Celeste's Reviews > Words of Radiance

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, favorites, monstrously-large, best-books-i-ve-ever-read

Full review now posted!

I have a new favorite book, and it’s this one! Words of Radiance was powerful and moving and epic in both size and scope. There is absolutely no negative feedback I could give this book. I know I had some friends that were disappointed in how long it took me to read this, and the fact that I paused and read a few other books. But there’s a reason for that! When I truly love a story with all of my heart, I don’t want to the book I’m reading to end. So I’ll put it down and read something else for a while, giving myself a reason to stretch out my stay in the world I don’t want to leave. And that’s what I did here. This book is huge, even bigger than The Way of Kings. My “little” mass-marked paperback is 1310 pages long. Its basically a colorful brick. But it never felt like it dragged; in fact, I would’ve been completely happy with another thousand pages.

Since I was young, I have loved the fantasy genre with all of my heart. It transports you in a way nothing else does, in my opinion. And no series has ever transported me and enthralled me quite as much as the Stormlight Archive. The world Sanderson has built here is the most unique I have ever read. The flora and fauna are completely unique from our world. The magic system (like all of Sanderson’s magic systems) is vast and varied and well fleshed-out while still retaining an air of mystery, and the religion of the land ties into that remarkably well. All of the world-building is beyond compare, but what makes this series truly shine are Sanderson’s characters.

Some of my very favorite fantasies have focused mainly on the lives of single individuals. Harry Potter, Kvothe, Ender Wiggins, Locke Lamora, Percy Jackson, Thomas Hunter, Errol Stone, Karou, Meg Corbyn, Mercy Thompson, Bilbo Baggins, and many more (though fewer female characters than I’d like, since I can’t make myself include Katniss or Tris) have been the nearly complete focus of their stories, and I love that. But a lot of fantasies now are choosing to focus on more and more perspectives. Which is completely fine, I just end up picking favorites. In A Song of Ice and Fire, I prefer reading about Tyrion and Danaerys and Arya and Bran than I do Cersei or Jaime or the other Starks. Picking favorites just happens. But so far, that is most definitely not the case with the Stormlight Archive. Every perspective is fantastic, and every character carries their weight in the story. I never caught myself counting the pages until I got back to one of my favorite characters, because they’re all my favorites! And each character has grown so much since being introduced in the first book (which was amazing in its own right, but this one blew it out of the water) that I couldn’t wait to see what new decisions they made and how they changed. I’ve grown really attached to just about every character in the vast cast Sanderson has assembled. There’s determination, despair, romance, hatred, philosophy, stupidity, and humor. A lot of humor!

Another thing I love about Sanderson is that the man knows how to write an ending. The last two hundred pages or so were intense. There was an insane amount of action, character breakthroughs, discoveries, plot twists, new appearances and reappearances. Also, this book begins tying threads of the Cosmere together, which was SO MUCH FUN to read! There were threads in The Way of Kings, but Words of Radiance brought those a bit more to the reader’s attention and built on them further. Sanderson’s creation of the Cosmere is incredibly ambitious, and I can’t wait to see how everything comes together. Which is more than likely going to take decades. But with his work ethic and imagination, I’m excited about the future of the Cosmere instead of despairing of the long road ahead. And good news; the third volume of the Stormlight Archive, Oathbringer, is set to release this November, so we have another installment to look forward to soon!

A buddy read with my friend Chris.

