapt, drawn into her research and personal journey to find the mythical city of Urithuru. I was also impressed by the way Sanderson handled her different relationships with other characters, especially the surprising one developing between her and Adolin. There's no question, Words of Radiance is where Shallan steals the show and gets a lot more of her background filled in, plus the illustrations of "her drawings" do add so much to the narrative (and I agree, Shallan, Adolin is totally *sigh*). I just have to cheer for a fellow artist too, you understand.As for the story, what can I say? It's moving along, and in a big way. Everything is now converging in on the Shattered Plains, with all the main characters and their plot threads finally weaving together to become more cohesive. There's a countdown to something huge, and while this is the main source conflict in the novel, I like how the side themes continue to play a role. Factors like the infighting between the Highprinces or the social class disparities between Lighteyes and Darkeyes or humans and parshmen only add to the immersion and world building.I have to say that with Sanderson, you don't often get "epicness for the sake of being epic". Others may disagree, of course, but all I know is with 1000+ pagers like these I always tend to forget a lot due to information overload. However, three and a half years after The Way of Kings, I still find myself remembering almost all the details of Roshar, of its peoples and cultures, lore and magic, the different creatures and spren. My memory's not the best either, so the fact I can remember even the little things means that they really stuck with me, and that simply does not happen with fluff or filler. It tells me the details in The Stormlight Archive are there for a reason, and not just to pad a book. Even the Interludes, which I don't really care for, I can still appreciate because something tells me they will be important at a later stage.Honestly, sometimes I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that I'll probably be well into my fifth decade by the time the last book of this vast, sweeping series comes out. It's an accepted reality for epic fantasy fans I'm sure, but you can bet your spheres that I'm in this one for the long haul. Premature as it is to say, but I think things are shaping up real nicely, and if you enjoyed the first book then picking up this one will be a must as well. Needless to say, Words of Radiance gets 5 hearty stars from me. Really, was there ever any doubt?
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  • Celeste
    February 6, 2017
    Full review now posted!I have a new favorite book, and it’s this one! Words of Radiance was powerful and moving and epic in both size and scope. There is absolutely no negative feedback I could give this book. I know I had some friends that were disappointed in how long it took me to read this, and the fact that I paused and read a few other books. But there’s a reason for that! When I truly love a story with all of my heart, I don’t want to the book I’m reading to end. So I’ll put it down and r Full review now posted!I have a new favorite book, and it’s this one! Words of Radiance was powerful and moving and epic in both size and scope. There is absolutely no negative feedback I could give this book. I know I had some friends that were disappointed in how long it took me to read this, and the fact that I paused and read a few other books. But there’s a reason for that! When I truly love a story with all of my heart, I don’t want to the book I’m reading to end. So I’ll put it down and read something else for a while, giving myself a reason to stretch out my stay in the world I don’t want to leave. And that’s what I did here. This book is huge, even bigger than The Way of Kings. My “little” mass-marked paperback is 1310 pages long. Its basically a colorful brick. But it never felt like it dragged; in fact, I would’ve been completely happy with another thousand pages. Since I was young, I have loved the fantasy genre with all of my heart. It transports you in a way nothing else does, in my opinion. And no series has ever transported me and enthralled me quite as much as the Stormlight Archive. The world Sanderson has built here is the most unique I have ever read. The flora and fauna are completely unique from our world. The magic system (like all of Sanderson’s magic systems) is vast and varied and well fleshed-out while still retaining an air of mystery, and the religion of the land ties into that remarkably well. All of the world-building is beyond compare, but what makes this series truly shine are Sanderson’s characters. Some of my very favorite fantasies have focused mainly on the lives of single individuals. Harry Potter, Kvothe, Ender Wiggins, Locke Lamora, Percy Jackson, Thomas Hunter, Errol Stone, Karou, Meg Corbyn, Mercy Thompson, Bilbo Baggins, and many more (though fewer female characters than I’d like, since I can’t make myself include Katniss or Tris) have been the nearly complete focus of their stories, and I love that. But a lot of fantasies now are choosing to focus on more and more perspectives. Which is completely fine, I just end up picking favorites. In A Song of Ice and Fire, I prefer reading about Tyrion and Danaerys and Arya and Bran than I do Cersei or Jaime or the other Starks. Picking favorites just happens. But so far, that is most definitely not the case with the Stormlight Archive. Every perspective is fantastic, and every character carries their weight in the story. I never caught myself counting the pages until I got back to one of my favorite characters, because they’re all my favorites! And each character has grown so much since being introduced in the first book (which was amazing in its own right, but this one blew it out of the water) that I couldn’t wait to see what new decisions they made and how they changed. I’ve grown really attached to just about every character in the vast cast Sanderson has assembled. There’s determination, despair, romance, hatred, philosophy, stupidity, and humor. A lot of humor!Another thing I love about Sanderson is that the man knows how to write an ending. The last two hundred pages or so were intense. There was an insane amount of action, character breakthroughs, discoveries, plot twists, new appearances and reappearances. Also, this book begins tying threads of the Cosmere together, which was SO MUCH FUN to read! There were threads in The Way of Kings, but Words of Radiance brought those a bit more to the reader’s attention and built on them further. Sanderson’s creation of the Cosmere is incredibly ambitious, and I can’t wait to see how everything comes together. Which is more than likely going to take decades. But with his work ethic and imagination, I’m excited about the future of the Cosmere instead of despairing of the long road ahead. And good news; the third volume of the Stormlight Archive, Oathbringer, is set to release this November, so we have another installment to look forward to soon!A buddy read with my friend Chris.Read all of my reviews, along with my fiction and thoughts on life, at my blog, Celestial Musings.
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  • ☽Luna☾
    April 8, 2016
    So I read this book so long ago and never wrote a review. Words won't suffice the way I feel about this book, I have been reading for a long time and this book is THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ IN MY LIFE. Seriously.. Nothing will ever compare to this series & I will wait everyday in suspense for book 3. Hurry the fuck up please KING SANDERSON I need more.
