Book Review: The Way Of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1), by Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Number Of Pages: 1007 pages, or 45 hours and 37 minutes on audiobook
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Synopsis: Roshar is a world of stone swept by tempests that shape ecology and civilization. Animals and plants retract; cities are built in shelter. In centuries since ten orders of Knights fell, their Shardblade swords and Shardplate armor still transform men into near-invincible warriors. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.
In one such war on ruined Shattered Plains, slave Kaladin struggles to save his men and fathom leaders who deem them expendable, in senseless wars where ten armies fight separately against one foe.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Fascinated by ancient text The Way of Kings, troubled by visions of ancient times, he doubts his sanity.
Across the ocean, Shallan trains under eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece Jasnah. Though Shallan genuinely loves learning, she plans a daring theft. Her research hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
...for being really awesome and epic
That just about sums it up. Wow.
I knew I wouldn't regret reading this. The thickness of the book is a little daunting at first, and the story just dives right in at the starting line, with so much information to remember that you feel like you need some sort of tutorial to figure things out. It's kind of intimidating, but that goes away once you get the knack of it, about 50 pages in I'd say. Then it becomes this incredible tale of hopes and betrayals, mysteries combined with terrible discoveries, and you end up being extremely glad that there are 1,000 pages, because everything's just so exciting and cool!
The protagonists are all 3-dimensional, they feel very human and real, so it was easy to relate to them in some way. There always something going on, so you couldn't help but want to continue reading. And the world-building in this story.....I repeat, Wow! Even the plant and insect life was carefully thought out, making you feel like you've truly entered a brand new world. I really can't put into words how impressed I am by this book.
Of course there's a sequel, and of course, I'm going to start reading it as soon as I'm done writing this review. I'm also going to read this book again someday in the future, for sure. There's just so much to take in that a re-read is practically a necessity!
A final note on the audiobook. I liked the audiobook, but I found the amount of information to be quite overwhelming at times, so I borrowed a hardcopy of the book as well, so that I may be able to go back and double-check certain passages. Upon reading the hardcopy, I discovered, to my surprise and utter delight, that the printed version contains illustrations! Plus, the map is quite detailed, which helped a lot as there are many countries to keep track of, both ancient and modern (I'm telling ya, this story is amazingly creative!).
Would I recommend this? Of course! This is an ideal read for any fantasy lover, and worth the time you spend on it. Seriously, go grab and copy and check it out; you'll be glad you did in the end.