Words of Radiance

Another week long vacation, another 1200 page book under my belt.

This is the second book in the Stormlight Archive and arguably the more exciting of the two. I’m finding it harder and harder to describe books that are this long and detailed without repeating myself from previous reviews, please forgive me.

Sanderson is still one of the best in the game, populating his extremely detailed world with interesting characters and unique powers (a trope of his novels I’m beginning to learn).

I guess I can spend some time pointing out what is better and what is worse in this novel versus the previous one.

The plot armor is strong with this one. I gave the series a pass on the first novel because it is nice to establish some characters first before you brutally rip them from my life. Makes it that much more heartbreaking.

Kaladin is a little more annoying in this novel. He has finally positioned himself to save bridge four from a very clear fate, but god his whining has gone up like three levels. Thankfully, it’s offset by Syl, an adorably witty spren (think fairy) who for some reason has deigned to give Kaladin super powers. It doesn’t hurt that he’s even more badass in this novel. But when Shallan spends some time telling him what a grump he is I couldn’t help but cheer.

Speaking of Shallan, she finally gets something to do besides act like she’s going to be the damsel in distress. When she fucking summons a shardblade for the first time out of nowhere I almost threw the book across the coffeeshop in surprise. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters.

A side character as well, King Taravangian, is adding an extra layer of intrigue and surprise. Cursed, and blessed, with alternate levels of intelligence every day, he is trying to do what Dalinar Kholin is: save the world. What happens when two driven men think they know what is best? War, I’m going to bet.

The Assassin in White, Szeth-son-son-Vallano is already an interesting character. But watching him slowly break down mentally because his belief system is being corrupted just adds to it. It certainly was enjoyable to watch him finally go up against an enemy as skillful as he is, Kaladin.

Thicker than the first novel, Words of Radiance isn’t the slightest bit watered down for it. It’s enjoyable, a little predictable because of its plot armor, and another piece of evidence that Sanderson is one of the best authors of his generation. But still, only pick it up if you enjoy fantasy.

3 out of 4 stars.

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