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I got to read an ARC of the book and I really enjoyed it Sanderson really knows how tell a story and create an interesting world. A three and a half star read What Sanderson s fans say, this is a classic What people who read my reviews say, you gave the same rating to that mess of a zombie book Let me splain.No, there is too much Let me sum up.Ignore comments about the length I ve read books that were as long hello, The Stand The Complete and Uncut Edition , and everyone has read series that were over a thousand pages What troubles me about The Way of Kings is that I felt like I was reading the fantasy equivalent of a walk through The Field Natural History Museum Thorough Detailed Interesting And equally devoid of action Put another way a saltwater fish tank at the Shedd Aquarium give me a break I like visiting Chicago s Museum Mile Watching the sea anemone wave pink arms as the clownfish darts in and out, chasing little bites of fish food Again, interesting But worth six hours of undivided attention Surely you d want to take a break and watch shark feeding time, right Wander off to visit the dolphins and the otters Narrative shifts primarily between three people Shallan, a penniless noble who wants to apprentice herself to a scholarly heretic, intending to steal her Souljewel Kaladin, a former surgeon and talented soldier who now wears a slave brand and Dalinar, a prince and uncle to the king I appreciated their different viewpoints Shallan is a naive young woman, Kaladin a member of the underclass and Dalinar is the king s uncle from all three, we get a remarkable range of insight into the society This is a slow, thoughtful book, close to the exact opposite of The Alloy of Law, my only Sanderson book to date He builds a complete world with varied landscapes and an unique social and spiritual culture I should have loved it, but what I found is a complete absence of grippingness, that take you by the throat experience The problem A lack of dynamic tension Internal tension comes out of the conflicts each of the three main characters are facing, and their indecision at how to act Thus, about 700 pages are of them gradually backing themselves into a corner and undergoing a personal crisis Action picks up around page 800 or so The last three hundred are the most significant and dynamic of the novel and finally had me turning pages in earnest For those who are counting, I know it doesn t add up There are a few sets of random character narratives that build background and richness in other words, add pretty backdrop in the dioramas or the coral reefs The fans argue that it took the building in the first part to create the dynamic tension of the last, but I d have to disagree If it takes 700 pages to get to your main conflicts, are those pages story or indulgence Update 9 7 16 Click for my review on The Author s Notes to Way of Kingsposted at ugh omg
WOW Ok, so I actually cried during this book it was a stressful day, but I m usually not a weeper This book captures the epic grandiosity and scope that I remember as a kid reading Eddings and Feist and Jordan I didn t know what was going on all the time, but I was keenly aware of the great plot, the secrets, and the depth of world building and character in this book.Yes, it s REALLY long, and yes, it lags a bit from time to time under all the philosophy, but honestly I was just staggered by the scope of what this book is, and what the rest of this series has the potential to me I ve read most of Sanderson s books save the Wheel of Time which NEED TO BE READ but he has really outdone himself with this BIG FAN TO SAY THE LEAST If you like big epic fantasy you have to read this. 4 29 18 even better the second time Reviewed by Rabid Reads4.5 starsI have a new favorite author His name is Brandon Sanderson This book made me curse like a sailer.If I had tried to read it in public, at the very least, I would have been banned from the property More likely, I d have either been locked up for 24 hour observation at the local mental health ward or at the local precinct for Disturbing the Peace, but only after having passed numerous drug tests, proving that I wasn t Drunk and Disorderly.If you think I m exaggerating, check out my status updates on Goodreads.I am not exaggerating.Honestly, in a book this large, it s nearly impossible to touch on every highlight, so I m left trying to decide which are the best it s a thankless task, but here goes Worldbuilding If it s been done before, I haven t read it, and like Wit said, it s novelty we humans appreciate most.The majority of the world in THE WAY OF KINGS is like a tropical ocean habitat on dry land Plants retract completely into the ground before a wagon wheel or foot can tread upon them Instead of cows or oxen pulling those wagons there are chulls which are over large hermit crab sounding things The monstrous chasmfiends the nobility hunt for sport are basically giant badass lobsters Instead of ants or beetles scuttling on the ground, there are cremlings that sound an awful lot like crawdads It s kind of awesome.More awesome than that are the people groups.While there were separate and distinct cultures, that wasn t