Short Book Synopsis: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Hello dear readers, welcome to another Short Book Synopsis. It’s a simple idea: I summarize books for you so if you want to know what happens in them, you don’t need to worry about re-reading the entire book.

If you have any books you’d like me to cover, please let me know in the comments. Some I can do off the top of my head, where others will take a bit of research.

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Shallan is the main focus in this book, and we get her flashbacks featured at times throughout the book. The flashbacks slowly reveal the gradual destruction of her family, and the details of her two potential murderous and/or abusive parents.

The Interludes introduce Lift and follow Eshonai as she, at first, reluctantly changes to stormform and then stages a coup, taking complete control of the Parshendi.

We start the prologue with Galivar’s assassination told from Jasnah’s perspective. We see the horror she witnesses and her bond and eventually Soulcast for the first time.

The main story starts with Shallan and Jasnah traveling by ship to the Shattered Plains. Jasnah tells Shallan of Shallan’s betrothal to her cousin Adolin. Shallan continues her teachings until she is woken during the middle of the night and witnessed the murder of Jasnah.

In an attempt to save the rest of the crew, Shallan soulcasts and causes the ship to sink.

She makes it to shore but is unable to soulcast a simple stick when she tries. She eventually joins Tvlakv’s slave wagons and heads towards the Shattered Plains.

Meanwhile, Kaladin sets up training exercises for other bridge crews and begins experimenting with his newfound Adhesion abilities. He gets upset when he finds out that Brightlord Amaran arrives in Dalinar’s camp.

Dalinar keeps trying to unite the Highprinces by using his authority as the new Highprince of War. In one of his flashbacks he and other Knight’s Radiant fight against a Thunderclast in the middle of a Highstorm.

Back to Shallan, she eventually joins Tyn’s caravan and joins with them to defend against bandits and winning over a group of deserters that were chasing them.

Tyn assumes she can’t really be who she says she is, so Tyn takes her on as an apprentice con artist. She eventually finds out the truth, but is killed by Shallan using her Shardblade.

Tyn assumes she can’t really be who she says she is, so Tyn takes her on as an apprentice con artist. She eventually finds out the truth, but is killed by Shallan using her Shardblade.

Adolin starts winning some duels and obtaining pieces of shard plate, following his father’s plan to unite the high princes. Renarin trains with Shardblade and plate while Torol Sadeas works against Dalinar, consolidating power and sending troops on gemstone raids when it is not his turn.

Szeth attempts to kill Dalinar, but Kaladin defends him. Kaladin tells Szeth he is a Windrunner just like him, but Szeth flees in confusion and anger.

Shallan finally arrives at the Shattered Plains in the middle of a conference between the King and the Highprinces. She informs the royal family of Jasnah’s death and cons her way into being hired by Seberial. Using her Lighweaving skills, she takes on the persona of “Veil” and does some work for the Ghostbloods. She uses them in an attempt to learn about Urithiru and warn Dalinar of the Parshendi Voidbringers.

During the day she manages Sebarial’s books and courts Adolin, who she begins hitting it off with.

Kaladin continues training the bridegemen, promoting more men capable of command so he can delegate more patrols and guard duty.

He attempts training like Szeth to walk on chasm walls, but instead flies high above the ground in control of his abilities.

Moash reveals his dark secret and out to kill the King. Kaladin is torn – he knows the king is week and should be killed, but he has sworn to protect him.

Adolin makes a mistake, and accidentally challenges four Shardbearers at once to a duel. With Kaladin’s help, Adolin manages to win the duel and Kaladin asks for a boon from the king; a challenge with Prince Amaran, but he is arrested at his declaration.

Kaladin stews in prison and is visited by Wit, who ends up making things worse. When he is eventually released, Kaladin learns that Adolin demanded to be imprisoned as long as he was, which softens Kaladin’s feelings towards Adolin and lighteyes in general.

An assassination attempt on Dalinar during a scouting mission leaves Kaladin and Shallan at the bottom of the chasms, but both used stormlight to survive the impossible fall. They both don’t trust each other at first, but they both lighten up and share some of their pasts with each other. Kaladin kills a chasm fiend with Shallan’s shardblade but then realizes he has lost all contact with Syl because he is involved in Moash’s scheme to kill the King.

The countdown clock ticks towards zero. Dalinar prepares an assault against the Parshendi. Kaladin and Shallan make it back to camp and Shallan insists on going on the assault, having mapped out a good amount of the Shattered Plains in her trip with Kaladin, who stays behind with a wound to his leg.

Dalinar leads his army, guided by Shallan, to the centre of the Shattered Plains to end the war once and for all. Kaladin falls into a deep depression over his loss of Syl and his injuries, before having an epiphany that he must protect the incompetent king from assassination.

He confronts Moash and almost dies before uttering the words:

I will protect even those I hate so long as it is right. 

