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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

Featured Article: 45+ Quotes to Help You Make Peace with—and Take Charge of—Change


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What listeners say about Words of Radiance

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Ready to return this book

Can someone tell me if the female characters in this book get less annoying? Seriously going to stop listening because of Shalan. Seriously, she needs a kick in the face...Not to mention thay the person who narrates the female characters has such a specific cadence to her voice that the makes the female characters condescending and annoying...ugh...only thing kepping me in it is Michael Kramer's performance

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

173 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Book

I'm enjoying this series, and it's definitely imaginative. The world and lore are very vibrant, and the characters seem more enjoyable in this book to me than in the first. The narration is also excellent.
I have just a few broad criticisms that made it a 4 star book for me instead of a 5. First, this book makes use of many cliché action hero moments in which characters face endless close calls. I can't get specific without giving away spoilers, but after a while, you'll know how every encounter will turn out. Second, some of the characters tend to make decisions that don't seem to fit their development arcs, seemingly as a way of advancing the plot. I think in particular the book would have been better served if some of Caladin's choices had been truly forced upon him, rather than explained away by his bouts of depression or petulance. Last, the book somehow maintains a lighthearted tone despite the gravity of events taking place. Massive numbers of deaths and world ending cataclysms are sort of brushed aside as the characters joke around and get swept into lesser plots. This takes me back to my action movie criticism. While entertaining, the banter and totally unrealistic success of the heroes as literally thousands fall dead around them detracts from the bigger story for me.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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. :)

129 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing Story; Lots of Filler

Very engaging and every bit as good as the first. Shallan's tale isn't quite as satisfying as Kaladin's, but still interesting. I would say that there is 10 hours of useless filler in this book. I'm not sure why this was done and it's very frustrating. Still, it's worth wading through the sea of words to get the delicious fish if a story.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good story, but...

This is a good story.

While I’m sure the quotes from the various sources and the “interludes” have clues we need in order to fully understand what is going on, I found them pretty tedious...

Two to three minutes of just digits?

Also the practice of both performers taking on voicing the same characters in some scenes was also a bit distracting.

Overall, good, but could have been refined.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

It just wasn't worth the time...

… even when time is all I have. I just cant anymore with this book/series. I am sorry. I tried.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It's a good story and I'm invested in it.

After finishing The Way of Kings I was really exited about getting back into this story. I won't bother listing what I like about the story, though there is much. There are three things I don't like:

1. Kate Reading's accents are awful. She does a great job narrating in her normal voice but not with her accents. It's unbearable at times and I hope there's improvement with the next book.

2. Some scenarios in the book are just not believable. I don't want to leave any spoilers but sometimes the consequences of actions are not logical, even in a fantasy setting.

3. There's a chapter that uses the word "awesomeness" over and over. It doesn't fit the world.

Overall, though, this is a great book and I'm very happy with it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

55 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

59 people found this helpful