Book Review: Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

91FZ41RwZzLFrom #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Book Review:


I don’t know anything about The Way of Kings when I started this book.

I liked Brandon Sanderson’s book from The Final Empire to Reckoners Trilogy and I’m slowly diving back to his book. For all I know, my love for his book has been ignited again.

The Way of Kings is a complex novel to read. There are a lot of characters to remember and there are a lot of things going on in each character. The novel may be slow at the beginning as it introduces us to a battle that will set the stage for the characters as we go along in the book. It is, in fact, inevitable. Kaladin has been introduced in the prologue but I never knew that he was one of the main characters. Sanderson has this kind of magic that we will never know at the beginning who is the protagonist which is brilliant.

This novel set such a high standard in my fantasy heart. It feels like I’m reading a classic being born but I don’t have that credibility since I don’t read classics. What I like about this book is that it doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Brandon Sanderson words feel like water; they flow through your hands as you read the words and it feels like you are floating in the water as you immersed through the world. It was magnificent. It was not a difficult read – it wasn’t even a hard one to read. A thousand page book may be intimidating but the story will just flow within you and before you know it – you are done. Attached even to the characters that the author give life to.

It made me think how or what are the things that made me love The Ways of Kings and I remember tweeting that one of the things that I like about Brandon Sanderson’s novels [specifically not just The Way of Kings] is that the characters feel like a real human being. They have each of their personalities and we got to know them not on just the present time as well as how they were in the past. There are some painful events, inevitable ones, even heartaches but what I would like to emphasize here is that every Brandon Sanderson character has their own flaws. That made them human more than they are fictional. You could even relate to their anxieties, to their worries, to their struggles, and personal challenges that they couldn’t attain – and I think, that’s one of the best weaving of a character; where a reader could connect with.

I remember being attached reading Jasnah’s arguments with Shallan. *a minor spoiler coming*[for everyone who doesn’t know or haven’t started the book, Jasnah is a scholar and Shallan is an apprentice.]*end of minor spoiler* I am fond of their arguments or maybe you could call them discussion or conversation but there’s depth. They talk about politics and how should they perceived an individual’s decision about strategy on war or how could they justify moralities on two parties where two residing opinions are not right and not wrong either or how could one authority is relatively proportional on the stance that they display when communicating – and at the same time, proving a wise scholar can be right and yet mistaken at the same time. I’ve never seen such book could compel and provoke its reader to read something clever and wise, I’ve only seen this kind of depth in a Sanderson novel thus far and I would like to hunt for more.

Talking things that I like about this book will never tire me but I really have to share these thoughts because I never know when will I have this momentum: Another aspect of the literature that I could never forget: Dalinar’s moral ground. [Dalinar is a Highprince] Bowing to this fictional character would still be an understatement. I have high regards to his personality that you couldn’t dwell on how a man could be amazing, courageous, and brilliant and trade easily for the lives of his men with pride and integrity. Dalinar is one of the best characters that I couldn’t wait to see developments throughout the series. He breaks the stereotype among Highprinces. He shows empathy and support to the lowest class in this world and that is something we should learn from – receiving and giving but what matters is, you know the value of a person’s life.

[I really want to discuss a part of the book but I’m afraid I would spoil you. IT IS SO DIFFICULT TO REFRAIN FROM TALKING THINGS WHEN YOU JUST WANT EVERYBODY TO READ THE BOOK.]

I’m not yet done. I haven’t talked about the magic system and concept in this book. I believe there are three different concepts that have been introduced to us by the three main characters and I know (I feel it) that those magic systems are connected in some ways or another. I am applauding Sanderson here for writing a detailed understanding of the rules of magic from Dalinar to Kaladin to Shallan. Their magic or potential powers could be something that will dwell in their world. And there will be a lot of things that could happen in the book as we all know that this is just the first from a ten books series. For what I would know, the next nine books are surely better than this first novel.



38550Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s Soul, Mistborn: Secret History, and a brand-new Stormlight Archive novella, Edgedancer.

Earlier this year he released Calamity, the finale of the #1 New York Times bestselling Reckoners trilogy that began with Steelheart .

Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.

The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of KingsThe Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.


8 thoughts on “Book Review: Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

  1. I want to read WAY OF KINGS so bad but I’m very scared of big books. I already started IT and I just can’t seem to continue even THOUGH IT’S REALLY GOOD. It’s becoming a problem lol.


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