Book Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

September 27, 2014 Review 0 ★★★★★

Book Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonThe Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Stormlight Archive #1
Published by Tor Books on 2010 August 31
Genres: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 1007
Format: E-book
Source: Purchased
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five-stars

Speak again the ancient oaths,
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.
And return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Roshar is a world of stone swept by tempests that shape ecology and civilization. Animals and plants retract; cities are built in shelter. In centuries since ten orders of Knights fell, their Shardblade swords and Shardplate armor still transform men into near-invincible warriors. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.

In one such war on the ruined Shattered Plains, slave Kaladin struggles to save his men and fathom leaders who deem them expendable, in senseless wars where ten armies fight separately against one foe.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Fascinated by the ancient text namedThe Way of Kings and troubled by visions of ancient times, he doubts his sanity.

Across the ocean, Shallan trains under eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece Jasnah. Though Shallan genuinely loves learning, she plans a daring theft. Her research hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The Way of The Kings is one of those few books that has every right to be lengthy, a bit draggy and verbose. And yet, you find yourself slowly falling in love with it.  It is the type of book that you want to read before you go to sleep and the one you wanna hold right after you wake up.  I was supposed to finish The Way of Kings on March as part of a read-a-long event wherein the organizers controlled the number of pages that we should read every week…~100 pages/week.  But I broke that rule… I finished this 1000-page tome within 2 days. It’s lucky that the organizers aren’t from a dystopian world where I would be punished for my gluttony. But who could blame me? The Way of Kings is just so awesome…

The Way Of Kings consists of four seemingly unrelated storylines but as you go deeper into the book, they gradually converge… each story perfectly complementing the other one. It’s like seeing the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle falling into their right places. There’s no other word for TWOK but it’s a kicking masterpiece of amazeballs. Sorry if I am not making sense anymore.  But really, words are inadequate to describe it.

The Way of Kings started with a perplexing air especially with the infodump that was immediately thrown my way. But worry not, it’s tolerable and something really necessary for the readers to grasp its complexity.  The world Brandon created is exceptional and almost palpable. The flora and fauna is definitely creative and vibrant. And the community and their way of life particularly the religion are masterfully done.  But Sanderson didn’t stop there, the magic system that he created here isn’t anything you’ve seen before. Everything about the world of Roshar provides a feeling that you’re watching poetry coming into life.

In Sanderson’s book, there’s no such thing as 1 dimensional characters. The Way of Kings is another proof of that. Being a 10-volume book and an epic fantasy at that, it is expected that it’s going to host a lot of characters which could potentially confuse readers.  Gratefully, that is not the case with The Way Of Kings.  All the characters, if not worth rooting for, are a bunch of interesting role players.  Please note that there are four MCs here and I just love all of them. Even the secondary characters are worthy of my attention particularly Jasnah Kholin. She’s a princess, an atheist, a scholar and in my eyes, she just created a new meaning for badassery.

The plot was a thing of perfection. Sanderson seamlessly intertwined flashbacks, 4 different sets of sub stories into something grand.  As with Mistborn, The Way of Kings brimmed with treachery, desolation, intrigue, drama, and vivid action scenes.  Yes, the journey was slow but it was worth it.  I adore everything about it…how Sanderson managed to make everything connect in this very grand story is already beyond me. May the Almighty bless him.

The Way of Kings is a book one shouldn’t take lightly.  It is tough and yet, you will find yourself tearing up during the onslaught of revelations and new discoveries. It is a book that will make or break you. It’s an epitome of bookish perfection. Sanderson is a King in his own way.

Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.

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