Petrik's Reviews > Words of Radiance

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, owned-physical-books
Recommended for: epic/high fantasy fans
Read 2 times. Last read November 16, 2017 to November 22, 2017.

Okay, this is finally happening. I’m ranking The Stormlight Archive as my number one favorite book series of all time, overtaking the throne previously held by Mistborn trilogy, and I don’t think this will change anytime soon. The Gods of the Cosmere knows how much I love the original Mistborn trilogy but Brandon Sanderson really raised the bar for the epic fantasy genre sky high with this series.

Words of Radiance, only the second book in The Stormlight Archive series and the sequel to The Way of Kings, managed to build upon almost everything done by its predecessor and improve every element necessary to become a masterpiece. I’m certain the title of this book almost literally reflects its content; each word is structured to give radiance to your life simply from reading them.

The story still told from multiple POV and while still remaining mostly character driven, it's much more plot centered this time. Starting with the countdown mentioned in the beginning of the book, you're made aware that there will be a lot of twists and turns coming. The plot kept me glued to the book from cover to cover; it was so addictive to read and I couldn't wait to know more and see what happened with each page turned.

As I mentioned before, each book will shift its focus more on different specific main characters, and this time the focus rests on Shallan.

Picture: Shallan And The Chasmfiend, by emmgoyer7



Sanderson again managed to make me love a character who I wasn't the biggest fan of in their first book appearance. The first time this happened was with Steris from the Mistborn spinoffs, and now the same exact thing happened here with Shallan. Her character development in this novel is stunning, to say the least. She’s funny, lovable, and intelligent; it’s also really intriguing to see her relationship development with Kaladin, Adolin, Jasnah and Pattern. Her past is explored completely and the revelations in relating them to her current "smile" are very heartwarming.

Even though there’s a huge amount of development in and focus on Shallan, in my opinion the best storyline still comes from Kaladin’s POV; he's the main hero from The Way of Kings and from my perspective, the true main protagonist of this series. After seeing his background and development fleshed out in the first book, it’s really interesting to see how he develops into an even more amazing character by the end of this one, and Stormfather he did. Not only do the most intense and interesting plotlines come from his POV, but every single epic and badass moment literally involve his actions and existence.

Picture: “Honor is dead but I’ll see what I can do” by Vargasni



The world-building level improves again as there are more creatures, mythology, lore, and magic systems explored in this book. The scale of the world remains as grand as ever, and by now I think I know more about Alethkar, the Shattered Plains, than I know about my real country and its history. (I wish this is an exaggeration but it's not.)

The magic systems this time are explored in much more detail than in the previous book, especially in regards to the classes Windrunner and Lightweaver. I won’t give too many details on the magic system itself, because the book could do that for you. To simplify it, Windrunners deal with manipulating gravitational pulls and Lightweavers focus on creating illusions. A great example of the Windrunner ability could be seen from a PS4 video game called “Gravity Rush”. Look it up if you want to strengthen your imagination, or if you think the magic system will confuse you somehow, but here's an image preview of what I'm talking about.



Knowing the premise of the magic systems and simply from looking at the front cover of the book, you can predict there will be epic action sequences. There is much more action this time and nothing can even compare to the climax of this book. It’s honestly one of the craziest and most epic climax sequences I’ve ever read so far, even better than The Hero of Ages from the Mistborn trilogy or The Way of Kings. There are so many things happening in the last 150 pages of the book that I’m surprised I could still write a review for this. Remember my praise for the climax to The Way of Kings? Well, this one is superior by far, so prepare yourself to be mind-blown completely. Here is the front cover of the Polish version of Words of Radiance if you need more convincing.



Like in the previous book, the only con I have about this book is again, it’s not long enough and the sequel to this book is not out yet. 1090 pages long and filled with a whopping 400k word inside, and yet when I flipped the last page and closed the book, I still craved for more. When the realization that the sequel isn’t here yet dawned on me, I was crushed.

