Sunday 26 June 2011

Review: The Way of Kings Part 1 - Brandon Sanderson

Series: The Stormlight archive 1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 608
Published: May 2011 Gollancz

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed . They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won.  Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne. On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few days is a young spearman ,forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn't understand and doesn't really want to fight.

My thoughts:
The publisher published the paperback in 2 books since this is one HUGE book. And it was much nicer reading it like this, instead of holding a 1000 page brick.

This book, how to describe it? So much is going on and if I would say anything negative about it it would be that is just is too well imagined. There is a lot to keep track of and know. I have read anything fantasy to be used to it but sure sometimes I wished there would be some more explanations at the back of the book. I like to look things up. Don't get scared now, at least he did not introduce a 1000 different characters like some authors do.

The book was mostly about 3 characters. Kaladin who was my favourite and his parts where the ones I wanted to skip forward to and read. He is a soldier and then a slave fighting a war that does not make sense. He is honourable and wants to protect his men, and I fell at once. Then there is Shallan  is a woman and women on this world are the scholars. Men are the soldiers and do not even know how to write (loved that, so interesting). She was, well I guess I liked her, she had goals of her own and spent time studying in a city far away from battles and such. But in the end I do not have any particular feelings for her or her teacher Josnah. The last one is Dalinar, a prince fighting in the war, and he has these strange visions. I can see things getting interesting there and I kept hoping he would run into Kaladin and buy that poor man. Then there was a few authors too, like the assassin who kills the king in the first chapter. So yes there is a lot of things going on, I could not begin to explain since this series will go on for 10 books or so I have heard....a lot more will happen.

Sanderson is quite the master when he builds truly complex systems of magic. They just have to be read about to understand. And the world is fascinating, a world of rocks, almost no soil and winds that sweep across the world and kill those not inside. He is a master world builder.

What more to say, great book. It is about a war and revenge, and finding new means to get more power. War, I like it, mystical pasts, magic and a fight for something that I do not know why about yet. And yes I really liked Kaladin's parts.

This is fantasy when it is at its best. When I finished I wanted more at once. I think this is the start to a great new epic series and I will continue to read, and so should all of you :)



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  1. Cover is a disaster but otherwise I am in - seems like a very nice fantasy book!

  2. I'll wait for your review of the second book ( if that is the last book of this series) because I've been burned by this author before and now a bit shy about starting a long series by him again... :)

  3. Oh interesting. I don't think I would have picked this one up. I agree.. the cover... bleh. I'm so glad that you don't have 1000 characters to keep track of before you really get into the story. I'll have to look into this one. Book 1 even! ;D

  4. @Ana
    I know, it is just so bleh! Other than that it is a great book

    Last, oh by no means! Book 2 is only part 2 of book 1. That means like 9 more books to go which will take 20 years.

    very bleh. The US cover is much better. Lol, I do say yes read book 1 cos fantasy, oh one only gets confused reading that out of order

  5. Oh wow. This is a great idea of doing 2 books in paper back. I really need to get back to reading this one. I'm about half way through the hard back, but it was taking me FOREVER to get through it that I set it aside for I needed to get through other books. Hmmm, maybe that will be a book I get back into over vacation. :) Thanks for the great review!

  6. This is a book that cries out to be read as an ebook! :)

  7. A 1000 pages of this would have been daunting for me. Sounds like a very complex world, which is typical of fantasy. But I have to be able to connect with the characters, with that volume anyway.

  8. The cover is a bit funny. I think the premise sounds great but keeping track of a lot of things together might get a bit confusing for me.

  9. @Carrie
    One big big book. Scary, lol

    It does feel good because then after having read 600 pages I do not still have half of the book left. It feels different to then pick up a new book and start again.

    But do start it again, I am really interested in what Kaladin is up too, I might be getting one of those usual crushes.

  10. @Chris
    Lol, yes that would save my arms for sure

    It is not that I do not connect, I am just more interested in one character in particular ;) The others are interesting but he is just fascinating

    I shall tell you how I feel after part 2. I already started it even though I am reading another book first. But I needed to know

  11. Wow a 1000 page book, good idea making it 2 books, cause the size would turn a lot of people off :)
    Sounds like an interesting world though!

  12. It's not my type of book, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  13. @Teddy
    I know, great idea. I can only imagine what the book looked like first

    It was really good

  14. I like the different take on gender roles!

  15. I love it when you're desperate to pick up the next book in a series like that! Sounds like it might be worth picking up for my next fantasy pick...

  16. Alyssa
    That part is fun :D Of course the men still fight but the women's role are so good

    I would say yes do pick this one up :D

  17. I always see that you've read these big and thick fantasy books and am so impressed. Any book over 500 pages for me is so intimidating to pick up.

  18. I'm glad that they published it in two parts too...the book would be huge!

  19. @Jenny
    I am used to it. I remember in 5th grade when I read the sequel to Gone with the wind, oh I was always crazy

    I can only imagine how big the pb looks

  20. I have this book! And I'm utterly relief to know that it is good :D Totally have to agree with you about the cover of this book. While mine is not the same as yours, it still looks rather ugly to my eyes *lol*

  21. @Shy
    Do you have the one where they stand on cliffs? Kind of like that one.
    But yes it is good, you will like it :D



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