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  • Eric Allen
    March 17, 2013
    Words of RadianceBook 2 of the Stormlight ArchiveBy Brandon SandersonA Review by Eric AllenThe Stormlight Archive is a series, I have found, that is a love hate sort of thing. Either you love it, or you hate it. I’ve never talked to anyone that was anywhere in the middle. The first book, The Way of Kings, was hugely popular, making the top ten on the New York Times bestseller list, and has spawned its own little island in the vast ocean of fandom. But there have also been a lot of criticisms of Words of RadianceBook 2 of the Stormlight ArchiveBy Brandon SandersonA Review by Eric AllenThe Stormlight Archive is a series, I have found, that is a love hate sort of thing. Either you love it, or you hate it. I’ve never talked to anyone that was anywhere in the middle. The first book, The Way of Kings, was hugely popular, making the top ten on the New York Times bestseller list, and has spawned its own little island in the vast ocean of fandom. But there have also been a lot of criticisms of it, and I will admit, that many of them are valid. Sanderson was under huge time constraints to get The Way of Kings out. He spent the better part of a year working on The Wheel of Time, and then cranked this massive tome out in a scant three or four months, almost completely rewriting the entire story from scratch over a previous draft of the book when it came time to publish one of his own. Is it any wonder that it wasn’t perfect? I’m just amazed that he managed to complete and publish not one, but TWO pretty good 1000+ page books in a single year. The stress from undertaking such a monumental task must have been epic, and for that, I can, and did, forgive many of the first book’s smaller issues. The world and the characters were entertaining, compelling and engaging, and promised of a fantastic series yet to come. There may be minor spoilers ahead, nothing too terrible though, you’ve been warned.The world is in chaos due to the rampage of the Assassin in White taking out the ruling bodies of every single major nation. Shallan and Jasnah set out for the Shattered Plains with vital information about the Voidbringers, and a mission to seek out Urithiru, the lost and forgotten home of the Knights Radiant, which might hold keys to surviving the coming Desolation. But tragedy strikes along the way, and Shallan finds herself alone, broken by her past in ways she refuses to admit to herself, and with the weight of saving the world resting on her shoulders.Meanwhile, Dalinar has taken control of the war against the Parshendi, exerting his authority over all ten of the war camps in the name of putting a swift and decisive end to the war once and for all. But his is the next name on the Assassin in White's target list, not to mention the hit lists of a whole host of others. His own friends and allies see him as the power behind the throne, and seek to remove that power, claiming it for themselves.Kaladin must come to terms with his new place in the world, reconciling his desires for vengeance and justice with the ideals of honor that he must uphold if he is to keep his newfound powers as a Surgebinder. He chafes under his Lighteyes masters, and wishes to change the world, but he can’t see a way to do it while satisfying Syl’s requirements that he remain honorable.Dalinar has received a warning. In 67 days, the end will come. He gathers power and allies, building a huge army to set out into the center of the Shattered Plains to stop whatever is coming, but the Parshendi have other plans. The Voidbringers have returned. The final Desolation has fallen upon the land, and the Heralds have forsaken their oaths to prepare mankind for it.The Good? I don’t think that there is a single character in this entire series that I dislike. That is very rare in a work of fiction. There’s always at least one that I just can’t stand. But here, I find all of the characters likeable, interesting, and compelling. They all have their different abilities, personalities, problems and goals, and their interactions with each other are well written and feel natural. They all learn and grow as people over the course of the book. Sanderson has outdone himself in the creation of the world in which this series takes place. It is beautiful, vivid, and alien, with a deep, rich history that is full of myth, legend, and mystery. It is very rare that an author is able to create a world that is so different from our own, yet feels so natural and realistic.Shallan actually has a purpose in this book. This was my biggest gripe about the first book. Shallan, obviously an important character, was introduced too soon in the series, in my opinion. She does hugely important things in this book, and looks like she will continue to do them in future volumes, however, she basically just took up space in the first book. She didn’t do anything that justified how much of the page count that she took up. To use an example from another series that is near and dear to both my heart, and that of the author, it is as if in the first book of The Wheel of Time, Min and Elayne, two HUGELY important characters, kept having chapters about what they’re doing in their daily lives tossed in here and there throughout the rest of the book after they received their introductions. These characters didn’t do anything important for the rest of that book, and so, they were left out of it. It’s the same with Shallan, she didn’t do anything else really important to justify taking up 30% of the page count of the book that couldn’t have been done better and faster at the beginning of this one. Introducing her at all in the first book was a dubious decision in my opinion, as the events on her side of the world were so far removed from everything else happening in the book. She was extremely out of place, and broke up the pacing of the rest of the book. I really enjoy her as a character, don’t think I’m just picking on her because I hate her personality. That’s not the problem. She just didn’t really need to be in that book for any real reason except to keep it from being a gigantic sausage fest. Which, admittedly, without her presence, it would have been. But, you can also remove every chapter about her from the book and not even notice. And when you can remove something from a book without noticing it's missing, it probably didn't belong there in the first place, or it needed more of a bridge between it and the rest of the book.In my opinion, the beginning of Words of Radiance is where Shallan should have been introduced. Her storyline from the previous book and the beginning of this one could very easily have been condensed into this one. I understand that she is an important character later on, people DO NOT need to keep telling me this. That’s not the problem. It’s just that book 2 is where she actually had something to contribute to the plot, so why did she take up 1/3 of the first book too? I’m a big believer in characters not taking up space until they have something relevant to contribute to the plot. No matter how entertaining and well written she might be, she still had no business taking up so much space in The Way of Kings. In a chat with Sanderson at a book signing he told me that this book was originally going to be about Dalinar’s past. But when reviews of The Way of Kings began coming in and asking about Shallan's relevance, even he realized that she was a little too far removed from the main plot of the series, and decided to change things around and make the second book her story. That way we all know and understand her importance early on, and it better ties her in with the rest of what’s going on. So there. Even the author himself agrees with me. Quit whining at me and trying to change my mind on her storyline’s relevance to the plot first book already people!!! I'm not buying it, and I never will. You're just wasting your effort.The fight and battle scenes in this book are amazing. They’re very well thought out and put together. In his early career, Sanderson used to be pretty terrible at writing action. He has VASTLY improved. His fight scenes are now tense, exciting, and dramatic, adding in some really epic moments of character development as characters show off how incredibly awesome they can be. I always love seeing an author learn and grow as a writer. All too often they don't improve, or actually take a few steps backwards in skill, or get arrogant and lazy. But not good old Brandon Sanderson. Every book he publishes is better written than the last, and I hope he continues to improve upon his considerable skills for many years to come. Words of Radiance DOES NOT succumb to second volume syndrome. All of the questions and mysteries left by the first book are addressed, either in answering them, or by building upon them to deepen the mystery. Things actually happen. Characters come to huge, life-changing realizations about themselves, and the world around them, and the story moves on to the next level. There is a sense of something having been accomplished and the story and characters having progressed. Unlike a certain other popular second novel in a fantasy series that I may have given a terrible review to, which did none of these things.I know that a lot of people had issues with the interludes in the first book. It was a common complaint that they took up a lot of space, and weren’t really all that relevant to what was going on, making a long book longer to little point or purpose. However, I found them highly enjoyable. There is a LOT of world building that went into this series, and Sanderson has found a way to show us important aspects of the world, the various peoples, and other such things, without having the characters sit around and talk about things that they already know for our benefit, or tell us forever long parables and allegorical stories as I may have highly criticized another popular fantasy author for doing. The interludes show us a few of the small, fun details that make Roshar so interesting, in a creative and refreshing way. They make the world come alive in a way that would otherwise be impossible. I would certainly not advise skipping any of them, as I've seen some people suggest, as many of them, in this book, are more tied in with what is going on, or help tie things in with other books in Sanderson's Cosmere. Eshonai's interludes are especially important to the story, and skipping them takes away greatly from the story itself.There are several fan service moments added in for fans of Sanderson's other works, which are fun nods at his previous books, and better show how they all take place in the same universe as parts of a much larger story. The Bad? Book 3 probably won’t be out for another two years or so. That’s a long time for Roshar to be poised on the edge of destruction, waiting for the axe to fall. I eagerly await the next volume, but I'm also eagerly awaiting Steelheart 2, The Rithmatist 2, Elantris 2, Warbreaker 2 and The Alloy of Law 2, so hey, whatever he decides to work on next before Stormlight 3, I'll be happy with it.And, I suppose, if you did not enjoy the first book because of the frequent flashbacks and interludes as many people seemed to have, you’re probably not going to like this one. It’s a tighter story, it has an element of tension that the first book did not have with a countdown to disaster, and all of the characters make actual contributions to the main storyline of the book. The climax is about 1000 times more epic than that of the first book, and all of the mysteries are built upon and expanded. However, the flashbacks are still there, detailing Shallan's past this time, as are the interludes. These were excellent sources of character and world development in my opinion, but I have seen quite a few people complain about them as their main source of dislike in the first book. If you were giving the series one more try for a change of format, you may be disappointed, but then again, you may find yourself getting attached to the everything else that this series has to offer instead.In conclusion, this was a great book. It has excellent characters that learn, grow and develop in a satisfactory and entertaining manner, a compelling world full of mystery and vivid lore that is rarely found in a work of fiction, and a story that keeps you guessing until the very end. It took everything that made the first book so great, polished it up, and made it even better, while fixing many of the smaller problems that I found in it, and adds in a note of dramatic tension that the first book did not have. I highly recommend it to any and all fans of epic fantasy, and to anyone who had trouble with the first book, I hope that you will give this series a second chance to see how the author has improved now that he doesn’t have the Wheel of Time taking up a huge chunk of his time and creative energy. I thought I had a pretty good idea where this series was going after the first book. Now, I have no idea. And I like that!Check out my other reviews.
