by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Macmillan
on March 4, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic, Action & Adventure, Military
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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in a 10 book series. Book 4 is coming out on November 17, so no, this series is not finished yet. But Brandon Sanderson does produce books regularly, I have no worries that we won’t
The Way of Kings Summary
The story starts off with the King of Alethkar assassination. I don’t feel that is a spoiler because that happens in chapter 1 of The Way of Kings, and how the whole book kicks off. The cousins of the Parshmen the Parshendi take responsibility for the assassination. Which starts a war with Alethkar and the Parshendi people to avenge the king’s death.
We follow 3 main characters. Kaladin a Soldier fighting in Sadeas’s Army (one of the 10 high princes of Alethkar.) Dalinar uncle to the current king and one of the 10 high princes of Alethkar. And Shallan a girl who has traveled far to seek out Jasna to become her ward.
The Way of Kings Review
This is where the book grabbed me. The world-building was great but to be honest I didn’t much pay attention to it. Brandon Sanderson wrote the characters well. And most of them are morally gray, which really humanizes them more than some fantasy books do.
Kaladin was my favorite character to follow in The Way of Kings. Kaladin starts off as a soldier for Sadeas but then gets branded a slave and sold and placed in with bridge 4. We don’t learn why or how Kaladin when from soldier to slave until much later in the book.
So we spend a lot of time with Kaladin down and depressed for much of his chapters it seems like it is lucky that he makes it to the next chapter. Every time you think that Kaladin just might rise up and make his situation even somewhat livable something or more like someone kicks him back down. We also get a lot of his childhood back round stories to add a lot of depth to his character. I am a huge sucker for the underdog and Kaladin definitely has that going for him in They Way of Kings.
Slyphrena or Syl is a wind sprin. Who is a pal to Kaladin whether he wanted one or not. She sometimes provides comic relief to Kaladin’s storyline.
Dalinar is one of the high princes and uncle to the current king and brother to the king who was assassinated. Dalinar has a reputation as a badass warrior known as Blackthorn. But rumor has it that he is losing his mind. This rumor started because every a high storm comes he has these pretty noticeable fits where he is thrown into these visions. Since Dalinar is a high prince you get all the political intrigue and nobility lifestyle that you do not get from Kaladin’s perspective when reading from Dalinar’s POV.
Shallan is a low-level noble daughter that travels in search of Jasna to become her apprentice. Her family is in a desperate situation so sending Shallan away to this very famous scholar and heretic to become her ward is her family’s final hope of helping them. What I loved about Shallan’s POV is the topics explored in the dialogue. I also love that Shallan doesn’t seem to have a brain to mouth filter. Which makes the dialogue between scholar and apprentice super entertaining.
Brandon Sanderson is the man when it comes to magic systems. My favorite part of the magic system is the sprin. They are fairy or sprite. Most of the time the sprin don’t interact with the humans except to pull a small prank. Sprin also have the ability to choose what humans see them. There are many kinds of sprin, there is wind sprin, pain sprin, creative sprin, angry sprin. Every kind of sprin you can think of. They are attracted to the element they belong to, or create more of the element because they are there. That part is not clear.
Epic fantasies are known for the gigantic fantastical worlds and the Stormlight Archive Series will not disappoint. This world has its own creatures, currency (pay close attention to that), vegetation, weather, history, even what your eye color is, matters in this world. The Alethi culture is pretty intriguing. Brandon Sanderson gives you details from who can read and write, to what appropriate body parts have to be covered. (It’s not what your thinking, it’s interesting I promise)
There are several plot lines in The Way of Kings. But in my opinion, this was a very character-driven story, so I kind of find it hard to really discuss the plot. The characters in this story were super captivating. Other than a little bit of pacing issues which I talk about next. I really have nothing negative to say.
Now, this is where I have problems. The book starts off with very intense action. The first chapter hooked me. Then it kind of falls off a cliff and we basically have to slowly climb the hill back to the intense gripping action. If your not familiar with Brandon Sanderson’s writing or epic fantasies in general this might be a turn-off. It is a couple of hundred pages of what seems like a slow story. But there is a pay off! It is worth it. By the end of The Way of Kings, I couldn’t put it down and ended up with a reading hangover.
I loved it. I can’t wait to start Words Of Radiance book 2 in the Stormlight Archive. This gives me the right amount of morally gray characters, with witty dialogue, and twists that make me have real feelings about a fictional character. I would highly recommend The Way of Kings to anyone who likes long epic fantasy books!
Have you read The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson? What did you think?
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