The Way of Kings | Book Review

Title: The Way of Kings
Series: The Stormlight Archive #1
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Publish Date: August 31, 2010
Genre: Epic, High Fantasy
Pages: 1007
Format: Audiobook (45 hours 37 minutes long)

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 soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the 10 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. Wars were fought for them, and won by them. One such war rages on the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where 10 armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

Where do I even begin with this epic high fantasy? Well, I guess I start off by saying that I absolutely loved it, and that it’s now one of my favorites of all time.

This book was rich in setting. The world that Sanderson wrote was complex, immersive, and dimensional. The descriptions often transported me to the locations described as though I were watching a movie in my head. From the high storms to the chulls to the arrows, stormlight, and more, I felt that this world was highly immersive and well thought out.

As for the characters, there were so many to follow, but each had their own thread to add to this overarching story. From a soldier turned slave, a young woman who steals from a princess to help her family, to a war general with many mysteries in his past, as well as his present, to many more, these characters felt alive and human. The farther the story went on, the more I wanted to know about them.

I hope to see a lot more character growth in all of the characters because this world and the story surrounding them is so vast that it’s hard to imagine what they might end up going through at some point. There’s still so many questions to have answered, and I’m sure even more questions will come as the series continues on.

One thing I definitely loved was how Sanderson had many mini-arcs that each character was placed in, then a grander arc that they were all in, and then an even bigger arc that encompassed everything they were all going through, how the events that were taking place would affect them and the world, and how the possibly to stop it might come into play. It was so complex, but I found myself loving the threads to follow to see where they would lead.

As far as the audiobook itself goes, the narrators – Michael Kramer and Kate Reading – did an amazing job giving emotion to these characters and world, including doing different voices for each of the characters. The quality was really good, and I’m glad to see they’re continuing to be the narrators for the series.

As an epic high fantasy, I definitely recommend this book. It was long, yes, but there was just so much depth and many times where I laughed, cheered, yelled, gasped, and more that I would do it again to see if there was anything I might have missed. If you’re looking to get into a large fantasy series, this might be the one for you.

★★★★★

One Box Unboxing

I just couldn’t NOT share this with you, so… here it is!

I’m so happy! They’re beautiful covers and the concept behind the world themselves sounds awesome. As a fantasy lover, it calls to me.

The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson consists of:

It’s a story about how an evil is sweeping over the land and how the future of the empire rests in the hands of troublemaker and his young apprentice. It has love, loss, despair, hope, and Allomancy – the magic of the metals.

Sounds cool, right?

Well, I’m intrigued and I’m very excited to read it!

Let me know if you’ve read this series, if you plan on reading it, and what your thoughts were!

January & February 2015 Collective Book Haul

I seemed to have acquired more books than intended over the last two months, but hey, that’s what happens when you’re a book lover, right? Well, here’s my haul from both January and February!

  • Rebel Spring” by Morgan Rhodes. This is the sequel to “Falling Kingdoms” and I figured I’d just get it so I have it to read when I’m ready.
  • The Selection” and “The Elite” by Kiera Cass. I don’t think I ever hauled the first book, so here are the first and second books of this series. It’s about a girl named America who is chosen to take part in the Selection where 32 girls try to win the heart of the prince, Maxon, but only one can win. It’s a YA romance type of novel series. I’ve already read and reviewed the first, so I’ll be moving onto the second soon.
  • Scarlet” and “Cress” by Marissa Meyer are the second and third books in the Lunar Chronicles series. They follow different characters than the first (Cinder), but they are still fairy tale retellings (one of Little Red Riding Hood and of Rapunzel). I’m very interested to see how the stories unfold in the next books.
  • Unravel Me” and “Ignite Me” by Tahereh Mafi. These are books two and three in the Shatter Me trilogy. I read and reviewed the first book last month, and so I want to continue on with the series because I felt that I wasn’t satisfied enough in the first book and I hear it gets better as it goes.
  • Alienated” by Melissa Landers. This is an alien book (if you couldn’t guess) that follows a human girl, Cara, and how her family was picked to share their house with an “exchange student” – an alien boy named Aelyx. Things start getting dangerous, though, when threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker and police escorts have to be used for her and Aelyx. I started reading this book to get a general idea of what it’s about and I love the voice of Cara: very snarky and funny. Can’t wait to read this.
  • Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson. This is the first in a new series(?) by Sanderson that tells the story about a boy, David, who’s father was killed and how everything was essentially taken away from him. He has to defeat Steelheart and needs help from the Reckoners, a group of rebels trying to keep justice. And the Reckoners might just need David’s help, too. It sounds thrilling and action packed, so I’m excited to read this (and hopefully my husband will read it, too).
  • Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I got my hands on it. There has been so much hype surrounding this book, I hope I enjoy it. It’s about a girl named Mare who lives in a world where you are divided by blood – literally. If you have silver blood you’re an elite, essentially, and if you have red blood you’re a common peasant like everyone else. And silvers have powers. And Mare, a red blood, isn’t supposed to have powers… DUN DUN DUNNNNN. Anyway, I’m excited to read this. I think it’ll be the first book I read in March.

I also have one more to haul, even though I’ve ordered it, it just hasn’t come in yet because of international standard shipping stuff. Anyway, that is:

  • The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson – UK edition – which consist of “The Final Empire,” “The Well of Ascension,” and “The Hero of Ages.” (It’s actually a seven part series, but it’s originally a trilogy?) I love the covers of these books so much more than the American covers, and so I had to get it. It’s an adult fantasy trilogy that follows a “troublemaker and his young apprentice,” and they’re trying to save their world through the use of Allomancy, a magic of metals. It sounds intriguing and there’s a big hype surrounding it right now, so I’m excited to read it.

I’m pretty sure that’s all of the books I’ve gotten in the last two months… 13 books, woo! I could be missing something, I’m not sure. I’m just excited to read them all eventually.

Accompanying video: January & February Collective Book Haul

Have you read any of these books? What do you recommend I read sooner rather than later? What did you think of what you read? Are you going to read any of these soon? Let me know!