Binge reading this series inflicted me with a symptom which I called “The Stormlight Archive's Hangover”. Basically, it means I can’t start another epic fantasy other than this series for a while without the implication of giving them an unfair rating. My heart and soul still remain in Roshar, with the characters I care about deeply because of Sanderson's writing; which always made every detail so vivid and immersive.

Words of Radiance is the perfect example of the kind of experience I’m looking for in a book. It’s the reason why I read and why epic fantasy will always be my favorite genre. The epic fantasy genre has The Lord of the Rings in the past, A Song of Ice & Fire in the present, and for the future, this genre has The Stormlight Archive series to look forward to. By the conclusion of this series, I’m sure it will surpass both those series mentioned; it already has for me. The Stormlight Archive series is the mark of epic fantasy at its best. There's absolutely no reason you should skip this series if you're a fan of epic/high fantasy genre; I really hope we could go through this series together, telling stories and living these tales with our future generations.

Side note:
I’m really glad I read Warbreaker first before reading this as two specific characters from there made an appearance here!


You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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Quotes Petrik Liked

Brandon Sanderson
“Words are where most change begins.”
Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Brandon Sanderson
“I ain't grouchy,” Teft snapped. “I just have a low threshold for stupidity.”
Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Brandon Sanderson
“All stories told have been told before. We tell them to ourselves, as did all men who ever were. And all men who ever will be. The only things new are the names.”
Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Brandon Sanderson
“Why hasn't anyone killed him yet?”
“Dumb luck,” Wit said. “In that I’m lucky you’re all so dumb.”
Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Brandon Sanderson
“The only time you seem honest is when you’re insulting someone!”
“The only honest things I can say to you are insults.”
Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Brandon Sanderson
“You sent him to the sky to die, assassin," Kaladin said, Stormlight puffing from his lips, "but the sky and the winds are mine. I claim them, as I now claim your life.”
Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Brandon Sanderson
“Honor is dead. But I'll see what I can do.”
Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Brandon Sanderson
“He saw it in her eyes. The anguish, the frustration. The terrible nothing that clawed inside and sought to smother her. She knew. It was there, inside. She had been broken.

Then she smiled. Oh, storms. She smiled anyway.

It was the single most beautiful thing he’d seen in his entire life.”
Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Brandon Sanderson
“Do not let your assumptions about a culture block your ability to perceive the individual, or you will fail.”
Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance


Reading Progress

September 9, 2016 – Shelved
December 10, 2016 – Started Reading
December 10, 2016 –
page 0
0.0% "Ending 2016 with a storm. This will be the last book I'll read in 2016!"
December 12, 2016 –
page 315
28.98% "I'm loving this series more and more helpppppp! \nShallan now grows to be one of the best bullshitter I've ever encountered holy shit, she could bullshit her way through any kind of danger."
December 13, 2016 –
page 514
47.29% "wait a minute, is Zahel who I think he is? someone from <spoiler>Warbreaker</spoiler>??? I won't mention the name cause most people here like to live dangerously and click the spoiler tag XD"
December 13, 2016 –
page 547
50.32% "Day 3 of reading Words of Radiance. *Realized I'm already halfway through the book* NOOOOO I need to savor this moreeeee :'{"
December 14, 2016 –
page 723
66.51% ""Honor is dead but I'll see what I can do" this scene... the badass moment is off the chart."
December 16, 2016 – Finished Reading
November 16, 2017 – Started Reading
November 20, 2017 –
page 680
62.56% ""Honor is dead but I'll see what I can do." still one of my favorite scene out of any book I've ever read. That said, 400 pages left in my reread... Oathbringer, I'm near!"
November 22, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 150 (150 new)


message 1: by Cillian (new) - added it

Cillian Unless you speed through it and then have room for one more...
;)


Lema I inhaled it in 4-5 days, so it might not be your last :D


message 3: by Bethany (new)

Bethany You are FLYING through this series!


message 4: by Ella Emilia (new)

Ella Emilia Oh this book is just so amazing, but don't stress your way through it! Because the next isn't coming out 'til November next year :'( I finished it in 5 days and I'm cursing myself


Petrik Bethany wrote: "You are FLYING through this series!"

