Customer Reviews for

Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive Series #2)

Average Rating 5
( 206 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

27 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

Perfect

I like to think myself a well rounded reader. That said, this book absolutely blew me away. First, I like George R R Martin much as the next person but there's something droll about reading a series that portrays "real" human nature. I like to think not everyone is an i...
I like to think myself a well rounded reader. That said, this book absolutely blew me away. First, I like George R R Martin much as the next person but there's something droll about reading a series that portrays "real" human nature. I like to think not everyone is an incestous, gluttonous, traitorous, etceterous individual who lives specifically in the moral gray area. If you are considering reading this before the first novel in this series (I have no idea why you do that) STOP and read it. This installment is like a shardbearer fighting a bridgeman or a rhysadium racing a horse. I really loved this book. If you were afraid that Words of Radiance wouldn't measure up have no fear.

The story continues in the shattered plains and beyond as the book picks up precisely where WOK left off. Like the previous novel, there is a flashback sequence which involves the manipulative, sometimes infuriating Shallan. It is difficult to even skim a summary because there is just so much information in this book, not to mention pages.

I will say that I feared that there would be too many questions, not enough answers, too many new characters, etc... the typical concerns that stem from a series, particularly epic fantasy. However, there is a stunning ending along with more suspense and adventure and answers than you can shake a log at. However, however, however, you will still be begging for more more more. Please Mr. Sanderson may I have another? Seriously though, I'm not exaggerating when I say this is one of my favorite books. If the quality of the novels stays in pace this will be a monumental series. Real heroes in a world obsessed with darkness. Damn refreshing. But don't take my word for it, go to your local libra.... bookstore and get yourself a copy.

PS. The hardcover is cool. The drawings are amazing. It's also cool on the nook because you can zoom in on said illustrations. Yeah I bought both versions, wanna fight about it?

Just kidding I hate family guy.

posted by 18174538 on March 4, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

I had such high hopes for this series, I thought Branderson had

I had such high hopes for this series, I thought Branderson had finally turned the corner on all the young adult fantasy he had written before this and was ready to write a complex, realistic, adult-oriented fantasy series. I was really hoping for another song of fire a...
I had such high hopes for this series, I thought Branderson had finally turned the corner on all the young adult fantasy he had written before this and was ready to write a complex, realistic, adult-oriented fantasy series. I was really hoping for another song of fire and ice without having to wait 8 years between books (a poor one at that). The first book was dark, gritty and no-nonsense so I expected the same here but came away disappointed.

Branderson's characters in WOR lack any real charisma or depth, the dialogue is simplistic. His writing makes several amateurish mistakes that even a non-writer like myself would know to avoid. Chief among them is his habit of pairing every sentence of dialogue (and sometimes every paragraph) with a character action, such that someone is always blushing, winking, or sighing, or smiling, or smiling more deeply, or rolling their eyes, or frowning. Ignoring action scenes, Shallan blushes an average of once a page when the narrative is following her and that isn't hyperbole. As you can imagine, this gets screwdriver-to-the-temple annoying very quickly and it never lets up. How this got past Branderson's editor is beyond me.

Furthermore, I'm not a huge fan of his prudishness with both sex and adult language, and honestly it borders on the childish for me, I'm okay with the fade to black, if that's what an author likes, and I know he has religious beliefs regarding sexuality, but it's weird to me that his "good guys" are basically all severely sexually repressed or don't even know sex exists, when romance and sex are such a huge part of human motivation and existence. That he shies so hard away from swearing that he has to invent such laughable phrases as "storm you" that it stretches my ability to maintain immersion in the novel.  There's nothing wrong with avoiding scenes of sex or swearing, but at the same time Branderson happily features graphic violence.  If horrible violence doesn't warrant a fade to black, but you can't curse or have a character think explicitly about their own body or their own sexual desires, I think that says something unfortunate. This is a personal thing for me and a huge pet peeve of mine.  Branderson seems to be trying to straddle the fence between grown-up fantasy and young adult fantasy and it is at best awkward.

What makes me say that WOR is really YA? All the main characters appear to be written for the teenage audience. The entire story, with its simplistic writing, cartoonish, super-power characters, pokemon-like spren side-kicks and juvenile attempts at being cool, remind me very strongly of the BS I used to post on Fictionpress when I was 14. That's not a comparison I should be able to make about any published author, let alone an author of books for adults, and especially not one as acclaimed as Branderson.

