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
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.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors. His development of unique characters, worlds and systems-of-magic are perhaps for many of us without parallel in modern writing. It is in the actual writing that I am sometimes left frustrated. The story-telling is superb and keeps me coming back there's no question about it. I finished the book in less than a week and that after spending the previous week reading Book 1. Every available and non-sleeping moment was spent with the book. But there was always something missing... something that said this is still just not a literary work. Maybe it just seemed to me to be a bit too commercial. But Sanderson is young and I have no doubt that his writing will mature even more and I will come to a completely different conclusion about his place in history and the body of works considered great literature.
The production and narration by two premier narrators was excellent.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
I suspect that Sanderson's story ideas always begin with the creation of a complex and fascinating new system of magic, for it is in this above all that he excels. Mistborn is the prime example, of course, but now he is dazzling us with an entirely new magical structure with the Stormlight Archives, and just to pass the time and keep his mind limber perhaps, he has added Steelheart for good measure. I do admire the way he begins with a simple, basic premise and then develops it ad infinitum, exploring all the imaginative ways the system can be exploited and stretched by his characters.
And, speaking of characters, Sanderson is no slouch in that department either. His two principal protagonists in this series, Kaladin and Shallan, are a nice mixture of powerful and vulnerable, both as combatants in the epic struggle and as human beings trying to negotiate the traps and dead ends of their own personal natures. Both are sometimes exhausting in their intensity and emotional obtuseness, but we care about them and when they soar they take us with them in exhilaration. And happily they are surrounded by at least a dozen other believable principal characters who elicit chuckles and sneers and sometimes wide eyed surprise from us just as the dynamic duo are becoming a bit tiresome in their single-mindedness.
Sanderson's incredibly complex plots which delve more and more deeply into his fantasy historical construct are, for me, a trifle tedious at times. They are amazing in their imaginative breadth and depth, but I just cannot care quite that much about the serpentine development playing out over the eons of his creative antiquity no matter how beautifully constructed they may be. I also have a small problem with his penchant for resurrecting characters who should be well and truly dead. Nor does he use language nearly so artfully as Abercombie or Guy Gavriel Kay. Nonetheless, he puts more than enough wonder and delight on my plate to keep me coming back again and again without complaining too much about the occasional over-seasoned brussels sprout. I look forward to the next installment with high anticipation.
I loved the Way of Kings. I thought it was one of the most original fantasy novels I had read in a long time and couldn't wait for this book to come out. I was not disappointed. While I didn't love Words and much as Way, I still really enjoyed it and will listen to it again.
What I disliked most, and what I am getting very sick of in fantasy books, is the main character, Kaladin, being kind of a whinny baby for half of the book. It felt right for him to be bummed out in the first book, he was a slave, he was doing a job that was destined to hill him; I'd be bum me rout too. But in this book, he has very little reason to complain, yet he broods for a large portion of the book and it slows down the story. Other than that, I enjoyed everything else in the book.
Words of Radiance was simply one of the most amazing listens I have had since I started with Audible years ago. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading truly bring to life Brandon Sanderson's world. I am ready to listen to it from the begging once again.
Character? I have to choose one.Syl is easily the most astounding little lady. You can almost see her eyes roll each time she speaks. However, Shallan's growth was enthralling. I found myself staying awake past my bedtime just to listen to her story
What do they bring to the story? They are the story, the world itself comes to life with each and every word. Brandon Sanderson's world is amazing and well thought out, Kramer and Reading are the icing on the cake.
There were several time I laughed out loud. Scared one of my employees one morning when I laughed so loud it startled her. Yes I was listening at work. I could not put the darn book down.
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.
They say the retail on this book was $55. After listening to it, I would have paid that much to hear it. That I got it for 12 bucks just boggles my brain.
Thanks Audible. Seriously. An absolutely incredible book worth DAYS of enraptured entertainment for less than I would spend going to see a 90 minute Hollywood film that I would have enjoyed far less.
I was concerned about this book - Sanderson does so much writing, how could this one be as good as WOK - but it did an amazing job of recapturing my interest in this amazing world.
I found the humor at times in this book to be simply delightful - I often found myself chuckling or laughing at something and then having to explain to others what was so funny.
I have read some other reviews that found some of the smaller scenes from completely new characters were silly or strange, but oddly I found they added to the entire story to create a very well rounded listen.
As always Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do just a staller job - this book started out great but their work made it simply amazing.
With an author like Sanderson its easy to take it for granted how difficult it is to write such a complex story with so many deep characters and dialogue that is not strained and obvious in its mission to build or fill in story line gaps . The many moving, and invented parts of this story work perfectly like a clock for another dimension. Some parts are predictable and just before you get cocky about it, you're swept up in a pleasant roller coaster of surprise. i found myself immediately invested in the characters and can't wait to see where and what life brings to them in this world of turmoil. If you make a movie, I want to play Wit. Oh and nice cover on the bonding of shard blades;) barely noticed.
Wit. He's ambiguous. you want him to be a good guy and he projects himself a little more than a fool but you know anyone that brash is dangerous. Love him one minute frustrated the next, his complex role is well written and i can't wait for that trap to be sprung.
too many great scenes
yes. several deep moment of self discovery.
I banged through this audio book in a couple of days. i could not stop. Very well performed.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
It was worth the wait, I have been waiting for this book since 2010, and took few days off from work so i can focus on reading it with no distractions. Brandon Sanderson is an amazing author. I have assumed so many different things would happen in this book during the past four years, but what Brandon Sanderson did was unexpected and wonderful!!!.
This book, this series is not something simple, you have a vast world to explore and plenty of culture to understand. And that is one of Sanderson's most gifted talents , creating such a world, which you can easily understand and feel like you are a part of.
The Way of Kings was focused on introducing all these characters and this new world, etc.. But Words of Radiance was focused on developing these characters and connecting them in some cases... And it was focused on developing the story itself, were i was shocked many many many times.
I loved this book (not shockingly) and I'm waiting already for the next book. If you loved The Way of Kings you will love this book even more. If you don't know what I am talking about, then click on view series and go read the reviews in The way of kings, and buy it. You will love it!!!!
I wanted to be the first in reviewing Words of Radiance, but I would not speed up the narration just for a review :) had to enjoy the book, was waiting for it for 4 years, so why would i speed it up ??!! :)
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