Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~'s Reviews > Words of Radiance

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: owned, 5-star, audiobook, year-2017

Words of Radiance is an absolutely marvelous continuation of the Stormlight Archive series.

As many of you know, it gets harder to review books in a series the further you get away from the first book. Here I am at the end of only book 2 & already over 2000 pages into this series (or over 80 hours in my case) and there is just soooo muchhhh storyyyy! So naturally, it's tough to write a review without any spoilers BUT HERE I GO BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT ALL OF YOU!

So one of the things I appreciate most about Sanderson's style is how he unfolds the stories he chooses to tell. No matter the scope, there's always a realistic scattering of situations that serve to grow the main characters in a way that feels very natural. There's always a reliably steady build toward the culmination of events.

Circumstances are not contrived, and I never have to worry about the author telling me how I should feel about his characters without also showing me why. Dialogue is realistic, and I am especially fond of how much humor Sanderson worked into this installment. I've heard whisperings of those who think Sanderson's dialogue is cheesy, but I'm a real fan of quick witted banter & puns & so a particular scene in the chasms really warmed my heart.

I found myself extremely engaged with the Interludes for this installment. The Interludes in Words of Radiance did a far superior job of developing the fringes of the story than in The Way of Kings. It grows the span of the realm & makes me feel like I'm reading about a real place with real people & real conflicts that don't always wrap themselves up into neat, solvable packages.

As a whole, this series strikes a nice balance between politics & magic, but I felt as though the politicking was a bit lacking in this novel. Thankfully, this is mostly made up for by two elements:

1. How strongly the Interludes contribute to the developing political atmosphere of Roshar.

2. The captivating expansions of the magic system in relation to our main characters.

Some of the lack has to do with Dalinar's POV being almost entirely absent. The novel switches back & forth between Kaladin & Shallan 99% of the time, and so we are largely excluded from Dalinar's part in the political game outside of brief snatches of his interactions with those two.

Speaking of POV's, the unbalance here is something I mentioned in my review of The Way of Kings, but after reading Words of Radiance I think it's something I have come to terms with. It was difficult for me to spend over a thousand pages without Dalinar, as he is my favorite character. But I think Sanderson is expressing this story in the way that makes the most logical sense, and if that means spending 100 pages with Kaladin, then that's what it means.

Long story short, I was a lot less bothered this time around because I've come to expect Sanderson will spend the time he deems necessary with each character & after all the time I've spent in the Cosmere universe, I will just trust him.

Now we come to one of my absolute favorite elements of this novel, the action/battle scenes. They're just so energizing & exciting to read! Specifically I think a lot of us are impressed by the scene we've affectionately dubbed "Honor Is Dead."

Damn, friends.

When I first listened to this scene, I had to stop my car on the side of the road just so I could completely lose myself in it. There is literally no word more appropriate for it than badass. This scene is surrounded by many more action sequences, all of which help my rapt attention. I love reading Sanderson's combat, especially because it gives me the opportunity to see how beautifully he works in his own magic systems. The experience is like a dance.

Overall, small hang ups on POV's & politics do not weigh enough to influence how much I enjoyed this story. That's a huge part of Sanderson's appeal as a fantasy writer - his stories are consistently satisfying, unique, and a hell of a lot of fun. I'm very specifically planning out when I will pick up Oathbringer, because once I finish I will have finished all I have left to read of the Cosmere. I want to wait a couple of months before I dive in because I want to savor every moment of that book when I get to it (plus I hear there's quite a lot of Dalinar so I'm more than ready for that!)

Now before I close this review I want to mention something spoilery. Please do not read past this point if you haven't read this series!


Alright so Jasnah...

Not for one second did I believe that she was dead & I'm actually really surprised the rouse of her death carried on for the whole book! It was stressing me out how long it took her to show back up because she was just way too important to be taken down at the hands of an assassin & I was worried Sanderson may wait until Oathbringer to bring her back around.

Jasnah is, in my estimation, the best female character of the series & so when she finally makes a reappearance I was more annoyed than relieved because I couldn't believe she was also kept out of this story for so long. Every time Shallan & Navani had an interaction over Jasnah's death, I just rolled my eyes. This obviously isn't a huge deal, I just wanted to rant about it for a moment!
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Reading Progress

November 30, 2015 – Shelved
November 30, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
September 13, 2016 – Shelved as: owned
October 20, 2017 – Started Reading
November 3, 2017 –
15.0% "*waits patiently for scenes with Dalinar & Kaladin*"
November 8, 2017 –
22.0% "Kate Reading's terrible accent for Tvlakv is going to be the death of me."
November 16, 2017 –
40.0% "Ah, I love when authors show us their characters are clever vs. just telling us they are & hoping we'll believe them. 🙌🏽"
November 20, 2017 –
62.0% "✨Oh my god I'm literally fucking sweating because of how amazing that scene was.✨"
November 29, 2017 –
85.0% "*squints* A hat, you say..."
November 29, 2017 –
90.0% "JFC find me a man like Dalinar 😍😍😍😍"
December 4, 2017 – Finished Reading
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: 5-star
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: audiobook
December 5, 2017 – Shelved as: year-2017

Comments Showing 1-50 of 55 (55 new)

message 1: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel Anie (finals - 2months) Happy reading! Best high fantasy series I've read! Hope you'll enjoy!