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  • Apatt
    January 11, 2017
    “For Oliver Sanderson, Who was born during the middle of the writing of this book, and was walking by the time it was done.”Aww, I have never started a review with the book's dedication before, dedications are usually “read it and forget it” affairs, nice for the dedicatee, nothing to do with me. However, this one is charming and noteworthy in that I seldom consider how long it must take authors to write lengthy books. This dedication makes me appreciate the time and effort Brandon Sanderson put “For Oliver Sanderson, Who was born during the middle of the writing of this book, and was walking by the time it was done.”Aww, I have never started a review with the book's dedication before, dedications are usually “read it and forget it” affairs, nice for the dedicatee, nothing to do with me. However, this one is charming and noteworthy in that I seldom consider how long it must take authors to write lengthy books. This dedication makes me appreciate the time and effort Brandon Sanderson puts into the creation of this book. The world building and attention to details in this book is mind boggling, the beautiful artworks scattered inside the book and the complex (but easy to follow) structure makes the book seems like a huge undertaking involving not just Sanderson but also the illustrator and probably a book designer, not to mention the publishing and marketing side of it. It seems almost unfair that I read this book in about three weeks but it took Sanderson over a year to write it. At 1328 pages for about 9 US Dollars the book is incredible value for money per page. That is if you place value in great epic fantasy books; I do, and this book is a bargain.Words of Radiance is volume 2 of Sanderson’s ambitious Stormlight Archive series, which is projected to span ten similarly gigantic volumes. The main story arc concerns humanity’s struggle against a nonhuman* race called Parshendi who seek to destroy them for their own survival. The Parshendi are not evil per se, but there are forces at work which prevent the two races from living in peaceful coexistence.As with most epics, the story is told from the perspective of several main characters in multiple plot strands. These main characters are the movers and shakers of Roshar, the world of this series. So we follow the adventures of Kaladin the Radiant knight with wind riding abilities, Shallan the scholar with eidetic memory and the ability to create illusions, High Prince Dalinar who receives visions from the gods and will do anything to save his people from destruction, and several others.ShallanIn spite of being a very long book, the narrative just flows and flows, it never grinds to a halt. This is not to say that it is relentlessly fast-paced the pace varies according to the needs of the scene being depicted; discussions, battles, ruminations, romance, bantering etc. all require different pacing to make the scenes work. Each plot strand has something of interest going on, there are no long dry passages of expositions, yet the world is complex and richly imagined. I only have one very minor complaint in that Sanderson's jokes seldom land for me, they are just generally too bland, and too safe; but at least some of them make did make me smile, and I appreciate the author for including some humour (even if it is too tame) to balance the more intense parts of the book.Characterization is very important for this kind of book because we have to spend such a long time with the main characters and be invested in what they are doing. Sanderson spends a lot of time developing the characters, their strengths, and foibles. We get to know them very well by the end of the book and look forward to seeing them again. Kaladin still spends a little too much time moping and doubting himself, but there is much less of this than in the previous book, The Way of Kings. “Magic system” is now a popular term among the modern fantasy fans. Nowadays the old school “Abracadabra!” conjuring trope just does not cut it anymore for many readers. Magic should have some kind of logical basis, cause and effect, it is equally impossible regardless of whether it is systematic, but the internal logic has to make sense for its application to be believable. Sanderson is probably the king of magic systems, if you read his Mistborn series you will know exactly what I mean. For the Stormlight Archive series magic is fueled by stormlight from the “high storms” that infuses gems and is used almost like electricity, for lighting and various purposes. The word technology even appears a few times, unusual for books in this genre.Roshar is full of numerous bizarre life forms, quite a few of which are beautifully illustrated in the book. My favorites are the “sprens” which are like elemental spirits. A few of them are also very entertaining as characters. One is a Tinker Bell-like creature called Syl that follows Kaladin, and the other is called Pattern and is literally a living pattern that acts as Shallan’s very strange sidekick.There is so much depth and details in this book that it is hard to write a readable, comprehensive review. The best I can do is ramble on as I have and make a strong recommendation to fantasy fans not to miss this mighty series. The third volume of this series is scheduled to be published around November. I'm on board for all ten books, providing the author does not jump the shark somewhere down the line. * They are not aliens because they are just as indigenous to the world of Roshar as the humans. • Opinions differ on this issue but, the way I see it, there is no need to firmly commit to reading all ten volumes, especially as the series will probably not be finished for another decade at least. As readers, we should just enjoy the journey and not worry too much about the destination. Each book so far wraps up quite nicely at the end, some major questions are answered, leading to intriguing new ones to be explored in the next installment.• The fight scenes in this book are extremely well done, vividly depicted and pulse pounding.• The paintings in the book (two of them shown above) are by the great Michael Whelan, the gray scale art by Dan dos Santos, there are also some amazingly detailed drawings by Ben McSweeney (not shown here).“On an individual basis, in most interactions, this thing we call power—authority—exists only as it is perceived.”“It’s not that you aren’t witty, Shallan. I just feel like you try too hard. The world is not a sunny place, and frantically trying to turn everything into a joke is not going to change that.”“Using a fetching face to make men do as you wish is no different from a man using muscle to force a woman to his will, she’d said. Both are base, and both will fail a person as they age.”“I like to learn to use the local weapons,” Mraize said. “It is a quirk, though I feel it is justified. If you want to understand a people, learn their weapons. The way men kill one another says far more about a culture than any scholar’s ethnography.”Kaladin vs. Szeth
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  • Lord Nouda
    March 5, 2012
    Way too damn short. 3rd book, y u no out yet?! T_T
  • Patricia
    November 15, 2012
    GRAND. MAJESTIC. EPIC. Finally writing my say about this storming book after rereading it. I sometimes get speechless about the things I'm completely and utterly in love with and have to have more than enough time to gather my thoughts and compose something coherent.First and foremost, what a great sequel to my favorite book! The Stormlight Archive series is by far Brandon Sanderson's best work. The character development is proportionate with the story development and its rare that an author is GRAND. MAJESTIC. EPIC. Finally writing my say about this storming book after rereading it. I sometimes get speechless about the things I'm completely and utterly in love with and have to have more than enough time to gather my thoughts and compose something coherent.First and foremost, what a great sequel to my favorite book! The Stormlight Archive series is by far Brandon Sanderson's best work. The character development is proportionate with the story development and its rare that an author is able to balance both sides of the spectrum in storytelling. He is the Hoid/Wit in this universe.Everytime I read this book and The Way of Kings, it provides me the best literary experience. It gives me the chills, leaves me breathless and keeps me at the edge of my seat. But most of all, it warms my heart. I have a special place in my heart for the characters in this book.Kaladin. My most favorite literary character. Kaladin is a broken man, with a desperate need to find something to live for. He has so much anger built up inside, from the way the society works and how it had taken the lives of the people he love. He's a sincere, intense man who speaks his mind, a man who has the qualities of a natural leader. He is an embodiment of the Knights Radiant ideals. Shallan. She is a brilliant, strong female character whom I can relate to a lot and wish to become someday. She has been timid all her life, but she has a toughness in her that other people can cling to in times of difficulty. The hardships in her life was not a setback for her, instead she came out of her shell and transformed into a strong-willed clever woman who became a very important figure in this book.Dalinar. Oh Dalinar. This man is like a ray of light, a sliver of hope and a source of strength for me. He is an excellent general, someone with true regality, someone who can deal with criticism and ridicule with poise. What I love about him is that he listens, he doesn't take sides, and he is very strict and firm when needed. He is a leader anyone would dream of having, and people would consider it a privilege to serve under this man, not because of his stature but because of his integrity, honor, and honesty.As for the story itself and the world-building, I am in awe. Roshar becomes real to me everytime I flip a page. The places, people, creatures in this world are so foreign yet they are described in a way that you feel like they're real and they must exist someplace real. The story, is something bigger that anything else in this book. It's vast epicness is very hard to even summarize into a few sentences. All I can say is that it's very gripping, builds up in just the perfect amount of timing, and leaves you wanting more. Sigh** I'm sorry if I sound like I wanna marry this book, because if that's legal then I would've done it already.***wrote below before I read the book***After reading other books by Brandon Sanderson (which is all im reading lately) Ive come to the conclusion that the first book is my favorite, maybe of all books of all time. I'm just really glad it will go on for 9 more and I keep track of his progress in writing the second one, which adds to the everyday anticipation. I'm pretty much in love with Kaladin's character and I cant wait to read what happens next!
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  • Elisabeth
    June 12, 2014
    Video Review and Discussionhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywyzW...
