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The Stormlight Archive #2, Part 1

Words of Radiance, Part 1

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The natural heir to Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series hit No.1 in the US and No.2 in the UK with the hardback release of the massive second volume, WORDS OF RADIANCE. Split into two volumes for paperback this is Part One of that second volume.

WORDS OF RADIANCE takes the reader even deeper into the lives of its characters as they fight for power, freedom and their lives on the extraordinary, hurricane swept world of Rosharr.

Famed for his plotting, his wonderful characters and his intricate magic systems Brandon Sanderson is poised to take up the crown of Robert Jordan as the creator of the keynote epic fantasy series of its time with the Stormlight Archive.

653 pages, Paperback

First published March 4, 2014

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About the author

Brandon Sanderson

436 books203k followers
Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History, and a brand-new Stormlight Archive novella, Edgedancer.

Earlier this year he released Calamity, the finale of the #1 New York Times bestselling Reckoners trilogy that began with Steelheart .

Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.

The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.

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5 stars
7,402 (75%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 553 reviews
Profile Image for Warda.
1,152 reviews18.2k followers
September 30, 2022
I used to violently hate on the audiobooks for this series. And now I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through these books again without them.


So good!! Straight onto Part Two! Not looking forward to parting ways with these books. I
Profile Image for Caroline.
592 reviews800 followers
March 3, 2017
HOT DAMN that was good! So good that the word 'good' doesn't even come close to describing how good it was! I loved this book. I am such complete trash for the characters. Shallan will always be my fave because she is precious. I'm so nervous to continue this series because I feel like a lot of shit is gonna happen and it'll mess with my emotions. Still gonna pick up part two straight away though. CAN'T WAIT!
Profile Image for Melissa | melisthereader.
592 reviews572 followers
July 2, 2017
I think this is the first book I've read where two main characters have a conversation about poop x) Going to have a small pause before diving into part 2. I really love where the story is going now! All the bickering between the characters is gold.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,032 reviews1,422 followers
May 11, 2021
This is the first part of the second instalment in The Stormlight Archive series.

This is an accurate depiction of me trying to accurately describe how incredible this book is:

The first book was packed full of magical information for the reader and the characters to learn. I had assumed that the education in this series was complete but it proved to be only the beginning as even more background and history concerning the spren, the Knights Radiant and a whole host of other entities, as well as how to manage or use them for future purpose, was imparted.

Much of this information was learnt through Shallan, one of the many protagonists that featured here. Shallan was present in the previous instalment yet her role in the overarching story-line remained unknown to me then. She was always an interesting character but here she came into her own, by overcoming the obstacles placed in her way, and became a truly lovable one. Not, however, one devoid of flaws, but this only made her more authentic and relatable.

Kaladin was the other primary protagonist. He was the individual I originally most bonded with, and who now must only take a share of my affections. The responsibilities placed upon him at book one's close were heightened here and his character was far more overwrought and overburdened because of it. I shared new information with Shallan but how to utilise them came largely from Kaladin. This made both perspectives not only highly entertaining but also as key as each other in seeing the plot through to fruition.

I remain as excited as ever to continue on with this epic fantasy adventure and am yet to find a Sanderson book that does not make my jaw drop open in awe of his brilliance.
Profile Image for Krbo.
326 reviews41 followers
March 17, 2016
Drugo čitanje, a prvo u prijevodu, mi je donijelo smireniji pristup - nisam morao gutati stranice kako bih došao do "onoga što slijedi", a i ranije se išlo spavati :)

Prijevod je dopunio neke stvari koje promaknu čitanjem originala, ipak nisam ni amer ni englez.

Nemam zamjerki osim što osobno termin "high storm" ne bih preveo kao "visoka oluja".

Sve moguće preporuke fanovima epske fantastike.

Dva citata:

Mnogi muškarci odbijaju čak i da pogledaju knjige, smatrajući da to nije muževno. Adolinu to izgleda nije smetalo. Zanimljivo.

Upotreba lepog lica da bi se muškarac naterao da postupi po tvojim željama nimalo se ne razlikuje od toga kada muškarac mišićima primorava ženu da radi ono što on hoće, kazala je. I jedno i drugo je prosto i s godinama će izdati onoga ko ih koristi.
Profile Image for Michael.
267 reviews71 followers
July 14, 2019
This gets 4.5/5-stars.

At the risk of being accused of getting the needle stuck; I'm less enchanted by Shallan than I am by Kaladin, Dalinar and Adolin. I love the fact that she's an artist (and a red-head, there's something incredibly alluring about fiery-red-hair) but I don't find myself in love with her character.

