152. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

This year I made a commitment of sticking to a Fantasy Series. Something High Fantasy or an Epic.

I really was eager to begin the Wheel of Times series by Robert Jordan, but it has so many books, how would I even begin to collect them all you know?

Anyway, on one random day I was strolling through the Borders bookstore here in Avenues mall, Muscat and what do I find sitting on their Shelves?

THE WAY OF KINGS!!!

Literally skipped a heart beat when I saw it, and I knew I had to get it.

My friend, Ridhi was after me to start this book, and once she starts raving about a novel it is bound to be amazing.

So here I am with The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson divided into two parts because he had that much to say.

A little more information about this series, it is called The Stormlight Archive, a planned 10 book series and so far only three are out, namely:

  1. The Way of Kings
  2. Words of Radiance
  3. Oathbringer

Now, I found a great video on Youtube giving a great introduction to the world and a bit of context to this book, because as you’ll soon find out down below it isn’t an easy one:

If you loved the Mistborn trilogy like me, and think it will be similar in pace or storyline, then let me warn you before-hand it is nothing like that.

The Way of Kings is awesome, no doubt. But not comparable to Mistborn trilogy. Both are in a league of their own.

And I don’t want this to turn out into a side by side comparison of both series, so I’ll head back to the one we’re reviewing.

So… The Way of Kings… well, let me tell you it ain’t easy reading it!

The story is set in the world of Roshar, and begins with the assassination of the Alethi King Gavilar at the hands of a Shin assassin sent by the Parshendi.

(Image from brandonsanderson.com)

Important to note is that this assassination took place minutes before a peace pact of sorts was signed by both the Alethis and Parshendi, so you can see how that was confusing and even the assassin was questioning it.

Anyway, post assassination the Alethi’s are at war with the Parshendi and they take the war to the Shattered Plains where the new King Elhokar sets to avenge his father.

There are a lot of characters and each of them have multiple chapters depending on their importance with respect to the story. The main characters that we see are Kaladin, Dalinar, Shallan, and Szeth.

Dalinar is the brother of the late King Gavilar and a fearsome warrior to behold, who is currently suffering from visions during a thing called Highstorms. These visions have diminished his credibility among the Alethi princes and has put him in a vulnerable situation.

Apparently it isn’t a social norm for men to read, but more and more Dalinar has been asking his female scribes to read him The Way of Kings, as directed by his brother moments before he died.

Shallan belongs to a small family from Jah Keved, and is sailing to Kharbranth to become a ward of Jashnah Kholin, a powerful lady also called as a heretic and the niece of Dalinar. Shallan has her motives to save her family and a hidden agenda to steal her soulcaster.

Then we have Kaladin!

Oh Kaladin this poor boy.

An aspiring soldier turned slave turned part of the bridgecrew of one of the armies in the Shattered Plains. He couldn’t have had a more terrible faith. Or does he? Turns out he is something special despite the demons that surround him day in and day out.

(Image from brandonsanderson.com)

And his lucky charm aka Syl a spren.. She is pretty cool. And not a lucky charm… persay.

Throughout their different chapters, you get to know about the past, about desolations that wiped out humanity, voidbringers who killed innocent people and Knight Radiant who apparently betrayed their oath to protect humanity.

Dalinar’s vision are important, Shallan’s wardship under Jasnah leads to startling revelations and Kaladin’s journey to discovering his true calling will be monumental.

I’ll be honest, there were times when reading this book felt like a chore and I wanted to give up. It seemed slow at some pages and confusing at others. However, the last 300 pages made it entirely worth it!!

I was at the edge of my seat, and when I reached the end, I was left stunned and in goosebumps.

Immediately ordered the second book and just counting down the days till it gets here. Hopefully COVID-19 hasn’t halted delivery.

One more thing that I should mention is the beautiful world and plants that Sanderson has created. The Way of Kings feels like another planet in another dimension. Even the gender roles are unique. Like men think it is beneath them to read so the females do all the book keeping and recording.

And the plants, animals and flowers mentioned are just stunning.

(Image from brandonsanderson.com)

Still confused about the magic system that is the stormlight, and the highstorms that apparently accelerate the potency of the stormlight in people and the weapons. I guess.

Onto the basics:

  1. Rating: 5.0/5.0
  2. Reader level: Pace is easy but the terminology can be hard.
  3. Should you read: If you love a good Fantasy novel that is well planned and thought out, this is it!
  4. Would I read it again: There are 10 books in the series. I think I might, if the books get delayed haha.

-Sarah

 

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