This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Tor Books (March 4, 2014)
In Tor’s longest, most elaborately embellished novel ever, The Way of Kings, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war. Among those caught up in the conflict are Brightlord Dalinar Kholin, who leads the human armies; his sister Jasnah, a renowned scholar; her student Shallan, a brilliant but troubled young woman; and Kaladin, a military slave who, by the book’s end, had become the first magically endowed Knight Radiant in centuries.
In Words of Radiance their intertwined stories will continue and, as Sanderson fans have come to expect, develop in unexpected, wonderfully surprising directions. The war with the Parshendi will move into a new, dangerous phase, as Dalinar leads the human armies deep into the heart of the Shattered Plains in a bold attempt to finally end it. Shallan will come along, hoping to find the legendary, perhaps mythical, city of Urithuru, which Jasnah believes holds a secret vital to mankind’s survival on Roshar. The Parshendi take a dangerous step to strengthen themselves for the human challenge, risking the return of the fearsome Voidbringers of old. To deal with it all, Kaladin must learn to how to fulfill his new role as leader of the restored Knights Radiant, while mastering the powers of a Windrunner.
With this second book, the Stormlight Archive grows even more richly immersive and compelling. Sanderson’s fans, old and new, are likely to lift it at least as high on the bestseller lists as its predecessor.
On the one hand, it seems like we've been waiting for this second volume forever. On the other hand, it's hard to believe that the first book came out in 2010. I was actually a little bit wary of reading The Way of Kings when it first came out, not only because I didn't like the way the whole Mistborn saga ended, but because I knew Sanderson's work on The Wheel of Time would delay a subsequent volume. As it turned out, however, I enjoyed it immensely, so much so that can still recall pivotal scenes with absolute clarity several years later - which is something of an oddity for me. I may have to skim the first book to get a sense of where we left off, but Words of Radiance will be one of those books I deliberately lose myself in, late into the night, for a marathon read.
Should I be so lucky as to land an ARC, then I promise to whet your appetite as soon as the final page is turned!