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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings (2010)

by Brandon Sanderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Stormlight Archive (1), Cosmere (6)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,9462001,505 (4.43)2 / 269
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 is desperate to save her impoverished house.
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English (198)  French (1)  All languages (199)
Showing 1-5 of 198 (next | show all)
Liked this more than his other books, which I was generally meh towards, except Elantris. A few little surprises, a few characters I cared about, and, as always with Sanderson, an interesting magic system (a couple actually). ( )
  allison_s | May 25, 2020 |
It had an interesting story (in there, somewhere), yet was slow and repetitive. ( )
  AshuritaLove | May 24, 2020 |
With a four-star rating, I'm obviously generally well-disposed towards this book. However, it does drag at times, and probably could have been tightened up by 100 pages or so. Overall, I'm intrigued and entertained enough to keep on with the series and even have a hard-core character crush on Jasnah. It's definitely another wonderful addition to the world of epic fantasy.

What did I love?

Incredible World-Building
The history, the culture, the embedded systemic classism, the values, the religions, and so on. I've seldom had the pleasure of reading such a well-thought-out universe.

The Ending Was Phenomenal
I was hit with bombshell after shock after revelation as the last 150 pages careened to an explosive finish. I was repeatedly taken by surprise, which is an incredibly rare thing for me after 45 years of reading.

Subtle Social Commentary
In fact, it's so circumspect that for the first bit of the book I was wondering if it was actually there or if I was bringing it. But inherent in the world-building is a sly examination and questioning of our ideas of gender roles, class, and racial differences.

Well-Developed Characters
Complicated in motivations and backstory, the book is full of characters that behave in truly human ways and respond to the events of the story believably and imperfectly.

What could I have lived without?

FFS Can You Just Stab Him Already
There is far too much detailed description of battle and war strategy for me. The descriptions are incredibly well-written and I'd love to see them played out on a screen; however, I'm just not interested enough in the mechanics of war to read quite that much about it.

Watch That Male Gaze, Bro.
Despite only being given the briefest sketch of the appearances of male characters, upon meeting the first primary female character, we are provided with a description of her beauty that is some 6 paragraphs long. We then are reintroduced to the extremely well-established fact that she is pretty several more times. Likewise, when the second female character comes along, the very first sentence is about her attractiveness. With that said, the female characters turned out to be incredibly well-developed—complex, capable, nuanced, and fully autonomous. There is even a distinctly feminist commentary discreetly tucked away in the world-building. It's simply unfortunate that the author's male gaze was so dominant in the introductions since he clearly has a genuine respect for women.

All in all this is a pick for me, though I will be skimming the fuck out of the battles going forward. If you aren't a fan of 1000 page tomes already, this may not be the place to start. But if you are a world-building aficionado, you won't want to miss out on it. ( )
  Zoes_Human | May 22, 2020 |
What an awesome journey. Awesome characters, awesome arcs, expansive world - everything you'd want in an epic fantasy over 1200 pages long.

This is the first book in a series I am looking forward to being a part of. The history of the world of the Stormlight Archive has so many twists and turns in itself, let alone the plot of the main story. Its extremely rich in character and mystery. Even after finishing, I don't know what to believe.

It loses a star for some kinda bland moments, but if I could give it 4.5, I would. You can easily overlook them to see the glory of this book. ( )
  lostmonster | May 19, 2020 |
This was really great. Some of the information given appears unnecessary and distracting. However, eventually I just let the random characters, names, and histories wash over me, rather than making an attempt to memorize them all. ( )
  Yugmodnar829 | Apr 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 198 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Call, GregIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McSweeney, BenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, IsaacIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important places
Important events
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For Emily,

Who is too patient
Too kindly
And too wonderful
For words
But I try anyway.
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Editions with ISBN 0575097361 are the first part only of this book and should not be combined with the full work.
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

No library descriptions found.

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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Average: (4.43)
0.5 1
1 15
2 20
2.5 2
3 84
3.5 27
4 402
4.5 75
5 744


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