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The Way of Kings Mass Market Paperback – May 24, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
This massive tome is the first of a 10-part epic fantasy series from relative newcomer Sanderson (Mistborn), best known for his efforts to complete the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. In a storm-swept world where history has dwindled into myth, self-serving aristocrats squabble over mystical weapons that render their bearers immune to mundane attacks. The ambitious scholar Shallan learns unexpected truths about the present, the virtuous aristocrat Dalinar reclaims the lost past, and the bitter and broken slave Kaladin gains unwanted power. Race-related plot themes may raise some eyebrows, and there's no hope for anything resembling a conclusion in this introductory volume, but Sanderson's fondness for misleading the reader and his talent for feeding out revelations and action scenes at just the right pace will keep epic fantasy fans intrigued and hoping for redemptive future installments.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This colossal volume opens a fantasy saga clearly influenced by the Wheel of Time, which the author is in fact finishing. It’s a classic story of intrigue, magic, and war, with a large cast of characters and multiple settings lovingly detailed in a way only possible in volumes of this size. Two characters stand out. One is Shallin, a young woman seeking to enter the household of a royal princess so that she can steal a magical talisman and restore the tattered fortunes of her family. The other is Kaladin, a gifted young soldier enslaved for desertion, who fights his way back to freedom in battles on the Shattered Plain. There’s wit (Shallin’s amiably unscrupulous sailor protect Yod is a gem), magic (the weather is almost a character in its own right), and erudition (if the fighting on the Shattered Plain doesn’t owe something to WWI, this reviewer would be surprised). Readers will plunge into it, even as they send up cries for a glossary and cast of characters. --Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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I do not think you will be disappointed with this book or the time spent reading it. And I suspect many of you will feel just as I do as to its place as one of the great fantasy novels of our time.
Some comparisons: I like The Way of Kings better than a Wheel of Time R. Jordan (Wheel of time was a good book).
The Kingkiller Chronicle is just a pain to read compared to The Way of Kings. In the Kingkiller Chronicle one reads two volumes and knows almost nothing as at the beginning of the first chapter - I felt cheated.
The world building was excellent with the action based in several well descried exotic locations including the Shattered Plains, where the armies of ten high princes have been engaged in seeminly pointless battles with an enemy who they believe assassinated their king. High prince Dalinar, the King's uncle, wants the high princes to join the forces together so they can defeat the enemy and go home but no one will listen to him. Into this background we are introduced to Kaladin, a young man who has been through some tough times and is now reduced to the lowest of jobs in the army, running bridges into battle to allow the army to cross the many chasms on the plains. Being at the front of the army, such bridgemen don't live long but Kaladin has other ideas on survival. Kaladin's character is well developed with many flashbacks on his life and misfortunes to show how he has sunk so low but retained his ability to care for others.
Another character whose story the book follows, is that of Shallon. Daughter of a noble house that has fallen on hard times, she travels to the wealthy city of Kharbranth, a centre for books and learning, to become a ward of the King's sister, Jasnah, to help her with her studies and be further educated herself. However, she has an ulterior motive for getting close to Jasnah who is able to transmutate materials into other forms. It's clear that Jasnah and Shallan in particular are being set up to have an important role in this story.
There are many other intriguing features of this book. The role of religions in the societies, the conflict of nobility and honor with fighting ability and popularity. Each new chapter starts with the last words of a dying person, curious words indeed that don't at first make sense. There are also many unknowns - What are the Desolations that the historians talk of? What are the Voidbringers? What are the magical sharblades that can cut through anything and shardplate, the special armour that gives men extra strength? All these questions and more will no doubt be answered in the next nine sequels!
Most recent customer reviews
True, most of us haven't been betrayed and sold as slaves, or are...Read more