I realize I heap a lot of criticism on WOR and it probably sounds like I absolutely loathed it. I didn't. In fact I quite enjoyed some parts of the book. Branderson is reasonably good at ratcheting up suspense when he lets the characters stop babbling long enough to get into danger and is quite absorbing.  The problem is that these sections are small slivers of entertainment sandwiched between vast slabs of mediocrity, to the extent that I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone expecting serious adult fantasy go out and buy this book.

posted by merkinmuffley on March 20, 2014

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Page 1 of 11
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    Perfect

    I like to think myself a well rounded reader. That said, this book absolutely blew me away. First, I like George R R Martin much as the next person but there's something droll about reading a series that portrays "real" human nature. I like to think not everyone is an incestous, gluttonous, traitorous, etceterous individual who lives specifically in the moral gray area. If you are considering reading this before the first novel in this series (I have no idea why you do that) STOP and read it. This installment is like a shardbearer fighting a bridgeman or a rhysadium racing a horse. I really loved this book. If you were afraid that Words of Radiance wouldn't measure up have no fear.

    The story continues in the shattered plains and beyond as the book picks up precisely where WOK left off. Like the previous novel, there is a flashback sequence which involves the manipulative, sometimes infuriating Shallan. It is difficult to even skim a summary because there is just so much information in this book, not to mention pages.

    I will say that I feared that there would be too many questions, not enough answers, too many new characters, etc... the typical concerns that stem from a series, particularly epic fantasy. However, there is a stunning ending along with more suspense and adventure and answers than you can shake a log at. However, however, however, you will still be begging for more more more. Please Mr. Sanderson may I have another? Seriously though, I'm not exaggerating when I say this is one of my favorite books. If the quality of the novels stays in pace this will be a monumental series. Real heroes in a world obsessed with darkness. Damn refreshing. But don't take my word for it, go to your local libra.... bookstore and get yourself a copy.

    PS. The hardcover is cool. The drawings are amazing. It's also cool on the nook because you can zoom in on said illustrations. Yeah I bought both versions, wanna fight about it?

    Just kidding I hate family guy.

    27 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    A strong continuation

    This book is phenomenal. It is a strong and satisfying continuation to The Stormlight Archive. The book is great all the way through. It is exciting and answers a lot of questions from book one and new questions from book two. It's an amazing novel that I highly recommend to people who have read The Way of Kings and like Brandon Sanderson's writing. There are some faults, but they're miniscule compared to the "awesomeness" of this book.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Read this book now! It's too cool!

    I had a hard time believing Sanderson could deliver on an experience that could come close to "The Way of Kings," but he did that and more. This epic sequel, with it's in depth characters and intense action sequences, had me jumping out of my comfy spot on my couch more than a few times. Sanderson expands on his original world that's shaped by land carving storms, tyrannical leaders, assassins, heart stopping duels, and magical heroes that make Gandalf the Grey look like a birthday party magician. Pick up this sequel and find out if honor is truly dead and if our heroes have what it takes to become the Knights Radiant! -Justin M

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Fantastic in every way

    This series is supposed to be near to Brandon Sanderson's heart, the story he is most eager to tell, and as I read through, I felt that. It feels so complete and well rounded. There is clearly direction to the arc, and every moment is compelling. I've read nearly all on Brandons novels, and love his style, but this series is a statement for him. Clear as day, he has come in to his own and this series is the culmination of that.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2014

    WOW!!! *****

    I just finished this one...WOW... I know I'm going to have to re-read it a few more times to even begin to catch all the subtle and and Not-So-Subtle connections in this and the First Vol.
    I find more to love each reading! +Like the first book, there is also some truly "GORGES*" art in this one.


    ((* Sorry ' bout that totally uncalled for PUN!! ))

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    this book is great

    this book is great

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    The most tragic thing

    About this book is that it was so good, I couldn't put it down. Now I'm finished and have to wait another 2 years to find out the rest. Awesome story, great characters, cant wait for more.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2014

    This second book in the Stormlight series has exceeded my expect

    This second book in the Stormlight series has exceeded my expectations. The continuation from book 1 to 2  flowed as smoothly as turning a page in a single novel. I dislike a series that tries to expand with a lot of extra characters and side stories (WOT for example) that have little to do with the main story. Thankfully, Sanderson hasn't done that and hopefully will not do that in future books. He gave us insights into other characters and side stories but somewhere in the telling they meshed with the main story. I also love a series where each book is it's own story with a beginning and an ending of events relating to and leading to the future conclusion. Both The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance are complete stories with satisfying ends while also showing there will be new problems for the characters in the next book.


