Words of Radiance By Brandon Sanderson
Audiobook version, narrated by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading
Finished on 1/14/2017
1.7 Honorblades and 3.3 Shardblades out of 5
Epic-tacular! I guess I’ve grown into a Sanderson fanboy without noticing somewhere over the years. All cards on the table, I started listening to this audiobook last year but stopped at the fifteen hour mark due to technical difficulties. Since restarting this book this year, I listened to it almost non-stop. This means I listened to about thirty three hours of duels and gemheart runs over the course of four days or so. It was very gripping.
Let’s talk about Sanderson’s usual weaknesses as an author. For starters, his characters can be a bit dry. I am happy to say that all the main and most of the minor characters in this book were nuanced and relatively deep. The characterization was not just strong by Sanderson’s standards, but by the genre in general. The only exception to this rule was Sadeus, who was his old monotone ‘I’m Eeeevil!!!’ Self. (Also: his death was very satisfying to read.)
Another of his weaknesses is an almost overreliance on unusual worldbuilding and magic system to set the tone, avoiding normal worldbuilding as a consequence. This flaw was present to minor extent in this novel. For example, we never got to see the poverty on the streets of Alethkar even though that was apparently a big deal going on in the background. Instead we were only told of its existence through exposition by a minor character who was then killed off. If there is a populist revolt in a future book, I don’t think as improperly foreshadowed yet.
Sooo… when’s book 3 coming out?