Words of Radiance (#2)

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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

“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.”


“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

“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.”


" 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”