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Publisher's Summary

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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radiance" shines

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.

120 of 132 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 08-20-14

48 more hours of Sanderson goodness!

When I wrote my (too) short review of the first book in this series, The Way of Kings, I ended it with this sentence: "This book is so good I will gladly listen to it again as a refresher when book two comes out!"

Well I am back to say that I followed through on my promise and it was worth every second. The Stormlight Archive is epic fantasy at it's best and Sanderson shows why he is at the top of my must read/listen list. Here I am fresh off of investing close to 94 hours of my life listening to books 1 and 2 of the Stormlight Archive and I am ready for more.

The world is rich and deep, the characters are complex, and the magic systems are true Sanderson - well defined, unique, and interesting. All of the main characters are back and the story just gets bigger and bigger. For most authors the end of this book would be a satisfying conclusion to any series but it is obvious that this one is just getting started. Sanderson set the bar so awfully high with the Mistborn series that I am truly impressed he was able to surpass himself with the Stormlight Archive.

Veteran narrators Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are back and once again breathe life into all of the great characters. It was a pleasure to listen to them both for 90+ hours and I can't wait for book three. These two know epic fantasy and combine with Sanderson to form a perfect highstorm of epic proportions.

If you like fantasy books then you will feel like a kid in a candy store here. It is time for you to run up to the counter and plunk down your credit(s) to enjoy this wonderful experience. You won't find more hours of entertainment for so little cost anywhere else. Of course you should start with The Way of Kings but be assured that 94 listening hours later you will find yourself back at the candy store counter standing on your tip toes and holding up another credit. Of course, I will be standing right next to you. :)

110 of 124 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved It!

I love the world that Sanderson has built here and I'm super excited for where this series is going. This is quite a long book but it definitely pays off in the end. We're getting more and more info regarding the Cosmere as a whole and I couldn't be more happy about that.

My one complaint about this book, as well as The Way of Kings, is Kate Reading. I've never been so unhappy when a specific POV character's chapter begins as with Shallan chapters. Throughout the first book I couldn't be sure if that was because I simply don't like Shallan but this book was able to settle that for me with a length chapter with Shallan read by Kramer. It was like she was a new, much more likable character. Suddenly I was amused by her dialogue and her interactions with Kaladin rather than rolling my eyes and looking at my watch. Kate reading has this fascinating way of making me hate every character she voices. They all sound like whiny 12 year old brats. Not only that but her pacing and intonation can completely ruin the meaning of dialogue and she has an extremely bizarre way of reading that makes random sentences sound like questions. It's so bad that at a specific moment when Kaladin jumps into a fight and it immediately switches to Shallan's perspective I literally yelled "Noooooooo!" at the top of my lungs, terrified that I'd have to listen to an action sequence as read by Reading. If she wasn't performing along side the amazing Michael Kramer this might not be such a huge deal and I might have a much easier time getting used to it. It's just so unfortunate that such amazing books are marred by this terrible reading.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • MotG
  • Kyle, TX USA
  • 07-13-17

Excellent book, weakened by the performance

Either of the readers would have done a wonderful job, but the use of two readers who clearly have not heard one another's take on the story is unfortunate. Different pronunciations and different accents between the readers makes portions of the performance unnecessarily messy.

28 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Honest Frustration

Brandon Sanderson has an amazing imagination. He is capable of building fantastic worlds and interesting characters. He cannot, however, write a concise story. There is a reason this book is 40+ hours and 400,000+ words and that is because of filler. Chapters upon chapters of "story" that don't contribute to any overall progression. In both the Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the back stories for both main characters have contributed zero impact upon the story or character traits of those involved. It feels like you are having to read the same thing twice, and it hurts when the payoff is little to nothing.

The filler material really starts to hurt when characters defy logic and circumstance to keep their secrets or ignore glaring oddities. Despite something be obvious to the reader and characters around them, the point of view character will continue to bang their head against a wall rather then walking around it. It extends the story unnecessarily. You will be teased the entire book and the moment of satisfaction is lackluster because you can tell it was forced.

I'll read listen to more books in the series, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do their reading well, but I won't be happy about it. I've spent more time being frustrated and thinking of ways to improve the series than actually listening to it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Starting to lag already

I love Sanderson and will buy all of his books for his ability to give his characters life and their individual distinct voices, but I have to admit that Sanderson seems to have been distracted on this novel. Plots meandered and character development for his main hero, Kaladin, came to stop and even reverted back to his previous development from the first novel. Going to buy the next book and probably the rest in the series as I know Sanderson can pull it off and bring it together but still kind of a sophomore slump for this series. Hoping for better in Oathkeeper.

46 of 57 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

too slow for me

it really is good but with how slow everything moves in this book I can't do it.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

By FAR, one of the best fantasy epics to date.

Where does Words of Radiance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is, easily, the most enjoyable audiobook I've ever listened to. The narrator's are the best in the business, but the book itself stands next to it's predecessor (Way of Kings) as being one of the best fantasy epics to date. Wheel of Time had it's merits, and Sanderson has obviously been inspired by Robert Jordan's long-form fantasy series (he wrote the last few books after Jordan's death). That being said, Sanderson has fully surpassed his mentor in the epic fantasy genre. His description is perfect, and doesn't drag on like RJ's, remaining interesting as Sanderson masterfully weaves it into more pressing material. This series, the Stormlight Archive, is unforgettable. I hope to be buying every new outing in the Archive for years and years to come.

25 of 32 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

holy crap

well that was amazing. this book was incredible. even better than the first. great tie ins, twists and exciting moments.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Decent story, but a bit predictable.

Female narrator's voice for Pattern gets quite irritating. Her male voices also had room for improvement

16 of 21 people found this review helpful