It's the best Bethany!

Lema wrote: "I inhaled it in 4-5 days, so it might not be your last :D"

it will be my last Lema, I finished it today. I don't think can read any book for a while. I'm in a major book hangover right now, not a book slump but I can't read any book other than this.


Celeste Lovely review, darling! I can't wait to get to this one. Congrats and condolences on finishing. ;)


Haïfa (O_O) I'm baffled ! Amazing review Petrik ! Truly, I felt and experienced every word you said!

And to go back to one of your thoughts regarding Shallan, I thought about this beautiful beautiful quote (view spoiler)


Petrik Celeste wrote: "Lovely review, darling! I can't wait to get to this one. Congrats and condolences on finishing. ;)"

Thank you love, this series is amazing, honestly I'm so speechless right now. I'm super sad right now, so many emotions going through me currently. :'(:'

Ella Emilia wrote: "Oh this book is just so amazing, but don't stress your way through it! Because the next isn't coming out 'til November next year :'( I finished it in 5 days and I'm cursing myself"

I finished it one hour ago and I'm already cursing myself Ella.


Petrik Haïfoun wrote: "(O_O) I'm baffled ! Amazing review Petrik ! Truly, I felt and experienced every word you said!

And to go back to one of your thoughts regarding Shallan, I thought about this beautiful beautiful qu..."


Thank you my dear friend!! That means a lot to me! And yes, that scene is the one I'm trying to say but I don't want to spoil anyone. It was so beautiful I literally shed a tear :')


message 10: by C-shaw (new)

C-shaw You've made me move this up higher on my to-read list. Thanks for your review and most of all, for your enthusiasm. That means so much to me when considering a book.


Haïfa But I think you should read something completely different now! LOL a classic or historical fiction ! Because nothing in Fantasy would measure up at this point! :-/ (I would advise you wait before you start Riyiria!)


 ZeN Great Review. I welcome you to the TSA is our favorite series of all time club.


A girL has no name As Lift would phrase it, 'Awesome' review, Petrik! :D
And to think we'd have to go through eight more books of this epic series...
Oh, and (view spoiler)


message 14: by L A i N E Y (new)

L A i N E Y Whoa this is huuu~ge it took 1st place from Mistborn series?! I know how much you love that ;) This must be something even more special then. Nice!


Petrik ZeN-son-son-Vallano wrote: "Great Review. I welcome you to the TSA is our favorite series of all time club."

Thank you Zen, it's good to be here in the club!

C-shaw wrote: "You've made me move this up higher on my to-read list. Thanks for your review and most of all, for your enthusiasm. That means so much to me when considering a book."

Thank you C-shaw!! it means a lot to me for you to say that. I hope you'll enjoy this series!


Petrik A girl has no name wrote: "As Lift would phrase it, 'Awesome' review, Petrik! :D
And to think we'd have to go through eight more books of this epic series...
Oh, and [spoilers removed]"


Thank you Al!!! this is really a series of a lifetime! (view spoiler)

oh! lainey wrote: "Whoa this is huuu~ge it took 1st place from Mistborn series?! I know how much you love that ;) This must be something even more special then. Nice!"

Yes lainey! I love the Mistborn series so much but this, this is simply on another level and it;s only the second book out of ten book! :D


Petrik Haïfoun wrote: "But I think you should read something completely different now! LOL a classic or historical fiction ! Because nothing in Fantasy would measure up at this point! :-/ (I would advise you wait before ..."

Very great advice Hai! I won't read any fantasy books for at least a month. I think I'll read some sci-fi, autobiography or historical fiction between that but I definitely need a week break from reading. I'm so overwhelmed by the quality of this book. Riyria will definitely have to wait sadly :/


message 18: by Bethany (new)

Bethany I just can't believe that this is planned to be a TEN book series!!! I often think I should wait until a whole series comes out to start reading it... but I don't think I can wait long enough for ten books to come out!


