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128 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2011
I've spent the last three days awake at ungodly hours of the morning. I've cooked, showered and read. And that's about it. At least until now...

Now I'm a few slim pages from the end of this tome that comes good on every aspect of the word 'epic'.

So why have I still got a few pages left? Because I truly don't want it to end. The worst part of this book is knowing that part 2, 3 etc are not yet out. And so I eke out the few remaining pages, desperately drawing every last word out in the hope it'll take that little bit longer to finish.

If you're a fan of other worlds, of new frontiers and original storytelling then I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It is in all honesty one of the most gripping, convoluted and absorbing tales I have read in years, and coming from someone who tends to read 4-6 books a month, you may realise how high praise that is.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2011
I have read quite a lot by Brandon Sanderson including the Mistborn Trilogy and his contributions to the Wheel of Time series and have been thoroughly impressed. I had high hopes for this book and was not disappointed. I believe it to be one of the best books I've ever read.

Yes it is very long and probably quite a bother to carry around (not really a problem with the Kindle version that I read) but the pacing is perfect and the story never drags.

Character count is kept low so the story is not cluttered with characters that you have to flick back through the pages to remember. Characters are well developed and likeable.

The magic system has enough depth to be interesting while not being too complicated to follow.

In summary this is an exceptional introduction to a series that I can't wait to continue.
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80 of 87 people found the following review helpful
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.

The plot itself is almost confusingly complex, but slowly gels together as the story winds on and things start to make sense. And Sanderson paints the entire story in vivid, powerful prose ("His dreary feelings were like a black eel, coiled inside of him"). The one problem: it's so long and complex that casual readers will probably crumble after the first couple of chapters. This one needs some dedication.

And Sanderson shows his rare skill with characterization. He carefully fleshes out the main characters -- an aging warrior, a slave/soldier and a determined teenage girl -- and makes them all seem real and plausible. Kal is especially strong as a character, since Sanderson carefully develops the clash between his medical upbringing and his current job.

And there are countless striking supporting characters -- the young prince Adolin, the prickly and ruthless princess Jasnah, clever priests, and the acrobatic assassin Szeth, who is torn by his own crimes and sins.

"The Way of Kings" is a true epic -- grandiose, expansive, beautifully written... and only just the beginning of what is sure to be a vast, impressive series. It's a bit hard to just casually dip into, but the commitment is worth it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2012
This was the first novel of Sanderson's I had read. I was aware of his good reputation and when discovering he had just released the first book in a new series I figured it would be a good place to start.

The book feels lavishly produced; rather than the usual stock fantasy maps the book is scattered with illustrations and symbols.

The story itself is fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable. Sanderson creates a rich world and a unique magic system that left me looking forward to the next novel.

The book is long however I didn't feel it dragged at any point and due to the quality of the writing I was actually thankful for this.

Highly recommended although some may be put off by the page count and the fact that the next book isn't due out for a while.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2012
This is my very first review but I enjoyed the book so much that I had to write this.

I have to say that this book in my opinion is one of the best fantasy book I've read in a long time. It's on par with the first three song of ice and fire books and the wheel of time books.

The story of Kaladin is the most engaging chapters in the book. I found Shallan a little bit annoying at the start but she got interesting near the end.

My only hope is the Brandon Sanderson is able to keep this up for the planned nine more books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2011
I read Brandon Sanderson's continuation of the Wheel of Time and was impressed. I read Way of Kings and was blown away. I was counting the hours before being able to read it between sessions. The characters are well developed. The world is rich. And as the book goes on the scope of it is slowly revealed to the reader. At the end I sat there stunned. Annoyed that I had to wait for the next book to be released. Fantastic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2012
I first started reading Sanderson when he took over The Wheel of Time books and i was quite impressed with what he came up with.

Then i moved onto the Mistborne which again was really good.

Finally The way of Kings. I simply haven't enjoyed reading like this since i was 15/16. Simply could not put it down. Its incredibly well written and the characters he has created are epic in every single way.

If you have ever read The Wheel of Time, Mistborne, Salvatore (pretty much any), Weis and Hickman, Janny Wurts, Feist and liked their work then you will enjoy this every step of the way. Its not cutthroat like Game of Thrones but it has the same depth of story and i am a huge fan of both.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2012
I want to make a short review of this book.

This has to be the best fantasy book ever! Thrilling from page 1 to page 1006!

Get it, read it, love it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2011
This is the best epic fantasy I have read since The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle) - I have to admit to being burnt by doorstopper fantasy series over the years that start well and that steadily decline in quality, and I know other readers who avoid these big fantasy series now as a result. For me, despite greatly enjoying Sanderson's previous books, starting a series like this, after I had found it is going to be 10 books long is taking a real chance that this author is up to the task of actually writing a quality series of that many books. Not many authors are capable of doing this, but given Sanderson's writing speed and quality so far I'm going to take chance.

Having said all that - I am, however, impressed by this first book and will be recommending it to friends. Kaladin, sold into slavery by a betrayal and Dalinar the warlord whose eyes have been opened to ethics and honour and Shallan a thief and a liar apprenticed to a renowned scholar are the main characters in this book. Kaladin is probably the most compelling character in this instalment with a strong runner up with Dalinar. I won't go over the plot points in detail as other reviewers have already done so, but for lovers of fantasy I highly recommend this start to what looks like it could be a classic fantasy series and I'm eagerly awaiting book two in Stormlight Archive series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2010
Just finished reading the book, only put it down to do essential things but since I started to read I am reluctant (even refused) to put it down.
The story is complex, a bit confusing because you jump from different characters and sometimes back to time. The characters develop as you read on and in some ways you do grow attached to them. At one time I was annoyed because I wanted to continue reading about Kaladin and I was faced with a story about Shallan. Nothing is wasted on elaborate descriptions of the world or the society or the animals... there are pictures at the end of the chapters for that and those are more effective than reading how crablike these creatures are without saying crab.

A good and gripping start of a series.
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