The Way of Kings: The Stormlight Archive, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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From number one New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, book one of the Stormlight Archive, begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the 10 consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them and won by them.
One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where 10 armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.
Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar's niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan's motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
The result of more than 10 years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.
Speak again the ancient oaths:
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before destination.
And return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.
Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson:
The Stormlight Archive:
- The Way of Kings
- Words of Radiance
- Edgedancer (Novella)
The Mistborn trilogy:
- Mistborn: The Final Empire
- The Well of Ascension
- The Hero of Ages
Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series:
- Alloy of Law
- Shadows of Self
- Bands of Mourning
- Arcanum Unbounded
Other Cosmere novels:
The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series:
- Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
- The Scrivener's Bones
- The Knights of Crystallia
- The Shattered Lens
- The Dark Talent
The Rithmatist series:
- The Rithmatist
Other books by Brandon Sanderson:
- The Reckoners
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|Listening Length||45 hours and 30 minutes|
|Narrator||Kate Reading, Michael Kramer|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 31, 2010|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #111 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2 in Military Fantasy (Books)
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#5 in Action & Adventure Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2020
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That journey lies within the pages of Brandon Sanderson's novel, "The Way of Kings".
There are a couple bottom lines I'd like to make clear before I discuss this book in more depth, and I'll go ahead and set them up here to prevent anyone from unnecessarily spending their valuable time.
1. "The Way of Kings" is the best book I've read in a while. 9.5/10 on my scale.
2. I've noticed a lot of reviews draw comparisons between "Kings" and Robert Jordan's "The Eye of the World" / "The Wheel of Time" series. This got me thinking - it's probably good that I make clear what I think of the three prevalent fantasy-series touchstones before I discuss this book so whoever reads this knows how my mind works. This reader loved "A Game of Thrones" as well as the subsequent series, but found books 4 and 5 quite tedious. My reactions to Robert Jordan's WoT series are lukewarm at best - I found "The Eye of the World" to be derivative, predictable, and a lot of the time very poorly written. This being said, yes, I enjoyed it for what it was. I loved "The Lord of the Rings," but have clearer and fonder memories of "The Hobbit".
3. Books like "Dune" tax my patience. Heavily.
4. I hate reviews with spoilers. Be at peace, wary reader. Here, there be no dragons.
5. This book is over 1200 pages long. I've spent about three weeks reading it. This review is going to be long as well, and arguably nowhere near as well written.
6. Did I mention that I didn't like "Dune"?
Now that we've gotten the introductions out of the way, on to "The Way of Kings" itself. I'll go ahead and call it TWOK from here on out. It sounds cool and it's easier to type. So. Here we go.
ATMOSPHERE: As I think I already made clear, this book absolutely blew me away. Carried me away might be a better phrase, actually, or transported me Elsewhere with a capital E. It did everything I want a fantasy book to do - took me out of my world and introduced me to one so fantastic, so alien, so unforgettable and yet so believable that I found myself thinking about it...well, all the time. I would describe the world in detail, but so many other reviews have beaten me to it I'll skip that and relegate myself to saying this - imagine an ocean floor without the ocean. I think someone may have actually already written that. Well done, anonymous person. You hit it right on the head.
There are more mysteries in this world than there are answers, and whenever one question is answered another four sprout up in its place. The nature of the highstorms (and their somewhat ominous sounding "Origin") was of particular note to me, not to mention the nature of "spren," the strange spirits that accompany basically everything in the world. If I were to pick a character to fall in with, I'd roger up with Axies the Collector, a side character from one of the Interludes who I sincerely wish Sanderson would make into an entire storyline. When you find yourself fascinated by the daily life of characters that have no bearing whatsoever on the overall storyline, you know the author has done something right with their Worldbuilding. This, actually, brings me right into my next point of review.
