Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Set in a world beset by ravaging storms that destroy anyone caught in their path and infuse gems with light and energy, Words of Radiance continues the epic Stormlight Chronicles. Kaladin, Dalinar, and Shallan are the main players, all three interesting in their own right, but the story features asides from several other perspectives. Not only are some of the characters growing some rather interesting abilities, they’re also facing some incredible challenges.
As in the previous book, The Way of Kings, the history of one of the characters is revealed through flashback chapters, told in their own chronological order. This time, Shallan’s story is the focus. In the first book, I didn’t really get into Shallan, but I can’t say the same for this one. She gets more and more interesting, and even with all her growth in this book, there’s still plenty left for the next book. Plenty of questions and decisions. Though I must admit, Kaladin’s still my favorite character, and I love his chapters the best.
Oh, and the Radiants! We finally start to piece together what happened to them. It isn’t answered, not entirely, but I’m beginning to understand it, and I love how the story’s built to let me try to figure it out.
All of that leaves out the Parshendi, the enemy being fought on the Shattered Plains, but the book devotes quite a bit of time to them, revealing that they are both not as bad as they could be, but also well on their way to getting there. I found my emotions tugged in all sorts of directions regarding them.
All that being said, this story is epic and full of a range of mini stories that make up the whole. At over a thousand pages, it took me nearly a month to get through it, and I’m a fast reader. Near the end, I found it harder and harder to put the book down at a reasonable hour, but after all the action was over, it still had quite a way to go.
Overall, I loved this book. It was a lot of fun, featuring some interesting magic, lots of secrets meted out in small doses, and several larger than life characters that kept me engaged to the very end. I think folks who love the twists and turns and all the history and lore will likely enjoy this book. However, folks who prefer shorter, more direct reads might find this one a bit daunting.
I bought this book at Barnes and Noble because I thought my husband would like it, too. The thing weighs a ton! :-)
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