Title: Words of Radiance
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 4.76
My Rating: 10/10
“Honor is dead. But I’ll see what I can do.”
Words of Radiance is the second book of a 10-book series by Brandon Sanderson. It builds beautifully upon the first book of the series improving what was already a powerful start with The Way of Kings. While the first book focused on Kaladin Stormblessed, the second book shifts to Shallan Davar.
Character Development: Words of Radiance is a heavily character-driven book with a strong plotline and it is told from the perspective of multiple POVs. While all of the main characters grow and evolve throughout the novel, Shallan is the primary focus and we learn more about her background and internal conflict. I continue to appreciate Sanderson’s writing style where a character struggling with a mental illness or disorder is not defined by it. Rather it is a part of their whole being. Shallan’s character arc is one of struggle and conflict where she continues to deal with a lack of self-confidence and self-love as she tries to hide from her past.
World Building: In the first book, we are introduced to the planet Roshar. Words of Radiance builds on that foundation and gives us more detail about the planet’s history, cultures, and magic systems. Sanderson weaves together a world of complex and somewhat fragile societies that have their share of social issues. You start to really learn and appreciate the level of detail the author put into his Cosmere universe.
Climax: With climactic moments revealed throughout the book, it is a fast-paced journey until the very end. As in The Way of Kings, the last 200 pages of Words of Radiance contain the epic battle scenes, discoveries and achievements that leave you speechless. Right when you believe there is no hope, a ribbon of light finds its way in.
If you are interested in detailed and complex world building, intricate and interesting characters, epic fantasy and a serious commitment to a 10-book series, Way of Kings and Words of Radiance are the perfect books for you. Dive into the Cosmere and learn about Roshar and all it has to offer. You will not be disappointed.