Adolin is growing on me but Dalinar and Kaladin are more interesting. I do so enjoy Kaladin's sense of honour and his determination to do his duty no matter what the consequences.

Kaladin and Adolin by Vialir

I think I mentioned in my pre-review notes that some of the interludes didn't really capture me and they are the reason I've marked it down a little. You get some back-story on Shallan's difficult upbringing and how her Father was that gave her some depth, but I didn't really need that; it was just details that I had already guessed at and that padded out a few extra pages, IMO.

Kaladin-VS-Szeth by Axtimus-Prime

I think there is a lot more to be discovered about Shallan's character, however, so I shall be very interested to see what occurs in part 2 of this book. There is so much scope for her to grow and blossom creatively.

Sadeus is there for us to hate, and let's face it we all need a good bad-guy or gal to dislike. And then, of course, there's Amaram; who Kaladin positively detests. Ah, so many little stories within stories going on; it's no wonder why this series has such a following.

Anyway, I think that's enough rabbiting. Onward to part 2 of Words of Radiance for me.

Thanks for reading!
Profile Image for Darcey.
928 reviews196 followers
August 1, 2021
buddy read with the wonderful Yeganeh!

we're finally back into this massive series! Brandon Sanderson, one of the kings of epic fantasy, has managed to captivate me again with the first half of this tome, which is no mean feat, given i'm intimidated just by looking at the page count of Words of Radiance. our four main characters have finally managed to meet one another, which brings me great satisfaction, and i really look forward to seeing how Kaladin's relationship with both Shallan and Adolin develops.

onto the second half! thanks, Yegi, for forcing me to read this ;)
Profile Image for daisy.
579 reviews100 followers
December 4, 2017
I was supposed to be asleep an hour ago, but I couldn't put this down. I don't know what else to say, aside from I adore this series.

As with The Way of Kings, I'm gonna wait until I've finished part two to write a review even though I still haven't put up my review for WoK yet lmaaaaao
Profile Image for Bec (becklebooks).
328 reviews192 followers
July 30, 2020
This book made me laugh aloud. It was also brilliantly descriptive, built, and inspired anticipation and in some instances, dread, as I was reading it. A lot of things surprised me in this book; I adored it!! Onto the next installment!
Profile Image for Stars .
180 reviews2 followers
August 30, 2020
What can I say that is not already said about this book?

Brandon Sanderson is really a master of fantasy and you can't convinceme otherwise. So after the end of The Way of Kings I needed answers and jumped right into Words of Radiance. It started off with answering some questions and giving us more questions to think about. I enjoyed the politics of Alethkar and the rest of Roshar, it added an extra layer of possibilities and misfortune to come. Also, the fact it was building slowly but what is happening isn't clear gave added this low hum of tension building up in the background. What I enjoyed the most is having no idea what will happen. I tried to predict what will happen but never was near to the right answer.

My favorite part was the slow discovery and unveiling of the magic of this world, everyone is lost and the whole cast of main characters is as clueless as we are.

I never thought I'd like such type of fantasy, it felt so intimidating to start but his writing style and the amount of details he adds to the story surprisingly made all the more enjoyable. Even when the story is complicated and the world is massive, he still takes his time with the characters and to me I have to like the character to continue reading. So this being not Kaladin's book is making it rank less for me in the series.

The action in this book is definitely better than it is in The Way Of Kings, mainly because the scale of the story is much much bigger, and things are becoming more dire in all of Roshar.
Profile Image for Roxana Chirilă.
1,009 reviews127 followers
March 19, 2019
The more books by Sanderson I read, the more I love his work. It's intricately created, with wonderful worlds created on clear, clockwork principles which are just *begging* to be discovered. His style may be simple, but the plots usually aren't, and that's a great combo when it comes to long stories.

Also, bless his prolific heart - he almost writes them faster than I can read them (no, not really, but I don't worry I'll run out of Sanderson soon).

Anyway, "Words of Radiance". "Words of Radiance" RULES. If I thought "The Way of Kings" started slowly, then became more and more exciting, and that excitement was well worth it, well - over here there's nothing slow.

If the first book in the series was mostly about Kaladin, the young man who is trained to be a surgeon, grows up to be a soldier, is betrayed, then ends up an inspiring hero, the first volume of "Words of Radiance" is more about Shallan, a young woman from an impoverished noble family, grown in horrid circumstances, who comes into her own and learns to become other people. I mean, not permanently, but how to pretend to be something other than she is with great success, in order to further her goals.