Tiger Hebert It is currently my favorite series too! Just so much awesomeness.


message 20: by Melika (last edited Dec 16, 2016 08:57AM) (new)

Melika Lux You finished it! Hooray! Now take a break and read some short stories to up your 2016 "books read" total. It's not cheating at all, I swear! If Goodreads lists them as books, who am I to say otherwise? ;P *hugs*


Petrik Tiger wrote: "It is currently my favorite series too! Just so much awesomeness."

Too much awesomeness too much. I'm so amazed!

Bethany wrote: "I just can't believe that this is planned to be a TEN book series!!! I often think I should wait until a whole series comes out to start reading it... but I don't think I can wait long enough for t..."

That's usually the case for me Bethany but trust me you want to get started on this one! I don't think it's possible to receive all the details just from reading it once anyway. I know when I re-read I'll realize I missed some tidbits.


Petrik Melika wrote: "You finished it! Hooray! Now take a break and read some short stories to up your 2016 "books read" total. It's not cheating at all, I swear! If Goodreads lists them as books, who am I to say otherw..."

Haha Melika! XD I'll be taking a break from reading for at least a week and then I'll see if my mood to read are back cause right now I can already feel the book hangover coming strong. I'll definitely read sci-fi or other genre though.


message 23: by Melika (new)

Melika Lux Petrik wrote: "Melika wrote: "You finished it! Hooray! Now take a break and read some short stories to up your 2016 "books read" total. It's not cheating at all, I swear! If Goodreads lists them as books, who am ..."

I know what you mean. I had that same, "What's the point? Nothing can top this!" feeling after I read The Lord of the Rings. I hope you enjoy your hiatus, my friend! :D


Petrik Melika wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Melika wrote: "You finished it! Hooray! Now take a break and read some short stories to up your 2016 "books read" total. It's not cheating at all, I swear! If Goodreads lists them as..."

Thank you Melika you're too kind! I'll enjoy it as best as I could :D


message 25: by Tosh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tosh Nice review Petrik :) It's amazing that such a huge book can still leave you wanting more, and in a good way. Can't wait for the third book!!


Petrik Tosh wrote: "Nice review Petrik :) It's amazing that such a huge book can still leave you wanting more, and in a good way. Can't wait for the third book!!"

Thank you Tosh!! I know, these books are massive and yet I already can't wait for the third book!! :)


message 27: by Warda (new)

Warda Such a great review! With the way things ended, I can't even fathom what book 3 is going to be like. I'm sure it'll be even better then WoK and WoR!


message 28: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan Very well said Petrik.. great passionate review, as always :)


Petrik Warda wrote: "Such a great review! With the way things ended, I can't even fathom what book 3 is going to be like. I'm sure it'll be even better then WoK and WoR!"

Thank you Warda!! Honestly it will be crazy to top this one but if anyone can do it, Sanderson's the only on can. :)


Petrik TS wrote: "Very well said Petrik.. great passionate review, as always :)"

Thank you very much TS!!


Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Yay!! Petrik I'm so glad you loved this your review makes me so excited to read it!! Great job love!


Petrik Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ wrote: "Yay!! Petrik I'm so glad you loved this your review makes me so excited to read it!! Great job love!"

aww thank you Mary! :') I love this series & Mistborn so much. I'll be waiting for you to read this one love!


message 33: by Jethplain (new) - added it

Jethplain This has gotten me sooo excited to read this!


message 34: by Nate (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nate How can I go back in time to the point right before I read this so that I can re-experience the awesomeness and see what your review inspires for this book? I mean, wow, great review and I agree: an amazing book, if not the best.


message 35: by Petrik (last edited Dec 16, 2016 10:48PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Petrik Nate wrote: "How can I go back in time to the point right before I read this so that I can re-experience the awesomeness and see what your review inspires for this book? I mean, wow, great review and I agree: a..."

shit, thank you so much man for the kind words!! probably the best right now Nate! I just finished it yesterday and I'm already looking forward to a reread of this series but I'll save it for November when Oathbringer comes out :D

Jethplain wrote: "This has gotten me sooo excited to read this!"

