The Stormlight Archive sequence began in 2010 with the New York Times best seller The Way of Kings. Now, the eagerly anticipated Words of Radiance continues the epic story and answers many of your questions.
Six years ago, the Assassin in White, a hireling of the inscrutable Parshendi, assassinated the Alethi king on the very night a treaty between men and Parshendi was being celebrated. So began the Vengeance Pact among the highprinces of Alethkar and the War of Reckoning against the Parshendi.
Now the Assassin 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.
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.
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.
The doors of the Stormlight Archive first opened to us with The Way of Kings. Listen to that book and then Words of Radiance, and you can be part of the adventure every dazzling step of the way.
©2014 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
Why is it that I feel I just had to listen to another Wheel of Time book with Egwene as the main character? In truth, a character I detested in the first place. So now we have this Shallan-Egwene with all the same character flaws as the first but with an all to outwardly chipper attitude. It got to a point where I wanted to skip any parts with the Shallan character all together.
I can't say I enjoy this jumping the point of view around from book to book, but if you going to do it make at least make the main character a stronger one. And lets not fall into pattern where the characters all keep falling backward and somehow forgetting what they learned in the last book. Which at this point I'm not so sure isn't what is going to happen.
The overall story line makes this book well worth the read but you could cut out almost all the Shallon parts and made it a stronger offering by far.
I read, I write; I listen
In the first book, “The Way of Kings,” we were introduced to the world of Roshar. It is a world of magic and aliens where hurricane-like storms lay savage to the world every few days and all of its inhabitants must adapt their lives accordingly. It is a world at war between the human armies led by High prince Dalinar Kholin and the Parshendi, a humanoid species. We were introduced to Jasnah, who is a renowned scholar and the niece of the High Prince Dalinar Kholin, her student Shallan, and Kaladin, a slave that by the end of Way of Kings is beginning to become the world’s first Knight’s Radiance in centuries.
If you haven’t read/listened to ”The Way of Kings,” I would strongly recommend that you do before going on to this second book, “Words of Radiance.” If you have read/listened to the first book I would recommend a review of TWOK before going on since it has been over four years and the second book starts off right where “The Way of Kings,” left off.
At 48 hours and 15 minutes this is a long book, in fact Brandon Sanderson posted on his blog that he wrote the manuscript under the working title “the Book of Endless Pages.” He was referring to the endless learning set forth in his first book but it seemed appropriate given its length; but don’t let the length of this book deter you as I listened the hours seemed to fly past. This is an amazing book.
“Word of Radiance” focuses on four characters: Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, and Adolin. In TWOK Kaladin was the main character and is still very prevalent but this book reveals more about Shallan. Like “The Way of Kings,” Sanderson interlaces the present with the past, developing the background on the main characters’ while moving the plot forward.
This is only book two in a ten part series and even though I can’t wait for the next book I found the ending satisfactory.
I word about the narrators, I’ve always been a big fan of Michael Kramer and Kate Reading and I thought they gave another great performance.
If you enjoyed The Way of Kings (TWoK), you will enjoy this one too, and you will be in anxious anticipation of the next book. There are shocking revelations and events both at the beginning and the end of the book.
If you hated TWoK, you will probably also hate this one too. It has the same great writing as TWoK, the same great story telling, and the same wonderful world building. Also, it has a lot of clues for the future. You learn so much just to discover how little you know.
If you love TWoK because of all the action and battle scenes, you might be disappointed when you read Words of Radiance (WoR). There are fewer battle scenes, but no less engaging.
I'll put it this way: I started listening to the book and did nothing else except use the bathroom, eat, and take short naps for 48 hours. It was really that good.
If I am not reading I am listening to a story sometimes both.
I re listened to The Way of Kings first and then Radiance so I had many hours of pleasure.
Much, as in the WOT, is confusing and hard to follow but I think much of that will come together in future books. In the case of listening to a book with this much information there is no way to go back and reread parts you did not understand the first time around. I plan to stop at a book store and go through some parts of it and look at the pictures it is suppose to have throughout.
Some time in the past I tried to read GRR Martin's epic fantasy series but stopped after the first two books. Every character I liked was killed off very quickly so there was no pleasure in reading these books. I read for enjoyment so I am praying B Sanderson will not do the same sort of thing to often unless some of them pass from old age over the next 8 books.