But the volume is quite well rounded: while the focus shifts, there's no feeling that we strayed from the characters we've come to know and enjoy reading about, nor that they're idling about and twiddling their thumbs while waiting for the plot to come get them.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was going to work a bit this afternoon, but I took a short break and ended up reading the last 100 pages of this, which is... not ideal, but thoroughly fun. Now, to NOT move on to the second volume, but do my job.
Profile Image for Alex_Neige.
345 reviews11 followers
July 7, 2020
“So yes, I, Adolin Kholin - cousin to the king, heir to the Kholin princedom - have shat myself in my Shardplate. Three times, all on purpose.”

Gosh, I love this series so much.
Profile Image for Di.
58 reviews6 followers
August 1, 2020
I really enjoyed reading this first part of Words of Radiance and - surprisingly - this was very much due to the fact that the author takes us back into Shallan's past and therefore her family dynamic is better explained. That was very enlightening as I understand her a lot better now and feel a lot more compassion towards her. I did not like her very much in the The Way of Kings nor understood her so that was helpful. She has gone through some serious s.... !! The other thing which I absolutely LOVED was the fact that we FINALLY get a glimpse into the Parshendi side!That was so good and I am looking forward to learn more about their culture and history. I found that this first part was more focused on politics/relationships/understanding the different ways stormlight can be used and for some reason I did miss the bridge runs and battles (?!). Kaladin's first bridge run and the epic battle at the end of the Way Of Kings are just moments I would need Sanderson to match again in the next books to give them a 5 stars so will let you know how part 2 is going for me :)! A very good first part overall (but one of my favourite characters dies so that was the sad bit :() Also I'm not sure whether a real romance is starting between two of the characters but whatever is going on I like and I like a lot lol and I am definitely NOT big on romance in books so well done Mr Sanderson ! Still have a feeling it might not work out though...we shall see!
Profile Image for Patricia Crowther.
478 reviews44 followers
July 7, 2016
It's probably worth remembering that this is just the first half of a much bigger book. But it's still a great first half. So much happens with a few surprises and we get a greater insight into Shallan's character and background. Based on how this ended part 2 promises to be epic!!
Profile Image for Lia Silva.
174 reviews14 followers
April 9, 2021
Once again Brandon Sanderson shows his skill in worldbuilding and character development to make you beg for more. Slowly we get more backstory into Roshar shown to us, as well as fauna and flora, culminating in a massive display of worldbuilding but that you didn't even notice is being shown to you.

I adored the evolution of Shallan in this book, we have seen a little of it previously and now she is starting to properly embrace her power and step into her own personality. I also really enjoy reading about the lovable band of buffoons that is Bridge 4 and how they are settling into their new roles and what is expected of them. I wish Kalladin would step into his own destiny as easily but unfortunately his internal struggles do not allow for that much, still I love to read his chapters.

The political drama escalated beyond imaginable and the scene of our main characters fighting the Assassin in White gave me heart palpitations and I was shrieking like a mad person. Now that most of them are united in the same place it’s very enjoyable to read their interactions and scenes together. I found this book to be funnier than the previous two.

There was a very annoying event with Jasnah of which I have my own theories and assumptions and can’t wait to see if they are right or wrong.
Profile Image for Courtney (bookplaces).
260 reviews82 followers
April 29, 2020
Update: Finished Part 2, Loved It, All The Stars

LOVE!😍 I am going to wait until finishing part 2 to rate and review, but really enjoying the world development and having many of the main POV characters meet in the story. Going to read part 2 right now!
Profile Image for Caity.
224 reviews39 followers
June 4, 2020
The sun shined right though my window this morning, waking my body and mind up naturally. I had nowhere to be for the next hour, so I opened the blinds and curled up in bed to read, “Words of Radiance”. I typically do not read science fiction, yet it is my partner’s favourite novel, so I was intrigued as to why. I was on the last 70 pages of the book and it is a novel that once you pick up it is hard to put down. I understand now why my partner has a deep love and affection for the series. The narrative is quite analytical and philosophical at times and character’s emotions are beautifully descriptive and raw. Quotes like, “a woman’s strength should not be in her role, whatever she choose to be, but in the power to choose that role”, particularly stuck with me because it was a surprisingly feminist novel that is progressive in its statements. The novel is filed with quotes that make you think and stop reading for a minute to understand the immense depth of the words stated. Some other quotes that stuck to me were:
“It’s not a lie...if everyone understands and knows what it means...Mm. Those are some of the best lies”
“To age truly was to suffer the ultimate treason, that of one’s body against oneself”.
These statements are truly thought provoking and the depth of imagination and thought Sanderson has put into the novel can leave one pondering for days after reading his work son his cultivation of such rich philosophical words. Furthermore, to grasp Sanderson’s imagination that created such a prolific political system would almost be impossible. My excitement to start the next novel is immeasurable.
Profile Image for Hala.
195 reviews
May 16, 2023
Man this was perfection.. well, near perfection, something happened and I’m still a little sad.
Anyway !
I don’t even know where to start...
This book made me sooooo happy in so many ways.. it warmed my heart soo many times and it kept surprising me.
The characters: Ugh I love the characters, at this point now that I’m familiar with them, I got to see different parts of them and see the good times, which again, warmed my heart so much.
The depth of these characters never fails to astound me.

