Words of Radiance (#2)

Previous: The Way of Kings | Next: Oathbringer

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status “darkeyes.” Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.


“Balancing fascinating worldbuilding with a page-turner of a plot, this is a series fantasy fans won’t want to miss.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“Brandon Sanderson’s reputation is finally as big as his novels.”

The New York Times

“Sanderson has used the room afforded by a book of this size to build it in loving detail […] the characterization is on the whole as as meticulous as the world-building. A very impressive continuation.”


“Sanderson’s skill at world building is unmatched, and in the Stormlight Archive series he has developed an innovative magical system and combined it with rich, complex characters to create a compelling story. His eagerly awaited sequel to The Way of Kings exceeds expectations. This developing epic series is a must-read for all fantasy fans.”

Library Journal

“WORDS OF RADIANCE may be the most accomplished followup to a popular first novel in the last 15 years and the time and energy that Sanderson put into this work tells throughout the novel.”


“WORDS OF RADIANCE is excellent […] [it] cranks up the level of intrigue to dizzying extremes […] Sanderson’s experiment is working, and he gets better with every book. The journey will be worth it. Yes, you should buy this book. Yes, this is a series worth following to the end.”


“Whether you’ve been hyped for WORDS OF RADIANCE or not, you are not prepared for how fantastic it is […] it absolutely revels in its fantasy world, one of actual gods, bizarre magic, knights with superpowers, spirits and sorcery, monsters, demons, and magic sword called Shardblades. It embraces the fantastic, and does so with an astonishing amount of creativity […] WORDS OF RADIANCE is a must-read.”


“This story is well worth the length of the read. Sanderson has truly brought back the epic fantasy […] The book has a quick and enjoyable flow while moving forward to a satisfying climax that sets up the series as the books move forward […] WORDS OF RADIANCE is an extremely satisfying read that shows what the beginning of an epic fantasy series should look like.”

Lincoln Journal Star

“The first volume in this epic, The Way Of Kings, was the winner of the Gemmell Award for Fantasy. Award winners are always worth looking at. This one was an exceptional and worthy winner. WORDS OF RADIANCE is an equally brilliant sequel […] These two books together represent the best fantasy that has been produced for a very long time.”


“[Some] of the finest examples of worldbuilding, magic system and religion creation and explanation I’ve ever come across.”

Fantasy Faction

“With the first book in the Stormlight Archive, The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson has created a probably THE fantasy series of our times […] The eagerly anticipated second installment, WORDS OF RADIANCE, is worth the wait and proves that Sanderson’s projected ten book series could be a significant literary presence in your life for the next decade. Get in on the second floor before everyone else does.”

Swide Magazine

“Sanderson does an excellent job of juggling all these threads and scenes, transitioning smoothly amongst and between them, spending just the right amount of time with each before moving on and often doing so in a way that allows for greater suspense, or for a powerful moment to linger a little longer. Plotting has always been one of Sanderson’s strengths and it shows throughout WORDS OF RADIANCE […] This is an incredibly complex and rich world Sanderson is creating.”

Fantasy Literature

“Brandon Sanderson has undertaken a task of enormous scope, and two volumes into The Stormlight Archive, he’s executing admirably. Brandon Sanderson is putting the “epic” in epic fantasy and I’m reveling in the story every step of the way.”

Fantasy Book Critic

“Stupefyingly, overwhelmingly stunning […] The third and last facet that makes WORDS OF RADIANCE a novel that changes the face of epic fantasy and ups the scale for future fantasy authors—even more than its predecessor The Way of Kings—is its depth of detail […] WORDS OF RADIANCE is an epic fantasy novel that does everything right. It is a love letter to its genre and an improvement upon anything the genre has ever churned out before. Without a doubt, this is Sanderson’s best novel to date. With its remarkable scope and size, realistic character focus, splendid worldbuilding, deeply imaginative magic, spectacular action sequences, cute romance, and mind-blowing position in the greater Cosmere, WORDS OF RADIANCE is one of the best books—and most likely the best epic fantasy—I’ve ever read.”

The Ranting Dragon

“It is a piece of art composed by a mad master who is so deep into his work that he cannot see beyond it–out of control and in danger of toppling over, but undeniably brilliant.”

Staffer’s Book Review

“Like much of Sanderson’s work, the novel balances traditional epic fantasy tropes with highly original and interesting worldbuilding, logically well-thought-out magic systems and hints of a much grander plan lying behind everything.”

The Wertzone

“Sanderson’s world building always feels so effortless and easy without losing any of the complexities and nuances that I love so much. The magic system is incredibly unique […] Sanderson is taking me on a mind-blowing journey, which, so far, has been just as impressive as any conclusion or answers I could find.”

Bookworm Blues

“The sheer scale of the world that Sanderson created in the first one The Way of Kings, and continued in Words of Radiance was enough to me want to read the 1000+ page book. On top of that, there’s the dynamic characters, the fascinating magic system, and the dozens of plots that are interwoven through that many characters, interludes and everything else. This novel was hands-down my favourite novel on the year.”

The Arched Doorway

“Majestic in the themes that are evoked; heroism, duty, loyalty, strength, conviction of character. Those large themes are writ over the characters and the balance of intimate and epic was quite satisfying […] I suspect novels in The Stormlight Archive will be the highlight Epic Fantasy novels of the year for quite a while to come.”


“Sanderson writes with a clear confidence and utterly engaging writing style, one that will pull you in from the first page […] one of the best epic fantasy series ever.”

The Book Plank

“Sanderson hooked me right from the start and relentlessly entranced me throughout the book, easily […] A combination of an absorbing story, unique characters and a breathtaking evocation of a world on the verge of collapse, makes Words of Radiance Sanderson’s best novel to date in my opinion.”

Drunken Dragon

“I was really sure I would love this book […] I’m glad (but not surprised) to say that I wasn’t disappointed at all.”

Just a World Away

“[WORDS OF RADIANCE] continues Sanderson’s tradition of written excellence […] This Stormlight Archive series is not to be missed by serious fantasy fans.”


" I want to see growth both in characters and plot. I look for a deeper level of world-building, and I hope for some answers to questions raised in the first book. WORDS OF RADIANCE...delivers on all these scores."

The Fantasy Hive

Awards & Accolades


#1 New York Times Bestseller List

United Kingdom

#2 Sunday Times Bestseller List


#1 Vancouver Sun Bestseller List


#1 Kobo Bestseller List


#2 USA Today Bestseller List


#2 National Indie Bestseller List


#30 Der Spiegel Bestseller List


#27 FNAC Bestseller List


#96 Amazon Spain Top 100 list


#1 Audible: “Listener Favorites”


Swide Magazine: “2014 Summer Reading List: Top 10 Fantasy”


Drunken Dragon: “Top 10 of 2014”


BookLoons: “Recommended Reads 2014”


The Arched Doorway: “Best Books of 2014”