#15 – The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Epic High Fantasy
Page Numbers: 1009 pages (Seriously – can this count for at least three books because of the length?)
Dates Read: 1/11/14-2/25/14
Plot in three lines or less: There is no easy way to keep the plot line of this epic to a short three-lined paragraph. There are too many story lines going on at the same time. So I am going to kindly borrow from Amazon’s book description to give you a “brief” introduction to this world Brandon has created.
“Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.
“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 ten 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. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.
“One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten 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 over-powering 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.
“The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.
“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.”
New read or re-read? A new read.
Would you read it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes, I would read this again, though if I should ever do so, I would seriously consider listening to it in audio form, as this book took me six weeks to finish. (Granted, I was in the middle of purchasing a home at the time, but still.) I would highly recommend this and all of Brandon Sanderson’s works to anyone. Visit Brandon’s website for more information about him.
Favorite Line: There were quite a few. Here are just a few.
“The wise among them will find goodness and solace in their faith; the fools would be fools not matter what they believed.” / “One did not write the ending of a lifetime of faith with a sloppy last chapter.” / “How easy it was to ignore a blackened heart if you dressed it in a pressed uniform and a reputation for honesty.” / The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. Too often, we forget that.” / “The finest defest of character is correct action. Acquaint yourself with virtue, and you can expect proper treatment from those around you.” / “Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service.”
Is there anything in it that you did not like? Not with the story itself. The story was absolutely amazing. What I wasn’t particularly fond of was trying to remember everything that happened during the book. A friend of mine is currently listening to it (it is her second read-through), and so we are swapping notes, and thankfully, she is reminding me of things that I had completely forgotten because I read them six weeks ago!
If there was anything else to choose, and again, this is just personal preference – it was that it took me about a week to finally be able to understand what was going on around me. I think I might have only been about 100 pages into it by that point, but upon finishing it, I realized that there were in fact things going on during those first pages that were and are most likely of great importance.
Favorite Character: All of them really are very well written and developed. One of my personal favorites though, was Wit, who is essentially the King’s Jester. He is also known as Hoid. He is a man who uses his wit to basically insult everyone he comes across. Not afraid to tell it like it is. And he is more than what he appears to be. He disappears halfway through the book for reasons you don’t know, but he reappears eventually, as cryptic as ever.
Why did I pick it up? I picked it up at the recommendation of that
friend who is currently listening to it, mainly because the second one is due to arrive out next Thursday. She is getting a copy of the book, and I have already requested to borrow it as soon as she is finished. Now is the perfect time to read this if you haven’t already, because you won’t have to wait four years like everyone else did in between this, the first book in this series, and the second one coming out. Granted, once I read Words of Radiance, I too will have to wait with the masses for whenever Sanderson will get the next one out.
Case in point. ———————————————————>
That is how long the manuscript of the second book is. If that’s the length of the second book, and there are 10 books total in this series, I am pretty much guaranteed to never lack new reading material from this author. And to be waiting a R-E-A-L-L-Y long time between each book. But I am truly okay with this. There are so many good things to be reading in the meantime. 🙂
Other Notes? Just three more things that keep me highly amused.
1) I saw a brief Firefly reference. I highly doubt it was put there for that particular reason, but I caught it, and it made me laugh. I won’t say where. Any fan willing enough to brave this book who knows Firefly as I do will be able to recognize it for what it is.
2) Brandon Sanderson called “a person who plays the flute” a flutist, which I believe is the proper term. Seeing as I actually play the flute, I am entitled to this opinion. A lot of folks call us “flautists,” and I think it unfortunate that this can also be considered a correct term. I just don’t like it because a pianist can play a piano, and a clarinetist can play a clarinet, and a guitarist can play a guitar. A flutist doesn’t play a flaut. End of argument. I win.
Anyway, I came across this term (twice!) and tweeted about how excited it made me. And I got a response from one of the freelance editors of Brandon Sanderson. #DayMade
(And incidentally – I find it highly amusing now that as I type up this post, WordPress is telling me “flautist” is spelled incorrectly, and it wants me to change it to “flutist.” *insert musician’s chuckle here*
3) This is one of my Kindle reads. Thankfully, I have the superpower of “Ability to Read in Moving Vehicle,” so whenever I would carpool to work during the day, I could read. It also meant I could read after the sun went down too. Which I normally can’t do right now, because of obvious reasons. I kept myself way amused with keeping up with the percentages while reading the way through (I’m at 42%! 63%! 87%!). I tell you, it’s the little things for me.
Grand Total: 72