the focus of the differences The focus was on their Extras the Alethi who fall into a kind of Berserk warrior state they call the Thrill when they are in battle Purelakers who can communicate with the fish that fill the waters of their home Parshendi who grow their own carapace like armor and have legs strong enough to jump chasms in the Shattered Plains that everyone else needs a bridge to cross Horneaters who have a kind of fairy sight that allows them to see elemental spren whether the spren wish to be seen or not.I absolutely loved it.Characters There are so many great characters that I can only give you the gist These people I wept, but not from sadness, not from loss I wept b c my heart could not contain my awe and gratitude and respect for these men, these dregs of society, who one man and one spren had bound together into something so valiant, so courageous, so honorable that I could do nothing but weep Some people shy away from that sort of thing, and being the kind of person that I am, I view that as its own tragedy Suffice it to say that if you are a character driven reader, you will leave this world with a much expanded family.Master of Misdirection I read this as part of a massive group buddy read SHOUT OUT to my peeps at Sanctum of Fantasy view spoiler hide spoiler Buddy reading this epic book with these lighteyes Brightness CelesteBrightness AriaIncredible, impressive or fantastic, all these words are an understatement to the quality this book holds The Way of Kings is the beginning of a masterpiece series in epic fantasy It is now my life goal and a new addition to my bucket list to obtain and read the entire series of The Stormlight Archive, which will probably take at least another 20 years from now to complete.Before you started reading this book, let me do you a favor Go outside your home, look at the sky, the stars, clouds, the moon or if you re brave enough, the sun Done Good, raise your expectation of this series that high My expectation for this book was probably higher than that and it still managed to blow me away I m pretty sure the titleThe Way of Kingsis a hidden message by Sanderson for his reader, telling us that this is his first step in his way of becoming one of the kings in the genre.Obviously, I can t tell you anything about the story but I ll tell you this, The Way of Kings is the beginning of tales that will remain inside your mind palace It s a heavily character driven book filled with tales of life death, love hate, bravery cowardice, hope despair, trust betrayal, faith atheism Basically, all elements required for a great story are here, told from multiple POV.Even though there s multiple marvelous POV to be found here, each book in the series will focus specifically on one main character s past in The Way of Kings, we get to see Kaladin s.We get to see all his thoughts, life from the past to present, feelings and motivation behind his actions from this book I m not saying this lightly but Kaladin has become one of the most well written characters out of all books I ve ever read, and definitely one of my favorite of all time out of all medium Trust me, I ve seen plenty of fantastic fictional characters throughout my whole life 22 years of gaming, hundreds of manga read, hundreds of anime watched and Kaladin Stormblessed is definitely one of the best out there The Way of Kings can be considered a book porn for a lover of world building Sanderson proved himself once again to be the master of creating worlds out of words.The world, Roshar, are written with intricate description of every single thing in the world ranging from weather, creatures, history, mythology, magic system, races, culture and even the fucking grass making this world truly believable Combined with brilliant, simple and fluid writings plus several detailed maps and beautiful illustrations, the images formed in your head while reading every scene will be so vivid as if you re really there in Roshar, joining on the adventure with each character.The real actions only happened around three times in the book prologue, somewhere in the middle and the climax However, while in total there s only a total of around 150 pages of actions, the impact of the 60 pages climax sequence of this book was very rewarding Intense battle sequences, gigantic swords, magic armors wonderful magic system revival occurred in the climax It was deeply satisfying as everything in the book built up towards that moment I ll admit, I legit almost cried during this section, even though it was predictable, it was done exceptionally.Some may find this book to be really intimidating to start because of the size it has However, I find that the only con I have for this book is that it s not long enough 1004 pages long, filled with 380k words bigger than the Hunger Games trilogy combined and by the end of the book, I found that it s still wasn t enough for me.I m closing this review with the ancient oathLife before death, strength before weakness, journey before destinationI hope my review can do justice to the quality this book holds It s really a blessing to have lived and read this book, to have the strength to read and to join in this epic journey of a lifetime together with