CHARACTERS: The book focuses on four main characters, or maybe it would be more accurate to say three and a half. Kaladin, Dalinar and Shallan account for the majority of the book, and though he appears far less frequently, Szeth-son-son-Vallano, Truthless of Shinovar (Yes, that's his name) accounts for what remains. There are a smattering of side characters, some utterly forgettable and others utterly unforgettable (Axies the Collector, for instance, who travels the world studying spren) and they form the interludes between parts. In the end, you'll care about some more than others. Fortunately, Sanderson did this on purpose. The result is that when one chapter ends, you're angry because you don't want to leave their storyline. And then you finish the next chapter, and feel the same way. And so on and so forth. It's similar to what Martin did with his Song of Ice and Fire series, except without the Sansa chapters.
I noticed that one of the chief complaints about this book was that it has a lack of gray characters. This fascinates me, because gray characters tend to grate on me after a while. Again, I'll go ahead and reference that Other (pun intended) epic fantasy series, "A Song of Ice and Fire," for a reference point here. I love it when characters surprise me. I don't like it when there aren't really any heroes I feel like I can root for. George Martin, I'm talking to you here. But I digress. Are the characters in TWOK relatively one dimensional? I suppose maybe they are.
There are others who suggest the characters found in this book are largely derivative. I disagree, except to say that they are very typical heroes. I think I like that, though. I like that Sanderson has heroes who are capable of heroic things. Who else would a fantasy writer choose to follow? The uneventful people? Would that be like Holden Caulfield goes to Middle Earth? I don't know. Maybe it could work. The point is that Sanderson has characters I can get behind, characters I can fall in love with, who I can fear for (I'm thinking of one character in particular here) and who when they are in genuine danger I can start gnawing my fingernails. I thought the characters in this were great, for what they were. And let's be honest here. The last 75 pages have more twists and character revelations packed into them than the other 1125 pages combined. This brings me around to the next part of my thoughts.
PLOT, PROSE AND PROGRESS: One of the chief complaints about "The Way of Kings" is that nothing much happens in it. I blame this sentiment (and yes, I use the word blame because I think this is a shortcoming of us as readers) on the fact that we live in a largely instant society. We want everything NOW. Take, for instance, the adoration a lot of people have for "The Eye of the World". Things start happening pretty fast in that book and they don't really let up. For a reader like me, that's boring. TWOK is more about setting up a storyline. It's a 1200 page introduction to a 10 book mega-epic that demands an enormous setup. It's the kind of book that has a prelude and a prologue, lots of interludes and lots of parts.
This being said, I never once felt like the book was lacking in action. There are battles galore, intrigues, mysteries, romances and failures. There's a real sense of wonder and mystery in this world - its inhabitants are as baffled by it as we are as readers. This comforts me. I liked that I didn't feel stupid reading this book. A lot of the time, I was sitting there going "Wait, what's this now?" only to discover a character a few pages later going "So wait...what was that, then?" Sanderson is trying something interesting here, introducing a world where characters don't know what's happening. Unlike most other books, which have the standard Wise Old Person to tell them exactly what is happening, this book doesn't have one (yet). The characters, readers and story wander around in the dark with a candle, looking for something while hearing frightening sounds coming from the shadows. The Alethi Kingdom is at war, and yet everyone has a strange sense of creeping dread that we the readers are infected by. We know SOMETHING is coming - we just don't know what. Something called the Night of Sorrows. The True Desolation. What that means and who its bringing, we never do quite figure, but it sure doesn't sound like they're bringing sweeties.
Brandon Sanderson has a strange way of writing. I say this fondly. His prose is never astonishing. When I read George Martin, for example, I usually come across a paragraph/line or two that I savor in my mouth for a bit before carrying on. Patrick Rothfuss does this too, and so does R. Scott Bakker. There are always those zingers that I text to my friends, often annoying them with my enthusiasm. Sanderson has none of that. His paragraphs are simple, his words elemental. He sets out to tell us a story, not wow us with his language. I'm wowed anyway. Prose this transparent, this clear, this unpolluted and convincing...it's a gift. In other words, his writing is deceptively intelligent. I was in awe for reasons I've never really been in awe before. In fact, when someone asked me for a good quote from the book, I was genuinely stumped. The book itself is a quote. It cannot be separated from itself.
