Friday, March 27, 2015

Words of Radiance

The second sweeping epic in Brandon Sanderson's The Stormlight Archive is entitled Words of Radiance and picks up where the first part of the tale, The Way of Kings, ended. Kingdoms are under attack both from within and without. Forces on the outside control a deadly assassin, who has been tasked with killing the leaders of the lands. The Assassin in White is a being with mastery of the forces of the universe who appears to be unstoppable. From the inside, the highprinces of the land squabble and plot to fill their treasuries and to consolidate their power.

In The Way of Kings we met two men of principle and honor. Highprince Dalinar, the uncle of the Alethi king, has been receiving prophetic visions warning of the end of the age. Without truly understanding the details of what he has been given, rumors are swirling that the once mighty warrior is a craven who is losing his mind. Slowly he becomes convinced that his visions are true signs of what is to come and he works against those who would destroy him to try to save the kingdom and the people of the land. The other man that we have met is Kaladin, a man who was betrayed after saving his highprince and sent into slavery. Eventually he was forced into a troop of men who carry bridges out onto the Shattered Plains to allow access for the armies to cross between the different mesas. Using powers that he doesn't understand, he eventually saves the lives of Dalinar and his son. He and his bridgemen are then chosen to be the personal bodyguards of the king and Dalinar, along with their families.

The regular battles with the Parshendi, the race of warriors who live across the Shattered Plains, continue. They had claimed responsibility for sending the Assassin in White and the highprinces bonded together to defeat them. However, their thrist for revenge finally gave way to petty lusts for power and riches. The Parshendi eventually saw their numbers declining and in a last desperate attempt to defeat the humans, delved into the old magic to call forth a storm to destroy them. Relying on ancient prophesies, ultimately the Alethi people find passage into the long abandoned city of the protectors known as the Knight Radiant. The secrets of this city and the disappearance of the protectors of humanity must be learned if people are to survive.

The next part of story set for release in the first part of 2016 is tentatively entitled Stones Unhallowed. I definitely look forward to diving in the moment it is published.