Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, Readalong Week 1

537a7-wordsofradgroupread250I’m joining the Words of Radiance group read, hosted by  Dab of Darkness and Stainless Steel Droppings. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a wise idea since I have a lot of deadlines and such. How would I find the time to read Sanderson’s massive second book in the Stormlight series? But I loved the first group read I participated in for Way of Kings, the first in the series, and couldn’t just sit on the sidelines. So I downloaded the audio book. That way I can listen when I’m cooking dinner, going for a run, and other chores I hate, but have to do.

I had a feeling I’d be late posting and I am. Oh well. At least I’m participating. For those of you who would like to know more about the group read, check out this page for the schedule. This is only the first week of I think ten weeks. Still plenty of time.  This week’s questions have come to us via Liesel over at Musings on Fantasia.

Before you read anymore, I should tell you, there will be major spoilers. Please, if you haven’t read this book, do not continue. I love having you visit, but this is a great series. I don’t want to spoil it for you and more than likely, my answers won’t make sense to you since you haven’t read the books.

Here we go:

We basically get the same prologue from the first book except from Jasnah’s POV. She tells Gangnah that her father’s assassin walked on the wall, and it’s ignored. We also see the Parshman leaders immediately take credit for the assassin. What did you make of it all? Insights? Impressions? How will this affect the story going forward?

I was shocked by the Parshendi taking the credit. I was kinda cheering for them in the last book and then I find this out. Not sure what to make of it, to be honest. I mean, we’re only 100 pages in and this book is over 1000 pages. I will say, it started with a bang.

Now I’m fearful for Dalinar. He seems to be going down the same path to achieve similar, if not, identical goals—yikes!

I found it interesting that not too many seemed concerned that the assassin walked on the walls. However, given the circumstances, it’s not surprising. It’s easy to dismiss clues like this when dealing with such a loss.

Andolin and Shallan are unofficially engaged. How do you see this relationship panning out?

I don’t have good feelings about Shallan and Adolin as a couple. Not lovey-dovey feelings at least. I’m wondering if Adolin will train her to fight, though. So far, Sanderson is hinting that Shallan feels more like a warrior. If I was Shallan, I’d be fearful about meeting Navani. That’s a woman I would never mess with.

Kaladin wants to keep his Radiant powers a secret for as long as possible. How successful do you think he’ll be? How long will he remain hidden? Do you think he’ll succeed in training the thousand?

Poor Kaladin and his trust issues. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why he isn’t so trusting. I can’t blame the man, but it could be his downfall. I think he’ll be discovered by a disaster. He’ll use his powers in a time of need since that’s the type of guy he is. And keeping something like that a secret with everything building up might be just too much for the man. I have a feeling that Szeth will be involved somehow with the big reveal.


Jasnah thinks Shallan’s spren is a Cryptic, as opposed to an Honorspren which is what Syl is. What do you think is the significance of this? What does it mean for Shallan? For Kaladin?

I think the spren for Kaladin and Shallan are the perfect companions for each. And Pattern (Shallan’s Cryptic) reminded me that Syl also had to learn or relearn many things before she could help Kaladin. It’ll be interesting to see him “grow” in the story.

How will Kaladin accomplish all of the tasks Dalinar has laid on him? Do you think Dalinar’s plan with the duels will work to stave off civil war and help unite the high princes?

Let’s just say, I’m glad I’m not Kaladin. He’s delegated some of the responsibility but jeez, how much can one man be responsible for. And he doesn’t have a large staff of people he can trust. Knowing him, he’ll take on too much and feel responsible for everything.

As for the duels, I kinda rolled my eyes about this one. I see the point, but I think many of the lords will see past this. However, I need to remind myself that honor is very important in this world. If it was me, I wouldn’t care too much about dueling. But I’m not much of a fighter so I would have been dead long ago. Most of the high princes seem rather childish so maybe this plan will work out beautifully. I’m fearful that Adolin won’t always win though. I know—I’m very pessimistic.

After the incident with the ship, do you think Jasnah is truly dead? Predictions?

I’m hoping she’s not dead. She isn’t the most compassionate character, but when she died I was saddened. I like the way she saw things and how she looked at everything from an intellectual stance. I can relate more to her than to Adolin. And I’m fearful with her dead it will take the rest a lot longer to figure things out.  Of course that makes for good reading. But the world, even ones like this, needs scholars.