OTHER FACTORS: One of the things that impressed me most about this book was the storyline of Kaladin. Kaladin himself may be your run of the mill hero (the general who became a slave, the slave who became a gladiator, the gladiator who defied an emp - oh, wait, wrong movie, I mean book, I mean - aw phooey...) but he's approached differently than I've ever seen a character like this approached in fantasy. Here, Kaladin earns his place as a leader by a painstaking process which unfolds over literally hundreds of pages. Leadership isn't a microwave meal, and neither is Kaladin's story. His struggles, his dilemmas, his obstacles and solutions are all strikingly realistic. As a current United States Marine, I found myself thinking a lot about some of the people I serve with while I read this. The portrayal of what it means to be a leader that Sanderson has created here is uncannily accurate, and really gives some good guidance on what it means to be a better leader. This, needless to say, is quite impressive.
I noticed some complaints that the women have hardly any role in this book. This is true. Only one of the three main characters is female, and she only has one of the biggest character twists in the story. (If you haven't caught the sarcasm dripping from my words, here's your cue to chuckle.) Look, I'm not going to deny that the women in this book are pretty much the same spunky independent females you get in most fantasy books, but I think that can boil down the fact that it's surprisingly difficult to write a female character everyone can get behind. The closest thing I can think of off the back of my hand is probably Katniss from the recent "Hunger Games" trilogy, and even she had her nay-sayers. Plus, she was written by a woman, which definitely helps. This is a story about war, and the women in it are certainly subject to a patriarchal society. I for one have a hunch they will play a bigger role later on in the series (in fact, the twist I mentioned in Shallan's storyline basically assures this).
Magic is used in a way unlike anything I've really seen before. Rather than dying out in the world of Roshar, it's coming back, and no one really knows what it is or how to handle it. The result is exhilarating - magic feels mysterious, dangerous and intriguing. Exactly the way magic should feel, in my opinion - unless its in "Harry Potter". For example, in TWOK, gems hold stormlight in them which is used to power magical armor called Shardplate or to light a street. Different colored gems means multicolored lanterns. As a result, streets at night turn into little disco parlors. This is just one of the many ways Sanderson uses magic in this world.
Most importantly, I think, is the sense of wholeness that Sanderson's world has here. The amount of detail with which he can see the imaginary is nothing less than astonishing. The book comes with a copious amount of artwork inside it, which adds to the story in a way I've never seen used before. The art is beautiful and masterfully done, to the point that I want to buy the hardcover edition of this book just so I can have larger copies of it.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Not much. I mean that honestly. I noticed one of the chief complaints amongst readers was that the book was too long. This made me chuckle a little bit. It reminded me of when I went to see "The Return of the King" in theaters, knowing full well that the film was going to run over three hours, and yet my friends still complained about how long it was. Friends and fellow readers. Please, for the love of everything that is holy, don't pick up a book that is 1200+ pages and then complain that it is long. Yes, it is very long. It was intended to be. It's a comprehensive, detailed look at a magical world. Not every moment is going to be spent in swashbuckling glory. There are going to be times when characters need to sit around campfires discussing the strange natures of markings on other character's chests. This book didn't come out of a microwave. Someone sat down and wrote out 1200 pages of great material that culminated in a great book with a distinct beginning, middle and end. I dare you to try the same.
Are there some parts of the story where the language gets carried away with itself? Sure. As long as I'm being honest, I actually had to put down the book a couple times to rub my eyes when a couple of the characters had incredibly emo moments. I also had to put a belt between my teeth early on to avoid breaking all my molars at the shockingly immature use of the word "storm" as a swear word. It's funny - the story addresses mature themes such as suicide, murder, rape, the controversy of religion - and yet when it comes to swearing, characters say things like "Storm you!" or even "Storm off!" I think my favorite was "Storm off!". I wondered the first time I read that if I had made a terrible mistake.
