10 March 2014

Review: Words of Radiance

Words of Radiance
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm someone who typically reads 2-3 books a week. It took me a good six days to get through the second book in Brandon Sanderson's epic fantasy series Words of Radiance, and it dawned on me that it's a pretty decent clip to read nearly 1100 pages in a five day span. The book was so good, though, that the time spent was far from a chore and more of an overall experience.

The book takes place basically right where Way of Kings ended, so be aware of spoilers for a lot of Sanderson's books from this point on.

The book is mostly Shallan's to carry. She is now travelling with Jasnah and has a plan in place. Kaladin is no longer a slave and Bridge Four, his bridge crew, are members of the army. We get more points of view from Dalinar as well, who has been essentially set up with a betrothal to Shallan for political and financial purposes. The run-up to what we're getting at is really solid, and it truly left me guessing as to where this was heading.

What I really enjoyed about this volume, however, was beyond the fact that it doesn't suffer from middle book syndrome like so many long series do. It's also not suffering from the type of hangover that The Wheel of Time suffered from. Every scene feels like it has purpose, and Sanderson continues to be a master of scenes that contain lots of action. In particular, an epic scene toward the end in particular, while definitely reminiscent of some of his work on the Jordan series, is among some of the best stuff he's ever written.

Also, if you're a Sanderson fan, there are multiple callbacks to a few other books. The final scene in particular is surely a link at his book Warbreaker, and there are hints of Mistborn in a few key spots as well. This is really top notch worldbuilding, and if that's why you read fantasy, you're absolutely going to find something to love here.

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