I’ve finished this for a few days already but I’m having trouble describing my experience. I keep defaulting to, “It’s awesome!” and can’t seem to get past that.
Title: Words of Radiance
Series: The Stormlight Archive; Book 2
Author: Brandon Sanderson
ROTS Setting: Cosmere, Magic, Big Swords
Synopsis: At the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.
Recommendation: This book (& everything Sanderson) is highly recommended!
When I think of a book series or sequels I often picture them going on after the next, from left to right, as if I’m walking along a street looking inside store windows. But with this book it felt more like the second floor of a skyscraper, like it’s build directly above the first. Same layout, same design, same materials.
This is great because The Way of Kings was flipping amazing and when digging into this book we weren’t bogged down with a ton of recap or a huge time jump to explain what happened. Instead we pick up right where the first left off and hit the ground running.
The only downside I can see for this style of writing is length of time between publications. Too much time and it might be tricky trying to get back into it. Even that should be fairly minimal as Mr. Sanderson managed to phrase things just right to remind the reader of exactly what it needed without having to backtrack and expound. There’s a talent there that’s almost imperceptible……exactly what it should be.
The world continues to sharpen and deepen…….And that’s all that’s needed to be said. If you don’t know Sanderson’s worldbuilding already then there isn’t much more I can say. It needs to be experienced. Every new element fascinates me and each new detail draws me in further.
The main characters were the same as the first book. Kaladin, Shallan, and Dalinar.
Kaladin has this weird developmental hiccup. He goes crazy then wonders why stuff happens, regrets it, does nothing, then spren-ex-machina……again. There was something in the initial stages of this whole sequence of events that felt just a touch artificial, like he was too good and too perfect so lets throw something at him just to mess him up. In the end I’m ok with it all, but he got seriously stupid there and I’m not likely to trust his character again.
What first book was for Kaladin, the second book is for Shallan. We get lots of her backstory…….and I both loved and hated every minute of it. A past-POV would pop up and I would set the book down and groan. Ten minutes later I’d pick it back up and get through it and realize how much more I understand her. Rinse, repeat.
My problem isn’t with the characters or the backstory, it’s that I have to get through the backstory before getting to the main story. Shallan is a great character and I’ve enjoyed her contribution and insight every step of the way. I am mildly concerned about where her character is going but I’ll just have to wait and see.
Dalinar has bugged me from halfway though the first book. There was too much indecisiveness, in direct contrast to his original character. We still get much of that here but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Adolin joins the original three as an MC in this book. I love the character even if I’m still uncertain about the person. He’s pampered and privileged but there’s more there that shows it’s not so much his character as his experience. I also supremely enjoy Adolin and Shallan’s interactions. Please, please don’t make this a love triangle.
Plot. Oh, the plot. Strap yourself in because it’s perfection. Slowly but surely it comes together and unfolds. The pacing was good in spite of how long the book is, there was satisifying resolutions throughout, followed by new insights, and then all new questions.
I loved it. I loved all of it.
I had originally intended to put off reading Oathbringer, since what would be the hurry if I’m just going to have to wait 2 or 3 years for the next one anyway. But reading the first two relatively close together kept things fresh in my mind so why not just keep doing now that I can? So I’ve got a hold on it. Should be 6-8 weeks before I can start expecting to see it since that’s about hold long the library takes before it gets new books into the system.
Oathbringer; Book 3 >>