The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson | Review

Stormlight Archive #1

Pages: 1000

Genre: epic fantasy

 

Synopsis

A new Cosmere novel, it’s an epic story of war and kings battling for power on the world of Roshar. Shardblades and Shardblades transforms normal men into near invincible warriors and to obtain them many has given their life and even traded kingdoms. The battle of the Shattered Plains one of the worst, and the place Kaladin was brought as a slave. He was a soldier before a betrayal, and now he’s in the front line carrying a bridge and watching everyone around him fall by the enemy’s arrows. In a war that doesn’t make sense, where the armies are uncordinated and the many leaders always has more slaves coming to take the dead one’s place, Kaladin’s trying to survive. At least most of the time.

At the same time a Brightlord and commander of an army Dalinar Kholin is having visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant and he can’t decide if they’re real. His late brother, the king, seemed to go mad with the same thing at the end. Across the ocean a young woman named Shallan is plotting her own plans trying to save her family. She’s trying to train under a scholar, heretic and overall unusual person, Dalinar’s niece Jasnah. Everything is intertwined in this confusing war.

 

My thoughts

Rating out of five:

fem

It’s the best series I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson yet, having read Mistborn, some of The Reckoners and Warbreaker. They’re all complex, amazing stories. But in this series you really start to see the connections to the Cosmere universe, if you know where to look.

The characters are all well-written and dimensional, with unique personalities and their own motives, like any Sanderson characters. My favourite in this book I would have to say is between Kaladin and Dalinar. Kaladin has been betrayed and branded a slave, he’s basically sent on suicide missions the whole book with his team at bridge four. The momen he takes on the responsibility of his fellow bridgemen’s lives my interest of him as a character along with respect for him was through the roof. The things he accomplishes from there and the journey he has, where he’s beaten down so many times physically and mentally, it really makes this book.

But he’s nowhere near the only character this book is about, I think I even like Dalinar even better. He’s the perfect general-character, with his flaws and strengths and mannerism. How does Sanderson write every trope so well? Shallan is another great character, as she travels to the scholar Jasnah to train under her and steal something from her. But Shallan has her flaws, which sometimes made me really annoyed at her character and how – understandably – immature she is compared to the rest of them.

The plot is great, and I won’t say much about it in fear of spoiling it. There’s lots of battle scenes, and I enjoyed following Kaladin and his bridge the most, as they tried to survive being in the front line, basically as bait for the Parshendis attacking. The magic system, with the storm-infused spheres as sources. What can I say, except gush over how incredible it is. Something that used to be of value to magicians has since become actual currency, which becomes vital for the plot, it’s great.

I feel myself wanting to say this is not the book to start with if you haven’t read Sanderson before, maybe with the exception of being really into high fantasy. It’s easy to get into the world in comparison to other similiar books I’ve read, but it’s still a lot of info, especially connecting it to the Cosmere plotline and I won’t understand everything until further read-throughs. I’m so excited to see where the rest of the series is going!

 

– favourite quotes –

*warning: minor spoilers*

“Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”

“A man’s emotions are what define him, and control is the hallmark of true strength. To lack feeling is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.”

“He’d never been an optimist. He saw the world as it was, or he tried to. That was the problem, though, when the truth he saw was so terrible.”

“The immortal words: ¨Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.”

 

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