    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Spectacular

    I didn't think it was possible, but I loved Words of Radiance even more than I did The Way of Kings. And that is A LOT.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    I haven't read this book yet, but I read the first one as well a

    I haven't read this book yet, but I read the first one as well as the entire Mistborn series and I know that it's going to blow everyone away. I am so excited to be able to get my hands onto this book, I'm shaking.

    3 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Best book available

    Simply put, I have never read an author with as much talent as mr. Sanderson. His ability to make a system of magic intriguing as well as functional is simply unparalleled. My two favorite aspects of these books are:

    1. His organization in tying relevant events in a meaningful way at the right moment in the story to make the ending a huge payout!

    2. His ability to make me laugh! His sense of humor is the best. Witty and reserved for the perfect moments.

    I wish you all the success mr. Sanderson, you sure deserve it!!!

    Can't wait for book three. Ha!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2014

    Loved it more then the first

    Loved it more then the first

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    I thought this was a great read. I really enjoy Sanderson's writ

    I thought this was a great read. I really enjoy Sanderson's writing style and have not read a book of his yet that i didn't enjoy. Words of Radiance was no different. I couldn't put this book down, every chapter left me wanting to know what was going to happen next. Some of the fighting scenes really captivated me, especially when he adds in surgebinding into those scenes to incorporate the characters' magical abilities. I think he answers questions i had left from the Way of Kings, but also left me with new questions i hope will get answered in subsequent books. I can't wait until book 3 comes out.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    ------------Brandon Sanderson has done it again!! Thank you for

    ------------Brandon Sanderson has done it again!! Thank you for another great novel.

    Besides it being a bit too predictable, I would have to say that this one sure exceeded my expectations. A must read!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Devastatingly Perfect There are very few books that leave me so

    Devastatingly Perfect

    There are very few books that leave me so devastated when it ends. The Way of Kings, something I was incredibly intimidated to read by its length alone, was one of these books. I had very high expectations for the second installment..and it surpassed all of them.

    What is so wonderful about this series is the profound depth to which I care about these characters. They're all unique, broken and so well conceived that I feel as though they're people I know and love. Its a testament to Sanderson's writing that he can capture the subtle nuances of personality. Each character's perspective is unique to themselves. I never want a specific character's point of view to end, being so wrapped up in their own story, yet as soon as the next one starts I am immediately engrossed.

    The twists and turns in the story were very unexpected, something so refreshing for such a saga as this series will eventually become. I loved how Sanderson gave the characters time to react to the first novel...instead of rapidly moving on towards the final conflict. We got to really see Kaladin (who instantly became one of my favorite characters ever) learn his abilities and stumble a lot before coming to terms with how his life has changed. We got to see Shallan flourish, and truly learn her background. That was always a point in the first novel I was wary about. I wanted to like and understand Shallan, but it just wouldn't come. Now I think she might just be the strongest character in the story, apart from Kaladin.

    One of the greatest dangers us readers have is finding a book so profoundly, existentially perfect that it overwhelms you when you finish...and the world keeps on going as if you didn't just experience so soul shattering. Lord of the Rings made me feel this way. Harry Potter made me feel this way. The Way of Kings made me feel this way.

    Finishing Words of Radiance has devastated me beyond words. I have never wanted a book to keep going more than this. I hate having to now wait years for the next installment, but I know it will not only be worth it, but worth feeling like the ground has fallen away. I not only recommend this series (and anything else written by the magnificent Sanderson) I think its a necessity for all fantasy and adventure fans. It'll leave you wishing you could be just as Radiant.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    AWESOME!!!!!

    I loved it!!!! I want book 3, Stones Unhallowed, and I want it NOW!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Love it. Great continuation of WOK. There was no boring parts to

    Love it. Great continuation of WOK. There was no boring parts to this book. I literally could not put it down. Cant wait for Stormlight #3

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Pretty damn good book

    I really enjoyed this one and can hardly wait for the next one! Hopefully, we don't have to wait long fot Book Three!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Now waiting for #3

    I discovered Stormlight Archives by a pure chance. And I'm glad that it happened now, when at least two volumes are available: I think I read somewhere that the gap between #1 and #2 was unbearably long... I do pray that the #3 will be forthcoming MUCH sooner. It was such a delight (especially since I "overindulged" on Wheel of Time series and came to "a very strong dislike" of it by the end of the series... (Just a note: I still own all of the 12 volumes - to those who would wage a war against such a proclamation...)
    Anyway, Brandon Sanderson is on my watch list now. I finished the Mistborn trilogy by now and Warbreaker, too. And still, Stormlight Archives are my favorite.
    I'm not going to write anything about the narrative here - read the book! You'll be delighted

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Madis words~

    Projectum. Kardia.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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