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The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive) by…
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The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive) (edition 2011)

by Brandon Sanderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,0041003,349 (4.46)2 / 151
Member:bangerlm
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
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2013

Work details

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

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Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
Nary a dull moment, but not nearly as anxiety-inducing as a George R.R. Martin novel, this book is perfect for someone looking to ease their way into the fantasy/science fiction genre. By way of delicate prose that is easy to understand, Sanderson carefully introduces the reader to Roshar, a world very different from our own.

There are four main characters (Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar and Szeth) in The Way of Kings and, as the synopsis on the back of the book hints, among the four is someone who can save Roshar and someone who can destroy it. The book alternates its focus on each character (and a handful of support cast who are equally as captivating) from chapter to chapter in a nature similar to the Song of Ice and Fire series. This writing technique has proven to be effective as it keeps the reader’s attention, the end of each chapter leaving the reader with a gnawing ache for more.

I don’t think my unpracticed book-reviewing skills can do this novel justice. I found myself yearning to eat my lunches in my car so I could read on in silence, not wanting to wait until I get home to find out what happens next. I was whisked away from my own world almost at the very onset, walking amongst the morally-conflicted men and women of Roshar, a place where magic exists but is still yet to be fully understood, even by those who have the power to control it.

For good measure, I’ll offer what little criticism I have: Sanderson’s writing is very simple, it’s not the kind of book you can pull quotes from and live life by. It’s just a story. At times the story-telling can be corny or garish, and occasionally predictable. When Sanderson really wants to get an idea across to the reader, he tends to be repetitive. These are minor inconveniences, barely even worth noting.

This is a tome of a book - more than 1200 pages - and is only the first book in a ten-book series, so “epic” seems like an applicable word to use here in its multiple meanings. You have to know that starting this is going to be a time investment and emotionally tolling to boot. Like any new relationship, you have to ask yourself “am I ready to make this kind of a commitment?” If you are, the payoff is applied ten-fold. ( )
  theokayest | Dec 9, 2014 |
This book is an impressive piece of work. The world building, characters, and plot weaving is quite impressive and kept me engaged the whole time. ( )
  shawse | Dec 2, 2014 |
In a world where there are visible spirits, spren, associated with various things (like honour or decay) and where complicated politics are the order of the day. In this world there are swords and armour (Shardblades and Shardplate) that give people extraordinary power, but they are limited and the ruling class like to control them. It's a world where storms rage across the land and there animals and plants have adapted to deal with that.

In this world, Kaladin is a slave, he lifts a bridge to help an army in an almost interminable war against another kingdom, one with a different ethos than the culture Kaladin comes from. He has a mysterious companion who seems to help him, and communicates with him, unlike most spren.

Then there's Shallan, trying to save her family, trying to learn, trying all the time to do the right thing, but the right thing isn't always the right thing for her. Her teacher Jasnah is notorious, and abrupt but a good teacher.

And then there's Brightlord Dalinar Kholin, a commander of an army, brother of a king, wielder of a Shardblade and Shardplate but the storms bring visions with them, visions of the past of a time long gone, a time forgotten. But he's confused by the voice that accompanies these visions, a voice that asks him to join people together against a common foe, the infighting within his army is complex and he feels that this is where he needs to start.

It's a complex story, over 1,000 pages of complex with plots on plots and several books planned in the series, but I really did enjoy it, it drew me in and kept me reading. Kept me wanting to know more about the people and the circumstances and wanting more of the story. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Dec 1, 2014 |
It is a world of endless war and destructive storms. A world where your place in the social structure is determined by eye color; men aspire to be soldiers; and women are relegated to the pursuit of feminine arts like scholarship, music, and literature. A world abandoned thousands of years ago by a powerful sect of warriors known as the Heralds, who left behind their otherworldly plates of armor and broadswords; today, these weapons – known as shardplate and shardblades respectively – are coveted for their abilities to transform the owner into superhuman fighters. A world preparing for a cataclysmic disaster and trying to understand its past.

It is Roshar, and in the midst of the storm-washed, stone-shattered landscape, we are introduced to three remarkable and unforgettable characters:

Kaladin – a former soldier and surgeon-in-training who has been sold into slavery. He finds himself on the frontlines of the war to avenge the assassination of the king, where he is assigned the suicidal role of bridge runner – literally carrying the army’s bridges from battle to battle. As Kaladin struggles to survive, and keep his fellow bridge runners alive, he also struggles to find the soldier he used to be…

Shallan – an aspiring scholar whose father’s death has left her family on the brink of downfall. To save her brothers, she undertakes a daring and risky plan: apprentice herself to the leading scholar of the age so she can steal that scholar’s most prized treasure – a soulcaster, or magic tool that can transform substances. But when Shallan finds herself so close to achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a renowned scholar, can she go through with her intended theft?

Dalinar – an aging general whose brother is the assassinated king, Gavilar, and whose nephew now rules the fragmented kingdom, Alethkar. Dalinar advises the young king as they fight the War of Vengeance against the race of beings that claimed responsibility for the assassination. But when Dalinar starts having vivid and realistic visions during the devastating highstorms, he starts to question his role in the war, and what he can do to bring peace to the shattered kingdoms…

These three incredible characters are each on their own journey across the storm-swept landscape, but their fates are intertwined in this spectacular novel – the first in a series of ten – by one of my new favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson. I was first introduced to Sanderson when I picked up The Rithmatist from a cruise ship’s library, and I was so astounded by his creative genius that I knew I had to read more of his work.

I am completely speechless now.

How can I even start to capture all of the amazing features that are this book? The landscape; the characters; the mythology; the fantasy; the writing; everything. Everything was incredible in this novel. If it was possible to create a perfect book, then Sanderson created it.

But what I loved most? My complete immersion in the world of Roshar. Every time I opened the book and started to read, I was a part of it. I wasn't in my bedroom or sprawled on my couch, reading. I was there, feeling everything the characters felt as they traveled on their journeys towards their destinies; I experienced their wanderings and their wonderings - as they tried to understand their worlds and their places in them, as they grappled with the decisions they made, I was with them; asking myself the same questions and grappling with my own decisions.

It is a true genius to create that kind of world. To reach out and touch the reader in such a personal way. Sanderson is a true genius. And I can't wait to read everything he has ever written. ( )
  parhamj | Nov 16, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book, UNTIL I found out he wants it to be a series of 10 books! Yikes! If they all end up being 1000+ pages that's a serious investment in time, and by the time I get to book 10 I'll forget what happened in book 1. Not sure whether to continue. ( )
  NHNick | Oct 3, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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. . . my wife, Emily, to whom this book is dedicated. . . .
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(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.)
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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 (4)

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)

(summary from another edition)

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