  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    May 7, 2015
    MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading ListHOLY. CRAP. ON. A. CRACKER!I freaking loved this book! I am going to give a crazy arse review that will probably only make sense to me and throw in some excerpts and pictures and who cares?! Almost everyone has read this right, right? I love you Brandon Sanderson! But now that I sit and think about it, I will most likely be dead before you finish the books. I still love you though! I still love all of the men of --->BRIDGE FOUR<---- Here's a random EXC MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading ListHOLY. CRAP. ON. A. CRACKER!I freaking loved this book! I am going to give a crazy arse review that will probably only make sense to me and throw in some excerpts and pictures and who cares?! Almost everyone has read this right, right? I love you Brandon Sanderson! But now that I sit and think about it, I will most likely be dead before you finish the books. I still love you though! I still love all of the men of --->BRIDGE FOUR<---- Here's a random EXCERPT<---Kaladin pressed the stone against the wall of the chasm, and it stuck there. "All right," he said, stepping back. Rock jumped up and grabbed it, then dangled from the wall, bending legs below. His deep, bellowing laugh echoed in the chasm. "This time, he holds me!"Sigzil made a notation on his ledger. "Good. Keeping hanging on, Rock.""For how long?" Rock asked. "Until you fall.""Until I..." The large Horneater frowned, hanging from the stone with both hands. "I do not like this experiment any longer."Let me just get this off my chest and out of the way. I love Kaladin. I loved him in book one, I love him in book two, I will love him for all time! In the first book I wasn't really all that fond of Shallan, not that I really didn't like her, I just didn't care for her parts. Probably because all of the action was with the boys elsewhere. And in this beginning until half way through the book I didn't care too much for her parts either, although, they were a lot better than they were in the first book as she joins up with the gang. This would include Bridge Four, the King, Dalinar, Adolin, the evil peeps and everyone else. I particular fell in love with her character when her and Kaladin were stuck in a chasm together. They had a wonderful banter together and had to get out of some sticky situations. Kaladin also found out some very interesting things about her. So now my opinion is that she's pretty damn cool and I want to read more of what's going on with her. I didn't care too much for Dalinar's son Adolin in the first book but he blew me away in this one. He is a really good dude! --->EXCERPT<---Kaladin reached the jailer, taking him by the arm. "What is happening? The king put Dalinar's heir in here?""The king didn't have anything to do with it," the jailer said. "Brightlord Adolin insisted. So long as you were in here, he wouldn't leave. We tried to stop him, but the man's a prince. We can't storming make him do anything, not even leave. He locked himself away in the cell and we just had to live with it."Impossible. Kaladin glanced at Adolin, who walked slowly down the hallway. The prince looked a lot better than Kaladin felt--Adolin had obviously seen a few baths, and his prison cell had been much larger, with more privacy. It had still been a cell. That was the disturbance I heard, Kaladin thought, on that day, early after I was imprisoned. Adolin came and shut himself in.Kaladin jogged up to the man. "Why?""Didn't seem right, you in here," Adolin said, eyes forwarad. "I ruined your chance to dual Sadeas.""I'd be crippled or dead without you," Adolin said. "So I wouldn't have had the chance to fight Sadeas anyway." The prince stopped in the hallway, and looked at Kaladin. "Besides. You saved Renarin.""It's my job," Kaladin said."Then we need to pay you more, bridgeboy," Adolin said. "Because I don't know if I've ever met another man who would jump, unarmored, into a fight among six Shardbearers."Kaladin frowned. "Wait. Are you wearing cologne? In prison?""Well, there was no need to be barbaric, just because I was incarcerated."I'm going back and forth with all of this too. There is a point where Kaladin, Adolin and Dalinar are trying to fight this assassin from killing the king, but he is strong, so very strong. Imagine the sweetness when Kaladin scared him off because he knew Kaladin was something else. Syl, Kaladin's little Spren is in this too of course. I love her so much. She plays a vital part in this book. Well, she's vital anyway and we get to learn more about her. So back when Shallan and Kaladin were kinda lost in the chasm's, Shallan sort of figured something out from her drawings and a whole group of her and some of the peeps go back there. Kaladin is healing from an unfortunate event and I'm so glad that changed in this book. I was afraid Mr. Sanderson might leave us hanging on until the next book. BUT... OMG, it was so EPIC to me when Kaladin saw the light so to speak. I thought I was going to have a panic attack I was so excited! He ended up fighting the assassin in an awesome showdown, people found some stuff, people died, and people found out some more awesome stuff. And there is more messed up stuff to come they will have to fight in the other book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's a lot of stuff! NEXT BOOK PLEASE :-)
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  • David
    December 14, 2014
    Another wonderful and amazing buddy-read with the even more wonderful and amazing Branwen! Dave's "Book, you have the right to a speedy trial" review THE DEFENSE - Sanderson expands on his unique world from The Way of Kings with brilliant new concepts. - Book manages to strike a chord with every single emotion (even a few I didn't know I had)! - Delving into Shallan's past gives more depth to an already intriguing character. - Every character (and there are oodles of them) adds to the story Another wonderful and amazing buddy-read with the even more wonderful and amazing Branwen! Dave's "Book, you have the right to a speedy trial" review THE DEFENSE - Sanderson expands on his unique world from The Way of Kings with brilliant new concepts. - Book manages to strike a chord with every single emotion (even a few I didn't know I had)! - Delving into Shallan's past gives more depth to an already intriguing character. - Every character (and there are oodles of them) adds to the story and plays a very important role. - More action than the first book. However... THE PROSECUTION - ...not a WHOLE lot more action, so people who felt the first book was too slow will probably not be won over this time around. - Kaladin's mopiness and Alodin's arrogance can grate on the nerves at times. THE VERDICT Another "1,200 pages isn't enough" book from Sanderson! Words of Radiance may be as long as three average books put together, but it has more emotional depth and intriguing concepts than at least TEN average books put together!Dave's much wordier "Holy Moly, does he ever shut up?!?" review still to come...
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  • TS Chan
    April 4, 2014
    July 10, 2015: This update generally reflects my reread experience which was mainly done via audiobook. And it was utterly fantastic (as expected, DUH)! With the luxury of reading and listening really slowly, I was able to pick up on a lot more world-building tidbits and easter eggs which I've missed during my initial rocket-fuelled pace. And while I used to groan and moan whenever I get to the Interludes, the reread of these sections was filled with (more) discovery and some "Aha!" moments!As July 10, 2015: This update generally reflects my reread experience which was mainly done via audiobook. And it was utterly fantastic (as expected, DUH)! With the luxury of reading and listening really slowly, I was able to pick up on a lot more world-building tidbits and easter eggs which I've missed during my initial rocket-fuelled pace. And while I used to groan and moan whenever I get to the Interludes, the reread of these sections was filled with (more) discovery and some "Aha!" moments!As for the audio narration, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading were stellar! Given the mind-blowing length of the audiobook (~48hrs), it was a relief to have two narrators handling the male and female POVs respectively. Michael Kramer's Rock and Wit were perfect! And while I felt that Kate Reading's voice acting of Pattern (and his vibrations) was a bit weird at first, it really grew on me and I adored Pattern even more after listening to the audiobook. Mmmmmmm.... no lies, all truths.Please don't make me choose between The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance. Both to me are amazing books for different reasons, safe for the overarching brilliance of Brandon Sanderson. Feb 28, 2015: Yes, this book was so, so amazing that I've not stopped thinking (for the past 10 months) about it even though I've been catching up on a lot of the other very well-received fantasy series. I was lucky that I did not have to wait very long after finishing The Way of Kings in Jan 2014 before Words of Radiance was released (although the anticipation in itself made it feel so). And Sanderson delivered, oh how he delivered! I was reading the book every single chance I've got. Reading off a Kindle, I was able to carry this precious tome everywhere I went. Where TWOK spent a lot of time on developing the characters, especially getting into Kaladin's head, WOR has a lot more action, the plot developed and moved along at an exciting pace. Just when you think you can put down the book for a breather, something important happens and you'll go like "Sanderson, really? Give me some air to breathe man." Some questions (from TWOK) were answered as even more cropped up, and fans revel in the theorisation of things to come. The one thing I like most about Sanderson is that in spite of the immensity of his creations, his writing style is easy to read. One thing that I'm not very fussed about is the matter of prose, of which Sanderson was critiqued for. True, he is not Rothfuss nor Martin, but the ease of which one can breeze through 1000-page books such as The Stormlight books surely indicates this is a master of storytelling at work, prose notwithstanding. Even though a 10-book saga, Sanderson has thus far wrapped up each book with satisfying ending, but at the same time creating immense anticipation for the next book to come along. Dec 14, 2014: It's been over 8 months since I have finished reading this book and I still haven't been able to compose my thoughts enough to write a full-blown review.What I do have to say in short is that post-reading The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, I have to adjust down the ratings of most of my previous 5-star books simply because The Stormlight Archive has raised the bar to a whole new (epic) level!
