Book Summary — Stormlight Archive

Michael Batko
Published in
3 min readMar 26, 2024


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1 paragraph summary:

The book sucked me in so much, I read 8 of them before I knew it. Epic story of all the ups and downs of a couple of main characters. Kaladin being the main hero who goes through the biggest rollercoaster of mental health breakdowns. Fascinating and untraditional fantasy read with a gripping storyline.

My favourite quotes below:


But expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.

Respect is like Manure

I find that respect is like manure. Use it where needed, and growth will flourish. Spread it on too thick, and things just start to smell.


The hallmark of insecurity is bravado.

Life before Death

“I can’t save them, Syl,” Kaladin whispered, anguished. “Are you certain?” “I’ve failed every time before.” “And so you’ll fail this time too?” “Yes.” She fell silent. “Well then,” she eventually said. “Let’s say that you’re right.” “So why fight? I told myself that I would try one last time. But I failed before I began. There’s no saving them.” “Doesn’t the fight itself mean anything?” “Not if you’re destined to die.” He hung his head. Sigzil’s words echoed in his head. Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. Kaladin looked up at the crack of sky. Like a faraway river of pure, blue water. Life before death. What did the saying mean? That men should seek life before seeking death? That was obvious. Or did it mean something else? That life came before death? Again, obvious. And yet the simple words spoke to him.

Death comes, they whispered. Death comes to all.

But life comes first. Cherish it.

Death is the destination.

But the journey, that is life.

That is what matters.

Strength to Serve

Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service.

Power / Perception

Power is an illusion of perception.

This thing we call power — authority — exists only as it is perceived.

Love is like Dung

‘Love,’ Shallan said, though partially just to distract them, ‘is like a pile of chull dung.’ ‘Smelly?’ Balat asked. ‘No,’ Shallan said, ‘for even as we try to avoid both, we end up stepping in them anyway.’

People will define you by what you are Not.

“They will try,” Jasnah said, “to define you by something you are not. Don’t let them. I can be a scholar, a woman, a historian, a Radiant. People will still try to classify me by the thing that makes me an outsider. They want, ironically, the thing I don’t do or believe to be the prime marker of my identity. I have always rejected that, and will continue to do so.”


Failure is the mark of a life well lived. In turn, the only way to live without failure is to be of no use to anyone.

The Next Step

What was the most important step a man could take? The first, obviously.

The most important step a man can take.

It’s not the first one, is it?

It’s the next one. Always the next step.

What’s the Point?

“Why do we fight, Kal? Why do we keep going?” “I don’t know,” Kaladin whispered. “I’ve forgotten.” “It’s so we can be with each other.” “They all die, Tien. Everyone dies.” “So they do, don’t they?” “That means it doesn’t matter,” Kaladin said. “None of it matters.” “See, that’s the wrong way of looking at it.” Tien held him tighter.

“Since we all go to the same place in the end, the moments we spent with each other are the only things that do matter. The times we helped each other.”

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