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The Way of Kings [Mass Market Paperback]

Brandon Sanderson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 24 2011 Stormlight Archive (Book 1)
Brandon Sanderson, widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga,  begins a grand cycle of his own, with The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive.

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.

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The Way of Kings + Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set + Name of the Wind:  The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One
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Product Description


“I loved this book. What else is there to say?”--Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind, on The Way of Kings

“Sanderson is a master of hooking the reader in the first few pages, and once again he doesn't disappoint. Fans and lovers of epic fantasy will find the ending satisfying, yet will eagerly await the next volume.”--Library Journal, on The Way of Kings

About the Author

Brandon Sanderson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He lives in Utah with his wife and children and teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. He is in the process of completing Robert Jordan’s bestselling Wheel of Time® series.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The everstorm comes Oct. 14 2010
Brandon Sanderson is a fantasy author in a million -- he crafts complex, intricate fantasy worlds, and gilds them with exquisitely evocative prose. But his greatest challenge thus far has to be "The Way of Kings," an older manuscript that he apparently dusted off, rewrote, and is now expanding into a vast fantasy epic. This is only the first book, and it's over a thousand pages long.

It's pretty difficult to sum up the plot, since the cast is huge and aren't even in the same place. But long ago, the Radiants (sort of divine knights) once were sent by the Heralds to destroy the demonic Voidbringers. Then they turned against humanity, and begin warring over their godslaying Shardblades.

One part of the story follows Shallan, a desperate young noblewoman who is trying to save her family from ruin. So she seeks out the heretic princess Jasnah in hopes of becoming her attendant... but of course, she has her own secret motives to restore the family fortunes. Another follows Kaladin, a man enslaved in another land and with a shash glyph branded on his forehead.

And then there's Szeth, the "assassin in white" who killed Jasnah's father with a Shardblade, and Dalinar Kholin, the king's Highprince brother whose visions compel him to unite his people before the unthinkable happens. The oathpact has been shattered, and disaster is coming.

"The Way of Kings" is the sort of book that Robert Jordan should have written. The story is filled countless alien animals (they ride GIANT CRABS), mythologies, languages, magical systems and cultures, all with their own distinct quirks and characteristics. But Sanderson doesn't allow his story to be bogged down by the details -- instead he embroiders his elaborate plot with them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! I can't wait for the next one! April 12 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I became interested in Sanderson's writing following his assistance in concluding the Wheel of Time series. I have not been disappointed. This book has hooked me from the start and the character development has been fantastic. I would definitely recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Beginning March 6 2013
By A. Soares TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having not picked up a Sanderson book since his debut with Elantris (which was a good first novel, but nowhere close to as good as "The Way of Kings"), I was pleasantly surprised at how much this author has developed.

The Way of Kings is the brilliant beginning to what could be the best epic of our generation if the focus, character development and quality of writing in this book are carried through this series. The Way of Kings is a hefty read at over 1000 pages, but I promise, once you begin you will not be able to put it down.

The chapters in Way of Kings are broken up by different character perspectives. We have Shallan, Kaladin, Szeth, Dalinar Kholin. Shallan is a young woman trying to do dubious things to save her family from ruin. Her father has died, but left them with great debt, and she begins the story, attempting to become princess Jasnah's protegee in order to steal something very important to restore her family. Kaladin is a brave, honorable, slave who was once a soldier, but was betrayed and sold into slavery. Szeth is a Truthless and is bound to serve whoever holds his oathstone. Dalinar, is uncle to the king (and Jasnah). An honorable man, he suffers from visions of the past.

It's difficult to summarize the plot of this novel. Once the "Radiants" served the people, protecting them from the voidbringers. Long ago they abandoned their roles and enough time has passed that the people believe the danger has passed. Now, only their armour and weapons (Shardplates and Shardblades) remain - magical weapons that are prized and fought over.

In the beginning of the novel, Szeth assassinates Dalinar's brother, the King. Now his son, the new King, and his high princes are at war to avenge his father.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The next epic Feb. 6 2013
This novel was excellent. Along with Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, he created a unique fantasy world that is highly entertaining to read into. Nothing is copied from other Sci-Fi or fantasy stories. Can not wait for Sanderson to continue this series now that Wheel of Time is ended.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Sept. 13 2010
This book is brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is over a thousand pages long, but I read it fairly quickly because it is so good. It is one of those books that makes you wonder how long until the sequel comes out.

Some modest criticisms:
1. Sanderson is not above the usual weird use of italics that fantasy writers sometimes use. I mean, if you want to add emphasis to a sentence, don't have the italicised word do the heavy lifting. Don't italicise "had" "was" "really" etc.

2. Sometimes Sanderson ends a chapter on a cliff hanger and then starts the next chapter with a new character in a new setting. I consider that a rather amaturish tactic to keep readers reading. His writing is good enough that he doesn't need to resort to that.

But Sanderson's world building, plotting, characters, magic systems, descriptions are beautiful, complex, fascinating. I loved some of the simple descriptions juxtaposed with the grand ones. Like how Kal steps out of the baracks and his bare feet notice the difference between the cold cement of the baracks and the hot rocks outside. I thought that was a brilliant description that a lesser writer wouldn't be bothered with putting in.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars another great world invented by BS
complex interwoven plot aspects, rich cultural and historical architecture for the story; confusing jumping around at times
Published 21 days ago by Harald
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Story!
An interesting, complex, exciting tale. it was a bit challenging to read through the first chapter or two, but then the story flew. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Larry Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
I chose this rating because the novel is close to Martin's Game of Thrones in that it kept me entertained and interested. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marguerite
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic & Detailed Fantasy!
I was skeptical coming into this. My first taste of Brandon Sanderson was the Mistborn trilogy. It was really good and I thought, 'he can't top this'. Read more
Published 2 months ago by E. MacCallum
5.0 out of 5 stars make 1000+ pages seem short.
Brandon Sanderson always lives up to expectations. He manages to make 1000+ pages seem short. (beautiful maps inside the cover are worth paying up for the hardcover edition).
Published 2 months ago by K Koenig
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable!
I look forward to the rest of the story! Well developed characters and creative world in which they exist. The excitement builds!
Published 2 months ago by RPP
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Great storyline and characters! Sanderson's writing style is a pleasure to read. Can't wait for the whole series to be complete.
Published 4 months ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Entry into the High Fantasy Genre
Brandon Sanderson outdoes himself in the Way of Kings, crafting an introduction to a wondrous world that epitomizes the best of the high fantasy genre. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Joey Anderson
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story but do the protagonists have to be so tortured
The novel is typical Sanderson. Cool powers, dysfunctional political structure and a mystery that once unravelled that will explain how everything got so messed up. Read more
Published 6 months ago by K. Griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Starts slow but gets SOOOO goooood!!!!!
Took me a couple of tries to get into the book but once you get past the introductory chapters (around 250 pages...there are A LOT of characters), it gets INCREDIBLE!!! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Matt van Leeuwen
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