Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings

Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: The Stormlight Archive #1
Pages: Hardcover, 1007 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: August 31, 2010

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 soiless 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


I'm astounded, spellbound, impressed, elated, and so deeply touched with this incredible and unbelievable masterpiece!

I don't think words can ever do justice to the grandiose world Sanderson has created in this story. It is an imperfect kingdom with strange beliefs and a haunting history, holding a sophisticated culture in an extravagant realm among curious, mythical creatures. Yet the emotions, the people, the tangible reality of their relationships and their struggles is all so familiar and captivating. I shouldn't be surprised with Sanderson's stunning world building and meticulous detailing of every novel lifeform but this! This is.. something else.

Admittedly, the actual plot eluded me for the majority of this book. The story building is slow and takes its own sweet time. There are multiple stories presented with no hint of connection between them and it does get tedious. But do not despair fellow readers! The fluidity with which Sanderson writes makes up for it ten times over! I still can't comprehend a hundred things and I have a million unanswered questions but I'm ready to wait. I'm more than willing to read a 1000 more pages to understand the Radiant's past and see it affect the future of every single character in this book that I love. The deliberately unhurried pace that Sanderson sets for the book is fitting and once you're done, the feeling of exultation and wonder at having read such a magnificent tale makes you realize how every second of it was completely worth it.

That said, I'm pretty sure that every other book is ruined for me till I read the second installment of this mindblowing series. I'm just going to wander around aimlessly waiting for March till that happens


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