Book Review: Words of Radiance (Brandon Sanderson) (5 *’s)

I’ve said it before: I’m going to kill Brandon Sanderson. I didn’t want to get sucked into a coming ten book series of ginormous books as I expect The Stormlight Archive to become. I read and reviewed The Way of Kings some time ago. Words of Radiance continues the story of the Knights Radiant, the Heralds, and the world of Roshar (is it Roshar or Roshone?). Anyway, this book weighs in at 1080 pages or so. Not quite as long as The Way of Kings, but still a behemoth in its own right. I enjoyed every moment of it.

 

This is the part where I normally summarize the story. I hope you don’t expect me to do that with this one. Book Two of a series. Weighing in at 1080 pages. Four major characters and a plethora of minor ones. There’s just too much awesomeness to pack into my short review. I still think Sanderson went overboard on the developing the unique world motif, though. I’m still not sure about the moons. There’s at least two and one of them is purple. That’s about all I could gather. And I’ve forgotten what crem is supposed to be, just collected sand and mud, I guess. There’s a war brewing between the Parshendi and the humans of Alethi. There’s high storms periodically ravaging the country side (imagine a long lasting hurricane strong enough to hurl rocks and boulders). There’s hordes of spren which are proving far more integral to the story than I originally thought. Most importantly, Sanderson has been focusing on some moral ideals like honor and such. I like stories that do that, and Sanderson does it quite well. Makes me want to believe we can be better people.

 

Strengths: the writing was superb. The characters were rounded and well-developed. The conflict and crises were engaging and thoughtful. And the plot was mesmerizing. Sanderson is, by far, the best author I’ve read in a long time. Weaknesses: it might be too grand an undertaking. He doesn’t suffer from George R. R. Martin’s overabundance of characters yet, but he does have quite a few, particularly in the Interludes, and I’m not sure how all of them relate to the main story. It might get away from him. But I hope not.

 

Anyway, I’m giving Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance five stars out of five.

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