Khaladin is still my favorite, he’ll stand to be my favorite even 50 years from now, a very dramatic over the top statement but that’s how much I love him.

Shallan in this book took a totally different path from what I thought, and it was good in an expected way. I liked how we got to see her change very slowly.

Some scenes were too funny to handle, I chuckled multiple times in this book, and I tapped so many more pages in this book than the first book, so that’s an indicator of how much I loved this one.
Profile Image for Laura.
135 reviews20 followers
September 26, 2020
I know it‘s just half a book, and I‘m rating it as what it is, but this one was a little bit too slow for me. I appreciate the world building and I feel like I have a much better connection to the characters now, after reading this, but I hope it picks up in the second half, as this one started to drag a little bit from the middle on. Nevertheless I still think this series is great, and I‘m going to start the next one as soon as I have it in my hands, which is rare for me and only happens if I‘m really excited about something
Profile Image for Mark Harrison.
702 reviews20 followers
February 5, 2017
Too good. I have read great fantasy books and they are like a good long shower compared to Sanderson. This series is a long bath with wine and candles. Get immersed with the characters and the superb world building and just enjoy every page. Shallan is much more prominent in this part which is no bad thing but Kal remains my fave as he tries normality after the horror of bridge running. Just love the series.
Profile Image for Marina.
285 reviews12 followers
May 14, 2019
How can I not.... this series blows my mind... where does he get all his imagination? Brandon Sanderson is a true artiest it the way of writing!!!
Profile Image for Sami.
18 reviews1 follower
January 30, 2022
Slow and dense. Many memorable moments amongst a lot of world building. Similar to part 1 of the first book in that there’s a lot to chew, with no great conclusion. In other words, it feels and plays out like half a story (as is intended).

Plenty of plots and subplots which hopefully.. will end with a bang.
Profile Image for L'ours inculte.
417 reviews147 followers
April 14, 2022
Oui, j’ai mis un peu de temps à revenir dans le monde de Roshar après La voie des rois, je lis les bouquins de Brandon Sanderson mais je me jette pas sur chaque sortie non plus. J’ai tellement trainé que j’avais oublié pas mal de choses en plus de 4 ans, donc j’ai commencé par relire La voie des rois en audio avant de me lancer dans le second tome que je vais chroniquer ici : Le livre des radieux.

Après en avoir légèrement chié en tant que porteur de pont avec ses camarades, Kaladin a obtenu le transfert de toute son unité au service de Dalinar Kholin mais les embrouilles entre nobles dans la guerre des plaines brisées de sont pas terminées. Dalinar essaye de rallier les autres haut princes à sa cause pour changer le cours de la guerre, mais pour l’instant il galère un peu, et ses mystérieuses « crises » ne renforcent pas sa crédibilité. Shallan reste élève de Jasnah Kholin malgré son petit écart de conduite, et elles continuent leur étude des mystères du passé.

Brandon Sanderson nous plonge dans son univers foisonnant encore une fois. Comment ne pas saluer les efforts de worldbuilding et d’originalité de son univers ? Nous l’avons déjà dit, le monde de Roshar est complexe et regorge de mystères, de peuples inconnus et de mythes oubliés. Il y a des couches et des couches de détails qui s’empilent et qu’on découvre au fur et à mesure, l’auteur nous balance au milieu de tout ça et nous laisse suivre ses personnages qui découvrent les secrets de son petit cerveau en même temps que nous. Ce livre des radieux va nous donner des réponses et une vision plus solide de l’ensemble, mais l’auteur, dans son infini sadisme, continue à planquer des questions sous les réponses. Tout ça donne un aspect massif à l’univers qui inviterait plus que toute autre saga à la publication d’encyclopédies, et inspire tout une communauté de lecteurs à se prendre la tête sur des théories, des discussions et des décorticages en tout genres.

