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Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, Book 2) Hardcover – Lay Flat, March 4, 2014
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*Starred Review* The readers of Sanderson’s The Way of Kings (2010) may have been waiting for him to return to the Stormlight Archives from his labors in finishing the late Robert Jordan’s epic Wheel of Time. The wait is now over, and devoted followers of fantasy on the grandest imaginable scale can make themselves comfortable and start reading. The world of Roshar is still very close to being a character in its own right (one thinks of Dune), as Sanderson has used the room afforded by a book of this size to build it in loving detail, including the fierce storms that make civilized life difficult even in peacetime. But the humans and the humanoid Parshendi are still fighting, although Brightlord Kholin is leading an army deep into enemy territory. His sister, Jasnah, is with him, seeking a legendary lost city that her student, Shallan, believes may hold the key to victory. Far below the level of the high command, the rising young slave warrior, Kaladin, learns that the Parshendi have a counterstrategy in preparation, one that portends the destruction of the world unless he can become the founder of a new order of the legendary Knights Radiant. Many readers will find Shallan and Kaladin the most absorbing of the major characters because they have the most to lose, but the characterization is on the whole as meticulous as the world-building. A very impressive continuation. --Roland Green
“I loved this book. What else is there to say?” ―Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind on The Way of Kings
“This is a great choice for fans of Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks.” ―Voice of Youth Advocates on The Way of Kings
“The best part…is the compelling, complex story of Dalinar, Kaladin, and Shallan as they struggle though emotional, physical, and moral challenges. Fans and lovers of epic fantasy…will eagerly await the next volume.” ―Library Journal on The Way of Kings
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I am a voracious reader, mostly action, spy, counter terrorism etc. My daughter reads like I do and she reads these fantasy epics. Her son, my grandson, gave me a copy of the Way of Kings for Christmas 2012 saying it was his favorite book of all time, and he is a chip of the ole' block. He is a huge reader also.
I so enjoyed that book that I couldn't wait until this second in the series came out, bought it for my Kindle the day before and it was ready to read the next day.
I haven't finished it yet, but, almost. I have not been disappointed in any way except that I will soon be finished and then what? My daughter has suggested that I start on another of Mr. Sanderson's novels and I believe that is what I am going to do.
So, thanks to my grandson Victor and his mom, Stephanie, I am now a fan of fantasy fiction and especially, Brandon Sanderson.
The Stormlight Archive are the longest books I’ve ever read, followed shortly in number by A Song of Ice and Fire. What I love about these enormous books and series is that there’s just so much going on and authors like George R.R. Martin and Brandon Sanderson have a way of spacing all of the characters out enough so that each one has their own individual story but then when they unite or cross paths with other characters, you find out exactly how their stories were meant to line up all along and we just weren’t seeing the bigger picture yet!
WORDS OF RADIANCE starts crossing all of those paths set up in THE WAY OF KINGS so it was great to see how these stories are coming together and where the big picture is going! I enjoyed WORDS OF RADIANCE more than THE WAY OF KINGS because I was better able to see this big picture. I’m so used to shorter series, both in number of pages and in number of books. Since The Stormlight Archive is currently planned to be ten books, there’s so much to explore throughout the whole series that a lot of secrets need to be kept in the first few books before reveals start happening, so at times, this series does seem a bit slower than other series I’ve read. It’s not really a bad thing, because I love really getting into this world and having this fantasy world feel so incredibly real with all of its detail, but it just doesn’t have me falling in love with this series as much YET since I’m still learning so much about it.
I really liked the character development within this booke. Shalan grew a bit in THE WAY OF KINGS but she really starts to develop as a character in WORDS OF RADIANCE. Her role in the series is much more obvious in this book and she gets tied to many more characters and having already ready OATHBRINGER now as well, it’s great to see how much she grows and becomes more involved in each book, looking back on where she first appeared in THE WAY OF KINGS.
I still love Dalinar and Kaladin and I’m enjoying their characters even more as the series progresses and the supporting characters, like those of Bridge Four, are outstanding additions to the book to bring some levity, camaraderie, and so much more.
I liked getting more hints about the world but I’m still thirsty for so much more world-building! I have SO many questions that I know will get answered but again, I’m used to shorter series where I get more reveals much quicker so it’s hard to tell myself that they will be coming! Brandon Sanderson’s world-building is so incredibly interesting and now that I’ve learned so much about the Cosmere in general, it’s easier to see how each book of his set in this universe are starting to tie together. Things that I’ve read in other books are really starting to connect in The Stormlight Archive and this series has the most information about this universe, in my opinion.
I also like how there are interludes in these books, allowing other important POVs to come in. Some I liked, some I didn’t. I hated Lift’s POV interlude and was upset that she was going to become a main part of the series, being the main character in the EDGEDANCER novella, but I’ll get more into that with OATHBRINGER since that’s where she starts becoming more important. I really like the interludes that offer small pieces of important things later on, or ones that fill in some missing pieces of what we’ve already learned.
So far this isn’t my favorite Brandon Sanderson series but it certainly has potential! The more I read, the more I get into this story and fall in love with the characters, and clearly we’re going to be spending a lot of time together! I don’t know if it was a good or bad idea to read the first three books in one year since I’m going to be waiting very, very long for the rest of the series but I’m also glad I was able to do that so I could really get a solid feel for this world and have the characters stick in my mind so well!
Last night, I caught a "break": I was up with horrible stomach issues. And if I could not sleep it was reasonable for me to be reading. Yay, rationalization.
W.o.R. surpassed W.o.K.. It felt like the second half of the original book, which a sequel probably should. Old plot elements make better sense, now. The overall plot is more clearly outlined, new characters are teased at us.
It should be noted that I almost never approach new stories with skepticism, attempts to find plot holes, logic inconsistencies, or poor characterization. So take it with a grain of salt if you must but I _loved_ every minute I spent in this book. Sanderson's world building, as I mentioned in my update, is superb. He writes a completely alien environment vividly enough for me to see it (instead of what I perceive as normal) when I'm reading it. The main characters of note continue to be flawed but show personal growth. They are also confronting their self loathing issues which makes for much more hopeful reading. Finally, my standard complaint about the author's writing, that he tells how the "magic" works instead of showing it, is not applicable. The one instance of this that I noticed made sense in its context: the character wielding said mystical power was discovering its use.
If you enjoy epic fantasy, read Way of Kings then read Words of Radiance. If you have read Way of Kings, read Words of Radiance. . . GO!