What are your first thoughts/impressions of Pattern? How do you see his and Shallan’s relationship developing?

At first I wasn’t too impressed by Pattern. Then I remembered about Sly not knowing everything at first (and she’s still struggling with her memory) and now I’m curious to see how he develops and what he’ll attribute. Hopefully for the good, but it would be neat if he was more mischievous.

My apologies for being late this week. I’m looking forward to reading (I should say listening) to the next part. Have a great weekend!

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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14 Responses to Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, Readalong Week 1

  1. I had to skim through this post because I haven’t read these books yet, but I’m hearing so many good things about Sanderson’s work that I downloaded a bunch of his books. Now to try and fit them in :).

  2. Thanks for a great review! I really should consider audio books. There is so much out there to read and never enough time. Listening to a book while cooking or cleaning is a great idea. I think the only reason I haven’t given them a try is that often when I’m listening to the radio, my mind will wander and I wonder if I would do the same with an audio book.

  3. cleemckenzie says:

    My one and only experience with an audio book was a horrid Clive Cussler “thriller.” It was so funny that it did make the car trip seem shorter, but the readers were terrible. It seems this isn’t the case for WOR. But I really love the way words communicate to me from the page. Maybe I’m just not a good auditory learner kind of person.

    • TBM says:

      Good narration is key. Some audio books I can’t get into at all because of the reader. I much prefer seeing the words on the page and how authors construct sentences, but this is useful in some instances. It helps me train my brain to concentrate on the words in a different way. Hear certain phrases out loud. But mostly I didn’t want to miss out on this event 😉

  4. nrlymrtl says:

    I too wonder what the meeting between Shallan and Navani will be like. Fireworks? Or will Navani mother her?

    I am skeptical that the dueling plan will work out as Dalinar hopes it will. Either way, I expect that Adolin will have a lot of fun dueling the other whiny high lords. :

    I too felt connected to Jasnah and I am saddened that she is dead. Sigh…..and all those books going to the bottom of the ocean!!!!

    I am so glad you are joining us for this read along, even though you have tons of stuff to do.

    • TBM says:

      I couldn’t pass it up. So far it’s working out, except I’m a couple of days late posting, but hey, better late than never.

      I’m kinda excited and nervous for Shallan and Navani to meet. Yes, fireworks. It’ll make for uncomfortable reading, but entertaining I think.

      Oh the books–such a loss!

  5. I haven’t read this yet. I went to the Amazon page and saw all those reviews…I’m surprised I haven’t seen this book before.

    • TBM says:

      I’ve read his Mistborn Series and really enjoyed it. This is the second of ten. He hasn’t written the other eight yet and the wait between the first and second seemed so long. But so far, worth it.

  6. lynnsbooks says:

    I didn’t realise you had a different blog!!! I’ve been looking for your posts on your other blog – damn, I’m a raging dunce!!
    I agree that Kaladin will probably be found out by trying to help during some sort of disaster. Although now Amaram is on the scene he could get overtaken by the power of his own emotions.
    I really hope Jasnah isn’t dead. If she is I must confess that I’ll be surprised with Sanderson because he really underplayed that scene and moved on so swiftly. I hope I’m right but I’m guessing I”ll probably be wrong! I know what you mean about her not coming across as compassionate. I struggled with her character a little at first but then when I started to hear more of her background I felt a bit sorry for her. Always being pursued by people wanting to trail on her coattails and not really knowing who she could trust. Then taking on Shallan – and we all know how that played out!
    Pattern, he’s not quite as easily likable as Syl is he?
    Lynn 😀

    • TBM says:

      You aren’t a dunce. I decided to start a blog for my writing and keep my 50 year about my 50 year goals. No biggie.

      Kal is such a good guy that he can’t stand by while something is happening and I fear that will be his undoing. But that’s why I like him so much. Team good guy!

      yeah, it took me a while to warm up to Jasnah. It’s a great case of not judging a book by its cover. All of us have things in our past that change us. It’s a wonderful example so we can remember that. And it was odd how he just skimmed over her death. I had to listen to that part at least twice before I realized what was going on. So that’s a good point you make. Maybe he did that for a reason and she’ll be back!

      I’m starting to like Pattern more, but he’s no Syl. then again, Shallan isn’t like Kaladin.

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