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  • Markus
    April 19, 2014
    Group read with Fantasy Buddy Reads!Because of a combination of stress, work, other books I'm aching to read and the fact that this one is not giving me anything right now, I've decided to put it temporarily on hold. But no need to worry; I will return to it when I can actually (hopefully) enjoy it!--------------------------------------------I'll leave the pre-read review around for the irony:After the short break between the books, I find myself in an almost perfect mood to read this. I stated Group read with Fantasy Buddy Reads!Because of a combination of stress, work, other books I'm aching to read and the fact that this one is not giving me anything right now, I've decided to put it temporarily on hold. But no need to worry; I will return to it when I can actually (hopefully) enjoy it!--------------------------------------------I'll leave the pre-read review around for the irony:After the short break between the books, I find myself in an almost perfect mood to read this. I stated repeatedly while reading the first book that part of the reason why I found so many flaws with it was that I didn't care enough about the setting and the characters to actually take an interest in them. Fortunately, all that changed with the last ten chapters.The Way of Kings was to me something so rare as a book which was both amazing and overrated at the same time. But after having read that one, I think I know what to expect from Words of Radiance. And I am ready for it!Now if Sanderson can only give me Radiants and Shardblades and excitement and tons of awesomeness from the awesome members of House Kholin... then we'll see if I can actually start loving this series. At least it won't be for lack of trying!
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  • Sean Gibson
    March 28, 2015
    *SPOILERS*It’s always difficult to know where to start reviewing a book heavy enough to be used to squash small-to-medium-sized mammals (not that one would use the book for such a purpose, mind you, though I could have used it to get rid of the scarily large camel crickets in my basement…I hate cleaning guts off books, though). So, let’s try this:Number of times I inadvertently uttered “Stormfather!” as an epithet whilst reading this book: 14Number of times inadvertently uttering “Stormfather” a *SPOILERS*It’s always difficult to know where to start reviewing a book heavy enough to be used to squash small-to-medium-sized mammals (not that one would use the book for such a purpose, mind you, though I could have used it to get rid of the scarily large camel crickets in my basement…I hate cleaning guts off books, though). So, let’s try this:Number of times I inadvertently uttered “Stormfather!” as an epithet whilst reading this book: 14Number of times inadvertently uttering “Stormfather” as an epithet made me sound and feel like a complete doofus: 13 (the lone exception was when I was hanging out with my hard-of-hearing dad and thunder started rumbling in the distance and I just wanted to give him a heads-up about what was coming, so that was really more like, “Storm, father!” and, perhaps, shouldn’t be counted amongst the 14)That said, here’s the short answer for those of you waiting with baited breath for my unquestionably authoritative opinion as to whether this is a good book: yes.You’re welcome.Now then—for those looking for a bit more context and commentary, let’s dive in, shall we? Given that even a concise plot summary of this book would consume about 50 pages, I’m going to assume anyone reading this has either read this book or the first book of the series. But, I’ll lead with this: Words of Radiance picks up where Way of Kings left off, focusing on three main characters: Shallan, Dalinar, and Kaladin (interludes pick up on the tales of other characters, including ones central to this book (e.g., Eshonai) and other potential Knights Radiant we’ll see featured in future books, presumably…some of these interludes are interesting, but others really kill the book’s momentum). Before I nitpick away the fifth star from this book, let’s focus on the good: I continue to be in awe of the depth and breadth of this world; Sanderson is a world builder nonpareil. It’s unbelievable, really. By and large, the characters are compelling, the overall arc of the story is intriguing, and the writing is solid. The perspective shifts between characters are particularly interesting and revealing. In the Kaladin-focused chapters, for example, we see him as a gruff, no-nonsense man of action; in Shallan’s chapters, however, we see Kaladin as a rude, boorish stick-in-the-mud. It’s a beautiful characterization technique. Finally, the pacing over the final quarter of the book is pulse-pounding. And now to pick a few nits…Here’s my primary issue: that pacing over the last quarter of the book? It’s a complete contrast to the first three quarters (approximately 800 PAGES), which often drags. Given that one of the driving plot points is essentially a countdown to Armageddon, it feels like there should be a bit more urgency, but things just kind of meander (the downside, perhaps, of such detailed world building and trying to set things up for 8 more volumes to come). (And yes, I realize that me critiquing another writer for a slow start to a book is a little bit like a naked molerat calling a tarantula ugly.) I think a couple hundred pages could have been safely excised without sacrificing any of the essential and genius elements of the story.By and large, the characters are fully formed and interesting—which is not to say likeable, necessarily (a character needn’t be likeable to be compelling, after all). That said, Renarin and Sadeas are exceptions. I wouldn’t object to a mischievous spren quietly choking the life out of Renarin in the middle of the night so that we don’t have to hear him whine anymore. I realize he’s being set up for a major role and redemption, and I’m sure he’ll come to be more bearable (if not, he’s getting spren choked). As for Sadeas, in the first book, he was kind of an evil bastard, but one whose reasons for being an evil bastard were eminently logical. As Words of Radiance progresses, however, he gets a little ridiculous, and you can practically hear him waxing his mustache as he cackles maniacally over his plans to be an evil douche for no logical reason. He lost credibility as a character. Fortunately, we needn’t worry about HIM anymore. Thanks, Adolin. I’m curious to see where Sanderson is going with the whole light eyes/dark eyes thing. There are disturbing discriminatory implications to the fact that a dark-eyed person in possession of a shard blade (or honor blade) turns light-eyed, but these were (thankfully) somewhat addressed late in the book when Kaladin (I think) speculated that perhaps the eye color transformation is simply a random byproduct of the bonding process, but was ascribed much more significance by those with light eyes, who saw it as a way to set themselves up as the upper class of society. That makes sense and adds an intriguing layer of social commentary. We’ll see how that all shakes out. (Though, as a blue-eyed man myself, I like to think that I’m just awesome thanks to genetic chicanery over which I had absolutely no control and for which I deserve zero credit.)In sum: did Words of Radiance salt my pickle as much as Way of Kings? No. Did it sufficiently salt my pickle to make me want to read the next volume? Absolutely. Does Sanderson have enough pickle salt in his cellar to keep me reading through 8 more door-stopping tomes? Well, that’s a lot of pickle salt. Not because I have a big pickle—I don’t. I mean, I don’t have a big metaphorical pickle. Or a real one, for that matter. Er, that is, I don’t really have a pickle, like an actual pickle-pickle, because I don’t especially like pickles. I just mean that it would take a lot of good writing and storytelling to get me through another 9,000 pages or so. Ahem. Let’s just stop there, shall we?
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  • Nafeeza
    December 17, 2016
    This book feeds your soul. I am convinced that there is Stormlight stored in it pages that upon opening you can't help but absorb its greatness. So much epic-ness in one book should not be allowed, it is just not safe for the reader unless one is covered in Shardplate from head to toe to protect one's heart and brain. Dalinar, Kaladin, Syl, Shallan & Adolin with honorary mention to Wit & Szeth; you guys rocked my world. Sanderson has proven yet again that he is a master of words. Please This book feeds your soul. I am convinced that there is Stormlight stored in it pages that upon opening you can't help but absorb its greatness. So much epic-ness in one book should not be allowed, it is just not safe for the reader unless one is covered in Shardplate from head to toe to protect one's heart and brain. Dalinar, Kaladin, Syl, Shallan & Adolin with honorary mention to Wit & Szeth; you guys rocked my world. Sanderson has proven yet again that he is a master of words. Please read spoiler only if you have finished the book. (view spoiler)["Hello, a cheerful voice said in his mind. Would you like to destroy some evil today? *Squee* Nightblood!!! Also I was so satisfied with how Adolin "handled" Sadeas at the end. Go Adolin! (hide spoiler)]Bring forth Oathbringer! I am ready. I think.If you haven't picked up this series do yourself a favor and read it, read it now. You will not be disappointed.
