Is harder to review a book you like than one with obvious problems. I really enjoyed the first book of the series, but it didn’t quite reach the five star mark for me. Words of radiance surpass that mark.
Right of the bat the book is more accessible than Way of Kings. Mostly because we already know the world and characters. Word of Radiance isn’t burdened by the all ancient history as the previous book was. It feels more like a big mystery novel with multiple puzzles that needs to be solve. There are some nice twists and surprises. Every time the story could have become sluggish, it launched into a different situation.
It still frustrates me that every time something starts kicking off; it jumps to a different character in the next chapter. This time, unlike the first book, each of the character stories kept me interested right through.
A feeling of anticipation always loomed over the Way of Kings as we waited for the characters to come together. Now finally we see them interact, at times resulting in some truly funny moments.
Man, this book get tense in places. At one point I had to stop, put the book down and curse at a character because they managed to get themselves in a colossal heap of trouble. When a character can make you feel that embraced on their behalf, you know you’re invested.
All the characters have their own growth and journey, but I was most taken with Shallan. I did not care much about her in the first book. I did not dislike her, but found her to be outside the story I was interested in.
In this book she is more involve and by unravelling her back story piece by piece, became more interesting and dynamic. I love the interactions she has with Pattern. On a side note, I would never have thought that Sebarial would become one of my favourite characters.
These are really thick books and we’re spending a lot of time with these characters. There are some fun interludes that can stand alone as little stories themselves.
So to conclude: Way of Kings was a great book, but Words of Radiance is brilliant.