The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

thewayofkingscoverTitle: The Way of Kings
Series: The Stormlight Archive #1
Stand-alone: Yes
Author(s): Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Original Release Date: August 31st 2010
Pages: 1258
Genre(s): Fantasy
ISBN13: 9780765365279


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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Thank you to Tor for sending me a copy for review!


You can order your own copy now!

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Amazon (USA) – Amazon (Canada)Chapters IndigoBook Depository

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,

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55 thoughts on “The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thanks, Ashley!! I see soooo many fans doing exactly that nowadays. I envy those who had the chance to read this one twice. I feel like a reread would give an even better idea of the world he wrote up for us. Looking forward to Oathbringer myself! Hope you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek says:

    Absolutely fantastic review.😀 I’ve only read the first Mistborn book by him and while I enjoyed it I didn’t feel the compulsion or need to carry on with the trilogy. He seemed an OK writer but I never wanted to try his other work either.

    Lots, well, lots and lots and lots of people love him but a fair few seem to dislike him too. Your review is making me question if I should reconsider and give him another go as you sell this book really well.😀 I’m not sure I’ll actually have the time being a slow reader, so many other books, the size of his books and how prolific he is as a writer but never say never.

    Once again, great review.😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thanks man, I appreciate it. I’ll definitely be trying out Mistborn as it is also one of those Sanderson books that I only hear fantastic things about. Sorry to hear it wasn’t as impressive as you’d hoped it would be. Hopefully you’ll find time to read another book, from another series, before completely giving up on Sanderson. And man… prolific is right. I don’t think fans will ever be sad after finishing his books knowing that the dude will certainly release something annually. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Angelica (TheBookCoverGirls) says:

    Great review! I’ve been afraid to get into this one, if only for the sheer size of it. I also must admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of Mistborn or Steelheart. I don’t want to have such long commitment for something I might not enjoy. But I only hear great things about this one so I might give it chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you soo much!! I do hope to try those series out for myself too. There’s definitely a level of commitment that is needed for The Way of Kings. People who are ready to take it slow should feel incredibly satisfied by the end. It’s all about the hard work we put it for the ultimate reward. And that’s just book one, so I just can’t imagine how much bigger things will be further into the series. Thank you again for reading!!! I hope your experience with this series will be far more satisfying. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      It is my pleasure! I’d hate myself if I ever spoiled anything for anyone since… I’d hate it myself if someone spoiled. 🙂 I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it! I hope the ending will be to your liking. Thank you so much for reading!! I truly appreciate it. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      I was just like before I read this. You have to give one of his books a shot. Even if I haven’t read the other series, I just have the feeling that I’m going to greatly enjoy myself. 😀 Thank you so much for reading, Stephanie!! I appreciate it a lot. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      It is GORGEOUS. I plan on getting my hands on hardcovers of these books when I’m finally up to date. The artwork is to die for. ❤

      Awwww maaaaaaan, Evelina. You are waaay too kind. I seldom get feedback on graphics, so I truly appreciate it. It means a lot to me; I am no professional at this and have been trying to learn the ropes to doing something decent. Your gif-filled reviews add so much colour to your already awesome reviews, girl. Don't beat yourself up for not wasting hours to make these silly graphics hahah Your personality shines bright through what you say about your books. 😉

      Thanks for stopping by too, by the way. I appreciate it a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. beckakw says:

    This was a great review! I’m a fan of Sanderson and I picked this book up earlier this year because my brother’s been practically begging me to… But I put it down because it’s just so dense. Your review, though, really makes me want to start it again!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Awwn, thank you so much!!! ❤ I praise your brother for making you pick this one up, but man… You'll appreciate it so much more if your mentality before lifting this brick is to tackle a 1000+ page book with all the patience in the world!!! I do hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did when you get the chance to read it again!! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. LizScanlon says:

    Lashaan, dude, I seriously did a doubletake on the page count! hahahaha.. bloody hell… behemoth is the right word here for this book and man, do you sell it well!
    I have not read a single Sanderson book yet but have been recommended the Mistborn series. I knew he had a number of books but that many books? wow…
    I have to be honest, even though I have a problem with committing to such hefty tomes at this moment in time, the way you describe the book and everything about it made me swoon a bit… you chose your words well! nicely done!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Hahaahahah I know!!!! Although, I love that it is so big though. There’s always this sense of huge accomplishment at the end when you complete it, and an even bigger enjoyment when it’s just soooo good! I hear it took him a couple years to write the first one, but that every other book will be an annual release… The man is crazy! 😛 Mistborn is the 2nd series by him that I know I want to try ASAP. I only hear great things about that one too. You should totally try out one of his books some day. I’d be curious to see what’s your take on his imaginative world-building! 😀 Thank you so much for the kind words, really appreciate it all. ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    WOW… I thought your Agatha rave was powerful, hahhahahaha… that has NOTHING on your Sanderson love!! His magic systems seem to always be so unique and different that I’m certainly intrigued… Probably my character is the war slave… I’m not too much a fan of sneaky people… I’m probably too straightforward for that?! Can a publisher please send me a behemoth like that with a hard and fast deadline so I can be wowed too?! lol Seriously though are you going to read more soon?! Continue or start a different Sanderson book?! 😉 And I’m really not sure what slow characterization is… it makes me feel insanely curious… as either the character is depthful to the EXTREME or he’s duplicating experiences for the same personality traits?! I DID NOT know he was getting a book out a year at the least though… that is fascinating!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Bahahahah 😀 I love reading your reactions to my raving reviews. I always look forward to it actually LOL Oh gosh, the war slave was soooo fascinating. And with the vivid world-building, you’ll feel the weight of the world that he has on his shoulders throughout his storyline. It’s pretty crazy how immersive it all was. There’s no actualy deadline though LOL I was just way too excited to post-pone this. I’ve been meaning to try a Brandon Sanderson book for a realllly long time. I totally plan on reading more. I can’t say what will be the next one though. Hopefully it’ll be book 2 cause I want to be up to date with this one series before all the books get released. This series is on an annual release plan and it just recently launched book 3. 7 years before anyone gets the grand finale. I’ll be 30!!!!! Hahahaha And yep. With the number of pages it has, you’re going to get some really fascinating character presentation/development. Sanderson just does it so well by making us sympathize with the characters, understand where they’re coming from, how they are where they are now, and make us enjoy those big moments that’ll have cheering or screaming. Yep… Dude has been dishing out books as if they were mass produced and easy to make!!! What’s more impressive is that they rarely disappoint fans. 😮 Quite the author, for sure! Thank you again for reading, Dani. I truly appreciate it!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

        Wow… Mistborn is a way early book for Sanderson… maybe i need to check out this Way of Kings… we’ll see lofty intentions and all that! I feel the passion though Lashaan! And 7 years before the end?! That’s crazy … but actually we have a series plan like that too, lol… 🤫🤭😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Wow this book sounds amazing Lashaan, just from what you’ve written about it I can see why Sanderson is one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time (although just based on the picture you posted in the review of this book, and given this is the first of a ten part series, you have a lot of reading ahead of you). I’m so glad to see you enjoyed this, it sounds incredible and I’m very glad to see the world building was so wonderfully written as well. 🙂
    Great review Lashaan, and I’m sure you’ll love the next book in the series as much as you loved this one! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Oh, I’m tellin’ ya! The man can write! Have you had plans on trying his books? His Mistborn series or The Reckoners trilogy might actually be up your ally. 😉 I just can’t wait to get into more of his books. He made nice first impression with The Way of Kings, that’s for sure! 😀 Thank you for your kind words!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        I haven’t thought about picking up any of his books but I’ll be sure to look up his Mistborn series or The Reckoners trilogy to see if either does sound like the kind of series I’d be interested in. Gotta say I’m curious about reading something by an author who you’ve said is a master of the genre.
        That’s all right! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Wow what a review- I loved your introduction about Sanderson- he really is a fantasy powerhouse (I’ve only read a couple of his books so far, but I can already see why he’s so respected). I absolutely love how you describe the scope of this story- it makes me so excited to check it out!! And Sanderson’s world building is always phenomenal! Amazing review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      He’s been on a roll!!! Hard to imagine anyone beating him at being so prolific as a writer and maintaining, based on the love he receives from readers, such quality stories! Oh yes, it’s quite grandiose! It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to play catch-up with this series and make it the first one that I’d read by him. I have a feeling that things will only get better with every book. Hope you get the chance to try it out yourself some day. Or even try out some of his other series/books! 😀 Thank you so much for your kind words!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I have no idea how I missed this rebmview earlier, but wow! I mean you always sell me on the right books.. but I may have to shift my train of thought here. I have only read some of his novellas. I was planning on introducing myself through Mistborn, but now I am thinking this is the way to go?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Bahahahah I had a feeling you had missed this one because it would’ve been a huge recommendation for you from me if you ever felt like tackling bigger, and slower books that are quite rewarding in the long term! 😀 I remember your mini reviews for those Sanderson books and had even asked you if you had or planned on visiting some of his series! 😀

      Honestly, I can’t tell you if one is better than the other for you since I have yet to read Mistborn myself. If I hadn’t read The Way of Kings first, Mistborn might have been my first book too. After reading The Way of Kings, I think Sanderson has got all my trust in his ability to write and create original worlds. I doubt Mistborn would be disappointing for me. I do hope whichever you decide to go with that it’ll be just as mesmerizing as The Way of Kings was for me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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