Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had made a last-minute decision to re-read this epic series on the strength of the third book coming out a few days ago and far from being overwhelmed (much), I was actually knocked over. :)
I think what I most liked about this one was the characterizations. Shallan has come so damn far, but compared to the first book, it's a toss-up who has gone farther. Kaladin or her. I mean, just in terms of personal growth rather than outright power, it's head-to-head. I love it. That's not to say that outright crazy powers don't manifest because they do. In spades.
Shallan's quest to the Broken Plains is the most surprising and delightful and I think I'll say that most of the novel is made gorgeous by it. Kaladin's being torn apart by conflicting promises, compounded by his powers being locked in his honor, felt more like a tragedy until much later. His story made me whoop in delight at the climax. What a damn blow-out!!!
Talk about a big battle, big events, mind-blowing situation, right?
If I'm going to compare the two books, like-to-like, it's really hard to say which one I like more. The first book was more solid throughout and I suppose I like the Bridgeman-made-good story better than the Bridgeman-falling-into-tragedy, but by the end, none of that matters. The total satisfaction quotient for the second novel might be more than the first. :)
I'm so glad I did this re-read. I'm getting really attached to all these guys and I might seriously want to rank the series up there with WoT in my personal favorites list. :)
Honestly, this epic fantasy is resting high with a small handful of my personal favorites already and the future is very, very bright. I can't wait to dive into the third book for the first time, now!
I had been waiting a long time for this second book, having been hook deeply by the end of the first oh so long ago. The despair and subsequent revelations were present in both, but this one was all about the greater story development. Characterizations developed wonderfully and at relative right angles to how they began, but the surprises were truly satisfying. If you want an epic, then here it is. Both novels are very long and a lot happens. It never gets boring.
Sanderson's talents at creating magic systems that are truly unique are still in full force, as is his ability to tell a great tale.
Cognition made into intelligent spirits, gods of thought, the binding of ideals; put like this, it's amazing that he could make a book that was about war and saving humanity from a truly world-breaking intelligent storm. Great stuff!
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