The Way of Kings is the first book in a projected ten-part epic fantasy series (The Stormlight Archive) by Brandon Sanderson. After reading other Sanderson books (the Mistborn series, Wheel of Time), I was almost certain that I would fall in love with this book, and so I didn’t really want to start it, because I liked being able to look forward to reading it. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t work, and now I have to wait a year or more for the next book to be released.
So yeah, I thought The Way of Kings was a fantastic book. I’m always at a loss to describe what I like about good books because I get so immersed in the world and characters that it’s hard to pick out things as being outstanding. The world was richly drawn, with detailed mythologies, history, countries, peoples, etc. The main characters were all fascinating, three-dimensional people with compelling stories. I liked the description of the Vorin society – it’s interesting that women have their own specialties and talents, as opposed to a lot of traditional fantasy. After reading Mistborn, with its clear descriptions of the (really cool) magic systems, I expected something similar, but magic is very much shrouded in mystery, and that’s pretty well portrayed. I love the amount of scholarship depicted in this book.
I found that the middle dragged a tiny bit as Kaladin sorted out his emotions and accepted being a leader, but I think that’s a curse of first books in series’ – the hero has to go on a believable journey. It also seemed like a whole bunch of plot twists came at the very end; I would have appreciated it if there were a couple of those to liven up the middle of the book. However, it did succeed in making me really impatient for the next installment of the story.
One really cool thing about Brandon Sanderson’s books that I recently found out (on his official fansite, The 17th Shard) is that they are all set on different planets in the same cosmere universe. They even share a couple of characters, and I believe they do have a large overlapping mystery. I can’t wait to read Elantris and Warbreaker and try to catch the references there. (I still have 21 books to go before I can acquire those, though.)
Anyway, I’d say I want the next book right now, but Brandon Sanderson is also finishing up The Wheel of Time, and I also want to read A Memory of Light really badly. Maybe I could have both concurrently?
This is book 4 of 25 of my Dec 11, 2011 book challenge.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive, #1)
Tor Books, 2010 | Buy the book