every reader of the series If you re really a fan of the epic fantasy genre, you really can t go wrong with starting this series This is the beginning of epic fantasy at its best Sanderson has created an epic world and journey for us to dive into and all we have to do to experience it is really simple, read the book and let this story lives inside youA story doesn t live until it is imagined in someone s mind HoidYou can order the book from Book Depository Free shipping You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions So, a buddy of mine has been trying to get me into Sanderson for some time figuratively speaking, I should notehe has not, as of yet, physically tried to jam me inside the poor man, for which, I m sure, Mr Sanderson is quite grateful At my friend s suggestion, I started with Mistborn, which and don t freak out on me here, Sandersonites I thought was solid, but didn t exactly salt my pickle is that a thing So, he proceeded to give me The Way of Kings as a gift his polite way of forcing me to read it It s been some time since I ve plunged into the first volume of a truly door stopping fantasy series, so it felt a bit like a slog at first I started to think to myself, Self, maybe Sanderson just isn t for youI mean, you don t have to like EVERY epic fantasy author, you know But I kept reading And then Kaladin started doing awesome things, and I was impatient to get back to his chapters Only then Dalinar and Adolin started to get compelling And then I started figuring out what the hell a spren was And then I started to drool in slack jawed wonder at the awe inspiring skill and sheer brainpower involved in conceiving of a world this fully realized And then there was a little too much focus on jam and bread, but that made sense later And then, somewhat distractingly, I kept hearing a woad faced, Scottish accented Mel Gibson yelling, Unite us Unite the clans every time Dalinar had a flashback But, I got over that, though I may have giggled on the Metro once or twice hardly my first brush with inappropriate public giggling in the midst of judgmental commuters And then crazy, massive, epic things happened, and Big Things were hinted at, and I was hooked.All told, one hell of a ride I ll be back for I just might need a little breather before the second book even on a Kindle, I almost got a hernia lugging this thing around Well played, Sanderson you ve won this round. *E-PUB ☞ The Way of Kings ⇱ From New York Times Bestselling Author Brandon Sanderson, The Way Of Kings, Book One Of The Stormlight Archive Begins An Incredible New Saga Of Epic ProportionRoshar 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 ShelterIt Has Been Centuries Since The Fall Of The Ten 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 ThemOne 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 Ten Armies Fight Separately Against A Single Foe, He Struggles To Save His Men And To Fathom The Leaders Who Consider Them ExpendableBrightlord 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 SanityAcross 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 WarThe Result Of Over Ten 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 MakingSpeak Again The Ancient Oaths Life Before DeathStrength Before WeaknessJourney Before Destinationd Return To Men The Shards They Once BoreThe Knights Radiant Must Stand Again Buddy Read with Robin and the rest of BBBIn the end, all men die How you lived will be far important to the Almighty than what you accomplishedThis was the best Brandon Sanderson book I ve read Since I ve started reviewing books, everyone constantly talks about Mistborn, which don t get me wrong, is an amazing series too, but this book blew the entire original trilogy out of the water I truly believe in my whole heart that The Stormlight Archive series is the series that everyone should be pushing onto high fantasy readers, because it is one of the greatest things I ve read in my entire lifeDon t dream the small dreams of other menThe Way of Kings takes place on the world of Roshar, where war is constantly being waged on the Shattered Plains, and the Highprinces of Alethkar fight to avenge a king that died many moons ago Alethkar is the largest kingdom on Roshar, and the people are called Alethi, and they are at war with the Parshendi, who are almost like bard warriors with their songs and chants In war everyone pays a price, but some people pay the price way dearly than others, and The Way of Kings very much showcases that On Roshar, Highstorms are magical like storms that have shaped this world into something unlike anything else Highstorms provide Stormlight, which is an energy that the people keep in different gemstones, which has a super vast array of different abilities And because this story surrounds wars on many different fronts, it makes sense that these Highstorms also helped make some pretty powerful and unique weapon, armor, and even some companions Shardblades Magical weapons that are very rare and sought after A person who owns one, a Shardbearer, is soul bound to their blade They can cut through pretty much anything, and it instantly kills whatever limb it cuts though, but without leaving a mark The limb is just rendered useless