Words of Radiance

Words of Radiance  - Brandon Sanderson This book can be read without having read the first book in the series, and it gives a complete story in and of itself. Though I do recommend the first book too.

This is a particularly good book to listen to since it's read most splendidly by the male and female reader.

Great Fantasy must follow rules of logic. The first of these rules is that a thing must be true to itself, that the essence of the character is always there. In this case, for example, Kaladin might do stupid things, but you know he'll end up doing what's right. The fantasy must be consistent and must be coherent while it's keeping you on the edge of your chair waiting for the story to unfold. This story does that for the listener.

Another thing, a great Fantasy should do is make you think beyond the story at hand. Dalinar believes at one point that "God is Dead", but he knows if that is true one must still act as if God were still alive. Kaladin is defined by his brother (and "who is his brother", everyone in Bridge group 4 and than some!). The point is that good Fantasy makes you see beyond the story itself, and everyone who listens will be able to put their own spin on the story and will be richer for having listen to it.

The biggest thing not understood if one hasn't read the first book in the series is Kaladin's relationship to his brother defines who he is and why Kaladin is such a great character. The second book does tell the listener some of that back story but not all.

This is the perfect story to listen with ones spouse (much better than TV). My wife actively listens during Shallan's vignettes, I am on the edge of my listening sit during Kaladin's story. Together the story makes for a great "theater of the mind".