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The Way of Kings: The Stormlight Archive Book One Kindle Edition
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'I loved this book. What else is there to say?' Patrick Rothfuss
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.
Or so the legends say. 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 - and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. 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 day 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.
What happened deep in mankind's past?
Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?
- ASIN : B004H4XAXO
- Publisher : Gollancz (30 December 2010)
- Language : English
- File size : 14104 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 1005 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 2,974 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in Australia on 28 March 2022
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While Way of Kings still delivers, it lacks the exciting page-turning element of Mistborn and philosophical finesse of Emperor's Soul. On other hand, it does a great job in addressing some subplots in extended last chapters, similar to what Tolkien did with Return of the King.
Would recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Sanderson's other works and to those who like funky "magic" systems in a fantasy world set in a mostly mediaeval setting.
The Way of Kings, though, was simply amazing. The shear extravagance of the world is breathtaking, with every country appearing to have a rich history and lore. Despite this, I don’t recall reading anything I would classify as an info dump. There is a little bit of a learning curve, with terms being thrown into the mix that don’t get explained until later, but it is this effect that I believe lets the story flow. And boy does it flow. The characters are well rounded, dealing with real issues in believable ways. By the end of the book, I was emotionally invested in their journey, cheering them on inside my head. Finally, the magic system is seamlessly tied into the world.
For those who enjoy truly epic fantasy, than this is the book for you.
My only complaint (for which it would be churlish of me to deduct even half a star) was the number of typos, and, in particular, the formatting problems in the kindle version, e.g. words staying hyphenated even when not spanning a line break. Dialogue was also strangely formatted at times (not sure if this is just in the kindle version), leading to confusion about who was speaking. I.e. when a new character is speaking, it should be indicated at the least by beginning a new paragraph. That all being said, I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone disenchanted with much modern fiction (like me), and looking for a book that is generally very well-written, with characters worth barracking for, and a story in which you can invest your long-term interest.
The Stormlight Archive, and its first installment The Way of the Kings, are almost impossibly good. Completely additive, and so very difficult to put down. I have a voracious reading appetite, and have been reading Sci Fi/ Fantasy for 30 years, right back to the Gods of the genre, Vance, Heinlein, Burroughs, Clarke, Howard etc.
Sandersen is a marvelous story teller, world builder and technician.
I have now read Vols 1 and 2 - and am very impressed with Mr Sanderson's work. His characters live and develop, his backgrounds and concepts are easily imagined and make a holistic "sense" in the story line.
It is a "Fantasy" novel - with the usual swords and sorcery, so to speak - but nothing mundane or tired.
I heartily recommend this series.
Top reviews from other countries
I'm always looking for fantasy books and I knew this was very popular so, after a few years I've decided to try it.
I can stomach the childish depiction of characters but I cannot bring myself to accept the utter idiocy of the setting. The opening is painfully bad: an all powerful assassin kills a king and his guard by having superpowers taken straight out of videogames. Then we are introduced with the hero, who, of course, rejects the greatest conceivable honour in the world out of pure spite.
He is then spared his life out of sheer plot armour, and the reader is left wondering why he hasn't been killed for constant rebellion. His mates are all killed, but he survives because, oh, he's sooo special.
Slaves are paid a living wage so that there is a way for the hero to earn money because it's needed by the story.
When the hero screws up, his senior officers are killed immediately but he's instead given a chance to survive, and, not very surprisingly, he does.
Then there is a war in the Shattered Plains: for six years the warriors, instead of fighting, go looking for overgrown shrimps to steal the enormous emeralds that grow inside of them. I kid you not, this is the primary purpose of the war: not beating the enemy but killing the shrimps while they're pupating (to turn into what, an enormous blowfly?) before the enemy slays it.
The entire strategy works like this: the entire army is sitting idly, wearing fashionable scarves and drinking wine. A horn sounds in the distance announcing that a shrimp has been found. The warriors scramble to arrive first, before the enemy but, more importantly, before the other commanders. The moronicity of the portable bridges defies belief.
The idiocy never seem to finish: soldiers with organic armour, illiterate kings with learned wives, even the regular storms that make magic. The hero, of course, discover magic that has been hidden in plain sight for countless years. In a specific kingdom, people live with feet constantly in two inches of water. In another, people eat horns and shells. For some reason, on a different planet, people know of Japanese katas. I could go on for hours: avoid this book.
Then I started reading Steelheart and I was hooked. Often noted as a YA novel, that was still quite a great read (the whole trilogy about the Epics is). The moral of the story is not to judge an author entirely based on their, quite possibly involuntary, approach to completing another's work. If they can write even a short novel like that, I've misjudged them.
The Stormlight series is so much better, that I can barely imagine this was the person who so dreadfully completed WOT. It is downright fascinating, raises more questions than answers, and creates such a complex world with memorable characters, locations and a "lost in the mists of times" historical background, that you cannot put it down. I was reading the final chapter at 3am! It's well written and you will end this book needing a second, a third, just...more. I've avoided Brandon's other works, but The Way of Kings has converted me - it's an excellent epic read that looks set to be a voyage of discovery into what exactly is Roshan, what are sprens, does anyone know what this world's "magic" really is? Who or what is Odium? The mind boggles, my brain sparks with possible theories, and I press the Purchase button for Book 2...
I've never read a book where I've felt so involved with the characters! You root for them and consistently want to get back to their story (referring to the book's chapter method of switching randomly between character stories).
On top of this, Brandon Sanderson has created a world like no other with creatures, religions, cultures and even the physical lands themselves all being unique and fantastical. I love fantasy but have never read a book where I've felt as truly.immersed in a world where I can physically picture it as a movie or TV show!
I would highly recommend this book if you're a fantasy lover and love to delve into other worlds!