Are there slow parts? You bet. There were a few slow parts in a couple other books that come to mind, such as "War and Peace," "Anna Karenina," "The Brothers Karamazov," even "East of Eden". "But Sanderson is neither Russian nor a Depression era Californian!" some people cry. Sure. He's not. He's a 21st Century American writer who wanted to tell a story about a war and a whole lot more than that. A few slow parts in a 1200 page book really isn't that bad. If you are looking for instant gratification, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK. If you're looking for a world to roll around in and delight in, please, buy it and encourage this man to write more. I honestly don't know what I'm going to be doing for the next year.
Last but not least, the real subject matter of the book - namely a couple of the twists towards book's end - made me hesitate. Understand now that this book has a very serious undertone to it, and when it hits you what this series is really about, you'll know. I can think of another fantasy trilogy which addresses themes Sanderson brings up late in this book, but I'm willing to operate on a little faith here. (For those who have read the book, you'll get the pun there.) The twists are great. A couple of them I genuinely didn't see coming, and they blew me clean off my rocker. One was underwhelming. One was genuinely bewildering. So it goes.
In the end, I can't recommend this book enough. It's got great - albeit one dimensional - characters, an utterly original storyline with just enough of the familiar fantasy trope to make us feel at home in our own genre. The world it introduces to us is breathtaking, one which we will have no problem whatsoever spending 10 books frolicking in. The questions it raises at books end are tantalizing, not to mention dangerous. It is very well written, and the best thing I've read since I first met the Others north of the Wall over two years ago, shivering in the snow.
Bravo, Mr. Sanderson. Bravo.
**EDIT: Upon re-reading "The Way of Kings" in preparation for "Words of Radiance," I feel confident in its original score. I will keep a tally of the overall series here as it comes out, as well.**
Book 1: The Way of Kings - 9.5/10
Book 2: Words of Radiance - 8.8/10, Excellent but unfulfilled due to pacing issues. My full review can be found here on Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/review/R2GY81SK3HT0F/ref=cm_srch_res_rtr_alt_1
This review may be spoilerish?!
It has been a few years since I have read a high fantasy/epic fantasy such as this one. I just recently finished The Name of the Wind and that one is high fantasy, but it does not compare to The Way of Kings.
I love books that are about war, swords and fighting just do something for me. I love books that go into detail of war, and strategy and the ins and out of how a war is fought. I sometimes even like the politics, in some books it's over done and some it's done just right. For me, it was done just right in this one. When I felt like it might be too much, the scene changed.
The world building was amazing, the descriptions and the fashions of the different lands was awesome. I like to falling into a book that can take me away from every day life. I need a book to do that for me. I mean I even need a book to change my damn vocabulary. Now when I'm mad, I say "Storm it", or surprised "Stormfather!", or mad "Damnation!" Yeah, I think my family and co-workers think I am psycho. I need to want more, to fall in love with strong characters and want to give up my life so I can train in the art of sword fighting. I want two horses, one white and one black, just so I can name them Gallant & Sureblood. I want a ginourmous sword that I can name Oathbringer.
If you haven't guessed yet, I love this book. I love it so much, I devoted a whole month to it and only was able to squeeze in three other books. THREE!! I normally read 15-20 books a month! And guess what, I am starting book two in three days! So I need to catch up on other reads before that starts.
119 Status Updates! 119! I think that's the most I have ever left for a book. My kindle app has already crashed from trying to upload all the highlights, notes, and marks I left. I think I might have highlighted half of the book...or more..
"The love of men is a frigid thing, a mountain stream only three steps from the ice. We are his. Oh Stormfather...we are his. It is but a thousand days, and the Everstorm comes."
Dalinar Kholin, oh Dalinar you sexy man you. Of all the characters he is my favorite. Dalinar Kholin is an Alethi Highprince, he is fighting a war to avenge the death of his brother, the King, Gavilar. He is called the Blackthorn, and is a Shardbearer. To become a Shardbearer one has to win it in battle. You have to kill another Shardbearer and take their Shardplate and Shardblade. His only downfall, he has visions, hallucinations that can bring down him and his house. Dalinar believe in a united Alethkar and fights to bring it together and impose the code on his soldiers.
Alethi Codes of War
Readiness-The Officer will be prepared at all times for battle. Never drunken on wine never without his weapon.
