In the first book, “The Way of Kings,” we were introduced to the world of Roshar. It is a world of magic and aliens where hurricane-like storms lay savage to the world every few days and all of its inhabitants must adapt their lives accordingly. It is a world at war between the human armies led by High prince Dalinar Kholin and the Parshendi, a humanoid species. We were introduced to Jasnah, who is a renowned scholar and the niece of the High Prince Dalinar Kholin, her student Shallan, and Kaladin, a slave that by the end of Way of Kings is beginning to become the world’s first Knight’s Radiance in centuries.
If you haven’t read/listened to ”The Way of Kings,” I would strongly recommend that you do before going on to this second book, “Words of Radiance.” If you have read/listened to the first book I would recommend a review of TWOK before going on since it has been over four years and the second book starts off right where “The Way of Kings,” left off.
At 48 hours and 15 minutes this is a long book, in fact Brandon Sanderson posted on his blog that he wrote the manuscript under the working title “the Book of Endless Pages.” He was referring to the endless learning set forth in his first book but it seemed appropriate given its length; but don’t let the length of this book deter you as I listened the hours seemed to fly past. This is an amazing book.
“Word of Radiance” focuses on four characters: Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, and Adolin. In TWOK Kaladin was the main character and is still very prevalent but this book reveals more about Shallan. Like “The Way of Kings,” Sanderson interlaces the present with the past, developing the background on the main characters’ while moving the plot forward.
This is only book two in a ten part series and even though I can’t wait for the next book I found the ending satisfactory.
I word about the narrators, I’ve always been a big fan of Michael Kramer and Kate Reading and I thought they gave another great performance.
104 of 115 people found this review helpful
When I wrote my (too) short review of the first book in this series, The Way of Kings, I ended it with this sentence: "This book is so good I will gladly listen to it again as a refresher when book two comes out!"
Well I am back to say that I followed through on my promise and it was worth every second. The Stormlight Archive is epic fantasy at it's best and Sanderson shows why he is at the top of my must read/listen list. Here I am fresh off of investing close to 94 hours of my life listening to books 1 and 2 of the Stormlight Archive and I am ready for more.
The world is rich and deep, the characters are complex, and the magic systems are true Sanderson - well defined, unique, and interesting. All of the main characters are back and the story just gets bigger and bigger. For most authors the end of this book would be a satisfying conclusion to any series but it is obvious that this one is just getting started. Sanderson set the bar so awfully high with the Mistborn series that I am truly impressed he was able to surpass himself with the Stormlight Archive.
Veteran narrators Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are back and once again breathe life into all of the great characters. It was a pleasure to listen to them both for 90+ hours and I can't wait for book three. These two know epic fantasy and combine with Sanderson to form a perfect highstorm of epic proportions.
If you like fantasy books then you will feel like a kid in a candy store here. It is time for you to run up to the counter and plunk down your credit(s) to enjoy this wonderful experience. You won't find more hours of entertainment for so little cost anywhere else. Of course you should start with The Way of Kings but be assured that 94 listening hours later you will find yourself back at the candy store counter standing on your tip toes and holding up another credit. Of course, I will be standing right next to you. :)
89 of 103 people found this review helpful
I love Sanderson and will buy all of his books for his ability to give his characters life and their individual distinct voices, but I have to admit that Sanderson seems to have been distracted on this novel. Plots meandered and character development for his main hero, Kaladin, came to stop and even reverted back to his previous development from the first novel. Going to buy the next book and probably the rest in the series as I know Sanderson can pull it off and bring it together but still kind of a sophomore slump for this series. Hoping for better in Oathkeeper.
42 of 52 people found this review helpful
Either of the readers would have done a wonderful job, but the use of two readers who clearly have not heard one another's take on the story is unfortunate. Different pronunciations and different accents between the readers makes portions of the performance unnecessarily messy.
21 of 26 people found this review helpful
WE HAVE TO BE CONSISTENT OR WE WILL BREAK YOUR BRAIN
I have dreaded this review more then any review I have ever written. I am a huge fan of Sanderson. I have been telling people for the last two years that Brandon Sanderson is going to be the biggest thing in Fantasy. I loved, The Way of Kings and bought copies for my grown kids, for Christmas a couple of years ago. I was excited about this book.
A BELLY THAT STRETCHED TO NEXT WEEK
I could not get into this book at all. It may have started with the talking pattern. The pattern that Sanderson could not describe. Let me get this straight BS, you think this up on your own, you are a writer and you can not describe it to the reader. Why would you not come up with something you could describe. Then this pattern starts talking. It was just lame. I got tired of the Sea of Spheres. I got tired of the Dark Eyes whining about the Light Eyes. Someone said that it picked up in the last 25%, so I have to listen to 38 hours before it starts to get good?? Someone said he is now writing like Robert Jordan. I think trying to write like Jordan, has ruined him. I like Sanderson, bring him back. Actually I think he hired a ghost writer, cause this is not Sanderson.
Narrators: I have always been a fan of Michael Kramer. His deep rich voice makes chills run up my spine. The jury is still out for me on Kate Reading. Her voice is unique and I even recognized her in the commercial she did a few years ago because of that unique voice. I put her on 1.25 speed a few times and liked the result. I don't know maybe I need them to say Aes Sedai every other line?
If I wanted to be popular I would join the crowd and say I love this, but what few followers I have depend on the truth from me. I got through ten hours and called it quits. If they offer this for free, that is 48 hours of your life you will never get back. At least my belly aching only lasts a couple of minutes.
140 of 178 people found this review helpful
it really is good but with how slow everything moves in this book I can't do it.
24 of 30 people found this review helpful