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133 of 136 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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2011
A health warning comes with this book - it is a beast at just over a 1000 pages. So if you enjoy curling up in bed with your fav read, you may have to rethink how you hold/balance this breeze block edition - I know I did.

It is a mark of Sanderson's writing skill that I was held throughout this monster - huge tomes of high fantasy are not high on my list of favourite reads, and I picked this up fully expecting to get about halfway through and then lose interest. It has certainly happened with other popular fantasy writers - including George R.R. Martin. However, effective characterisation isn't Sanderson's only strength. His world is fascinating. I loved the landscape, complete with original ecology and unusual wildlife - as well as a complicated, tortuous history and conflicting religious beliefs.

While I may have to get some serious weight training in before attempting the sequel when it comes out, I'm definitely going to track it down - although I'm not promising I'll get right to the end of this ten part series. However, this intriguing, complex story has lodged in my head and despite the fact that I am now more than halfway through another excellent, enjoyable book since I completed 'The Way of Kings', I often find myself thinking about the world and the protagonists. Who knows - Sanderson may be the author who thoroughly converts me to joining the ranks of epic fantasy fandom!
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46 of 48 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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81 of 88 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 18 April 2012
This book is Epic in every sense of the word. It has different worlds, great characters that are both likeable and memorable, and a fantastic system of magical cultures. There are multiple layers that in less able hands would be muddled and confusing, but which Sanderson handles with ease. The premise is truly awe-inspiring, and promises much exciting action for the novels still to come. The book's size means you have to dedicate serious reading-time to it, but the complexity of the plot needs this anyway. The writing is brilliant too - calling to mind a new fantasy author I read recently, Cas Peace. The language she uses in her first novel, KING'S ENVOY, borders on the lyrical, and her handling of a rich plot and fascinating characters reminded me of Sanderson. I'm convinced she's an author to watch.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2011
Read this after reading the Mistborn Trilogy - which has turned into one of my fave fantasy reads of the last few years. This is totally different both in scope and characterisation. Fantastically exciting start which does slow in places but still gripping as Sanderson ensures you know all the main characters inside out. Looking foward to the 2nd part and the subsequent volumes.
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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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