Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction and #2 on the overall USA Today list. It’s the second book in his Stormlight Archives series, which began with The Way of Kings. I re-read/listened to the first book shortly before the new one came out, so that it would be fresh in my mind. It also allows me to compare the two books, and in my opinion, while The Way of Kings was very good, Words of Radiance is even better.
A few years ago I was discussing Brandon’s books with an LDS friend, and he pointed out that Brandon’s books all* dealt with the concepts of people becoming gods or being in the city of the gods. It wasn’t something that had occurred to me before, but I realized he was right:
- Elantris — Elantris was the city of the gods, and people who became gods went there.
- The Mistborn Trilogy — The Lord Ruler had become an (evil) god living in the city of Luthadel, where much of the series takes place. Other characters achieve godhood.
- Warbreaker — In the city of Hallandren they worship the Returned, people who died and came back with godlike powers, including the God King.
I was kicking myself for not having picked up on such story elements as having clearly been derived from Mormon theology. Naturally, I looked for that motif while reading The Way of Kings, but it wasn’t there in an obvious way, although there were a few possible hints at it. I wondered if maybe Brandon was moving away from that motif in his writing. However, those hints grow stronger in Words of Radiance, so I think it may still end up playing an important part in the series by the time he finishes it.
Anyone else spot any LDS-related themes in the Stormlight Archives so far?
*All his books for adults, not his books for younger readers.