Book: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Fun, Support Local Authors
From: I bought it!
Short Synopsis: Ha... short? Yeah, right. I'll try. So this book takes up were the first one, The Way of Kings, leaves off. We have Shallan, along with her teacher Jasnah, traveling to come to the Shattered Plains to further their research, and to hopefully get what she (Shallan) needs to help her brothers. Kaladin, meanwhile, is already at the Shattered Plains and is now a captain of the guard. Sweet! His Bridge Four guys are treated with much respect and they are teaching their method of leadership to other companies. Dalinar, the king's uncle (who basically runs the show) has him (Kalladin) close at hand at a lot because he can sense there's something about him. Understatement, that. Well. Things happen. Shallan ends up there, but not as she expects. When she and Kaladin meet for the first time... it is... just... fabulous. But she is engaged to Dalinar's son, Adolin. And they hit it off.
And then more stuff happens. And then things get intense and just... awesome. Both Shallan and Kaladin learn new skills and discover some pretty cool secrets. The spren (cool creatures that I in no way can explain in my "short" synopsis) play a big roll. The strange marbled people (Parshendi) are weird and fascinating, and they want to start a war with Dalinar and his people. So the whole book is basically a lead up to this war with Shallan and Kaladin being put in place to play a significant role.
My Response: As I mentioned in my half way mark post awhile back, the pages turn quickly, but it seems like it takes many pages before "stuff happens." But when stuff happens, it happens in a big way and I love it. But the stuff in between is fascinating and cool and engaging too, so you know, it doesn't really matter. I loved the characters just as much this time as in the first book. Shallan really comes to her own in this book. Wow. And Kaladin is just as cool as ever. And Adolin? I hardly remember him from the first book, but he is a blast in this one! Brandon Sanderson is known for his world building, which is awesome, but he truly does have a handle on the whole character development too. We talk a lot about how much we love bantering between characters and let's just say that Shallan and Kaladin have this down! So much fun! They get stuck together at one point and these scenes were definitely my favorites of the whole book.
Bottom Line: Even thought it took me several months to read this book, I loved it and especially those last 200 pages... totally edge of your seat stuff. I'm hooked on this series, no question.
Let's Talk About: When people talk about this author, they always talk about his world building and magic systems. And some people enjoy fantasy because of these things and others could take it or leave. So I'm wondering, what do you think about these two components to fantasy story telling? Do you pay attention to them? Or do you get too wrapped up in the story and/or its characters to even think about it? Does the world building make or break the book? Do you think about magic enough to ponder how it works in certain books? Do you think that sometimes these things can be overdone? Or too simple? I'd love to know what you think!
Words of Radiance (****) is a good book beset by minor problems: dialogue issues, a languid pace and often irrelevant-feeling (though often individually fun) side-chapters. At the same time it features much-improved characters, superior worldbuilding and some impressive action set-pieces. From The Wertzone
Ultimately, it is a beautiful book, a work of art in many ways that is a great length and a worthy addition to the epic fantasy lexicon that will look just great on your bookshelf when you’re done. From Bookbanter
Sanderson can still move at a slow pace sometimes, and the morality of his characters is frequently too black and white, but this series is an amazing achievement. From Chamber Four
This final scene is perhaps one of the better volume conclusions that Sanderson has written and despite my near-antipathy for many of the novel's component elements, I am curious enough that I will read the third volume whenever it is released. From The Of Blog