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The Way of Kings [Mass Market Paperback]

Brandon Sanderson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 24 2011 Stormlight Archive, The (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.

Frequently Bought Together

The Way of Kings + Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set + The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel
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Review

“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
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The everstorm comes Oct. 14 2010
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
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 Great Classic Fantasy Aug. 15 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
(a few minor spoilers)

This is an epic and classic fantasy tale by Brandon Sanderson. This is not Game of Thrones. Outside of the violence in the book this would be rated PG as there is no swearing and no sex. I call it a classic fantasy as it has mystical elements, strange creatures, magic, gods, religion and the characters are largely black and white. The good guy IS a good guy, much like The Lord of the Rings. I don’t have a problem with this. While it’s not a gritty tale it’s a very interesting one. There are two things I desire when reading a fantasy book – interesting characters and mystery. This book has both while maintaining a good and believable story (within its context). While many characters seem unconnected initially you start to see the web as the book rolls on and the mysterious events start to make sense.

This book is long at just over 1000 pages but I wouldn’t have cut any of it. I don’t like it when a book feels rushed. There are plenty of action scenes and while there are large stretches without battles the interactions, characters and story were more than enough to intrigue me. I finished this book in two weeks and really enjoyed it. While there are plenty of characters I never felt confused like some large ensemble books can be.

So what is this book actually about? One set of characters (Dholin family) focuses on the assassination of their King, the vengeance with regards to his death and finding out why. One main character (Kaladin) details his life and how he is betrayed by a superior and forced to live out a miserable life while trying to realize his potential which is great.
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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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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 1 month 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 1 month 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 2 months 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 3 months ago by The Reader's Hollow
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 3 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 3 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 5 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 5 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 7 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 8 months ago by Matt van Leeuwen
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