L’autre avantage de ce second double-tome, c’est que les trois points de vue se rejoignent enfin et on peut avoir une dynamique d’ensemble un peu plus visible, même si chacun garde quelques enjeux propres. On a un petit côté relou chez Kaladin qui continue à bouder et être chiant, mais il est le moteur de certains évènements épiques et de belles découvertes. Dalinar est toujours solide dans son rôle de noble qui veut renverser la dynamique et restaurer un peu d’honneur dans la soupe. Mais ce tome met plus en lumière Shallan qui commence à prendre de l’assurance, à découvrir ses pouvoirs et à se découvrir elle-même à travers des péripéties et des défis dangereux.

Je regrette toujours que niveau rythme, Brandon Sanderson soit en roue libre. Attention, ça se lit vite, c’est super efficace, mais on arrive à un point où on commence à se dire qu’on commence à comprendre un début de commencement d’explication sur là où l’auteur veut en venir… Après 4000 pages d’histoire. C’est l’impression que j’ai eu à la fin du bouquin, où on arrive vers une convergence et un basculement, on se dit « Ah ça y est, l’apéro est fini ? ». Et y’a plein de trucs qu’on comprend pas encore, l’auteur amène toujours plus de questions et d’éléments au worldbuilding déjà touffu, avec des livres sacrés qui sortent de nulle part (et on sait pas trop ce qu’ils foutent là), des fous qui ont des visions cryptiques, des héros qui ont des visions cryptiques, des fous qui sont pas des fous mais peut-être des fous quand même, etc…

Pourtant au milieu de cette histoire longue qui part un peu dans tous les sens, on a de purs moments épiques et réjouissants. Pas beaucoup, c’est une structure cyclique qui fait un build-up lent et nous jette ensuite dans un épisode de folie furieuse où tout bascule, puis on se relève, on gère les conséquences, et on re-build-up pour le suivant. Donc y’a des passages vraiment forts qui restent en tête, des scènes grandioses de tension, d’explosion ou de révélation qui retournent le lecteur. Ces scènes sont rares mais précieuses, elles ont un impact sur nous et sur l’intrigue, elles justifient la lecture de cette série à elles seules, par leur impact, leur capacité à couper le souffle.

Ces quelques moments vraiment épiques me font oublier les problèmes que j’ai avec le reste de la saga. J’oublie que je suis finalement pas super attaché aux personnages, j’oublie que cette narration en mille-feuilles avec des tonnes de détails, de mystères « oui mais tu vas voir dans 1500 pages on comprend », ça me passe au-dessus. C’est tellement foisonnant que je m’y noie et je n’aime pas particulièrement ça. On en vient encore une fois à la question principale de toute chronique de roman : Quel lecteur êtes-vous ? Moi je préfère souvent un univers plus accessible et des personnages plus touchants et humains, des bouquins plus centrés sur les enjeux des protagonistes que sur les énigmes de leur univers, et des bouquins où t’as l’impression d’avancer dans une intrigue et pas de te perdre dans un puzzle. Mais je vois bien que ce genre de bouquins qui, moi, me noient, apportent à d’autres lecteurs des citernes d’eau à leur moulin à théories, à débats, à décorticages, à enthousiasme. Mais c’est pas comme ça que j’aime lire, je n’aime pas décortiquer tous les détails et les clins d’œil d’un univers, en général je me laisse porter par un livre, ma mémoire pourrie aide pas à jouer aux jeux de pistes sur 3000 pages (je suis passé à côté de tous les easter eggs censés faire des liens avec les autres sagas de l’auteur et rassembler le Sandersonverse).

Sanderson a une manière d’écrire qui me parait très mécanique et presque ludique. Dans leur conception, ses bouquins ont l’air d’être un jeu de construction géant, une boite de Lego avec des pavés de mille pages en tant que briques, y’a des tableaux explicatifs pour les systèmes de magie, des descriptions très froides des combats (les descriptions de mouvements dans mistborn reviennent un peu ici avec les attaches des marchevents), ces fucking interludes de plus de 50 pages sur des personnages qu’on connait pas juste pour nous teaser des détails d’univers, etc… Mais je ne trouve pas toujours ce petit plus d’attachement dont j’ai besoin, ou il se retrouve dilué dans un ensemble qui est plus destiné à la réflexion et à un sense of wonder intellectuel qui, moi, me touche moins, voire pas du tout.

J’ai envie de savoir où tout ça nous mène, parce que Brandon Sanderson a indéniablement une vision, que ses bouquins se lisent quand même relativement vite pour leur nombre de pages monstrueux, mais je ne suis pas conquis par ses écrits au même point que le reste de la communauté manifestement. Sanderson pour moi c’est toujours « un coup oui, un coup bof« , c’est selon l’humeur, selon le livre. Alors ne vous étonnez pas si je met encore quelques années à attaquer Justicière.

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