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  • Luke
    January 28, 2014
    Disclaimers:1. I haven't slept since the release, for obvious reasons (probably overzealous obsession), so I can not guarantee that this review will be as tidy as I usually like them, until I come back later to fix it. I will probably expand this at that time as well.2. I'm an unabashed Sanderson fangirl (obviously I'm not a girl, but fanboy just sounds wrong-I don't wave palm fronds for Stormfather's sake). Take what I say with a grain of salt since I know for a fact that I have a hard time bei Disclaimers:1. I haven't slept since the release, for obvious reasons (probably overzealous obsession), so I can not guarantee that this review will be as tidy as I usually like them, until I come back later to fix it. I will probably expand this at that time as well.2. I'm an unabashed Sanderson fangirl (obviously I'm not a girl, but fanboy just sounds wrong-I don't wave palm fronds for Stormfather's sake). Take what I say with a grain of salt since I know for a fact that I have a hard time being objective with him, and this series in particular.3. I will not make the seemingly obligatory joke about the size. This seems all the rage with this book, but I think it's just the perfect size. I wouldn't change it one bit and it didn't truly intimidate me. And for the Heralds' sake, it's not even that heavy, people.The good:This. Book. Is. Amazing.Seriously, I can't tell you how many times I had to walk things out, or how many times my pillow or leather chair had my fist rammed into them in either frustration or happiness. The last twenty-one hours have been a roller coaster of emotions for me, both good and bad.This book answers so many questions, and yet leaves a perfect number unanswered for those of us who love to theorize in the years between books, with some AMAZING cosmere tidbits thrown in for those of us into that sort of thing. This did not feel like the second book in a ten book series. This was no "space filler" or "I-got-lost-in-my-own-world-and-just-kept-writing" book, it was a solid, legitimate, installment in what's becoming a phenomenal series. The focus of this book was Shallan, and we really got to see her, and her abilities, shine. We learn a lot about her, her past, and get to watch her grow into as strong a character as Kaladin was in the first book.Almost every single moment that I thirsted for was given to me. Often times those moments exceeded my greatest expectations. Brandon certainly isn't one to beat about the bush, throwing out important items and moments that won't appear for years. He gives you what you want. Now. And still manages a certain level of mysticism that will continue to draw us in for many books to come.The bad:This book had a very different feel by the end. I don't know how to put it yet, maybe sleep will help, but this book does not end like the first one did. Don't mistake me, the ending is amazing and elicited an intense emotional reaction from me, several times. It just seems... different. Not what I expected.This. Is. A. Long. Book.I know I said that I liked the fact that it was a long book, but no one can get through all those pages without feeling the weight of so many words consumed so close together. It also doesn't help that Sanderson is not known for his prose. If you're reading this (unlikely), I love ya man, but that's not why I read your books.Also, while I do like Shallan's story, the grand reveal didn't live up to my expectations set by Kaladin's. I'm still not sure whether this was by design-as she is different from Kaladin-or whether the story just didn't lend itself to her reveal strongly enough to give it the impact it needed.In conclusion (yeah, I know that makes it sound like a higschool English paper. Sue me.)I was blown away by this book plain and simple. Yes, I had some qualms, but no one can expect a book to cater to their every whim, without distancing the reader opposite of his tastes. There were no simple blunders. No obvious mistakes. Every single word was placed with care and the story unfolded like a tarp slowly being lifted off of a sculpture. Not just a sculpture. A whole scene. We can see the rough image of each character, hiding beneath the veil. We see a little of the landscape. With each book he uncovers another character and another piece of the puzzle.I can't wait to see this masterpiece finally unveiled.
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  • Holden Johnson
    March 1, 2017
    Well... The epicness of this book was beyond even what I had anticipated, even with all the gushing by pretty much everyone i've met, heard of, or seen.Most of this book felt like this was the finale, even though it's only book two of ten! Hopefully I live long enough because this was probably one of the best books i've ever read.10/10. 5/5. whatever out of whatever.Brandon Sanderson has a special talent. He has the ability to write phenomenal "middle" books. What I mean by that is that every bo Well... The epicness of this book was beyond even what I had anticipated, even with all the gushing by pretty much everyone i've met, heard of, or seen.Most of this book felt like this was the finale, even though it's only book two of ten! Hopefully I live long enough because this was probably one of the best books i've ever read.10/10. 5/5. whatever out of whatever.Brandon Sanderson has a special talent. He has the ability to write phenomenal "middle" books. What I mean by that is that every book he writes, has an amazing plot, twists, epic finale and it means something. Especially when it comes to longer series, you can find it hard to get passed the "filler" novels in the middle, or the "world building" pieces. Sure they may have bits and pieces of importance in them, but not like this.Here I am reading book 2 of 10 and it feels like the most epic ending to a series, but also an incredible beginning.What a world. What a world! I don't know how else to explain it. Sanderson has taken an entire universe and created it from scratch. Plants, Animals, Races, Religions, Cultures, Curse words, Weather patterns, Languages, Weapons, Tools... I'm sure I could go on, but the point is Sanderson created a new world here. And I don't just mean a fantasy world with new names, but an entirely new universe. It feel so fresh and exciting.Kaladin really grew on me in this book. I didn't care for him as much in book one, being that I couldn't relate to his "whiney, depressed" attitude. Come to find out, via a blurb written by Sanderson in "Altered Perceptions" that Kaladin actually has depression. You can see that more in book two as he goes from Highs to Lows.But man oh man, some of his moments in book two were incredible, goosebump raising, jaw dropping moments.Spoilers Ahead."Honor is Dead."Kaladin jumping down to help Adolin, a lighteyes."I will protect even those I hate, so long as it is right"Kaladin separating himself from the Skybreakers and those who believe that the means are always justified.He grew. Into a man. Into a force of good. I love Kaladin.Shallan grew from someone whom I couldn't wait to get passed her chapters, to someone whom I couldn't wait to read more about.Her past, broken and full of lies was so emotional. I had shivers down my spine when she sang her father's last lullabye.And then that ending revelation... Wow.Adolin really stood out in this book for me. He no longer felt a spoiled lighteyes, but a man just tryign to do right. When he locked himself away alongside Kaladin, simply because he felt it right, I really knew he was a good person.But that ending... Sadeas.... Wow Adolin. You did what I've wanted to do since the first time i read Sadeas's name. I hope the reprecussions aren't too bad... though I think they will be.Overall. I could write an entire novel about why I loved this book, but instead, I'm going to venture into message boards, forums and all other forms of discussion to bide my time until November.Oathbringer. I'm coming for you.
