Title: The Way of Kings
Series: The Stormlight Archive #1
Author(s): Brandon Sanderson
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Original Release Date: August 31st 2010
I heard a lot of things of Brandon Sanderson through the grapevine. It was only a question of time till I did my due diligence and dug through his work. The instant I found out about The Stormlight Archive, I knew it was a series I had to check out. It had this pronounced aura glowing, growing and flickering relentlessly. Its irresistible lust chained me to a desire to pick it up and get caught up in the creativity and ingenuity that is often attributed to the man and his work.
Brandon Sanderson is the same author who had the colossal task of completing posthumously the famous Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. He is also the one who wrote the wildly known Mistborn series, who brought fans Elantris (fans may rejoice with the news of him planning to release two more books in that series), and who recently completed The Reckoners trilogy. With so many places where newcomers could acquaint themselves with Brandon Sanderson’s writing, I have finally chosen the first of his planned 10 book epic fantasy series, The Way of Kings, to be my ultimate introduction to one of the greatest fantasy writer of all time.
Let it be known that I chose wisely.
I have never salivated for and savoured a novel like this before. Its length is a warning to readers who seek fast-paced story-telling as The Way of Kings is a testimony for authors all around the world to the fact that it is possible to produce stories this long without plunging readers into a numbing state of fatigue and monotony. Its steady pace and slow character-building are the foundation to its narrative’s progression and forces its readers into developing a yearning for a climactic ending, and that is exactly what Brandon Sanderson accomplishes in this first book.
This is the story of Roshar, a world of stone and storms. Brandon Sanderson kicks things off by exposing distinct events set a couple years ago—actually, maybe up to around 4500 years ago. Teasing us the fall of ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant that set the premise behind the ongoing wars, notably the one in the Shattered Plains, The Way of Kings is the all-you-can-eat buffet for fans of epic fantasy. While these orders have been vanquished, their Shardblades and Shardplate are still accessible for mankind to fight for. What however brings the extra layer of complexity to this story is the text of The Way of Kings that sheds light on the true cause of this war.
But where exactly is Brandon Sanderson leading us?
That is the true magic of this series. You won’t be able to grasp the scope of this story with the first book of The Stormlight Archive. Its direction is grand and unfathomable. Expect to follow the stories of a couple characters as you bond to them and learn about the mythology that embellishes this world. Expect to be graced with impeccable characterization that crack wide open the darkest secrets and deepest impulses of these characters. Expect to relish the little victories and to brace yourself for the landslides filled with despair and adversity. It is pretty safe to say that Brandon Sanderson is a master story-teller and knows how to get you invested in these characters and this universe.
Alternating between several characters, from Shallan, a young and witty woman with shady intentions, to Kaladin, a war slave soaked in despair and who’s purpose in this story is beyond anyone’s ability to foresee, this story revels in its slower story-telling in order to marinate in its impeccable world-building. Oh, its luscious and bewildering world-building! How is it humanly possible to conceive such an immersive and perfect world? The history, the beliefs, the religion, the entire world was all thought-through with meticulous details and delivered in a godly and engrossing fashion.
Just the magic system used and even presented very early in the story through the Assassin in White, also known as Szeth (such a fascinating character by the way), is phenomenal. The whole idea of Surgebinding, especially the different types of Lashing, offers readers the possibility of getting some of the most vivid and beautiful action sequences ever. Without giving out too much information on its mechanisms, lets just say that it plays a lot with gravity. The world of Roshar is also filled with sprens of all kind and these things just enhance the visual experience. Ultimately, this book does the impossible when it comes to bringing to life the written word.
I could probably gush out so much more love for this novel, but I think it would be a disservice to everyone if I were to give any more details on this story. The Stormlight Archive series is one that is just worth diving into blind. Anyone ready to take on this behemoth and all its majestic beauty will not be disappointed by its awe-inspiring creativity. Brandon Sanderson’s vision for this series has me mesmerized and requires a standing ovation on my part.
This might have been the first book I’ve read that was written by this best-selling author, but I think everyone probably understands by now that it most definitely won’t be my last. I will see that I complete this marvelous series, which just recently launched the third book in the series called Oathbringer, and I will make it my life goal to read every single piece of literature that the great Brandon Sanderson has or will write during my lifetime.
You should too.
You can order your own copy now!
MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★
Have you read it yet? Do you plan to? What do you think about The Way of Kings?
Share your thoughts with me!
Till next time,