Top positive review
on 20 November 2017
Part one of a fantasy novel series called 'The Stormlight archive.'
The first book of the series is called 'The Way of Kings.' But it's a long book. So it was published in two halves. So this, the Way of Kings part one, is thus just the first half of it.
It runs for five hundred and ninety two pages. It has a prologue. Three parts. And some interlude chapters in between the parts.
There are several maps throughout the book. And a few illustrations as well.
It does contain some violence and adult references.
In the World of Roshar, there used to be some very powerful orders. They are long gone. But the blades and armour they had, which are both very powerful, remain. And are highly prized.
War is coming. And for some, including a soldier and a lady scholar, things will never be the same again.
This is one of those books that begins with a prologue that takes place a long time before the main action, and is there to set the scene. The revelevance of which may not seem immediately apparent.
Being a big epic series in a strange setting it does also mean it has a lot of world building to do. So initially you are in the middle of the action, with people and strange places and made up words to get used to.
However, it does settle down far quicker than you might expect, and you will find yourself getting into it faster than you might have though. Initially the action flits between two viewpoint characters, the Soldier Kaladin who has quite a journey ahead of him. And scholar Shallan. A lady seeking an opportunity that might save her family from ruin. Both are sympathetic and well drawn, and this carries the action along. In particular Shallan really does grab your attention, as her storyline does get into some interesting areas which offer the reader a lot of food for thought on certain meaty topics.
The first interludes section gives us brief glimpses of other characters. But never gets back to them. Although doubtless will in due course later in the series, so hopefully you will remember them by then.
This does sag though a little in the middle part, largely down to Shallan being absent from this. And two other characters who come in being interesting, but just never holding my attention as much as she did.
Then there's another interlude. With more people we may get back to.
But it's back to the original two characters for the final part. Which is very focused. Both their storylines do move along and have interesting action, and leave you wanting to see what will happen next.
So not a bad opening ultimately to what should be a good series to get into if you want a really big and long and epic fantasy series. Worth four stars. And worth a look.