until it can be reattached to the soul And Shardblades can block other Shardblades People constantly want to duel for them, because when a Shardbearer dies, the Blade rematerializes next to him her, allowing anyone else to pick up the Blade and become its new owner Yet, it is near impossible to beat anyone with a Shardblade without having one yourself Shardplate Magical plate armor that protects the wearer, can heal magically on its own, and enhances the wearers physical abilities And most importantly, it can block a Shardblade Soulcasting Soulcasters have the magical ability through fabrials to do many things Sometimes they use their power to create food, sometimes to heal, sometimes to protect sex workers from gross men at night I mean, the abilities are actualy endless But most the time they use their power to change one thing into another, like rocks into food But the transformations are limited and range from Soulcaster to Soulcaster Also, needless to say, these people are very sought after Spren Also, in this world, they have Spren, which are magical little beings that come in a variety of different types For example, Rotspren appear when something is beginning to rot, or something is dead, or something is being infected There are tons of different Spren that take many different forms in this book.But besides the wars and the all of the magic, there is a prejudice war that is constantly going on, too In this world, having light eyes gives you all the advantages Blue eyes, green eyes, grey eyes, amber eyes, any kind of light colored eye is superior to any form of dark brown Some of the higherups in this world believe that the Heralds choose light eyes people at birth and mark them to rule This is a really big parallel to the world we live in today, and I really liked this aspect of the story and the discussions that surround it Also, some females in this world are supposed to hide their left hands, and it is considered totally obscene for a woman to have that left hand uncovered And lower class woman just wear a glove over their left hand, while working I m sure this will come into play in later books, so I thought I d mention it, but it still made me giggle at some of the responses to seeing a woman s bare left hand And the other unique concept tradition in this world is that it is beneath men other than ardents to learn how to read and write Like, men in this world marry a lot of the time just to be able to have their wives read to them and write down things for them Yet, this value in society has not only put them at a disadvantage in life, but as also put them at a disadvantage in solving the mystery of the late king s final act before death In The Way of Kings, we pretty much follow four main characters, even though three are at the forefront of this book Kaladin Kaladin seems like the main protagonist of this novel, even though he shares POVs with other characters, but Kaladin makes up the bulk of this 1,000 page novel Kaladin is branded a slave and is sold into a bridge crew Yet, Kaladin is such a natural born leader, he ends up shaping Bridge Four into one of the best crews in the entire army But this doesn t go unnoticed Kaladin s character has a lot of representation Kaladin is very susceptible to depression, and this book doesn t skirt around the mental illness Kaladin is also suffering from extreme PTSD from all the events that have lead him to where he is currently at the start of this novel We slowly learn about his past where he came from, who he was supposed to be, who he cared about, and what happened to make him the slave he is now Trigger warnings for severe depression, suicide, war themes, violence, and goreHow easy it was to ignore a blackened heart if you dressed it in a pressed uniform and a reputation for honestyDalinar Dalinar is a Highprince of Alethkar His brother was the king, but after his death you learn this in the prologue Dalinar has helped raise his nephew, Elhokar, into the king the world needs Dalinar is also an amazing warrior, and wields the Shardblade Oathbringer that name sounds familiar, truewinky faceAfter the night of his brother s death, Dalinar feels responsibility and is being haunted by it Dalinar is also seeing visions, and people are questioning his mental stability He is a widower, but something is blocking him from every remembering his wife s face or name or any memory of her And Dalinar has two sons, both in their twenties, that are very different, but he loves them so deeply and so unconditionally Mostly importantly, Dalinar is a man of honor and he has a grand reputation of always keeping his word and sticking to the rules Shallan Shallan had my least favorite chapters, but that was mostly because I wanted to slap her most of the time She is daughter of the recently deceased Brightlord Lin Davar of Jah Keved She has come to find Jasnah Kholin, claiming to want to study under her, but actually wanting to steal something from her for the kingdom she left behind The thing I liked most about Shallan is that she is an artist and it plays a big role into who she is as a person Plus, a lot of Shallan s chapter were in libraries with tons of books and it was constantly a beautiful visual Szeth