Book Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

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.

Book Review:

Unbelievable. Outrageous. Exciting. Brilliant. Masterpiece. This book is displaying so much remarkable plot lines that I couldn’t find a loophole on Brandon Sanderson’s magic system. I couldn’t help but wonder how his mind works. Words of Radiance is compelling, a thousand pages read that will lead you to feel various emotions at some point.

It is safe to say that comparing to The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance exceeded my expectations and I am very satisfied with what had happened at the ending of the book. In Way of Kings, I remember that I was somewhat bored on some chapters when in regards to Shallan but in Words of Radiance, I could feel that I am enjoying Shallan’s character more. And yet, in my defense, I’m still biased with Kaladin’s chapter since I am rooting for him all the way.

[Related Link: Book Review of Way of Kings]

If you’ve read my book review of Way of Kings, I mentioned there that what really made me read books by Sanderson is because his characters are flawed that they seem more human than a fictional persona. And that’s also the reason why I am more inclined to root Kaladin than Shallan in the first book but here in the second book, Sanderson gave us more of who Shallan is than who is Shallan is with Jasnah in Way of Kings and that’s exactly what I really need. The context of who Shallan is in the past and how did she become like a powerful character in the end.

Actually, this book screams of Shallan’s character development. Although, there are bits and amazing twist and turns for Kaladin that I highly appreciate. Overall, I applaud for Shallan’s amazing leadership and convincing powers that made me believe to her as she goes along with her journey.

Aside from the outstanding progress of Kaladin and Shallan, I also would like to mention Dalinar and Adolin’s role in the book. They have a wonderful storyline that I would like to see them in the last and final book of the book. Oh, that’s like twenty years more. Okay? But what really stuck to me is how brilliant Dalinar is and how he trust the bridge four and Kaladin as a Captain. His morals are beyond the roof that I would like to commend. With that, I just want to give my respect to Dalinar while having doubts with Adolin’s action, as if a mere action is giving me a lot of hesitation because I am terrified of what would become of Adolin’s character. Regardless, I would still root for him.

I remember a lot in this book and one of my favorite moments is where Kaladin and Shallan converse with their experience and how Kaladin can be so judgemental. That’s one of the gold in the story that you guys should look after. And there will be some romance that we should look forward to. I know for a fact that Brandon Sanderson is not a fan of romance in a story but I am so thrilled that he gave enough screen time for the two to bloom. It is for you to know who are these characters that I am talking to.

Also, if you have read the book Warbreaker before reading the Stormlight Archive, I think you will appreciate the series more because there might or there might not some characters and entities that will pop on Words of Radiance and finding and determining those variables will make you happy and shocked at the same time.

[Related Link: Book Review of Warbreaker]

Verdict: Words of Radiance is an outstanding book that will dwell between the realm of humanity to the magical world of sprens. It is a book that challenges the perspectives, the morals, the opinions, and the beliefs of each character in the world of Roshar. It gave importance to words as Oaths are being said and fulfilled to make promises. The book displays a lot of elements and substance that the readers couldn’t wait to watch out for Oathbringer! And yes, this book will never disappoint you. BELIEVE ME.

[Related Link: Book Review of Skyward]

Also, see check out these amazing book reviews from awesome Stormlight Archive fans: Fantasy Book Reviews, SFF Book Reviews, King of the Nerds, Beer Rants and Books, M.L.S. Weech, A Heart Redeemed, Jack Beaman, and Brylie and Books.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Book Depository | Libro.FM


Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History, and a brand-new Stormlight Archive novella, Edgedancer.

Earlier this year he released Calamity, the finale of the #1 New York Times bestselling Reckoners trilogy that began with Steelheart .

Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.

The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.

4 replies to “Book Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

  1. Interesting and detailed review! I haven’t picked up any of his books before, but I find that I’m particularly interested in his flawed and realistic characters (who you’ve pointed out in your review). They make a story fascinating!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star