When he speaks these words, Syl returns and becomes his shardblade once again. He fights off Moash and Graves who flee after failing to kill the King.

Dalinar and the Alethi army encounter the Parshendi, who have taken on a strange new form. A portion of them fight while a portion of them sing a strange, foreboding song. The Alethi manage to win, but not in time to stop the Everstorm from coming at the same exact time as a Highstorm.

Szeth arrives at the scene of the battle to finish the job on Dalinar, but Kaladin intervenes and stops Szeth, driving him away.

Shallan solves the age-old puzzle and finds the portal. She activates it using her shardblade and the Alethi are transported to Urithiru, making it through the Highstorm and Everstorm.

Dalinar, Shallan, Kaladin, and Renarin gather in Urithiru and declare themselves as Knights Radiant.

Did I miss anything? What were your favourite parts of Words of Radiance? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
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Short Book Synopsis: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Hello dear readers, I have a new idea for posts that I want to try out. I figured since there are a lot of series that I am reading that aren’t yet finished, I would do some research and write up quick summaries for the books for others to use.

This way, instead of re-reading the books, people can read the summaries and re-live the stories.

If you think these summaries would be helpful to you, make sure to make a recommendation of a book I can summarize for you. I’d be more than happy to help!

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The book begins with a look at the Heralds, who are the leaders of the Knights Radiant. They have been in a thousands of years long war with the Voidbringers. We find out that the Heralds are cursed and ultimately will die in battle stopping the Voidbringers, where they will be tortured in a place of fire and brimstone before being reborn.

After countless rebirths, the Heralds abandon their roles and condemn one of their kind to the place of fire and brimstone for eternity. The Knights Radiant die off without their leaders or are consumed by corruption, leaving only their shard bladed and shard plate as a remnant of their legacy.


Fast forward thousands of years and we get the story from the perspective of Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar and Szeth, who live unconnected lives from what we can tell.

Seth is sent to Kill Galivar, the king of the Alethi people and brother of Dalinar, which he succeeds in. The Parshendi take credit for the assassination, and the Alethi wage war on them, starting the War of Reckoning.

After his brother’s death we read the story from the perspective of Dalinar, who read Galivar’s final message; to read a book titled The Way of Kings, in which he starts questioning the Alethi way of life and their political beliefs. He also begins having very vivid visions, where he remembers and interacts with Knights Radiant from thousands of years ago, which makes him doubt the stories that have been passed down for generations about the Knights.

Amongst chapters from the perspective of Dalinar, we get a few from his son Andolin, who struggles to accept his father’s change of heart. Though he doesn’t outwardly state it, he is constantly in doubt of whether or not the man he has respected and looked up to, his father, is truly going mad and seeing things.

Meanwhile, Kaladin, a darkeyed (basically the lower class) peasant with a burning hatred for lighters (basically nobles) has trained with his father to become a surgeon before volunteering to go to war for his local lord. He did this so that his younger brother would not die in battle, but Kaladin ultimately fails.

Kaladin uses this pain to grow stronger, and even defeats an enemy Shardbearer singlehandedly. Kaladin rejects his spoils of war; the blade and plate, as they are taken by his lord. Kaladin is branded and sold into slavery to hide the truth of the events.

Now a slave, Kaladin is forced to serve as a Bridgman in the war in the Shattered Plains. Basically his role is to run in the front lines carrying a giant bridge with the rest of his squad so that cavalry men can ride across large chasms. Bridgemen are easy targets for Parshendi archers.

Over time, Kaladin and his soldiers train to become a more coherent unit, and eventually a pseudo-family, which gives Kaladin a will to live.

After teaching his men to use the bridge as a shield, Kaladin ruins one of the raids and is punished by being left out during a Highstorm, basically a death sentence. He survives by unknowingly absorbing the energy from the spheres he is holding, and he begins to learn to control his power to save his men from the life of a bridgeman.

Across an ocean, Shallan, a minor lighter, plans a daring plot to switch her family’s broken soul caster with one belonging to Jasnah Knohlin, niece to Dalinar. After a few rejections, Shallan eventually becomes her pupil and uses struggles to come to terms with what she must do because of her relationship with Jasnah and her love of her new life.

Things get more complicated when Shallan is unable to use the soul caster, until one day she accidentally turns a goblet into blood just as Jasnah walks into the room. Shallan tries to hide this by masking her own suicide, but realizes that Jasna’s stone is unable to soul cast, and Jasnah has the ability to souldcast on her own.

Jasnah begins instructing Shallan in the skills of soul casting, and the two prepare to travel to the Shattered Plains to meet with her uncle Dalinar and discuss the origins of the Knights Radiant and their war with the Voidbrigners.

Obviously there is more to the story than just the above summary, but I think these cover most of the major plot points.

What do you think of this type of post? Let me know in the comments if you want me to summarize other books, and make sure to follow me on social media!
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