Read all of my reviews, along with my fiction and thoughts on life, at my blog, Celestial Musings.
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Reading Progress

December 11, 2016 – Shelved
December 11, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
January 17, 2017 – Started Reading
January 17, 2017 –
page 18
1.66% "I'd be pretty freaked out too, if my shadow was suddenly pointing in the wrong direction."
January 18, 2017 –
page 65
5.98% "Some many Bridge Four feels. :')"
January 18, 2017 –
page 115
10.58% "I can't decide if Pattern is cute or creepy. Interesting, without a doubt."
January 18, 2017 –
page 130
11.96% ""We have to be consistent," she said, leaning in conspiratorially. "Or we'll break your brains.""
January 18, 2017 –
page 145
13.34% ""I am a stick.""
January 18, 2017 –
page 157
14.44% "“My other hand?” Lopen said. “The one that was cut off long ago, eaten by a fearsome beast? It is making a rude gesture toward you right now. I thought you would wish to know, so that you can prepare to be insulted.”"
January 19, 2017 –
page 179
16.47% "Hey a new character that I really like! Maybe they'll stick around for a... Aaaannnd they're gone."
January 19, 2017 –
page 197
18.12% "This book needs more pictures."
January 19, 2017 –
page 265
24.38% "Zahel is so cool. And a little scary."
January 19, 2017 –
page 314
28.89% "Sleep is for the weak.

Unfortunately, I am weak."
January 20, 2017 –
page 343
31.55% ""I am liking your boots. You will apology with boots.""
January 20, 2017 –
page 394
36.25% "The end of Part 2 was INSANE. Shallan is fierce."
January 21, 2017 –
page 414
38.09% ""The man was a dear, but he was a touch overprotective. In the way a highstorm was a touch windy.""
January 21, 2017 –
page 427
39.28% "The banter between Shallan and Kaladin is killing me. The sass level is through the roof."
January 21, 2017 –
page 464
42.69% "I think I might love Sebarial and Palona. They seem more like real, genuine people than a lot of the other characters. It's really refreshing. Even if Sebarial is kind of terrible."
January 22, 2017 –
page 556
51.15% "Ooooohhhh.... We're halfway there...."
January 28, 2017 –
page 570
52.44% ""Yay for originality!"

I'm so happy to be reading this again. Woo hoo!! I missed you, book."
January 30, 2017 –
page 617
56.76% "I want to be able to drink in Stormlight and Lash myself to the sky and fly. That was a gorgeous scene. *dreamy sigh*"
January 31, 2017 –
page 637
58.6% ""All people are musicians. The question is whether or not they share their songs."

That quote gets me, man. Also, I won't mention who said it, but I AM SO GLAD HE'S BACK."
January 31, 2017 –
page 681
62.65% ""Honor is dead, but I'll see what I can do."

That was INTENSE."
February 1, 2017 –
page 730
67.16% ""All stories 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.""
February 2, 2017 –
page 795
73.14% ""As I fear not a child with a weapon he cannot lift, I will never fear the mind of a man who does not think.""
February 2, 2017 –
page 837
77.0% "“I think hanging people is a poor choice of professions for an executioner. Better to be the guy with an axe.”

He frowned at her.

"You see,” she said, “with the axe, it’s easier to get ahead. . . .”

And the award for most atrocious pun goes to..."
February 3, 2017 –
page 849
78.1% "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.

MY HEART IS BROKEN. *rocks self in a corner and sobs inconsolably*"
February 3, 2017 –
page 905
83.26% "Taravangian is super interesting. Tough life, though."
February 4, 2017 –
page 1017
93.56% "THE WORDS ARE ACCEPTED."
February 5, 2017 –
page 1064
97.88% "Hello. Would you like to destroy some evil today?

*screeches and dies*"
February 5, 2017 –
page 1078
99.17% "I KNEW IT. They're baaaaaaack....

*fangirls and dies again*

The end of the book is killing me, if ya can't tell."
February 5, 2017 –
page 1086
99.91% "Pretty sure this is the best book I've ever read. My goodness, what I ride. I need some time to process before I write a review, but it will be coming soon!"
February 5, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 6, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
February 6, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
February 6, 2017 – Shelved as: monstrously-large
October 1, 2017 – Shelved as: best-books-i-ve-ever-read

Comments Showing 1-50 of 55 (55 new)


☽Luna☾ Such an awesome review ! So glad you loved it


Celeste Thanks, love. It was FANTASTIC!!


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex Great Review Celeste!


