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.
Another masterpiece by the King of High Fantasy😌
I finished this faster than I did for The Way of Kings and I didn’t even think that was possible. So me finishing this 1087 page book in 2 days should definitely tell you something about my love for Words of Radiance.
“All stories told have been told before. We tell them to ourselves, as did all men who ever were. And all men who ever will be. The only things new are the names.”
While The Way of Kings was basically Kaladin’s book, Words of Radiance was most certainly Shallan’s and I also didn’t even think it was possible to love her more than I already do, but it was.
Reading about Shallan’s past and the secrets she’s kept—omg it’s all so suffocating. In WoR, we see the lies Shallan tells to herself and others… these lies she will eventually have to confront if she has any hope in moving forward.
There’s so much darkness in Shallan’s life and seeing how broken she is, yet still being able to smile so brightly and find some happiness… I’m sorry, can you hear my heart breaking?? Shallan, my beautiful broken girl, I love you.😭 Please don’t lock away all this pain and let it consume you.
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🛑minor spoilers below🛑
“I seek the truth,” Shallan said. “Wherever it may be, whoever may hold it. That’s who I am.”
Okay, but Shallan playing spy and infiltrating the Ghostbloods was something I never knew I needed in my life.🥺
Is it weird to say that I actually really
love like the Ghostbloods?? Like they’re pretty cool. I actually think I have a villain crush on Mraize although, is he really a villain? Their motives are still not clear and they don’t seem to be really that evil so not a villain in my eyes yet. Honestly, majority of the antagonists here aren’t really evil, it’s not black and white, it’s grey. For the most part their goals are understandable, it’s just the way they go about it being quite concerning. It’s more that they lack morality, but anyways I love how Sanderson does this and while I still do hate some of these people, I can understand some of the actions they take.
“The truth destroys more people than it saves.”
I’m literally OBSESSED with the Ghostbloods. It’s really concerning??? I pray for more of them. I NEED more of them. One of the higlights of this book was Shallan’s interactions with the Ghostbloods and omg I loved that. Mraize was said to be rarely impressed by anything but was impressed by what Shallan could do??🥺 Curse my love for this group.
I hate Sanderson for putting a thought into my head, when I know it’s highly unlikely that it’ll happen sobs I can’t stop imagining how amazing it would be if Shallan actually joined the Ghostbloods and found her own Bridge Four?? I barely know anything about these people—literally at the most only 100 pages out of 1087 did these guys appear—and their motives, but I just find them so cool😭 This super mysterious organization that is also very protective of one another and Also, even their group name sounds epic?? The ✨Ghostbloods✨
Anyways, I’d love it if something like Shallan joining their ranks were to magically happen, but I know it won’t 😦
wow, this really became a Ghostblood fangirling session
“What separates the heroes from the villains? One speech in the night.”
Surprisingly, Dalinar actually really annoyed me in this. I understood the situation he was in and the reasons behind some things, but at the same time it pissed me off the way he’d ignore and treat Kaladin’s claims of a certain bastard.
“I believe an apology is due.”
↪ THAT will forever be one of my favourite scenes omg. if you know, you know👀
“That was why he’d come back. It was about Tien, it was about Dalinar, and it was about what was right—but most of all, it was about protecting people. This was the man he wanted to be.”
Kaladin is as amazing and heartbreaking as ever. Even after saving Bridge Four, he is still not at peace with everything that’s happened to him and that’s definitely understandable sobs There’s still a deep burning hatred and vengeance floating in his mind
totally don’t blame him for having I’m honestly surprised at the amount of restraint he had in certain situations… I could never.
Kaladin’s character development is spectacular and I can so tell that this is only the beginning of it. He still suffers with depression and trauma from these last few years and throughout the book, he goes through so many challenges…it’s amazing. He makes mistakes, but he learns. His growth in WoR is one of my favourite parts here and omg his interactions with Shallan and Adolin were golden.
“He saw it in her eyes. The anguish, the frustration. The terrible nothing that clawed inside and sought to smother her. She knew. It was there, inside. She had been broken.
Then she smiled. Oh, storms. She smiled anyway.
It was the single most beautiful thing he’d seen in his entire life.”
The chasm scene was so, so precious. I actually started crying, my heartt-
“Kaladin frowned. “Wait. Are you wearing cologne? In prison?”
“Well, there was no need to be barbaric, just because I was incarcerated.”
“Storms, you’re spoiled,” Kaladin said, smiling.
“I’m refined, you insolent farmer,” Adolin said. Then he grinned. “Besides, I’ll have you know that I had to use cold water for my baths while here.”
Then the prison scene ohmygod my heart was so happy😭 I love Adolin and Kaladin’s growing friendship so much. And that one scene where they fought together omg sdfgdfdgds it was amazing
“Honor is dead.”
Speaking of Adolin, that brings me to my OTP—Shallan and Adolin.🥺 Look at these two and tell me they aren’t just one of the most adorable ships ever created???
I was living for their scenes. Like I literally had this ridiculous, goofy smile on my face every time those two interacted with each other. And the amount of times I reread those scenes… oh god why are they so cute??
Adolin believing that Shallan had come to the fighting grounds to watch him train, but being totally wrong and looking like a fool in front of Kaladin??? Perfection.
Shallan asking the most random questions—one of them being how do the Shardbearers, specifically Adolin, use the bathroom in their Shardbearers in the middle of long battles?? Adolin’s response omg I was wheezing.😭🤚
And then there was Adolin’s shocked face when Shallan kissed his cheek🥺 (Alethi are more reserved when it comes to showing affection bahaha) SO CUTE, I CAN’T. I’m so hyped for their future scenes omg and now I’m terrified that Sanderson will do something to them sobs please, no.
ALSO WIT OMG WIT, I LOVE YOU. Dare I say that he’s my favourite character despite his minimal appearances??? His scenes are always so good omg one of my favourites:
Kaladin prepared to swing up into the seat beside the carriage driver, then stopped.
“You!” he said, pointing at the driver.
“Me!” the King’s Wit replied from where he sat holding the reins.
Adolin climbed out to await her, straightening his jacket, polishing the buttons on one sleeve. He glanced up towards the driver’s seat, then started.
“You!” Adolin exclaimed.
“Me!” Wit replied. He swung down from the top of the carriage and performed a flowery bow.
She suddenly started, eyes widening. She pointed at Wit with her freehand.
“You!” Shallan exclaimed.
“Yes, yes. People certainly are very good at identifying me today. Perhaps I need to wear—”
I can’t stop laughing ohmygod why is Wit so amazing?? I NEED MORE WIT.
“Try not to flirt with the girl,” Wit whispered. “Young Adolin seems to be growing possessive. Or…what am I saying? Flirt with the girl, Kaladin. It might make the prince’s eyes bulge.”
I’d say Wit “please marry me” but I’m sure if I was in his presence for even 5 seconds, I’d want to kill him so I’ll just stay over here and laugh at him making fun of the others😌
Anyways, it seems that even though I was preparing to love this, there was still so much I wasn’t expecting
like falling in love with the Ghostbloods But anyways, I’m officially obsessed with this series and the Ghostbloods and this obsession scares me because I know once I catch up to the series, I’m going to have one of the worst book hangovers ever.
ahh I can’t wait for Oathbringer to destroy me and my poor heart✌
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The Way of Kings:: ★★★★★
Words of Radiance: ★★★★★