The Well Read Viking

The Well Read Viking

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

As I begin to write this review I fear that I may not be able to judge this book impartially. I love the work of Brandon Sanderson. I loved it ever since he took over the Wheel of Time series and the moment it was announced that he would be undertaking his own epic fantasy series I may have swooned. No one can prove anything, but it may have happened. The Way of Kings came out in 2010 and it captured me instantly. The worst moment came when I realized that the book was over and the second was still years away. Since then I have waited fairly impatiently for the day that this book would be released. The day finally came and I have to admit I acted like a school girl when I saw the package waiting for me.

I loved every minute of this book. Every. One. For 1087 pages I wanted nothing more than to keep going to find out what the next page would bring. The hardest thing I have done in a long time came when I forced myself to put the book down to sleep.

The first book introduced us to a fascinating world. Brandon Sanderson has to be one of the finest world builders out there. Each one is full of unique religions and ideas of magic. They are compelling because of their depth and the incredible thought that has been put in them. In my opinion this world is a step above Mistborn (not to take anything away from that series).

While the first book may have introduced us to the majority of characters, this book helped shape their identities. I know that this book is a hefty tome, but none of it is wasted space. Each page holds something of import. As I have previously stated I am a fan of gritty, realistic fantasy. This is not one of those, but I love it for that. In this book heroes act like heroes. Sure they can have doubts, but when it matters they do what is right. The characters aren't shallow in any sense because of the lack of grit, rather they make me feel like we can all be better.

I can tell that I am gushing and writing random nonsense, but a truly amazing book has the ability to bring that out of me. This is the type of book that makes me regret giving other books 5 stars. Sure they were great, but this one is still a step above. If I had access to a roof where I currently am you could bet your britches I would be shouting to the world that this is something they should read. I guess I will just have to settle for the internet.    

Rating 5/5 stars


  1. I'm reading this right now, and I completely agree. This is the type of book that authors aspire to write. The type that intimidates aspiring authors.

    The world is very well laid out, and the characters are being fleshed out one by one in each book. I think that this book is a step above the first in just about every way (I loved the first), but I think the greatest improvement is in his pacing. We don't lose track of any characters for long like was the case in the first book, and honestly the characters are simply more interesting in this book. Some of this is due to the natural progression of the story and several characters coming together, but I think that Sanderson improved significantly as a writer between books 1 and 2.

    I would have to agree, this book gets a 5/5, but that's not a strong enough rating. It sits on a very high pedestal next to works by authors such as Pat Rothfuss, J.K. Rowling and Robert Jordan.

    1. Once again we seem to think along the same lines when it comes to fantasy. I am glad that you are enjoying this book as much as I did.