Friday, April 25, 2014

Sanderson, Brandon (Words of Radiance)

Is there anything Sanderson cannot do?! Besides the overarching awe you feel for reading what is a true EPIC (this is book 2 in The Stormlight Archive), there's also Sanderson's talent at quick-flipping between comedy, suspense, dramadramadrama, and, the most important thing, revealing pieces of the overall mystery. You will read a nice little dramatic moment which then, all of a sudden, morphs into a huge reveal. It just blows your socks off, never knowing what you're going to get next.

I truly am in awe of his writing. I wish I could say the same for some of his thought processes, particularly on homosexuality. I suspect that we have to take the good with the bad because what we love so much about his description of faith and God and religion in his books comes from the life he has lived in his own faith. I would really, really prefer that he wasn't misguided in his thinking about certain large issues in our world, but I'm not wholly surprised.

Case in point, you will never see a gay character in a Sanderson book. However, especially in this volume, you will see a great number of racial stereotypes that are well enough "drawn" that you won't immediately think of an Earth equivalent. (Although, Lopen? Well, that's freakin' obvious.) I would endeavor to say that the main point of this volume of The Stormlight Archive is about race and class, perhaps more about class. Kaladin is struggling so darn hard to understand his place in the world, and it feels more and more like he will become the main character of the entire Archive.

I like where the story is going. I like how the characters have changed and morphed and moved forward. I like that there remain mysteries. I especially like the little "author note" we got in the last chapter. I was, however, surprised at how different this book felt from the previous book, which makes me all the more eager for the next one. Any author that can change his tone from book to book in a series has a marvelous talent.

I don't doubt that 1000 pages is too long for most people, and it always make me quail when I see that, but I have a new method. I try and think of the one book as a series of 3 books. When I reach 33% I think "one book down"!

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