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Words of Radiance  By  cover art

Words of Radiance

By: Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by: Michael Kramer,Kate Reading
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Publisher's Summary

From number one New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance, audiobook two of the Stormlight Archive, continues the immersive fantasy epic that The Way of Kings began.

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status "darkeyes". Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives. 

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined. 

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable. 

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson:

  • The Cosmere
  • The Stormlight Archive
  • The Way of Kings
  • Words of Radiance
  • Edgedancer (Novella)
  • Oathbringer 

The Mistborn trilogy:

  • Mistborn: The Final Empire
  • The Well of Ascension
  • The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series:

  • Alloy of Law
  • Shadows of Self
  • Bands of Mourning
  • Collection
  • Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels:

  • Elantris
  • Warbreaker

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series:

  • Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
  • The Scrivener's Bones
  • The Knights of Crystallia
  • The Shattered Lens
  • The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series:

  • The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson:

  • The Reckoners
  • Steelheart
  • Firefight
  • Calamity
©2014 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

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    5 out of 5 stars

Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radiance" shines

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.

180 people found this helpful

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I AM A STICK

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.

160 people found this helpful

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48 more hours of Sanderson goodness!

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. :)

134 people found this helpful

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Excellent book, weakened by the performance

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.

61 people found this helpful

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Starting to lag already

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.

56 people found this helpful

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too much ball not enough story

I will not get the third book if I got to listen the boring ass book 90% of the time man

55 people found this helpful

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Could have been better.

Much like book one, this was not a very good performance. The story line was interesting but not what I would call good by any means. All in all I think you would be way better off to skip this series and find something a little better done.

49 people found this helpful

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Epic fantasy, with huge emphasis on the epic part

This is what motivates my review: I have just spent over a month listening to over 80(!!) hours of The Stormlight Archive, and I find myself wishing for the next book. Usually, I need a break between audiobooks in a series, not so here, despite the length. So, as far as compelling listen-ability is concerned, this is a clear winner, well-read and fun as well!

You can stop reading here, if you want, since I feel completely justified in the five stars, but, still, there are a few issues, issues that mostly come from it being such an obviously EPIC epic. First, Sanderson is up to his usual trick of making an elaborate magic system with complex internal symmetries as a key driver of the plot. To an experienced Sanderson reader, some of the story is just waiting for the twists and turns to play out. How they do so is always interesting, and this is Sanderson's best yet, but, still, there are many echoes of Mistborn/Steelheart/Elantris, etc. The result makes elements of the plot a little obvious at times, though some occasional twists help keep things fresh.

Second, since this novel covers so much ground and is full of (occasionally exhausting) detail, Sanderson's squeamishness about issues like sex or desire stand out in a particularly glaring fashion. Fight scenes and horrific murders are portrayed in great (and well-written) detail, but the novel goes full young adult when discussing other forms of human interaction. I am not talking about a lack of anything graphic, but the complete modesty of the characters, especially the non-married characters, gets in the way of character-building, makes Kaladin and Shallan feel less well-rounded than they should be.

Still, Sanderson doesn't do grimdark (like Martin or Abercrombie), and it is nice to have a good old fashioned fantasy series, full of mysteries and destinies and action, to explore. I will be waiting for the next!

42 people found this helpful

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A page-turner

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors. His development of unique characters, worlds and systems-of-magic are perhaps for many of us without parallel in modern writing. It is in the actual writing that I am sometimes left frustrated. The story-telling is superb and keeps me coming back there's no question about it. I finished the book in less than a week and that after spending the previous week reading Book 1. Every available and non-sleeping moment was spent with the book. But there was always something missing... something that said this is still just not a literary work. Maybe it just seemed to me to be a bit too commercial. But Sanderson is young and I have no doubt that his writing will mature even more and I will come to a completely different conclusion about his place in history and the body of works considered great literature.

The production and narration by two premier narrators was excellent.

40 people found this helpful

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This Book is Total Trash Compared to the First

Don't buy this. You may have to because the The Way of Kings was such a great book.

First thing that'll hit you:
Kate Readings is narrating over half of this book.
So our lovely heroes and villains all become 12 year old children where you can't tell if its a boy or a girl or whether they mean to kill somebody or not.

Second thing you will notice:
This book is total trash compared to the first.

So please do purchase the book and then get a refund for it.

38 people found this helpful