Celeste Thank you so much, Alex! ;-)


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex I need to read this series! Lol.


Celeste Yes ma'am you do!!


☽Luna☾ So the biggest question here is (view spoiler)


message 8: by David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party (last edited Feb 06, 2017 01:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party "My “little” mass-marked paperback is 1310 pages long. Its basically a colorful brick."

That cracked me up! xD

Brilliant review as always, Celeste!


Caleb M. Another spectacular review from you Celeste! I hope Sanderson can keep the momentum going in this series. I find that authors run out of steam with big boy series like this. The original Mistborn trilogy is some of my favorite books. And while I love era 1.5 of Mistborn, it's not nearly as entertaining as the original trilogy. They aren't bad books, just not as epic. I could say more, but I will stop before I wrote a novel about it :)


Celeste ☽Luna☾ wrote: "So the biggest question here is [spoilers removed]"

(view spoiler)


Celeste David "proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party" wrote: "
"My “little” mass-marked paperback is 1310 pages long. Its basically a colorful brick."

That cracked me up! xD Brilliant review as always, Celeste!"


Thank you so much, David. Happy to amuse!


Celeste Thank you, Caleb! I most definitely hope the same!!


☽Luna☾ Oh I also loved that twist ! :)


Celeste Thanks, Craig! It was wonderful. :)


message 15: by Haïfa (last edited Feb 06, 2017 01:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Haïfa Great review love!! I'm so happy you loved it so much ! Now welcome to the "waiting party" ! ;-)


Celeste Thanks, dear! *waits anxiously with Haïfa and all the other Sandersonites*


message 17: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan Awesome review dearie! Looking forward to reading Oathbringer together ;)


Celeste Thanks, love! That's going to be one MASSIVE buddy read! I can't wait! No, seriously. Is it November yet? ;-p


message 19: by Lena (new)

Lena Great review. You are the reason I bought The Way of Kings which I hope to start later this month.


Petrik Great review Celeste! glad you really enjoyed it. Can't wait for Oathbringer! :)


Celeste Aw, thanks Lena! That's incredibly flattering. I really hope you enjoy it. I'll be keeping an eye out for your review!


Celeste Thank you, love. It was seriously amazing. I can't wait to buddy read Oathbringer with you!!!


message 23: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan Celeste wrote: "Thanks, love! That's going to be one MASSIVE buddy read! I can't wait! No, seriously. Is it November yet? ;-p"

It might literally be a sitewide Buddy Read for all fantasy fans ;)


Petrik TS wrote: "Celeste wrote: "Thanks, love! That's going to be one MASSIVE buddy read! I can't wait! No, seriously. Is it November yet? ;-p"

It might literally be a sitewide Buddy Read for all fantasy fans ;)"


I'm actually thinking of staying away from GR during this period. Really scared of spoilers, if someone spoil me on Oathbringer, no kidding i'll block and delete the person


Celeste I feel the same. Most of my Sanderson friends are pretty good about not posting spoilers, though.


message 26: by Nafeeza (last edited Feb 06, 2017 06:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nafeeza When we do the BR over at BB&B and everything is spoiler tagged so don't worry about that but you may have to stay away from the GR feed though.


Nafeeza Great review Celeste, so happy you loved it!


Petrik Nafeeza wrote: "When we do the BR over at BB&B and everything is spoiler tagged so don't worry about that but you may have to stay away from the GR feed though."

It's the feeds! The feeds are the scary one. They come without any warning and are usually in huge letters as if saying "i'm spoilingggggg youuuu biatchhhh yeeehawwwww"


Petrik Celeste wrote: "I feel the same. Most of my Sanderson friends are pretty good about not posting spoilers, though."

I think i'll just switch my feeds to reviews only to be safe. :D


Celeste Perfect idea!!!


Nafeeza Petrik wrote: "Nafeeza wrote: "When we do the BR over at BB&B and everything is spoiler tagged so don't worry about that but you may have to stay away from the GR feed though."

