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Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson: Review

War is fracturing a once-unified people, darkness looms on the world's horizon beyond the sight of most, and the Knights Radiant—an ancient force all but forgotten—must rise again. First comes the Bondsmith, who alone sees the storm coming to destroy his world unless he can defeat it. The Lightweaver struggles to uncover the truth while living within a precarious lie. Balancing on an edge between honour and vengeance, the Windrunner must choose light before darkness consumes him. And all the while, the storm gathers strength and might . . . and the countdown begins.

I didn't think I would ever find a reading experience to rival Stormlight Archive #1, Brandon Sanderson's, The Way of Kings. I was wrong. Words of Radiance not only matched its predecessor in magnitude, complexity, and downright addictiveness, but reached an echelon of epicness before unknown to me. That may sound dramatic, but, well, so is this book. And when I was alone in my living room at two o'clock in the morning, crying/laughing/moaning/hyperventilating/sweating/nail-biting/generally being enthralled, dramatic was certainly the most applicable adjective.

As ever, Sanderson's worldbuilding is impeccable, spanning culture, fashion, social etiquette, geography, economics, science, language, history, flora, fauna, mythology, etcetera, etcetera. Though the novel is immense, the writing flies; the characters demand appreciation, if not downright adoration, and the plot is positively cinematic. In fact, it satisfied my readerly whims so frequently, sometimes it felt like Brandon was reading my mind!

Content Notes: this world has its own exclamations, so language is minimal, limited to some "b*st*rd"s, one past tense of "sh*t," and one "p*ss." Innuendo isn't worth mentioning; the novel is refreshingly clean, and though spiritual/divine elements are wobbly at times, the overall tone toward an ultimate "Almighty" power is one of reverence and commitment.

I quite literally cannot wait for book 3. Which is why I've already bought it. My expectations are somewhere in the stratosphere now so . . . no pressure, Mr. Sanderson, but keep it coming!

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