168. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson – Stormlight Archive Book #2

The second book in The Stormlight Archive; Word of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson is just as amazing, thrilling and full of surprises like its predecessor: The Way of Kings. If you haven’t read the review for the first book, I suggest you give it a quick look, as I go into detail about the series, the background, the world building and the beautiful artwork.

In the last book we were left at a cliff hanger that generated goosebumps all over my arms. However, I wasn’t expecting the sheer amount of awesomeness packed in this book to blow my mind 10 times over. But I am in a pickle regarding the summary, because I will spoil it and there is no way to avoid it.

“All stories told have been told before. We tell them to ourselves, as did all men who ever were. And all men who ever will be. The only things new are the names.”

But to recap: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson is part of the Stormlight Archive: a 10 part high fantasy series located in the world of Roshar, run by obnoxious and self absorbed princes, some more high princes and Houses, and the parshendi (who are used to do mundane tasks). The world is threatened with Armageddon due to Highprince Dalinar’s visions and he is on a mission to reform the Alethi before it happens.

“Expectation. That is the true soul of art. If you can give a man more than he expects, then he will laud you his entire life. If you can create an air of anticipation and feed it properly, you will succeed.”

The Parshendi have a stake in it as well, as a big fact about how they are key in creating havoc is revealed, and while thousands of years ago a desolation happened that killed many people, it seems like another on one is coming. However, with many characters playing a key role in the development of finding Urithiru that can save them from the desolation, we’re also thrown into the schemes of the throne.

“He saw it in her eyes. The anguish, the frustration. The terrible nothing that clawed inside and sought to smother her. She knew. It was there, inside. She had been broken.

Then she smiled. Oh, storms. She smiled anyway.”

One notable journey is of Shallan’s who in the last book is revealed to be an artist and a ward of Jashnah Kholin, but with an agenda of her own to save the name of her House Devar. She is important because ultimately the solution rests in her mind and her drawings. However, Words of Radiance does give us a big glimpse into her background, her dysfunctional relationship with her father who abused everyone but her, and of course, her artwork.

“For glory lit, and life alive, for goals unreached and aims to strive. All men must try, the wind did see. It is the test, it is the dream.”

She is the finest sketcher there is, and her photographic memory gives her a huge edge when it comes to scholarship and research. But the main crux of this book lies in bravery, loyalty, principle, and standing with the truth even at the risk of being cast out of society. Although Words of Radiance shows many aspects of the manipulation and power struggles that happen in a kingdom grappling for stability, there is a lot to be said about courage, camaraderie  and compassion.

“I seek the truth,” Shallan said. “Wherever it may be, whoever may hold it. That’s who I am.”

Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Jashnah, Adolin, Navani, Reanirin, Wit, all are facing tough situations and give you glimmer of hope and strength. Words of Radiance is truly a remarkable and fast paced Book #2 in the series, that doesn’t let you down anywhere, keeps you hooked, and leaves you wanting for more.

“Control is the basis of all true power. Authority and strength are matters of perception”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Brandon Sanderson writes amazing Fantasy that is easy to read, fast paced, and keeps on reminding you of the world building, magic system, important facts mentioned in earlier chapters or previous books , so you’re not left confused. That is such thoughtful writing because I often forget details when a book is:

  1. Long
  2. Has many characters
  3. Takes me too long to finish

You honestly can’t go wrong with a Brandon Sanderson novel, as you get action, suspense, world building, phenomenal world building might I add again, and romance as well. I mean, I don’t mind a good love triangle and Words of Radiance gives you just that! Plus I love how Brandon Sanderson takes inspiration for gender roles and norms from the real world and completely switches them up in his books.

“A man will find a single coin in the mud and talk about it for days, but when his inheritance comes and is accounted one percent less than he expected, then he will declare himself cheated.”

For example, it is seen beneath men to read and write, and so, all research and writing is handled by women. They handle education, communication, and research for experiments and new technology. The men are usually oblivious of how a specific weapon or tool – like the fabrials – are made or used to make new contraptions to assist them in war.

Either way, Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson is awesome! I have nothing bad to say.

And while the thirds book: Oathbringer is sitting in my bookshelf, I want to space out my reading as you fall into a Stormlight Archive wormhole, and nothing else matters when you’re reading the series. Plus the fourth book: Rhythms of War is coming out in November, so if you’re looking for a new series to start, you’re good to go with this one.

Just have to wait for 6 more books to come 😉

Onto the basics:

  1. Rating: 5.0/5.0
  2. Favourite Quote: “A woman’s strength should not be in her role, whatever she chooses to be, but in the power to choose that role.”
  3. Reader level: easy to read. You may end up searching things that are part of the world building, like the flora and environment.
  4. Should you read it: Love a good epic/high fantasy? Then definitely!
  5. Would I read it again: I know I will have to, cause there will be a gap of a few year(s) when the 4th one comes out this November.

Till next time,

-Sarah

 

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