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on August 15, 2014
(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. One girl (Shallan) is trying to save her family and stumbles into something she doesn’t expect – mystery, magic and scholarship with an interesting tutor (more interesting than Shallan actually). One man (Szeth) is an assassin who uses magic to kill with special powers (I envision Neo in the Matrix at times) against his will as he must follow his master’s orders. All the characters are interesting. The history and legends of the Gods and protectors of this world are intriguing and there is so much left to explore after this book despite a satisfying ending.

Magic system? There aren’t wizards running around with magic wands but some people have Soulcasters that allow them to change things from one form to another. There are magical swords and armour that have great power. Some people have the ability to absorb Stormlight which gives them greater strength and abilities to fight. This is secondary to the characters and plot themselves imo.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While nothing completely blew me away I couldn’t stop reading. The second book is a must read for me.
4.5/5
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on June 2, 2017
I picked up this book after seeing a few people on Reddit recommend it. I had read Sanderson's three Wheel of Time books and liked his style but hadn't read anything else.

I found it hard to get into this book, mostly because the world he created is so different from ours and it was getting tiring remembering what all the different people and creatures were.

I kept going though and was rewarded with an amazing story filled with rich characters. This is a masterpiece and I look forward to reading the next book.
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on April 3, 2016
The quality of the book was wonderful when it arrived. Just like I bought it at a book store.

The story itself is top notch, probably my favourite book written in my life time and one of my favourite books of all time. The character development is incredible, the author put real time and energy into the characters. The same can be said for the plot itself, so rich in detail and solidly written to the point you are very engaged and just waiting for what will happen next with so much excitement. I highly recommend giving it a read. I bought it paperback and love so much I bought it hardcover.
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on December 15, 2017
This book series just continues to amaze me. Simply incredible. I read at least 2-4 books per month. All within a theme that includes this series. I can honestly say that this series blows my mind. I am just pissed that it will be a 10 book series and i'll have to wait over a decade (or two?) to see it completed!
But it's THAT Good!
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on March 6, 2013
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. Dalinar, the former king's brother, suffers from visions that urge him to unite the people before it is too late. The desolation may be coming and, this time, there are no Radiants to protect the people.

5 stars. Everything is aligned in this novel. The characters are fascinating, the writing is excellent and the plot is intriguing. There is certainly enough material in this world for an epic series. In this, we get a glimpse into the history of the world and the history of the main characters (and are introduced to many more who may prove to be major players in later books). Brandon Sanderson - I want more of this and fast! I can't wait to see if the rest of this series lives up to the promise of the first.
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on April 1, 2016
Sanderson has grown so much more masterful in such a short time! I cringed my way through Elantris, but recognized the beginnings of where his talents would lie. I was conflicted somewhat through the Mistborn trilogy, but satisfied with the level of the writing, even if I didn't love the rules of the universe he built. This one, however, hit my sweet spot! All of the characters and their separate storylines were equally riveting, and the anticipation of their crossing over in the book kept me glued to it. Highly recommend, and I am definitely starting book two immediately.
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on April 17, 2018
Just read it. Seriously, it's amazing.

Bryan Sanderson does a masterful job of integrating multiple characters into a gripping epic. Each of them are memorable and feel very real, I definitely felt emotionally invested into each and every character. This book is grand in scale, the first part of a series of 10. Despite its hefty size (clocking in at a 1000 or so pages), not a single page is wasted. Every moment has its purpose and builds towards something else. I strongly recommend this book as it's one of the best fantasy reads out there today and look forward to Sanderson's future works.
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on June 19, 2017
The author was really able to draw images with words. My mind was constantly picturing the events described. There is new concepts and ideas here in fantasy which is refreshing. I always looked forward to reading another chapter. The beginning is a little slow to pick up but it all makes sense after awhile. You get introduced to a very different world with many unique innovative facets.

Im off to read book 2!
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on November 10, 2015
This is such a great book and is the first of many in the Stormlight series. Brandon Sanderson creates such a vivid world full of mystery and intrigue. I was captivated by the lore of the story and how awesome it would be if we (in the real world) had a chance to come close to what the characters in this book do. The Shardblade is probably the coolest of all, a mysterious blade of mysterious origins that kingdoms will kill hundreds just so that they may have one. I would even say that the Shardblade is better than the Lightsaber (I know, I know put down your pitchforks) but if you just read this book you will see how awesome they truly are. I won't talk about the story much here because there is quite a few point of views and I might mess it up but I do recommend this book and if you have Audible, I recommend you getting the audiobook as well! It is an awesome adventure and you won't regret it!
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on June 20, 2017
I'm currently not half way through, but for the first time in my life I can say I've experienced not wanting to put a book down. I'm not the biggest reader, but since starting reading The Way of Kings I can't stop. I would read for maybe 30 minutes in the morning or afternoon on the train. Now I read for the full 45 minutes in the morning on the train. The full 45 minutes in the afternoon on the train, and half an hour at bed time. This is the greatest fantasy book I've ever read, no hyperbole intended. I can't wait to see how the journey for Kaladin, Shallan, Adolin, Dalinar, Sadeas and Elhokar end up. I'm already guaranteed to start reading the second book immediately after I finish The Way of Kings!
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