Book Review: The Words of Radiance

Brandon Sanderson has become one of my favorite authors over the past few years.  Although I enjoy all of his works, I really look forward to his long epic fantasies.  He is fantastic at creating fascinating worlds and unique magic systems.  So I had very much been looking forward to returning to Roshar in the second installment of The Stormlight Archive, and I am happy to report that The Words of Radiance did not disappoint.

I actually finished reading this book several months ago, but I never quite got around to reviewing it.  I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot, because the book was released earlier this year and I want to avoid spoilers for those who still want to read it, but I have to say that I thought this book was a fantastic read.  I feel that Sanderson has really hit is stride in terms of voice and tone, as well as developed in his ability to show rather than tell.  There will always be humor in his books, but the use of it felt more restrained, appropriate, and clever in this book than it has in his past works.  I also feel that he has created more nuanced characters in the Stormlight series than he has in past works.  This book progressed the plot of the series quite well, while still giving us time to delve deeper into the histories of the characters, and learn a bit more (though certainly not enough) about the magic systems at work in the world.  I was quite satisfied with the (crazy epic) ending, but I still want to know what happens next in the story.  All in all it was a great installment in the series.  Sanderson has always been great at creating fun and fantastic worlds, and at giving us an epic ending, but this book also demonstrates his mastery of plot, pacing, and tone.  Aside from the fact that this book may have made me unreasonably depressed for a number of days (yeah, there is some sad stuff happening in this book), this book was a completely enjoyable read and a fantastic addition to the Stormlight series.  This is definitely the best book that Sanderson has written to date, and I expect he will only get better from here.  Although I know he has some smaller projects coming out in the meantime, I am already impatient for the release of book three.
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