Book Review: Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson

Details: Written by Brandon Sanderson. More information can be found at https://brandonsanderson.com/books/the-stormlight-archive/words-of-radiance/

Score: 7/10

Words of Radiance is the second book in the Stormlight Archive, a series of fantasy books written by Brandon Sanderson. The first book was The Way of Kings, the third book is Oathbringer. I read somewhere that this was meant to be a ten book series though we are only up to the third book. Words of Radiance continues a story that takes place in a world of kings, knights, spirits, and supernatural powers.

Words of Radiance picks up shortly after The Way of Kings. Kaladin has been promoted to the royal guard by Dalinar, Dalinar continues his attempts to unify the kingdom, and Shallan continues Jasnah’s research into the ancient city of Urithiru and the Voidbringers.

We live in a post Game of Thrones universe. As such, its hard to discuss any fantasy novel without some comparison to Game of Thrones. Whereas Game of Thrones subverts expectations and plays off tropes, Words of Radiance is a “classical” fantasy story that plays into all the tropes and builds a story that works towards a satisfying climax where the good guys wins and the bad guys lose. This is a standard fantasy story that seeks to build a world with heroes and magic and to bring the reader into that world.

Like in The Way of Kings, Sanderson spends a lot of words simply describing the world. I enjoy the descriptiveness of his language while also disliking how far Sanderson goes to over describe things. I will say that Words of Radiance is a lot less overly wordy than The Way of Kings, likely because this book is a sequel and a lot of the foundation of this fantasy world was laid in the prior book.

My favorite scenes were the climactic action scenes. Sanderson does a great job describing these scenes and creating a progression in these big fights. Sanderson is also good at setting up these scenes, though many of the parts of the story that helps set up these climaxes were kind of boring.

Overall, if you like the fantasy genre, then you need to read this book. I don’t recommend you read this book if you did not read the first one since there are a lot of continuing plot points.

Score: 7/10

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