Inspiration-The Officer will wear his uniform when in public to look ready for war and to give strength to his troops.
Restraint-The Officer will refrain from needless duels, arguments, or squabbles with other officers in camp, to prevent injury to men who may be needed to command.
Leadership-The Officer will require no action of his soldiers that he would not be willing to perform himself.
Honor-The Officer will not abandon allies on the field, nor will he seek to profit from the loss of his allies.
Before Gavilar dies he tells leaves a message for Dalinar.
You must find the most important words a man can say
Dalinar took a deep breath, feeling the Thrill build for the approaching battle. He strode from the war room, footfalls firm and solid. Attendants and servants scattered before him, making way. Wearing Shardplate again after a long period without was like waking up after a night of feeling groggy or disoriented. The spring of the step, the impetus the armor seemed to lend him, made him want to race down the hallway.
He broke into a sprint. Teleb and the others cried out in surprise, rushing to keep up. Dalinar outpaced them easily, reaching the front gates of the complex and leaping through, throwing himself off the long steps leading down from his enclave. He exulted, grinning as he hung in the air, then slammed to the ground. The force cracked the stone beneath him, and he crouched into the impact.
Kaladin is the most honorable of heroes I have read. I thought Kvothe was amazing, but Kaladin takes the cake. He is a surgeons son, and now a slave. He fought in Amarams and was eventually betrayed. He's lost his brother, his family and many many people around him. He's an accomplished spearman, and a natural leader. He is sold to Sadeas as a bridgeman and is now apart of bridge four. From the beginning he is determined to keep his team alive, and he does everything he can to win his team over.
Gadol spit up blood, coughing. "They break the land itself!" he hissed, eyes wild. "They want it, but in their rage they will destroy it. Like jealous man burns his rich things rather than let them be taken by his enemies! They come!"
He gasped. And then he fell still, his dead eyes staring upward, bloody spittle running in a trail down his cheek. His final, haunting words hung over them.
Also I can not mention Syl, she's so funny and cute. I hope for a love match or something between her and Kaladin.
"Soon you'll hardly be a spren at all. You'll be a little translucent philosopher. We'll have to send you off to a monastery to spend your time in deep, important thoughts."
"Yes," she said, "like how to best get the ardents there to accidentally drink a mixture that will turn his mouth blue."
She smiled mischievously.
Then there is Shallan. She is from Jah Keved and she is in Kharbranth seeking out the heretic Jasnah Kholin. She wishes to be become her ward and steal her precious soulcaster. I don't want to go into anymore without giving away what happens, but there are a lot of things we learn about Shallan and still a lot of things we do not know.
"Father," Adolin said, feeling pained, "if there's something wrong here, it's that we're not trying hard enough. You think the highprinces are playing games? Well, show them the way it should be done! Instead of talking of retreat, we should be talking of advancing, striking at the Parshendi instead of besieging them."
Adolin Kholin, I was expecting to dislike him through out the entire book, but that changed the more I got to know him. Adolin love to court women, love to duel and has fierce loyalty to his father and family. He's very much Dalinar's son but unsure of things and unsure of himself. I guess any 23 year old would be. But he does worry about his father and his visions and if his father is really loosing his mind. I think the redeeming part for me is when he is actually fighting by his fathers side and confesses to believe all that his father has told him.
The last 20% just threw all over the place. I was sad, happy, angry, in shock, dumbfounded. I wanted to throw the phone/kindle/book across the room. I screamed! I yelled! And then I was determined to read the next damn book to find out what the hell is going on! There are no words to describe the last 20% and I see this review is probably the longest I have written. But know this, I will probably have 200 update statuses for the next book and have an even bigger book hangover having to wait MONTHS for the next. I can say that I am a new Brandon Sanderson addict. I need more..I want more...I will die if I don't get more!
So if you love high fantasy, want to loose a month out of your life...please read this. Better yet, get the audio. So you can loose time while you washing clothes, walking to the car, driving to work, cleaning you house, working out at the gym, and while waiting for the doctor. Do it!