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Thank you so much Mel!! I am about 80% of the way finished and really enjoying it! Can't wait to start Oathbringer!! ☺️😘

message 3: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel Anie (finals - 2months) Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ wrote: "Thank you so much Mel!! I am about 80% of the way finished and really enjoying it! Can't wait to start Oathbringer!! ☺️😘"

I think that Oathbringer is so far the best in series. So many surprises! Looking forward to your review!

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Oh my GOD YAY!! I'm so glad to hear that! Ahhahhaielsjrkdksndj whoohoo I'm so excited all of my friends are really impressed by it so far this is such good news!!

Ari ☾ We are literally on the same part! I loved that scene so much!

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Ahhhh!! Whoohoo Ari! I loved that scene so much! 🙌🏽

Liam Degnan Ugh I'm so glad you liked this oneee! Looking forward to your review =].

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ SAME LIAM Godddddd it was such a good time!! I'll have something up for this one soon (unlike a handful of RTC reviews I've posted recently because I suck lol.) 😂

Liam Degnan Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ wrote: "SAME LIAM Godddddd it was such a good time!! I'll have something up for this one soon (unlike a handful of RTC reviews I've posted recently because I suck lol.) 😂"

I'm terrible too it took me over a week to get my Oathbringer review up -_-. it's too easy to put RTC and then stop thinking about it haha

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ lol I knowwww and if I pass a certain window of time I really am way less likely to actually get a decent review together! I hate doing that especially for awesome books that deserve awesome reviews. Hey at least you got something up for Oathbringer, haha!

ChopinFC Sanderson stories will do that to you...

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ I KNOW He always just leaves my heart all shredded in pieces he don't even care man lol

message 13: by Abbas (new)

Abbas Khan ChopinFC wrote: "Sanderson stories will do that to you..."
What Mean ?

message 14: by Liam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liam Degnan @Abbas

message 15: by Abbas (new)

Abbas Khan Liam wrote: "@Abbas

yes dear Speak ?

Boostamonte Halvorsen ...Edge *cough* Dancer

ChopinFC Abbas wrote: "ChopinFC wrote: "Sanderson stories will do that to you..."
What Mean ?"

Sanderson is able to conjure up worlds, characters and narrative that will literally leave you 'fucked' up for a few months... Everything else to read after that pales in comparison.

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Haha I'm on it soon Boostamonte!! I've read all of Arcanum except Edgedancer so I've been waiting for this moment 😂

message 19: by stardragons (new)

stardragons I keep hearing great things about this series and am gonna start Way of Kings soon. So hype!

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Stardragons it's GREATTTT my god especially if you've read the other Cosmere books!! I hope you love it!!

message 21: by stardragons (new)

stardragons Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ wrote: "Stardragons it's GREATTTT my god especially if you've read the other Cosmere books!! I hope you love it!!"

I've only read the Mistborn trilogy but I keep hearing great things about this series so I'm pickin it up ASAP. Would you recommend reading the other Cosmere books first or can I just hop into it from Mistborn and be fine?

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ My recommended reading order is always:

Mistborn Era 1
Mistborn Era 2
Stormlight Archives

There are lots of hints & things that show up in Stormlight that you won't necessarily pick up on if you read out of order, but if you REEEEALLLLYYYYY wanna go ahead and read Stormlight Archives it won't spoil you or anything! ☺️

message 23: by Andres (new)

Andres Rodriguez Really? Interesting. Thank you Mary, I'll pick up Elantris before Mistborn.

Boostamonte Halvorsen @Mary and @StarDragon Definitely read Warbreaker before Oathbringer -- a lot of Easter Eggs

message 25: by stardragons (new)

stardragons Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ wrote: "My recommended reading order is always:

Mistborn Era 1
Mistborn Era 2
Stormlight Archives

There are lots of hints & things that show up in Stormlight that you won't necessaril..."

Oooo! Thank you for this, I haven't read Elantris or Warbreaker or any of the other Mistborn stuff so I don't mind reading all that first. I'm pretty into the Cosmere worldbuilding and I really liked the Mistborn trilogy so I'd love to catch all the hints and stuff.

Man how does Sanderson do it? That's so many books and so much to tie together, it's impressive.

message 26: by stardragons (new)

stardragons Boostamonte wrote: "@Mary and @StarDragon Definitely read Warbreaker before Oathbringer -- a lot of Easter Eggs"

Duly noted, I'm suuuper here for easter eggs! They're always rewarding to spot.

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ @Andres oh yea definitely. It's important to read Elantris and Warbreaker if you're interested in the whole Cosmere experience & lots of people regard those two novels as weaker than Mistborn, so I think it's easier to start with his "Worst" and move toward his "Best" if you will. All his novels are great tho so it's not like you'll be reading a bad book anywhere in the list!

