The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (Stormlight Archive Book One)

Posted: August 18, 2012 in Book reviews
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I talked about the Way of Kings in my earlier post about Touch of Power, and I decided to write a review about it. The Way of Kings is the first book of a planned 10 book series called the Stormlight Archive set in the world known as Roshar. Roshar is plagued by high storms at a near daily basis, and fauna and flora have adapted to their surroundings and most of them are crustacean of nature. The whole basis of this series is that a thousand years ago, there were these great heroes, and they suddenly abandoned their weapons, and left the people to fend for themselves.

The book was beautifully done and stands at a whopping 1,036 page book. You heard right. And that’s the epub version. It’s probably way longer in the paperback version. Back to the story. There are basically three main protagonists. There’s Kaladin Stormblessed, a former captain in the army that is now a slave working in a bridge team, and has to deal with seeing his comrades fall to the arrows of the enemy as they lay down their bridges to cross some terrifyingly deep chasms. There’s Dalinar Kholin, the brother of the king that is killed in the Prologue, and because he was drunk and unconscious during the death of his brother, he has now taken to following the rules assigned to the army thousands of years ago to the absolute¬†letter. Finally, there’s Shallan, who is trying to track down an elusive scholar/heretic called Jasnah Kholin (Dalinar’s niece) and is planning on stealing a priceless artifact from the unsuspecting scholar.

All in all, the book was just astounding, and I loved every page of it. The book is split up into parts, and in each part, there is a brief intermission or interlude, and you’re introduced to the perspective of an entirely new character and will be shown the rest of the world that’s intelligently crafted by Brandon Sanderson. But, in case this might confuse you, I would suggest you read only the chapters integral to the plot, I.E. the chapters in Dalinar’s, Kaladin’s, Shallan’s, Adolin’s (deuteragonist), and Szeth’s (technically a protagonist, but his chapters are just so few.)

The plot was masterfully done, and I simply loved the magic system that Sanderson has crafted for Roshar. I can’t even begin to think of a description adequate enough to convey the brilliance of the book. You are introduced to entirely new creatures such as the Parshendi and the Parshmen. Two species so alike to each other, yet so different in mannerisms, skills, and intellect. You will become emotionally invested in the characters as they tread carefully around the dangerous political ground of the war going on, as they grieve after a heartbreaking death of their comrade, or as they contemplate the consequences of the act they are about to commit. You’ll be in a roller coaster of a ride.

If I was forced to find a few problems with the book, and yes, this is me forcing myself. I would have to say the problem with the book is that it takes a few more dozen pages than most regular people would like before you’re hooked into the story and taken on an adventure you’ve never seen before. But, if you’re an avid fantasy fan, you’ll have absolutely no problem with that.

I’ve also noticed that some people have difficulty with the fact that you’re not really told what is what in the Prologue, but if you just tough it out, it will all be explained within the next few chapters. If not, then it’s probably integral to the plot of the next books. Here’s another problem that is so minor that I ignored it. The series has a planned 10 books in it, in relation to the fact that 10 is a holy number in Roshar and it takes 10 heartbeats to summon your Shardblade (their almighty powerful weapons).

Some of you may have a problem when it comes to waiting such a long time for the next book, but I don’t regret reading it for a second. It just means that I get to have an excuse to re-read the previous book each time before the next one comes out so I can catch myself up on the story.

Now, go read it now, or ELSE.

Oh, you think I’m kidding? -raises shotgun toward your head- That’s right. Go read it.

  1. Fodwocket says:

    This book was just stunning. I didn’t know there were going to be ten, and you have no idea how happy that makes me! Or maybe you do, considering your review ^_^

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