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  • Alex Telander
    February 13, 2014
    It is known as the sophomore slump, where the second book is not as good and simply doesn’t live up to the hype and success of the previous, first book. Generally this applies to a debut author book and its successor, and obviously Words of Radiance is not Brandon Sanderson’s second book (technically it’s his 11th adult novel), it is nevertheless the second book in his Stormlight Archive planned 10-book epic series. This is the series Sanderson has wanted to write since he was a teenager, and si It is known as the sophomore slump, where the second book is not as good and simply doesn’t live up to the hype and success of the previous, first book. Generally this applies to a debut author book and its successor, and obviously Words of Radiance is not Brandon Sanderson’s second book (technically it’s his 11th adult novel), it is nevertheless the second book in his Stormlight Archive planned 10-book epic series. This is the series Sanderson has wanted to write since he was a teenager, and since he had well over a decade to work on the first book, it’s now been four years since the release of The Way of Kings, putting a lot of pressure on him in much less time to deliver just as good of a book with the successor.It seems Brandon didn’t get the memo about the sophomore slump, or if he did, he just laughed at it and threw it away. Words of Radiance is a work of brilliance that is actually better than The Way of Kings in a number of ways.Firstly, the book is almost a hundred pages longer, putting it at 1088 pages, so what’s not to like about that? The work and dedication the great fantasy publisher, Tor, put into this book is simply stunning. They built on what they did with The Way of Kings, providing a great landscape scene featuring one of the main characters, Shallan, in full resplendent color detail on the inside beginning pages and a full-color captivating map on the ending pages. Throughout the book are wonderful sketches and illustrations linked with the story, as well as ornate chapter headings. And to cap it all off, there is another beautiful wrap-around dust jacket cover by the great Michael Whelan.And that’s just the physical book. Let’s move on to the story and writing.The second book of a series, whether it’s a trilogy or a 10-book bonanza, has a lot to prove and impress upon the reader. The first book captivated and hooked them as the reader learned of everything for the first time. The second book has to maintain the reader’s interest with a world and characters they are already familiar with, and kick it up a notch, by introducing new material as well as expanding the complex world. Sanderson does exactly this and more, leaving the reader by the end of the book gasping at its impressive execution, but also comprehending how this can be a 10-book series. It is not that the reader can easily see what is going to happen over the remaining eight books, but through what is introduced and developed in the second book, they can see this furthering and continuing throughout the rest of the series.Readers of The Way of Kings knew that with the development of the two strong characters in Kaladin and Shallan, they would one day be getting together, and Sanderson skillfully weaves his plot to make this happen. He has also changed the dynamic of the story from the final events of the first book, with Shallan becoming her own leader and a powerful person in her own right, while Kaladin is no longer a slave but a darkeyes of stature, which is unique in itself, along with his special abilities earning him the moniker Kaladin Stormblessed. As Sanderson often does with his magic system after introducing it in the first book, he pushes it to new revelatory levels in Words of Radiance, expanding its complexity and depth, while dumbfounding and impressing the reader with its sheer awesomeness.As with The Way of Kings, Sanderson uses interludes at poignant, cliffhanger parts of the book, whisking the reader across his invented world to new lands and new characters. Some have been met before in the first book, others are new and fascinating to behold. He reveals a different world, a different people, a different culture, and a completely different way of life in these new characters as compared to those involved in the main story. As well as being entertained and interested, the reader is also wondering how these characters will relate to the main, central characters they have been reading about for hundreds of pages, and if perhaps they may eventually meet. Many fantasy authors employ elaborate maps featuring varied lands and seas and islands, but few ever actually explore their world fully and use its created complexity. It seems in The Stormlight Archive, Sanderson intends to do this, and thoroughly with a planned arsenal of 10 books to do it in.By the end of Words of Radiance the reader is of course left wanting more, wanting that third book right away, even though it will very likely be another three or four years before it is published. Though if there is one thing Brandon Sanderson has proven to his many readers and fans countless times over, it is that he works hard and long, and delivers a book to the reader’s hands as fast as he possibly can. So one may end up being surprised as to when the third book in The Stormlight Archive will be out. But the ending of the book shouldn’t just leave the reader wanting more, but also leaving them feeling satiated; satisfied with the story they have read that has reached a completion of sorts, which is really what a book of this epic scale should do, since its successor won’t be available for some years to come.So then, can you read Words of Radiance on its own without reading The Way of Kings? Technically yes, some of the events of the previous book are referenced and made clear, but everything will make a tremendous amount more sense if you read the first book in the series before starting on this second one. Does the story warrant 1088 pages, or could it stand to have been edited down somewhat? With The Way of Kings, it could’ve stood to have been edited down fifty or so pages, but with Words of Radiance, I have been hooked on every chapter and it hasn’t really slowed down for me at any point.Ultimately, it is a beautiful book, a work of art in many ways that is a great length and a worthy addition to the epic fantasy lexicon that will look just great on your bookshelf when you’re done. It is so satisfying to know that great books like Words of Radiance are being made and will continue to be made.Now go get yourself a copy of Words of Radiance and lose yourself in the land of Roshar.Originally written on March 3, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.For more reviews check out Bookbanter.
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  • Chris
    February 10, 2017
    Wow. Now that is why I love to read. This very book captures exactly what I love about the fantasy genre. Wow...Lame review for a fantastic book. Cannot wait for the next one!
  • Twila
    December 28, 2014
    If lightning struck in The Way of Kings, then Words of Radiance brought the thunder.**NO SPOILERS. I PROMISE.**And yet another Sanderson novel makes it unto my favourites shelf. With the very shiny 4.76 stars rating, I came into this expecting A LOT. I got all of it and more. Words of Radiance delivered.Sanderson capitalizes on the ground work and picks up all the plots provided by The Way of Kings (TWoK from now on), and introduces even more. He has structured the heck out of this series and If lightning struck in The Way of Kings, then Words of Radiance brought the thunder.**NO SPOILERS. I PROMISE.**And yet another Sanderson novel makes it unto my favourites shelf. With the very shiny 4.76 stars rating, I came into this expecting A LOT. I got all of it and more. Words of Radiance delivered.Sanderson capitalizes on the ground work and picks up all the plots provided by The Way of Kings (TWoK from now on), and introduces even more. He has structured the heck out of this series and it just blows me away. Like TWoK, Sanderson weaves the present with the past, moving the plot forward, but also emphasizing how our primary characters came to be. This time around, Sanderson made interesting choices in how he unveiled the past. Without spoiling anything, there is a major reveal around the middle section that isn't explained at all until the later portions of the book. It turned out that I only needed to keep reading and it was all later explained. And keep reading I did, often late into the night. Often when in class. Heh, shhh. The depth of his characterization is phenomenal. To paraphrase a famous fictional ogre. His characters are like onions.They have layers.I now know more about Kaladin than any other character I have read of Sanderson before. He has built him - and Shallan now - up so deeply and I believe they are as intricate as his highly praised worlds. I remember reading somewhere that between Words of Radiance and TWoK, 150,000 words each (!) have been devoted to these two. That's a whole new level of intimacy right there.Kaladin was my favourite character in TWoK and he remained so in Words of Radiance. Generally, he's one of my favourites in whole of fantasy literature. Or any type of literature. He's a very protective, responsible, self-critical type and I just love how this book slowly peels back his layers and we get to understand him more, even as the gas make us cry. And while Kaladin is still a HUGE part, this book is Shallan's through and through. We finally get to see her backstory. And personally, I disliked Shallan. I can't exactly put my finger on why, but something about her is just sort of unlikable to me. BUT, I have really come to respect her. After reading this, I don't see her the same way I did as before. Her dramatic and heart-breaking story is poignant and Sanderson masterfully weaves her present dialogue with her past throughout the narrative. She did manage to make me eat the wrong flower a couple times though.Even as we reel from Shallan's past, she faces challenge from EVERY DIRECTION in the present. If you thought that TWoK was filled with page turner-ey goodness, Words of Radiance cranks it up to dizzying heights. VERY DIZZYING. Borderline vomit inducing page turner-ey goodness. I don't know about everyone else, but I have a really dumb tendency to set books down when things get really exciting and come back when I'm ready for whatever is about to happen. I initially told myself that I was going to count how many times I would to this while reading this, but flick my sparks, I lost count. Definitely above 20 times though. I remember telling Courtney that this book was definitely raising my blood pressure. In the best way possible. This book made me feel it all: happy, sad, furious, STRESSED, disbelief, betrayed, AMUSED, shocked, ecstatic, and SCARED. And I very clearly remember the time that I slid off my chair and crumpled to the floor in complete and utter despair. Basically, I felt all the good stuff I want to feel while reading a book.And while a lot of Shallan's wordplay is gobbletyblarthy to me, it somewhat improved. But the character banter in this book is HILARIOUS. Between that and the amazing situational humour that Sanderson implemented, this book left me in stitches on many occasions. The romance plot was very well-conceived and convincing, even if it is totally NOT what I expected. I'm sure people will start waging ship wars over the many years to come, if they haven't already. I'm not yet captaining a vessel since I am very apprehensive of the love triangle I see brewing. *chews fingernails*And while generally, I think this has a little less action than TWoK, it makes completes sense as to why. Okay, so 1 spoiler I guess (view spoiler)[Kaladin changing professions means less bridge runs, which means a little less heart stopping action scenes. (hide spoiler)]Sanderson really knows how to deliver an ending though. The last 20% of this book was seriously some of the best reading I've ever done in my life. I don't know what else to say except that Words of Radiance is a magnificent piece of art composed by a mad master. It is undeniably entertaining. Undeniably brilliant. This is a series worth following until the end.I have no idea how I'll make it until book 3, but I have no doubt in my mind that it will be worth the wait. All I want is more of Dreamstorm and to learn about the freaking Shshshsh woman already! And I will be happy. I buddy read this with a fantastic group of Sandersonites: Courtney, Petra, and Vippi.You girls made this so fun. Thanks for putting up with my crazy ramblings and conspiracy theories! 5 strength before weakness stars.
