Words of Radiance The Stormlight Archive 2 Brandon Sanderson is the second novel in the epic fantasy series, The Stormlight Archive. The novel, published on March 4, 2014, follows the journey of the Highprince Dalinar Kholin as he attempts to unite the kingdoms of Roshar against the Voidbringers, the ancient enemy of humanity.

The novel is set in the richly constructed world of Roshar, a land that is constantly battered by violent storms and inhabited by exotic creatures. Sanderson's writing style blends detailed world-building, intricate and multifaceted characters, dynamic and fast-paced action, and a deep exploration of magic and mythology, making Words of Radiance a captivating and unforgettable read.

Plot Summary

Words of Radiance picks up where The Way of Kings left off, with the kingdom of Alethkar in chaos after the assassination of King Gavilar Kholin. His son and heir, King Elhokar Kholin, is struggling to maintain control of his throne as various factions and Highprinces vie for power.

Meanwhile, Dalinar Kholin, the uncle of King Elhokar and Highprince of Alethkar, is having visions that hint at a terrible danger that threatens both Alethkar and the entire world of Roshar. He is haunted by memories of events that took place during his past campaigns against the Parshendi, the race of sentient beings responsible for the death of his brother King Gavilar.

As the story unfolds, Dalinar and his bodyguard Kaladin are drawn into a web of intrigue and danger that threaten to engulf them and their loved ones. They must navigate treacherous political alliances, confront powerful foes, and master the magical powers of the Knights Radiant, an ancient order of warriors with legendary abilities.

Character Analysis

Words of Radiance introduces a rich and diverse cast of characters whose personal journeys intertwine in unexpected ways. The novel's main protagonists are Dalinar Kholin, Kaladin Stormblessed, Shallan Davar, and Adolin Kholin.

Dalinar Kholin

Dalinar is the Highprince of Alethkar, a legendary warrior, and a key player in the political landscape of Roshar. He is haunted by visions of ancient wars, and his inner turmoil is reflected in his relationships with his sons Adolin and Renarin, his estranged brother Gavilar, and his love interest Navani Kholin, the former wife of his deceased brother.

Throughout Words of Radiance, Dalinar's character undergoes substantial growth as he grapples with his visions, his leadership role, and his personal demons. His quest for redemption, personal honor, and the truth behind the visions become the backbone of the novel's plot.

Kaladin Stormblessed

Kaladin is a former slave who became a member of the Bridge Four unit, a group of fellow slaves who fought alongside him in The Way of Kings. In Words of Radiance, Kaladin is hailed as a hero for his bravery during the final battle of the previous novel.

However, Kaladin faces new challenges as he learns the extent of his new magical powers as a Knight Radiant, and he must reconcile his dual identities as a soldier and a burgeoning magical user. The trauma of his past and the guilt he feels for not being able to save everyone he cared for continue to haunt his thoughts and actions.

Shallan Davar

Shallan is a young woman from a noble family who joined Jasnah Kholin, the sister of King Elhokar and renowned scholar, on her quest to discover the secrets of the Knights Radiant. The two women's journey leads them to Urithiru, the fabled fortress of the Radiants.

Throughout the course of Words of Radiance, Shallan's past is revealed, and the reader gets to understand more about her upbringing and how it led to her current situation. By the end of the novel, it becomes clear that she is a key element in the fate of Roshar and will play a significant role in the coming conflict.

Adolin Kholin

Adolin is the eldest son of Dalinar Kholin and heir to the house of Kholin. Throughout the first two novels of The Stormlight Archive, Adolin has struggled with his role of a diplomat while also wanting to be a warrior. He must adapt to quickly changing political landscapes and the demands of his family and allies.

In Words of Radiance, Adolin's character undergoes a significant shift as he grapples with his father's visions, his loyalty to his friends, and his romantic relationship with Shallan. His character arc serves to add further depth to the novel's themes around politics, family dynamics, and personal sacrifice.


Words of Radiance explores several themes, including leadership, redemption, and the power of myth and legend. The novel also explores how relationships of all kinds shape who people are and how they act. In short, the central theme of Words of Radiance is the struggles for power and control that are inherent in a world where conflicts arise at every turn.


In Words of Radiance, leadership is explored through the character of Dalinar, who must balance his role as Highprince with the visions that he receives from the Almighty. He must navigate various relationships of power and ally himself with those who can help him protect his country against external threats. The novel suggests that the importance of being a good leader requires strength and power but also demands integrity and the ability to put the needs of others ahead of oneself.


The primary theme underlying Dalinar's whole arc in Words of Radiance is one of redemption. His character has a history of conquest and war, and he struggles with the guilt that comes with that lifestyle. Through his visions and his experiences in Words of Radiance, he seeks to make amends for his past transgressions and become a better person.

Power of Myth and Legend

Words of Radiance is a novel that explores the power of myth and legend, particularly through the character of Kaladin. Throughout the story, he learns about the myth and legend of the Knights Radiant - a group of ancient warriors and leaders who fought and died ages ago to protect the world of Roshar. As he begins to discover his powers and learns to use them, the readers see firsthand the power of myth and legend in shaping reality in the world of Roshar.

Impact of Words of Radiance

The publication of Words of Radiance was a significant moment in the fantasy genre, as it demonstrated the power of epic fantasy to explore complex themes while providing exciting and unforgettable action. The novel's well-rounded characters, intricate plot, and detailed worldbuilding quickly earned Sanderson a spot as one of the most influential authors in the genre.

The novel's influence has been evident in the subsequent years, inspiring a host of imitators who seek to capture the same sense of epicness and scope that is captured in the book. Moreover, its impact on the genre shows that there remains plenty of room in the fantasy world for epic tales of battle and personal growth.


Words of Radiance The Stormlight Archive 2 Brandon Sanderson is a thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking novel that explores complex themes of leadership, redemption, and mythology. The book's intricate plot, richly constructed world, and multifaceted characters make it an unforgettable read that is sure to captivate fans of epic fantasy fiction. With this second novel, Sanderson builds on the foundation he established in The Way of Kings and solidifies his position as one of the most significant voices in the fantasy genre.