The Way of Kings Book Cover The Way of Kings
Stormlight Archive #1
Brandon Sanderson
High Fantasy
Tor Books
August 31st 2010
Ebook
1007

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.

Roshar is a world of stone swept by tempests that shape ecology and civilization. Animals and plants retract; cities are built in shelter. In centuries since ten orders of Knights fell, their Shardblade swords and Shardplate armor still transform men into near-invincible warriors. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.

In one such war on the ruined Shattered Plains, slave Kaladin struggles to save his men and fathom leaders who deem them expendable, in senseless wars where ten armies fight separately against one foe.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Fascinated by the ancient text namedThe Way of Kings and troubled by visions of ancient times, he doubts his sanity.

Across the ocean, Shallan trains under eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece Jasnah. Though Shallan genuinely loves learning, she plans a daring theft. Her research hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

MY REVIEW:

“Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”

REACTION AFTER READING THE BOOK

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It took me forever to finish this (well, shorter than when I read The Final Empire), not because I didn’t like it, or because I was having a hard time delving into it. It’s all me. This is a real case of “it-was-me-not-you” scenario.

I FREAKIN’ LOVED THIS BOOK!

I’m going to echo what my good friend Petrik said about this book in his review, The Way of Kings is a masterpiece. There is no other word to best describe this. Actually. Wait. To be honest, I don’t think masterpiece is even the right word to describe this book. The Way of Kings is indescribable. This book definitely leveled up my standards for fantasy books.

WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?

Now where do I even start?

The Way of Kings is one of those books that you’d have to read, in order for you to fully appreciate. I can tell you in full detail the stuff that I enjoyed about it, but then, by just telling you how wonderful it is, won’t be enough. I don’t think I can give this book justice by doing that. I suggest that you go and pick this book up. Spend time in reading it, because this is a monster of a book. It would take a few days for some, weeks for most, and a couple of months, if you are someone like me who have attention deficiency problems.

The Way of Kings is a book about people. You might be wondering why I said that. Well, I said it because it is a book about people. It is a book about people, their beliefs, and their society. This book might be set in a fictional world, the events that transpired in this book might not be real, but for me, they meant more than what the words on the page says it is. I might be reading more to it that what’s really there. I tend to do to that. But really, there is something more to this book than just fictional situations that these characters go through. Some of the things that happened in this book mirrors what is actually happening in our world today.

Damn. I was supposed to give you a short summary or synopsis about this book, but here I am, babbling about how I think this book is more than just a fictional fantasy book. I guess it’s because I have no idea how to write a synopsis about this, so I just told you what I think this book is really about.

THE GOOD

There is a lot, so better get ready!

  • THIS WORLD IS JUST AMAZING! SANDERSON IS THE MASTER OF WORLD-BUILDING! The way he created each and every place in this universe, still blows my mind. If you’ve read any of Sanderson’s other works, you’ll probably already know how they all tie up into this one huge universe called the Cosmere. Imagine, how much work he had to do, to make sure that these worlds have similarities, but at the same time, distinct differences. I’m not really good with words, so I suggest you go and read this to find out for yourself.
  • THE PLOOOOTTTT! OH THE PLOT IS OH SO GOOD! At first, you’ll think that the plot is somewhat similar to other books you’ve read before. Do not be fooled. This book is so much more than the literary archetypes it used. Sanderson knows how to use something familiar and spin it into something you’ve never read before.
  • THE STORY IS EASY TO FOLLOW. Fantasy books tend to be a bit confusing. Let’s all be real here. Sometimes, there’s just too many things happening sometimes, at the same time, in different time period, with so many characters to follow, that you just end up not understanding anything, at all. But The Way of Kings, wasn’t like that. You were following quite a few characters, yes. However, the way he interwoven the story of each of these characters was made in a way that you’ll be able to follow it easily. He understands and knows what he wants from his characters and their story. Let me quote Einstein here, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Sanderson understand and knows what his plan for this book series, which I think is why it was so easy for him to share this story with us.
  • YOU’LL FALL IN LOVE WITH THE CHARACTERS! ALL OF THEM. While an enticing plot is something I relish immensely, I do appreciate the addition of remarkable and memorable characters, too. The Way of Kings, definitely, has the best set of characters I’ve ever read about. I’m not even exaggerating. Not only do they have their own characteristics and mannerisms, you also get a feel of who they were before the story even began. This is more true to some of them than others, but that’s only because each character would be focused more individually per book that would be released in this series. The Way of Kings, the story was more focused on Kaladin (one of the best characters I’ve ever read! Hands-fucking-down!), while in the sequels, someone else would be the main focus.
  • SURPRISES IN EVERY TURN. Sanderson have used a lot of literary archetypes in this book, but the good thing about it is, even if he used them, he made sure that you still get surprised. We all know the heroes journey. WE all know that, in the end, the hero would save the day. But the journey for him to get there, is long and bumpy, with some interesting and unexpected twists and turns.
  • THE HISTORY OF THIS WORLD FEELS LIKE REAL HISTORY. One of the characters you’ll meet, Shallan, would be apprenticing for a scholar named Jasnah. During these times, they would be talking about history and whatnot. And as they’re talking about it, I’m left completely mesmerized and in awe that one man made this history. Sanderson made it.
  • OH THE WRITING! Brandon Sanderson, really knows how to write. His words paints pictures in my brain. Damn. His words are like magic.
  • THE KINGS’ WIT! I knew he was special. LOL.

THE BAD

I’m, basically, just nitpicking here, just so you guys know. I loved this book, so much. I don’t think there is, really, anything major about this, that I did not like.

  • THE PACING COULD BE A BIT SLOW SOMETIMES. This book had tons of action, but it does have it slower moments, too. If you’re like me, who could get a bit impatient when nothing big is happening, then you might a problem with this. But I didn’t. I felt that all those slower paced moments were necessary to develop the characters and their story.
  • THIS IS A HUMONGOUS BOOK! I consider this book as one of my greatest reading successes. Why? Because this book is over a thousand pages long, and I was able to finish it! Gaaaah! I didn’t think I could. But I did. And I’m happy.
  • COULD BE A BIT OVERWHELMING FOR SOMEONE WHO ISN’T USED TO READING FANTASY. I’m saying could, because it really depends on the reader. A fantasy newbie could be perfectly fine with reading this, and not get overwhelmed with the multitude of characters and key events. On the other hand, another might get confused and end up hating it before they get to the best part.

THE UGLY

None! Absolutely nothing ugly about this book.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s been a couple of months since I finished this, and I’m still thinking about it. I don’t really know how I can move on. I want to read the next one, Words of Radiance, but I’m scared of not being able to do anything, or read anything else, if I start it.

The Way of Kings is an engrossing book about a world that’s falling apart, where heroes are nowhere to be seen, and  kingdoms are fighting for power and revenge.

I loved this! A must read for all fantasy lovers! I can’t wait to read the next book and all the books Mr. Sanderson writes.

aria