Book Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENRE: 

Adult Fiction, Fantasy

PAGES: 

1007 pages

PART OF A SERIES?:

1st Novel in the Stormlight Archives

RELEASE DATE: 

August 31st, 2010

YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

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:

Oh yes, my friends. It has happened. I read an entire adult fantasy book on my own!

Okay, that makes me sound a little bit stupid and I swear I’m not stupid. I’ve been at advanced reading level my entire life. I just love YA. I have a passion for YA. I tend to think most adult authors like to hear themselves talk and that’s why their books tend to be long and boring and way too many passages about the description of food and clothes and trees (I’m looking at you, Tolkien.) Brandon Sanderson does not do that and it is what makes this book so good, and what makes this book worth the time and effort to read. Look at that page count.

Brandon does not waste a page. Each and every page moves the story forward and that is something that I completely appreciate. I hate wasted pages and its one of the big reasons why I read YA and stick to YA. YA authors get to the point while adult authors tend to like to hear themselves talk, and go on for pages and pages and NOTHING HAPPENS. Brandon does not do that at all and I love it. While it did take me a good two to three hundred pages to really get attached to the story, the story starts right away and you’re immediately swept up into these characters’ lives. You are bounced around between Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar and a few others as they navigate their worlds. It is definitely difficult to keep up with all the characters, especially when they throw in random characters during interlude chapters but the main characters stick with you, and its hard not to be caught up by Kaladin, Shallan or Dalinar.

It’s also a fascinating story. Brandon doesn’t force feed you the world, he doesn’t spend pages explaining how it works, how Shardblades work or what spren are or any of that. He builds his world in his story, as you move your way and you just accept it as it is because he writes it that way. You don’t question it for a moment and you learn more and more as you read and I like that. I like when fantasy worlds are just presented as fact, and I’m not forced fed its history or any of that. It makes me happy and it helps to move the actual story along.

What I also like about Brandon is that he is a fantastic writer and he is great storyteller, an incredible world builder but not once are you intimidated by the story. Sure, the book is fat enough to use as an effective doorstop but the book itself, the inside, is not intimidating. I read 20 pages of the first book of the Wheel of Time series and was like, nope. It reads pretentiously and it reads, again, like the author really likes to hear himself talk. This book doesn’t necessarily dumb itself down, that’s not really it, but it tells the story in a way that’s straight to the point, without the pointless use of pretty words or using words with way too many syllables when a simpler word would have worked just as well. The problem with adult fantasy, in my book, at least, is that its just TOO MUCH. I want to read a great story and connect with the characters and that is what Brandon provides for me in this story.

It is not often that I take the time to read adult fantasy. I’ve enjoyed quite a few of Brandon’s YA novels and my boyfriend swears by this series, so I put a lot more effort in reading the book than I might’ve with another author but once I was enthralled with the book, I zipped through the last third of the book in a matter of days. It’s not easy, its long as hell, and there are times when I’m like, there are too many characters for me to keep up with but I will say that it is entirely worth it to get to the end.

Now just to get up the energy to read the second book. And there are going to be 12! Sigh.

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

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