I am old enough that I might not be around for the end of the series so I want each to be awesome in it's own right. So far so good!
The narrators are the best. I have listened to many books simply because they are being read by one or the other of them.
I would cut out about half of shallan's story which seemed to be half the book and move the story forward faster.
I enjoyed story before and after Kaladin's fight with Szeth-son-son-Vallano.
Kaladin's of course. The amount of time spend on him this book was frustrating to say the least.
Yes, even if I felt the story moved at a snails pace until about 75 percent of the book was done than it started moving better. This book isn't Brandon Sanderson's best work. I've read a lot of his books and I feel he can do better than this.
I think the story line of Shallan in the first 3/4 of the book could be condense down. I really don't feel I gained as much has I should have for the amount of time spend on her in this book. I think there are other sections that seemed more important that were breezed over too quickly. Over all, I think the series will still be good. As for Michael Kramer and Kate Reading - I loved their performance. They have always done a great job bring the books alive with their reading. Keep up the good work!!
Shallon was a bit iffy in the first book... (However Kaladin more then made up for it)... Shallon is TERRIBLE in this book, so utterly cheesy, no sense of realism, I feelt embarrassed and frustrating listening to her parts... I haven't even finished listening to it... It'll be hard to get through, but I've decided to finish it. I'll update this when I finish.
It is very difficult for fantasy authors to create compelling and realistic female characters. In older fantasy females were often doormats or exclusively secondary characters. In newer fantasy, however, the problem is that fantasy authors, trying to correct the old issue with female characters have a tendency to go way to far in the other direction with them. The result is absurd unrealistic character. It's winds up just being obnoxious and detracting from the story. The other semi prominent women in the series are great (Navani and Jasnah).
I Shallon was completely edited out and Jasnah was made the primary female character it would make the book 6 STARS out of 5. Shallon is petty, self righteous and she always ends up "succeeding" and "getting her way" and her character defies all rules of how normal human interaction so whereas in reality the pettiness and self righteousness should get her nowhere, in the book it works miraculously. For example, a slaver saves her life, and agrees to take her all the way out of his way as she promises him wealth. Along the way she "saves" him... (kind of) and so she states that he owes him (calling him scum, though she knows nothing about him except that he's a slaver and has helped her and saved her) so she steals his slaves. It made no sense, as he was only in danger in the first place because he agreed to take her in the first place.
I was SO excited for this book! I stayed up all night to download it and begin listening the moment it became available. Through 25% of the book I am sorely disappointed.
There are also a couple minor things with some of the other characters, but honestly without Shallon this could easily be a 5 star book thus far.
Book one I broke down as follows to give it 5 stars:
Kaladin (40% of book): 6 stars
Dalinar: (20% of book) 5 stars
Aideline (10% of book) 5 stars
Shallon (20% of book) 2.5 stars
Rest of cast (10% of book) 5 Stars
BOOK 2 through 25% though:
Kaladin (25% of book): 4.5 stars
Dalinar (15% of book) 5 stars
Shallon (40% of book) 0.5 star
Rest of Cast (20% of book) 4 stars
Yes, I absolutely loved book one. Kaladin in that book was arguably the single best character in the fantasy genre.
Kramer is above average, Reading is among my least favorite narrators.
I wish I could just skip the Shallon scenes, it's so disappointing. It really, really bums me out. I'd explain more but I don't want to spoil anything.
Will update when finished listening
So good that i just wanted it to go on and on....
The Way of Kings
Too many to mention.... its a 1008 pages of great story.
IT'S FUCKING AMAZING
Renarin Crashing while jumping off the battlements over and over and over again..
They do a great job bringing the story to life
the whole book moves you
I love this book
When will the next book be out?!!! Better then the first book, its more addicting then crack!
.....so many.... Rock....
Best orators for this series, at first it seems boring, but once you let yourself be engulfed into their narration, MAN!!! totally awesome!!!
The battle and dualing scenes
You will wish that this book never ends!
No! For me i just cant find pleasure in hearing Kate Reading voice.
Michael Krames is top notch, but like i said before Kate Reading is just terrible......
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