‘Words of Radiance’ is the second book in Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Stormlight Archive’. The story starts out strong, continuing on from the first book, and then slows down to a crawl. The ending is pretty spectacular though, and definitely worth the wait.

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This book focuses more on Shallan, and we learn more about her past and family and how she ended up in the position of needing to steal a soulcaster from Jasnah Kholin. I quite like Shallan, so this wasn’t a problem for me. What was an issue was Shallan spending 300~400 pages going from Point A to Point B and not doing a whole lot in that time. I nearly lost patience when Shallan was a day from her destination, and an entire chapter was dedicated to her finding a valley with pretty plants which she had to draw. I already know she likes to draw. Despite my frustration, there were scenes I genuinely enjoyed – my favourite being when Shallan trys to soulcast a stick. How you feel about the first half of ‘Words of Radiance’ will depend very much on how patient you are.

As with the previous book, we see a lot of Dalinar and Kaladin. By the end of this book, I didn’t particularly like Kaladin. His sourness became quite tedious. This was unfortunate, but there are many other strong characters, such as Navani, Wit and Adolin, to make up for it.

Again, as in the previous book there are many interludes were Sanderson introduces other characters for a couple of pages. Some of the interludes focused on characters from the previous book, many of them were new however. In this book, I started to see the point of these interludes a bit more.

The end of the book definitely rewarded my patience. Sanderson spends three-quarters of this hefty tome setting everything up, and when it all comes together it’s fast-paced, exciting and imaginative. Kaladin’s fight at the end of the book was visually spectacular.

Overall, this book was definitely worth the read. The first part is slow, and started to test my patience. If you don’t mind long, drawn-out stories, this won’t bother you as much as it did me. The ending though was worth the wait, and I’m glad I stuck with it.

 

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