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  • JAIME
    October 9, 2014
    Guys. GUYS. I think I have a new favourite series OF ALL TIME. Oh Storms!What a story! After much indecision, on my part (about five minutes of it) I decided to jump into Words of Radiance or WOR mere moments after finishing The Way of Kings, which took me 6 weeks and 2 attempts. But, I was hooked. I couldn't wait to see what became of the strong and noble Dalinar (my boy!), brave and honourable Kaladin, Syl the philosopher, Shellan the misguided theif and loveable manwhore, Adolin. (view spoile Guys. GUYS. I think I have a new favourite series OF ALL TIME. Oh Storms!What a story! After much indecision, on my part (about five minutes of it) I decided to jump into Words of Radiance or WOR mere moments after finishing The Way of Kings, which took me 6 weeks and 2 attempts. But, I was hooked. I couldn't wait to see what became of the strong and noble Dalinar (my boy!), brave and honourable Kaladin, Syl the philosopher, Shellan the misguided theif and loveable manwhore, Adolin. (view spoiler)[Not you Sadeas. You have no honour, I was secretly hoping a highstorm had blown you off a plateau to your death in-between books, but no such luck. I suppose you were still necessary for this book. (hide spoiler)]Fair warning, I'm doing my best not to be spoilery, though I can hardly see how you could write a review for this without a few spoilers. So, continue at your own risk. I'll start with Shallan since this is her book, and I'll admit, I did not care for her particularly in WOK. I groaned every time one of her chapters came up. But, it would be unfair of me to hold that against her, and truly, I found her character growth to be favourable, especially given the circumstances of her childhood. Now that we all know about her (and it's bloody shocking) , her past, and even current motives are somewhat more acceptable. Girlfriend has had it tough. Though her extracurricular shenanigans have me somewhat concerned. But now she has a Spren. Who I LOVE. I don't know if reads as well in print, but in audio, he is adorable! (view spoiler)[when he was trying to describe what Dalinar and Navani were up to - I laughed out loud. On the train. like a crazy person. (hide spoiler)]Also, I love Shallan and Adolin as a couple - they balance each other out nicely in my opinion. (view spoiler)[RELATIONSHIP GOALS (hide spoiler)]. Though, I have an unnervingly strong feeling they aren't going to last, unless one of my Adolin theories happens to be correct, and I'm bad at theories, sooooooo. Anyone who has read this can tell you that there is a love triangle afoot between Shallan, Adolin and Kaladin - and I beg you, Brandon Sanderson, if you can leave it out, please do. No one likes a love triangle! Plus, where there is a love triangle, you know that something has to give, so I have grave fears for our leading lads. Onto Kaladin, and let me start by saying I LOVED Kaladin in WOK. I thought he and Dalinar were two of the best written characters I have ever read, and went into WOR with huge expectations (see my first status update). Boy, was I ever disappointed when old Kaladin spent roughly 80% of this book playing the victim, and using his past to justify his poor choices along the way. Dalinar, does all he can to give Kaladin a purpose as well as space to heal, but in Kaladin's arrogance, he doesn't even see it. "But soldier," Dalinar said, "you're walking quite a line between helpfulness and insubordination the way you treat me and mine. You have a chip on your shoulder the size of a boulder. I ignore it, because I know it was done to you, and I can see the soldier underneath." This is the sort of terrifying warning a parent would give. I tell you, if that was me, and the person who had trusted me to protect his family - who had raised me well above my station, had given such a calm warning, I would have bloody well pulled my head in, on the spot, and apologised for all of my ungrateful idiocy. The really sad thing is that whilst Dalinar rusts Kaladin almost implicitly, the opposite cannot be said. When Kaladin went to Dalinar for help, he didn't trust that he could be honourable, didn't give him the moment to consider - to find the truth himself, before wiring Dalinar off as just being another light eyes with no honour. Dalinar should have sacked his ass long ago. Kaladin's actions and choices had me hammering my head against my steering wheel a few times, with many a "Oh, Kaladin" and a shake of the head. The thing is, Kaladin knew what needed to be done all along, right bak to when he father was trying to teach him: "Somebody has to step forward and do what is right, because it was right. If nobody starts, the others cannot follow."In his broken, hard done by state, he misses the point, of everything, and makes a decision that is not his to make, forfeiting his bond with Syl. This all leads into one of the best and most important scenes in Words of Radiance, and a revealing discussion with Zahel (!) And, it was about damn time Kaladin wised up.1. "The king was Dalinar's Tien." Duh. Also, tears. I had been waiting for him to realise, lamenting his stupidity. Oh storm! Feels!2. "If I protect...only the people I like, it means that I don't care about doing what is right." Duh.3. "I will protect even those I hate, so long as it is right"Then, a bunch of shit goes down, Kaladin's bond with Syl is renewed as a result of learning his third ideal, and her desire to remain with him. He is mine...I claim him Then Kaladin went all season three Korra on us, and it was amazing. "You sent him to the sky to die, assassin. But the sky and the winds are mine. I claim them, as I now claim your life."BAD. ASS. Ah, Adolin. I spent the first half of WOK thinking Adolin was a selfish, spoiled brat who was unnecessarily mean to his awesome father. As the book went on though, I began to appreciate him, and indeed, by the end of it all, I was definitely an Adolin fangirl. A lot of that had to do with him standing by his father, ignoring pressure and ridicule that would have broken the resolve of a weaker man. But, Adolin is a Kholin, and a Shardbearer. He is his father's son, and more and more we see that coming through. Early in the book, we learn he is to be betrothed to Shallan, which came out of nowhere for me, but okay. He seems totally amenable to it. " People think I know a lot about women. The truth is, I know how to get them, how to make them laugh, how to make them interested. I don't know how to keep them....I really want to keep this one." Naaaaaw. I wonder if Brandon Sanderson meant for Adolin to have such a major role n this series - just based on what we read in WOK. It feels like he may have started as a somewhat minor character, but has grown into one of the mains - like Sanderson enjoyed writing him, so more of his story cam. But, then again I have some theories regarding this particular princeling, so perhaps not. I found it hard going during parts I and II whole Adolin and Kaladin were at odds, Adolin sneering 'bridge boy' at Kaladin, Kaladin just being a whiny sook, I just wanted to yell, "I like you both! Why can't you just be friends?!" Then there is a cool ass duel, that sees Adolin pitted agains FOUR shardbearers - including one of his supposed mates (asshole). It is after this, that if you still had any doubts about Adolin's character, they surely would have been settled. He has been wrong, he knows it, and will go above and beyond to make amends with sincerity. This is where you see the man he has the potential to be. And it's a good one. "Wait. Are you wearing cologne? In prison?""Well, there was no need to be barbaric, just because I was incarcerated.""Storms, you're spoiled," Kaladin said, smiling. "I'm refined, you insolent farmer," Adolin said. Then he grinned. That's it. That's the moment. Now they have bromance, trust, and admiration. Now everyone pray that doesn't change. On a very serious not, Adolin's final chapter....I felt as though I should be cheering, but instead, felt nothing but fear. Fear for Adolin. Where will his story go now? What can be proved? What hidden? I'm worried. Adolin has proved to be an intensely passionate character. We've seen this, not only in the way he falls easily for women, but in his loyalty and protectiveness of his family, the way he duals, so loss of control isn't all that surprising. But, it was deeply troubling. Pray for Adolin Kholin!That thing with Renarin - DID NOT SEE THAT COMINGIt seems that every time Dalinar Kholin speaks, my heart breaks, and most everything he does is a powerful. Every time you think him beaten, he finds a way to turn it into a win. Every time you doubt his honour, he makes you a fool for thinking it. Every word from his mouth is a poem, his strength - a dream. So it seems only natural for him (view spoiler)[to have bonded with the Stormfather himself (hide spoiler)] HOLY MOLY! It was both a surprise, and totally expected - the culmination of all those visions. Who's crazy now??!! I have a bunch of questions regarding those events, but I expect them answered in due course given that Dalinar's book is next. Speculation Bozanza. (view spoiler)[Hey Szeth, what did you say the name of your sword was? Hmmmm. (hide spoiler)]And, Moash, Moash, Moash. (view spoiler)[ What a disappointment you turned out to be. So much promise. (hide spoiler)]Oh, and Jasnah (view spoiler)[pulled a Jon Snow on us, eh? Eh? (hide spoiler)]Overall - this has been more of a character analysis than review. Who knew? And, overall, this book blew my expectations to Jupiter. In WOK, there was so much world building and set up that I could be forgiven for saying it was a touch dull. Wonderful, but on the slow side. WOR however was full steam ahead and I loved every storming moment! The interludes bothered me, but only in the sense that I have a short attention span. Who's up for a re-read??
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  • Franco Santos
    September 5, 2014
    Debería escribir algo sobre este libro, pero todavía no lo supero. Denme tiempo: necesito recuperarme.
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