From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance, Book 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 Stormlight Archive
The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
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
Other Cosmere novels
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
Other books by Brandon Sanderson
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Trapped in an interminable war with the Parshendi, the kingdom of Alethkar is further handicapped by quarreling aristocrats and the racial divisions between the elite lighteyes and downtrodden darkeyes. Against this background, Sanderson's sequel to The Way of Kings has several intertwined storylines. The scholar Jasnah seeks proof for dark suspicions, while her apprentice Shallan struggles to find an identity in a world determined to define it for her. Dalinar, uncle to hapless King Elhokar, strives to reform Alethkar despite the opposition of the self-consciously corrupt aristocrat Sadeas and the much-betrayed darkeyed Kaladin who is forced to choose between personal vengeance and the greater good. Urgency is heightened by the approach of a long forgotten menace, one a divided world may not survive. Kaladin's situation echoes the Parable of the Faithful Servant and while most readers will miss the significance, both the myth behind the ascension of the lighteyes and certain aspects of the Parshendi recall the Curse of Lamanites, a now obscure bit of American folklore. Those elements aside, the novel is weighty without being ponderous, and delivers a satisfactory story despite being part of an episodic secondary world fantasy series.
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If this were cheese, I'd eat it then buy some more....
Excellent follow up
Words of radiance is an excellent follow up to the way of kings. Unlike many other books in the "epic fantasy" genre the story moves quickly, and the character development is never boring, but instead enjoyable. This book is a large investment of your time, but well worth it.
How can one judge a book before it even hits the market? I asked myself this question. And then I remembered the author. Brandon Sanderson does not disappoint - and this book will be no different. Looking forward to reading another great book, and a continuation of a GREAT series.