I realize that I am joining the Sanderson fan club late, but this is the perfect time in my life to become enveloped in the Cosmere. I started earlier this year by reading the Mistborn Era 1 and Era 2 sagas which I can only say are fantastic and full of page turning excitement. As the year progressed, there were some personal and family related issues that would begin to overcome my life, leaving me in a desperate place looking for hope wherever I could find it. And that is when Brandon Sanderson entered the scene again, I picked up Warbreaker and followed that with The Way of Kings which led me to read Elantris to learn more about the start of the Cosmere’s journey. Now I have completed the second book in the Stormlight Archives, Words of Radiance, and I want to share my thoughts on Sanderson’s marvelous continuation of this epic story.
The Way of Kings was really a foundation for Brandon Sanderson to not only create these character’s backgrounds but to build the story firmly from the ground up. Words of Radiance is much faster paced and also has much within its pages that literally made me laugh out loud at some points and at others want to scream in excitement. There is a joy to this book that overwhelms the seriousness of the first in the Stormlight Archives and it was exactly what I needed at this moment in my life.
We get to read about Shallan’s past in Words of Radiance as opposed to Kalidin’s in The Way of Kings. This is perfect timing considering the story line that Shallan is going through during the present of this book. Her past certainly holds many secrets and the most interesting and exciting of these secrets are not revealed until the end. We also see some different sides to Shallan in this book. We get to read about her interacting with some interesting characters in only a way that she can and it creates some of the most fun scenes.
Kalidin’s story also picks up right where it left off and goes through some moody and emotional up’s and down’s that took me from feeling hopeless to feeling ecstatic with joy. Kalidin is a character I really can get behind, I understand many of his internal struggles and that is definitely something that is highlighted in this book.
One of my great joys is Adolin’s character, especially now that we get to see Adolin interact with Kaladin. As you can imagine, this is not a perfect relationship, but it brings up many thought provoking ideas about the differences and how these characters act about the differences of being “light-eyed” and “dark-eyed”.
Dalinar is not exactly treated as a constant main character in this book as he was in the last one. But do not worry, that does not diminish is role as being an important figure-head in the least. I did love seeing Dalinar react to now not only Adolin but to Kaladin as well, and truthfully, I feel like Kalidin can almost be included in a family father-son role with Dalinar which proves interesting and heart warming in Words of Radiance.
I do want to include a quote that will not give away any spoilers but to show Brandon Sanderson’s caring writing style when it comes to some of the difficult situations that not only his characters find themselves in during past and present but that Readers can relate to,
The sensation- its not sorrow, but something deeper- of being broken. Of being crushed so often, and so hatefully, that emotion becomes something you can only wish for. If only you could cry, because then you’d feel something. Instead, you feel nothing. Just… haze and smoke inside. Like your already dead.”-Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance
It is moments like this, after I have read something so brilliant and so gut-wrenchingly true and relatable for me, that I realize what a real powerhouse author Brandon Sanderson really is. His works, all that I have read so far, have touched me deeply on an emotional level. And this is what makes him great. Yes, his imagination, his world-building skills, everything he creates is above and beyond the typical. But this is where he really effects me. This is not something just any author can do. This is a real master.
I hope you have enjoyed my review. I am reading Arcanum Unbounded next and yes, I am very excited to continue my adventure into Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere. Please follow my blog for updates and for a review of my next read.