Words of Radiance is the sequel to The Way of Kings, overall my favorite Sanderson book to date. I was a bit worried that WoR would suck, because Well of Ascension as book 2 in the Mistborn series was not my favorite in the series. It was a needless worry, thank goodness. Words of Radiance outshines TWoK and leaves me wanting more. Anyone who did enjoy TWoK will likely love this sequel.
We still have all our main protagonists, with a slight shift away from Dalinar. We get more of Adolin’s PoV than Dalinar, but I was okay with that. The focus and shining superstar of WoR is Shallan who’s grown into a very intriguing character in this series. Travelling towards the Shattered Plains to find the lost city of Urithiru, we learn more about her powers of Surgebinding and more importantly her back story, with plenty of flashbacks to her life in Jah Keved.
Kaladin, the prime hero from TWoK is a bit on the whiny, angsty, emo side in WoR, which makes his chapters a bit boring or tough to stomach. It’s only in the end he becomes entertaining again.
In the love triangle Sanderson hints at, I find myself to be a Kaladin-Shallan shipper. I find Adolin to not be that interesting with Shallan. Maybe his actions in the latter parts of the book will change him considerably for the next book. We’ll see.
Aside from our main heroes, there’s also other PoVs that are incredibly interesting, especially in the interludes. There are more surgebinders, King Taravangian and his Diagram, and other secret groups like the Ghostbloods who all seem to know more about what’s going on in the world than we do. There are interesting revelations, plot twists, and in the end the re-foundation of the Knights Radiant with Surgebinding reminding me very much of how Allomancy worked in Mistborn.
Above all, I am sad the book is over, and the knowledge that I will likely be in my 60s by the time Sanderson is done with this makes me cry.
Highly highly recommend this series, if you enjoy epic fantasy in any form, but be warned, there’s 8 more books to come. Waiting is agony, isn’t it?
My rating: (5 / 5)