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ @Boostamonte don't worry! I've read Warbreaker haha. I'd say one should read it even before Words of Radiance to catch all the good stuff!

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ @Stardragons I couldn't agree more! I love catching things from previous Cosmere novels it's kind of crazy how he keeps it all straight and consistent. He's a master writer no doubt! Can't wait for you to get into it! ☺️

Boostamonte Halvorsen @stardragon -- I got to sit with Sanderson during an event, a Coffee Clache, we talked a lot about the Cosmere! The Stormlight books will get super (more than they already are) interesting after the 5th book. Then he is going to write the "Cosmere book" which will be the one where all the other books will start bleeding into each other--more than they are now. We're talking about Mistborn visits Roshar kinda a stuff. It's going to be super exciting. He also was spit-balling another world he hasn't written in yet that is part of the Cosmere and is a world centered around floating water. It was one of the coolest meetings I ever had!

message 31: by Andres (new)

Andres Rodriguez **Mind blown **

Floating water!?

Boostamonte Halvorsen @Andres -- Yeah, I guess it is a biblical story that he is going to take the concept from (Can't remember what religion...or which version of the bible it is in...) but essentially it tells the story of how the world was created originally with the water above the land, meaning it was a sphere of water with a gap between it and the sphere of rock at the center, as punishment for us "humans" being bad, God let the water fall to the Earth, flooding it and killing most of us...except those who were chosen to live (Aka Noah and his Ark)... So I guess the world he is planning will have that structure and the crisis is that the people have discovered the water is getting closer and closer to them...the magic system, if there is going to be one, will involve water, or something to counter water. Who knows what the Evil Genius will come up with, but that is what he was talking about!

Boostamonte Halvorsen So....Not telling you to rush anything...savor it all...but...honestly, get to the end of Oathbringer soon. I am within the last 100 pages and it's one of those moments, ya know?'ll be super fucked up, emotionally, mentally, and almost physically. I know he's not done, but this last bits of Oathbringer is (so far) his masterpiece--ultimately the whole Cosmere will be, but this right now, is the best thing he's ever written.

Get to it!!!!!!!!

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ lol Boostamonte I won't be reading Oathbringer this year. I'll probably pick it up in a couple of months! Seeing as it'll be the last Cosmere book I have to read I want to make sure I take my time and savor it! ☺️

Petrik Quite a lot of Dalinar in Oathbringer? no no no. A LOTTTT of Dalinar in Oathbringer! xD Great review though, Mary! Glad you enjoyed this one more than TWoK!

message 36: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan Awesome review, Mary!!

Don't worry, you'll have LOADS of Dalinar in Oathbringer. And politics too! And more worldbuilding... and more lore .. and more characterisation... you get the picture 😉

message 37: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan Oh and "Sanderson is expressing this story in the way that makes the most logical sense". I've come to terms with this as well.. it is his story to tell. Yes he may create characters you love so much that you just want more of them but at the end of the day, the storytelling still astounds regardless.

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Hehehe yay Petrik!! So excited for Dally!! Thank you my friend 🤗💕

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Ahhhh *screams* I'm so excited for Oathbringer oh my god. & oh yes same like I would probably harp on this point a bit more if it were 1. A different author or 2. A shorter series, but I think by the time it's all said and done I can trust Sanderson to give adequate time to everyone!

Miche Great review, Mary! You will get a lot of Dalinar with Oathbringer. :)

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Thank you Miche! Girl you don't know how excited I am to spend time with Dalinar I've missed him dearly! 💔😭

message 42: by Liam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liam Degnan Wonderful review, Mary! So happy you loved this one.

I can't agree more about Jasnah. We get more of her in the next book, but unfortunately I don't think she's going to get a primary POV in the series until after book five.

I can hold out for that though, because I really hope she gets her own set of flashbacks. She's my favorite female character, too.

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Thank you so much Liam!!

I am 1000% here for more Jasnah. Definitely will be in for the long haul but since it's Sanderson I can wait in relative peace lol. She's such a good character it'd be a shame not to integrate her even more into the story!

Nafeeza Splendid review Mary! The Honor is dead scene and the battle scene at the end are hands down some of favorites action scenes ever! I was spoiled about Jasnah when I was reading this by an update and was so pissed and salty about it the whole time b/c I kept looking for her throughout the whole book. Also I will fight you for Dalinar. 😉

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Thank you Naffy! 😘 Honor is Dead is literally brilliant! Oh shit what?? Damn that's a huge bummer I hate how people can't just keep their fucking spoilers to themselves. ISNT DALINAR MAGNIFICENT THO 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

Nafeeza YAS and YAS! Are you going to be reading Oathbringer soon?

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Probably a couple months from now! ☺️

Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰ Beautiful review, Mary xx

Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Thank you my sweet friend 😍☺️😘

message 50: by Nafeeza (last edited Dec 18, 2017 06:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nafeeza Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ wrote: "Probably a couple months from now! ☺️"

Ah- spacing it out I see. :)

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