I'm glad it got you excited Jeth! and you really should be, if you're a lover of epic fantasy this is one series you don't want to miss!


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

TS Chan Haïfoun wrote: "But I think you should read something completely different now! LOL a classic or historical fiction ! Because nothing in Fantasy would measure up at this point! :-/ (I would advise you wait before ..."

Yea.. cos that will be a shame cos Riyria is also amazing but need to get over the epic fanatasy hangover first.


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

TS Chan Nate wrote: "How can I go back in time to the point right before I read this so that I can re-experience the awesomeness and see what your review inspires for this book? I mean, wow, great review and I agree: a..."

Right??? I wish I can wipe my memory of these books so I can experience it for the the first time again.


Petrik TS wrote: "Haïfoun wrote: "But I think you should read something completely different now! LOL a classic or historical fiction ! Because nothing in Fantasy would measure up at this point! :-/ (I would advise ..."

Exactly TS & Haifa! Once I get over this epic fantasy hangover I think I'll start my fantasy read again with either Gentleman Bastard or Riyria! :)


Petrik TS wrote: "Right??? I wish I can wipe my memory of these books so I can experience it for the the first time again."

Me too TS me too ;')


Eon ♒Windrunner♒  And so another person adds WoR to the best of the best of the best shelf! Excellent review Petrik! :D

The hangover on thus one is a biaatch though. On the positive side, you can now read Lift's novella in Arcanum Unbounded.


message 41: by Petrik (last edited Dec 17, 2016 05:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Petrik Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "And so another person adds WoR to the best of the best of the best shelf! Excellent review Petrik! :D

The hangover on thus one is a biaatch though. On the positive side, you can now read Lift's no..."


Thank you Eon!! It;s truly the best of the best. The hangover is horrible though that's for sure. Yeah! my copy should be here next month so I still have some Cosmere's work to look forward to! :)


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

Lema Epic review Petrik!! I like how you said that LOTR is our past, ASIOAF is our present and SA is our future! I sincerely hope that they will give it all it's due when they turn it into movies/series whatever.
After reading Book 2 though my love for Dalinar has taken a whole new level!! I'm so afraid for my babies in future books, Sanderson is fearless when it comes to killing faves :'(


Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷ Best book ever. Enough said.


message 44: by Petrik (last edited Dec 17, 2016 07:03AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Petrik Lema wrote: "Epic review Petrik!! I like how you said that LOTR is our past, ASIOAF is our present and SA is our future! I sincerely hope that they will give it all it's due when they turn it into movies/series..."

Thank you very much Lema!! I actually have negative expectations for the movies/series. I'm pretty sure it will suck so bad unless they make each book adaptation a trilogy, which is impossible. I have a bad feeling that Dalinar will not survive in the 3rd book but we'll see what Sanderson prepare for us in November! :)


message 45: by Katie (new)

Katie I kind of struggled to get into Elantris but I really want to try another one of his books! Is this a good Brandon Sanderson novel to start with?


Petrik Katie wrote: "I kind of struggled to get into Elantris but I really want to try another one of his books! Is this a good Brandon Sanderson novel to start with?"

I haven't read Elantris but I heard it's one of his weakest book. I strongly suggest you start with Mistborn trilogy Katie! It's now my 2nd favorite series of all time and it's a great start for anyone who wanted to dive into Sanderson's work! Please, give it a try Katie! :)

Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷ wrote: "Best book ever. Enough said."

No argument from me there Layla! :)


message 47: by Katie (new)

Katie I'll give the misborn trilogy a go then! Thanks


Nafeeza Great review Petrik! I finally finished it and it did not disappoint. My heart is soaring.


Petrik Katie wrote: "I'll give the misborn trilogy a go then! Thanks"

Yeay, you're welcome Katie! I hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Nafeeza wrote: "Great review Petrik! I finally finished it and it did not disappoint. My heart is soaring."

Thank you Nafeeza! YES!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it Nafeeza!! My heart is still soaring too til now! :D


message 50: by Jethplain (new) - added it

Jethplain I would never miss this!


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