P.S. There are way to many quotes and descriptions to put here but I will leave you with some of my favorites.
MEN RIDE THE STORMS NO LONGER. The voice thunder, crashing in the air.
THE OATHPACT IS BROKEN, CHILD OF HONOR.
"I don't understand!" Kaladin screamed into the tempest.
A face formed before him, its eyes full of stars.
ODIUM COMES. MOST DANGEROUS OF ALL THE SIXTEEN. YOU WILL NOW GO.
He roared, striking down four Parshendi as two more hit him from behind, making his armor vibrate. He spun and killed one, the other barely dancing out of range. Dalinar began to pant, and when he moved quickly, he left trails of blue Stormlight in the air. He felt like a bloodied prey beast trying to fend off a thousand different snapping predators at once.
Never fight other men except when forced to in war.
Let your actions defend you, not your words.
Expect honor from those you meet, and give them the chance to live up to it.
Rule as you would be ruled.
Top reviews from other countries
I'm always looking for fantasy books and I knew this was very popular so, after a few years I've decided to try it.
I can stomach the childish depiction of characters but I cannot bring myself to accept the utter idiocy of the setting. The opening is painfully bad: an all powerful assassin kills a king and his guard by having superpowers taken straight out of videogames. Then we are introduced with the hero, who, of course, rejects the greatest conceivable honour in the world out of pure spite.
He is then spared his life out of sheer plot armour, and the reader is left wondering why he hasn't been killed for constant rebellion. His mates are all killed, but he survives because, oh, he's sooo special.
Slaves are paid a living wage so that there is a way for the hero to earn money because it's needed by the story.
When the hero screws up, his senior officers are killed immediately but he's instead given a chance to survive, and, not very surprisingly, he does.
Then there is a war in the Shattered Plains: for six years the warriors, instead of fighting, go looking for overgrown shrimps to steal the enormous emeralds that grow inside of them. I kid you not, this is the primary purpose of the war: not beating the enemy but killing the shrimps while they're pupating (to turn into what, an enormous blowfly?) before the enemy slays it.
The entire strategy works like this: the entire army is sitting idly, wearing fashionable scarves and drinking wine. A horn sounds in the distance announcing that a shrimp has been found. The warriors scramble to arrive first, before the enemy but, more importantly, before the other commanders. The moronicity of the portable bridges defies belief.
The idiocy never seem to finish: soldiers with organic armour, illiterate kings with learned wives, even the regular storms that make magic. The hero, of course, discover magic that has been hidden in plain sight for countless years. In a specific kingdom, people live with feet constantly in two inches of water. In another, people eat horns and shells. For some reason, on a different planet, people know of Japanese katas. I could go on for hours: avoid this book.
Then I started reading Steelheart and I was hooked. Often noted as a YA novel, that was still quite a great read (the whole trilogy about the Epics is). The moral of the story is not to judge an author entirely based on their, quite possibly involuntary, approach to completing another's work. If they can write even a short novel like that, I've misjudged them.
The Stormlight series is so much better, that I can barely imagine this was the person who so dreadfully completed WOT. It is downright fascinating, raises more questions than answers, and creates such a complex world with memorable characters, locations and a "lost in the mists of times" historical background, that you cannot put it down. I was reading the final chapter at 3am! It's well written and you will end this book needing a second, a third, just...more. I've avoided Brandon's other works, but The Way of Kings has converted me - it's an excellent epic read that looks set to be a voyage of discovery into what exactly is Roshan, what are sprens, does anyone know what this world's "magic" really is? Who or what is Odium? The mind boggles, my brain sparks with possible theories, and I press the Purchase button for Book 2...
I've never read a book where I've felt so involved with the characters! You root for them and consistently want to get back to their story (referring to the book's chapter method of switching randomly between character stories).
On top of this, Brandon Sanderson has created a world like no other with creatures, religions, cultures and even the physical lands themselves all being unique and fantastical. I love fantasy but have never read a book where I've felt as truly.immersed in a world where I can physically picture it as a movie or TV show!
I would highly recommend this book if you're a fantasy lover and love to delve into other worlds!