Okay, call my weird, but Szeth s chapters, as few as there were, were my absolute favorite Szeth is still a very mysterious man, but he wields a Shardblade and knows how to use it to its full abilities He is known to the world as the Assassin in White and is one of the most feared assassins in the world From his perspective we get to see the guilt and pain from what he is being forced to do, but who and why he is being forced to repent for his past sins, is a constant mystery Also, the epilogue chapter of this book, which is in Szeth s perspective, actually blew my mindFighting is not the only thing of value a man can doYet, this book also has some amazing side characters Syl Be still, my heart Syl is honestly everything I look for in a character to love with my whole being She is such a little cinnamon roll, and I keep picturing her tripping military dudes in her little invisible form and it just makes me smile for days Syl is a spren that has bonded with Kaladin She found him on a night that he needed her most, and has rarely left his side since And she constantly reminds him that his life is worth living, and what an honorable man he is, and how he isn t cursed and doomed to lose everyone he loves Syl is honestly probably my favorite character in The Way of Kings Jasnah Jasnah is the daughter of the late King Gavilar and she is the sister of the new king, Elhokar She is also a very High Scholar and also happens to be a Soulcaster The Almighty is a deity that is devotedly and widely worshiped on the world of Roshar, yet Jasnah doesn t She considers herself a Veristitalian and chooses to put her beliefs in science and the things she can see with her own eyes The discussion and talk of religion in this book is super well done, and I would have never guessed that Brandon Sanderson, a man that is very open with how much religion means to him, wrote the character of Jasnah Seriously, it was expertly done Jasnah is powerful, and smart, and witty, and I think I totally developed a major crush on her Adolin But speaking of crushes, apparently, I just love the entire Kholin family Adolin is Dalinar s oldest son, cousin to Jasnah and Elhokar, Brightlord of Alethkar, has a very short temper, and is a bit of a flirt His mother, the one that is passed away and that Dalinar cannot remember, passed down to him full Shardplate, and he won his own Shardblade in a duel Oh, he loves to duel, too Adolin is an amazing fighter, who wants to follow in his father s footsteps, but he is your typical young twenty year old that is trying to figure life out, while being constantly reminded that he doesn t know it all, even though he thinks he does Adolin loves his family deeply, wants to do what is right, and he just completely won me over I truly love his character Renarin Dalinar s youngest son, Brightlord of Alethkar, Prince of House Kholin Renarin is very shy and very quiet, and is not a solider like his father and brother, because he freezes in battle and sometimes has seizures Brandon Sanderson has also stated that Renarin is on the autism spectrum, which is awesome representation we rarely see in high fantasy Sadeas He is also Highprince of Alethkar, along with Dalinar Dalinar, Sadeas, and the late King Gavilar all grew together and were best friends, yet this book constantly makes you question his loyalty He is known to be very cruel, and is on the forefront of the war against the Parshendi Hoid Okay, I don t want to talk too much about Hoid, because not everyone is up to date with Brandon Sanderson s works and the Cosmere Universe But, this reveal made my year How Brandon Sanderson continually tricks me, I have no idea Maybe I m just a huge sucker But, like, that flute though Also, first an interest in Kelsier and now Kaladin Ahhh, I love Brandon Sanderson so much I gushed a lot in all the paragraphs above this, so you guys can probably tell I really loved this book I truly think it is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, and I think this is Brandon Sanderson s strongest series yet The discussions in this are important and super eye opening if you look at the parallels to our world today The characters in this are amazing and a few have really nested themselves inside of my heart All the magic is so unique and so captivating The story and plotlines were so addicting And, on a very personal note, after the Vegas shooting happened I was in a pretty bad headspace To see my community be impacted by an act of terrorism and pure hatred was something that I don t wish on anyone I couldn t stop thinking and feeling so much sadness, so I binge read the last two hundred pages of this book Escapism truly is a beautiful thing, and I believe with my whole heart that books are magical entities that have their own healing powers And I will never forget that The Way of Kings helped me deal with some pretty sad and heavy things going on in my real worldAnd men didn t become heroes by walking awayBlog Twitter Tumblr Instagram Youtube Twitch The very concept of reading this book genuinely terrifies and haunts me I am scared of anyone who read it Who are you and how do you have so much power I read one chapter, realize how many are left and black out for the next week.