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Series: The Stormlight Archive

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon SandersonWords of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Series: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2
Also in this series: The Way of Kings
Published by Tor Books on 04 March 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Girls & Women, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, War & Military
Pages: 1087
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Also by this author: The Way of Kings

Place(s) Traveled To: The Shattered Plains, Roshar

First Line(s): Jasnah Kholin pretended to enjoy the party, giving no indication that she intended to have one of the guests killed.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson is the second book in his epic fantasy series The Stormlight Archive and it picks up not long after the events in Way of Kings (my review) end. As with the first book, Words of Radiance took me forever to read because it is a chunkster, weighing in at over 1000 pages, and unlike the first book I had this one in hardcover. In order to make it through the book I decided to read it a small bit at a time so it wouldn’t seem so daunting or kill me from the weight. This method also really allowed me to savor the story and all of its rich details and intricaces. And while I loved the audio of Way of Kings there is something nice about reading the physical book. For one, I get to see how all the names are really written (though the audio was a godsend for pronunciation!) and I got to see all the artwork as it appeared in the book. The artwork really adds to the story and just brings this whole world to life.

As with Way of KingsWords of Radiance is told from mulitple points of view though the main one was Shallan. Shallan is Jashnah’s ward and apprentince and oh my stars a truely annoying character! I wasn’t a fan of Shallan in the first book and so wasn’t thrilled that most of Words of Radiance would focus on her. I much prefered the storylines of Khaladin’s and Dalinar’s POVs and still want to know ALL THE THINGS about them both. Though I didn’t mind Shallan’s present POV as much as I thought I might I did find her backstory to be a bit slow and I just didn’t care. Not gonna lie, I find Shallan to be boring and a bit of a dumb bunny at times.

Words of Radiance quote

The overall storyarc though was super-fantabulous. I just love how Sanderson is weaving all these details together and only revealing what needs to be revealed when it needs to be. But also leaving little seed trails along the way so that when something happens your eyes widen a bit as you flip backwards through the book to find the moment it was just hinted at and see how it all started. And, as with most second books, Words of Radiance really shines in being able to build upon the things that came before. You get to know world and all of the characters better as this book progresses and there is just so much crazy tension throughout the story. I loved all the scenes with Khaladin and Dalinar, even when Dalinar was breaking my heart. Not to mention all the things I want to know about Renarin as I feel as if it all came out of nowhere so hopefully Sanderson will go into that a bit more in the next book.  I’m also still not a fan of the Interludes but I do love how everything in this crazy ass world is connected.

In the end, while Words of Radiance, started a little slow. I liked this one better than Way of Kings. I liked how twisty it was and how Sanderson manages to keep me guessing, even when I think I’ve figured everything out. Where there parts I could have done without? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t trade a thing in this book because I know that the final payoff will be worth it. I just hate that there is so much time between books because I want more of this world now!! Not next year or the year after that. I also don’t know how I am going to make it through 10 books of this series…its such a huge time commitment…though I know that I will be there buying up each book the moment its released. Though in ebook form because the hardcovers may kill you if you aren’t careful!


IR - Way of Kings

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Audio Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Audio Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonThe Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Narrator: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Series: The Stormlight Archive,
Also in this series: Words of Radiance
Published by Macmillian Audio on 31 August 2010
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Magic, Mythology, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military
Length: 45 hours, 37 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Also by this author: Words of Radiance

Place(s) Traveled To: Karbranth, Frostlands // Shatter Plains // Valath, Jah Keved (World Name: Roshar)

First Line(s): Kalak rounded a rocky stone ridge and stumbled to a stop before the body of a dying thunderclast.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in the start of an epic fantasy that is expecting to span over ten books which is a huge commitment and one that I wasn’t sure I wanted to make. Especially when you consider that at the time I listened to Way of Kings only the first two books were available and at this time the third book isn’t expected to be available until 2016. Yet, despite this, I kept finding myself drawn to the book and so I downloaded the audio from Audible and embarked on a 45 hour listening journey that swept me away to a fantasical world that was rich and amazing and filled with possibility. The narrative of Way of Kings fluctuations between several characters and incorporating some others between parts in its interludes. The main POV characters in Way of Kings are Kaladin, Dalinar Kholin, Adolin Kholin, Shallan Davar, Navani Kholin, and Szeth with the main focus being on Kaladin. Kaladin is a slave and his chapters go back and forth and time and slowly reveal his origins and how he became a slave in the kings army. Of all the POVs in this book the ones I liked best were those of Kaladin and Dalinar as they were so rich and complex and my heart just broke for the various things these characters experienced. The character I liked least was Shallan, I just found her to be selfish, naive and annoying and was more intrigued by her teacher, Jasnah and wished that she was one of the viewpoint characters.

The Way of Kings is a hard story to break down into a review of a few paragraphs as there is just so much to it. As the first in a series there is a lot of history and world building to be down and Brandon Sanderson has done an amazing job of weaving in his worlds history and rules without bogging down the story narrative. As a fantasy novel there is much that the reader does not know at the start of the story and so things can be a bit confusing at first. But once the story really gets underway the full beauty of this world really shines through. Its so complex and detailed and the more you read the more realistic it all becomes. The longer I listened to this audio the more I wanted to know and I’d look for excuses to make road trips just so that I could drive and be immersed in this amazing land of Roshar. I loved how the characters interacted and I loved Kaladin’s journey. There were times when I hated for the narrative to change as Kaladin was often left in a precarious place and my heart just broke for him. Though, I felt similar emotions when in the narrative of the other characters as well and almost always disliked when we left one character for another.

The Way of Kings is the first book that I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson but I found him to be a master of his craft. I loved how this story was formed and even though it was 45 hours long (1000 pages) it didn’t feel like that. Every time I was in my car I was sucked away to another place and I hated when reality snuck back in. Kate Reading and Michael Kramer did a fantastic job in bringing all these various characters and this world to life. They seamlessly become all the characters whose voices they read including the world that this story is set in. Because Roshar is very much a character as well as the setting. If you are a fan of epic fantasy this this is a book that you want to pick up. Yes, its long and yes this is only the first book in a very long series but its the start of an amazing story and I am eager to see where Sanderson will take me as I dive into the next book.






Way of Kings Quote