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The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive) by…

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive) (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Brandon Sanderson

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2,9691421,927 (4.43)2 / 195
Title:The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive)
Authors:Brandon Sanderson
Info:Tor Fantasy (2011), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 1280 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (2010)

  1. 40
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  3. 10
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  4. 00
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    Cecrow: Another beginning to a ten volume fantasy work featuring almost overwhelming scale.

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English (139)  French (1)  All (140)
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
OK, so December comes and I'm some 20 books short of the annual goal of 75. No problem, just pick up a few quick reads and...

Well, let's just say 2017 will start slow too as I take on a no-shorter second volume, Words of Radiance.

The Way of Kings is the start of a massive epic tale. Common for such things, there's a lot of characters to establish, lore to put their actions in to context, and development of the unearthly elements that make this fantasy and not just some alternate history. While this could be done efficiently with some straight narration, it would probably read like a history book. Instead, Sanderson jumps the time line, using events when they happened to infer impact on the current time. This can be hard to get into, particularly in an audiobook format. I probably should go back and re-listen to the first 10-12 hours of this 48 hour recording just to pick up things I missed as my mind wandered often until I started getting engaged in the story.

Thus far, despite the size of the book, the number of principle characters is rather small. This is no Game of Thrones -- yet. And while that simplifies things for the reader, the story lines for the characters involved move quiet slow as Sanderson pours a lot of information establishing the hows and whys of their actions.

The climax of the story left the sympathetic characters in rather good shape, but the bad guys didn't exactly lose. There are still things not fully understood, I presume we will be enlightened in books to come. One thing that starts to become clear is that the events that unfold through Way of Kings are but a sideshow to something more profound that few of the characters are just beginning to understand. I look forward to the next and future books of the series.

One quick note on the audio production. Several different readers are used, and one of them pronounces a major character's name differently than the others. I'll put this squarely on the producers, who should be aware of such things and correct the reader. I've seen this happen when series changes readers mid-stream, but it's especially disconcerting when it happens within a single book. ( )
  JeffV | Dec 31, 2016 |
So far, everything Sanderson has put out I have thought was fantastic. Even Warbreaker.

That being said, this book was overhyped and it failed to capture me.

At over 1000 pages, Sanderson needed to make me care about the characters, the world, the plot. I didn't actually start getting into the book until after the 500page mark. If this had been another author, I wouldn't have finished the book.

Thankfully, I did finish it. That being said, it was only from the 800page mark and on that I actually got excited about the story. I know this is supposed to be a 10book series and hence the first book is going to be a huge world setting up", but the reader still needs to be drawn in and captivated.

Given how this was written, I will probably wait until 3 or 4 books are out before reading any more. Nothing in this first novel really made me want to read 10books worth of it.

I am sad. Because like I said at the beginning, I have LOVED what Sanderson has written so far. Maybe a re-read in 5 or 6 years will change my perspective; I sure hope so." ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
A new epic fantasy series.

There's a lot to take in and some of the story lines take a little while to get going, but I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. ( )
  oswallt | Nov 25, 2016 |
EPIC!!!! Brandon Sanderson is a Genius!!!! ( )
  Valli_Prabhala | Oct 26, 2016 |
I had pretty much given up on epic fantasy. It had been done, sometimes well, but I felt the genre had been exhausted. Most of the new stuff I'd seen was derivative and seemed to drag on forever. There are more new books being published now than I will ever be able to read, so I tend to avoid lengthy epics that belabor the point they are trying to make (assuming they have a point to make). But one of my sons recommended this book. I picked it up at the library, and he was right. It is worth reading. The world building is excellent. The magic system is refreshingly different. The large cast of characters are believable enough for a fantasy story and some have a bit of depth. Their musings can even provoke a thought or two, which makes this novel stand out from typical 'good' versus 'evil' sword and sorcery stories.
On the other hand...
-There are a number of subplots narrated in more detail than needed to tie into the main story arc. They are well done, but they bulk up the page count.
-There are entire chapters devoted to flashbacks that provide back-story. They also are well done, but they are lengthy, detailed, and interesting enough in their own right to jar a reader from the main story at times.
-After 1,000 pages, there is still no conclusive ending. It's not a cliffhanger, exactly, but it leaves many loose ends dangling.

I may see how they're resolved, eventually. I picked up the sequel, Words of Radiance, another 1,000 page tome, and began reading it last night.

You can consider that a recommendation, I suppose. If you like epic fantasy, this is among the best. Just keep in mind that you're in for a long journey to the end of the tale. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Green, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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. . . my wife, Emily, to whom this book is dedicated. . . .
First words
(Prelude) Kalak rounded a rocky stone ridge and stumbled to a stop before the body of a dying thunderclast.
(Prologue) Szeth-son-son-Vallano, Truthless of Shinovar, wore white on the day he was to kill a king.
(Chapter one) "I'm going to die, aren't I?" Cenn asked.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Editions with ISBN 0575097361 are the first part only of this book and should not be combined with the full work.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.

Roshar 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 shelter.

It 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 them.

One 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 expendable.

Brightlord 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 sanity.

Across 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 war.

The 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 making.

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.
Haiku summary
Slave must now fight, again.

A woman must be a thief.

King sees the world's past.
Something is coming
A dark something is coming
Something is coming

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A new epic series by the best-selling writer of Robert Jordan's final Wheel of Time novels introduces the world of Roshar through the experiences of a war-weary royal compelled by visions, a highborn youth condemned to military slavery and a woman who would save her impoverished house.… (more)

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