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The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, The) Hardcover – August 31, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The book has three main characters (Kaladin, Shallan and Dalinar) and a host of side characters, who occasionally also have chapters or "interludes" written from their point of view. The main story focuses on Kaladin, a surgeon's son forced to become a bridgeman -- a form of military slavery that involves carrying siege bridges in Alethkar's ongoing war with the Parshendi, who at the very start of the novel assassinate Alethkar's king. Dalinar is the late king's brother (and uncle of the current monarch), who along with nine other High Princes is running the war effort against the mysterious Parshendi. And finally, on the other end of the continent, there's Shallan, a young noble girl who wants to become the apprentice of Jasnah, a princess and famed scholar -- although Shallan's motives for seeking this position are not what they initially seem...
Of these characters, Kaladin is the most fascinating and well-rounded one.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
What is it?
It's the first book in a planned ten (count 'em, ten) book epic fantasy by Brandon Sanderson, fantasy author extraordinaire. He's well known for his Mistborn series, and much better known for being that guy who's finishing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. (The next book's out in November, folks! Excited much?) This isn't just any ol' epic fantasy series, either. The back of the ARC says "What Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time has been to the fantasy genre for the last two decades, The Stormlight Archives (the name of the series) will be to the next." And while Sanderson persuaded Tor to keep that wording off the final, published book, any which way you look at it, the gauntlet was thrown. Sure, some of it could be an attempt at hype, but the thing about hype is that sooner or later, you can evaluate for yourself whether it's earned or not.
I'm here to tell you that in this case, the hype is earned.
I still vividly remember seeing Jordan's Eye of the World on the shelf at the library for the first time. I was at an age where I was choosing what to read based on book thickness alone. If it was really long and heavy, and it had something remotely related to fantasy on the cover, I checked it out and read it, usually three of those a week. Jordan's book stood head and shoulders above the other stuff I was reading. It was long, but fast paced.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is filled with creativity and imagination. Brandon Sanderson give us an alien world populated by believable characters and incredibly well written action sequences. Read morePublished 24 minutes ago by Isaac Paris
Excellent fast paced book that kept me interested from the start. Only sad part is waiting for the next one.Published 1 day ago by MNV
Fantastic novel from Sanderson. The whole book is a kind of introduction to the whole series (planned to be 10 novels I think) but doesn't drag at all. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Bski
One of the best books I have ever read. The first 100 pages or so did not do it for me and I almost set it down. However, I pushed through and could not be happier that I did. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
I really enjoyed this book. The first in the series seemed to drag on to me while I read it, but by the second book I was hooked. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Completely engrossing and utterly addictive - with a muscular plot and towering, dynamic characters this book was amazing-and exactly what I needed.Published 3 days ago by ashley forman