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The Way Of Kings - The Stormlight Archive: Book One

Genre

Fantasy

Released By / Year

Tor Books / 2010

Book Review

The Way Of Kings is an absolutely remarkable first chapter in what appears to be, a mammoth fantasy epic. This is the first in a planned series of ten books and author Brandon Sanderson writes with no holds barred and delivers in intricate detail, a world vision and a tale of the human soul.

Roshar is a world plagued by war, mistrust and really bad weather. The main focus is on the recently reunited Alethkar kingdom, where the social order is based upon eye colour. The king has been assassinated, his son has sworn revenge against the Parshendi race who have taken the blame and the highprinces who are effectuating this revenge are more interested in their own glory, wealth and social position. At the very bottom of the pile, a darkeyed soldier, betrayed and branded a slave is hanging on by the last shred of his will. As the war is coming to a climax, myths and stories long forgotten begin to come to life.

With just over 1.000 pages, the book takes its time and is sometimes slow going, but step by step, I became more and more intrigued as things started to make sense and I understood the truly complex nature of what is going on. It became clear that everything is there for a reason.

The book follows several characters and fleshes out a well defined universe with a clear sense of place. I find it remarkable that someone can think up something like this world and actually make it feel coherent and layered in the way Mr. Sanderson has done. He is clearly on a mission to create something unique.

As the story unraveled I became intrigued with the details, the history, the social order and the magic of the world. Even discussions between scholars, studying the history of the world is intriguing since it gives an understanding of why things work as they do. When action takes over Mr. Sanderson writes with an exciting punch that leaves me out of breath as eyes fly over the page.

I read the Kindle version and seriously missed the option of zooming in on the artwork, which seems intricate and detailed, and altogether impossible to enjoy on a Kindle. Based on this I'd recommend a hard copy.

Sometimes when reading a book I imagine various outcomes for characters and think "Wouldn't it be cool if this and that happened". It is rare but extremely satisfying when those dreams actually come true and that is what's happened here.

At a certain point near the end of the book I was surprised to find myself in tears in the middle of a climatic battle and it was only then I discovered the truly intricate way Mr. Sanderson has layered the story and the intensely emotional journey of two of the main characters. This is proof of great storytelling and it is no small feat to elicit such an emotional response. To me it shows that the book has soul and is good enough to make me care for the characters. I am going to follow this series till its end and will now begin hunting down his other books.

The Way Of Kings delivers in a consistently excellent way. In the first part of the book I was occasionally stumped but given the benefit of doubt, the book evolves and brings forth the most fascinating, satisfying read I have had in a long time.

This is a massive book and a long journey, but it is worth your time, trust me.




Written By Steen
Online: Thursday, August 14, 2014