Sanderson’s Words of Radiance is the second instalment in his Stormlight Archives about a world facing destruction from the voidbringers of ancient myth.

ImageMost of the world’s inhabitants are oblivious of the danger, but some have been piecing the clues together that point to the trouble to come. Unfortunately they also have vastly different ideas about what to do about it.

It seems obvious that the order of the Knights Radiant will be involved: a long defunct order of men and women with special powers.  Yet the budding “knights” come from diverse backgrounds and are afraid of revealing the extent of their powers. Can they get past differences in class in cultures to confide in each other and build the trust necessary for a functioning order? Can they discover the long lost secrets they will need to survive the battle to come?

These questions are not fully answered by the end of the book, leaving a lot to do in the next instalments. Even so, I loved it.  All of it. If I had to choose one word to describe it, it would be brilliant. If I had to choose two, I would say brilliant and long.

I seem to find less and less fantasy books that are really long. Many people find this a good thing. After all, the shorter the book the better for busy people.

Personally, I prefer longer books. It takes me a while to warm up to characters and I like to take some time to enjoy them once I’m familiar with their quirks. Plus, I’m a bit cheap and I always consider the value/price ratio before I purchase a book. If I have a 200-page book and a 1000-page book on my wishlist for the same price, I’ll always buy the latter first.

Words of Radiance was therefore manna from heaven.

I’m in awe of how much the characters develop — they are certainly not the same in the second book as they were at the start of the series. But I’m most in awe of Sanderson’s world building, which is intensely detailed and immensely broad in scope.

I’m going to give this book a 5/5. I bow to Sanderson’s superior abilities and pray it won’t be as long a wait for the next one in the series as it was for this one.

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