It's the feeds! The feeds are the ..."


Grrr - I know... I got spoiled with WoR.


Celeste And thank you, Nafeeza! :)


message 33: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan That is a great idea Petrik! And you are so right about spoilers, although the buddy readers at BB&B are pretty good at using spoiler tags.

Having said that, I might be so engrossed reading that I'll forget to visit Goodreads.


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

TS Chan Nafeeza wrote: "Grrr - I know... I got spoiled with WoR"

WHAAATTT??? Who. Was. It?????


Nafeeza TS wrote: "That is a great idea Petrik! And you are so right about spoilers, although the buddy readers at BB&B are pretty good at using spoiler tags.

Having said that, I might be so engrossed reading that ..."


Don't you dare. We must be there to talk about all the greatness of the book!! :P


Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ Great review my sweet! This really makes me excited to read Stormlight omg!


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

TS Chan Nafeeza wrote: "Don't you dare. We must be there to talk about all the greatness of the book!! :P "

Err.. oops! Yes, Your Highness! ;)


message 38: by Nafeeza (last edited Feb 06, 2017 07:19PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nafeeza TS wrote: "Nafeeza wrote: "Grrr - I know... I got spoiled with WoR"

WHAAATTT??? Who. Was. It?????"


I don't remember, It just showed up in my feed while I was reading WoR. The kicker is that it was a friend of a friend, I wanted to die. It was about (for those just joining us don't read spoiler if you haven't finished WoR)(view spoiler)


Celeste Thanks, darling! I've loved everything I've read from Sanderson, but Stormlight is just in a league of its own. I hope you read it soon, because I know you'll love it!! :D


Celeste Nafeeza wrote: "TS wrote: "Nafeeza wrote: "Grrr - I know... I got spoiled with WoR"

WHAAATTT??? Who. Was. It?????"

I don't remember, It just showed up in my feed while I was reading WoR. The kicker is that it wa..."


That's a HUGE spoiler. I'm so sorry!


Nafeeza TS wrote: "Nafeeza wrote: "Don't you dare. We must be there to talk about all the greatness of the book!! :P "

Err.. oops! Yes, Your Highness! ;)"


You are like the 3rd person on here to call me that within 2 weeks. I think I like it... Like it I do *off to buy a crown to go with my new title*


Nafeeza Celeste wrote: "Nafeeza wrote: "TS wrote: "Nafeeza wrote: "Grrr - I know... I got spoiled with WoR"

WHAAATTT??? Who. Was. It?????"

I don't remember, It just showed up in my feed while I was reading WoR. The kick..."


I know, I had to put the book down for months... before I was able to finally finished it


Nafeeza Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ wrote: "Great review my sweet! This really makes me excited to read Stormlight omg!"

READ IT YOU MUST!


message 44: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan Nafeeza wrote: "TS wrote: "Nafeeza wrote: "Grrr - I know... I got spoiled with WoR"

WHAAATTT??? Who. Was. It?????"

I don't remember, It just showed up in my feed while I was reading WoR. The kicker is that it wa..."


That is just so stupid. Sorry that happened to you.


Nafeeza Thanks ladies. No worries I was still able to enjoy it tremendously b/c Kal, Dalinar and Adolin and Szeth were so awesome!! Best fight scenes ever written. (view spoiler) In the end I was so satisfied and happy I didn't care anymore.


Eon ♒Windrunner♒  Wonderful review for a sublime book Celeste. Whenever I think of how mindblowingly good this book is I am also reminded that this is only the second book in the series. I can only imagine what Sanderson has in in store for us next :D


message 47: by edge of bubble (new)

edge of bubble awesome review Celeste. you made me want to drop everything and run to buy it!


Becky Marie ITS THE BEST SERIES!!!!


Celeste IT REALLY IS!!!


ChopinFC I'm in the middle of the first novel 'Way of King's', and absolutely loving it! Got even more excited about reading Words of Radiance from your review! thanks.


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