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The Way of Kings audiobook

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrator: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 45 hours 30 minutes
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Publish date: August 31, 2010
  • Language: English
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The Way of Kings Audiobook Summary

From #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.

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight Archive

The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)

The Mistborn trilogy
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning

Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener’s Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series
The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners


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The Way of Kings Audiobook Narrator

Michael Kramer is the narrator of The Way of Kings audiobook that was written by Brandon Sanderson

Michael Kramer has narrated over 100 audiobooks for many bestselling authors. He read all of Robert Jordan’s epic Wheel of Time fantasy-adventure series as well as Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive series. He received AudioFile magazine’s Earphones Award for the Kent Family series by John Jakes and for Alan Fulsom’s The Day After Tomorrow. Known for his “spot-on character portraits and accents, and his resonant, well-tempered voice” (AudioFile), his work includes recording books for the Library of Congress’s Talking Books program for the blind and physically handicapped.

Kramer also works as an actor in the Washington, D.C. area, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer Mendenhall (a.k.a. Kate Reading), and their two children. He has appeared as Lord Rivers in Richard III at The Shakespeare Theatre, Howie/Merlin in The Kennedy Center’s production of The Light of Excalibur, Sam Riggs and Frederick Savage in Woody Allen’s Central Park West/Riverside Drive, and Dr. Qari Shah in Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul at Theatre J.

About the Author(s) of The Way of Kings

Brandon Sanderson is the author of The Way of Kings

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings

The Way of Kings Full Details

Narrator Michael Kramer
Length 45 hours 30 minutes
Author Brandon Sanderson
Publisher Macmillan Audio
Release date August 31, 2010
ISBN 9781427209764

Additional info

The publisher of the The Way of Kings is Macmillan Audio. The imprint is Macmillan Audio. It is supplied by Macmillan Audio. The ISBN-13 is 9781427209764.

Global Availability

This book is only available in the United States.

Goodreads Reviews


February 11, 2021

“In the end, all men die. How you lived will be far more important to the Almighty than what you accomplished.” This was the best Brandon Sanderson book I’ve read. Since I’ve started reviewing books, everyone constantly talks about Mistborn, which don’t get me wrong, is an amazing series too, but this book blew the entire original trilogy out of the water. I truly believe in my whole heart that The Stormlight Archive series is the series that everyone should be pushing onto high fantasy readers, because it is one of the greatest things I’ve read in my entire life. “Don't dream the small dreams of other men.” The Way of Kings takes place on the world of Roshar, where war is constantly being waged on the Shattered Plains, and the Highprinces of Alethkar fight to avenge a king that died many moons ago. Alethkar is the largest kingdom on Roshar, and the people are called Alethi, and they are at war with the Parshendi, who are almost like bard warriors with their songs and chants. In war everyone pays a price, but some people pay the price way more dearly than others, and The Way of Kings very much showcases that. On Roshar, Highstorms are magical like storms that have shaped this world into something unlike anything else. Highstorms provide Stormlight, which is an energy that the people keep in different gemstones, which has a super vast array of different abilities. And because this story surrounds wars on many different fronts, it makes sense that these Highstorms also helped make some pretty powerful and unique weapon, armor, and even some companions:➽Shardblades - Magical weapons that are very rare and sought after. A person who owns one, a Shardbearer, is soul-bound to their blade. They can cut through pretty much anything, and it instantly kills whatever limb it cuts though, but without leaving a mark. The limb is just rendered useless until it can be reattached to the soul. And Shardblades can block other Shardblades. People constantly want to duel for them, because when a Shardbearer dies, the Blade rematerializes next to him/her, allowing anyone else to pick up the Blade and become its new owner. Yet, it is near impossible to beat anyone with a Shardblade without having one yourself. ➽Shardplate - Magical plate armor that protects the wearer, can heal magically on its own, and enhances the wearers physical abilities. And most importantly, it can block a Shardblade.➽Soulcasting - Soulcasters have the magical ability through fabrials to do many things. Sometimes they use their power to create food, sometimes to heal, sometimes to protect sex workers from gross men at night. I mean, the abilities are actualy endless. But most the time they use their power to change one thing into another, like rocks into food. But the transformations are limited and range from Soulcaster to Soulcaster. Also, needless to say, these people are very sought after. ➽Spren - Also, in this world, they have Spren, which are magical little beings that come in a variety of different types. For example, Rotspren appear when something is beginning to rot, or something is dead, or something is being infected. There are tons of different Spren that take many different forms in this book.But besides the wars and the all of the magic, there is a prejudice war that is constantly going on, too. In this world, having light eyes gives you all the advantages. Blue eyes, green eyes, grey eyes, amber eyes, any kind of light colored eye is superior to any form of dark brown. Some of the higherups in this world believe that the Heralds choose light eyes people at birth and mark them to rule. This is a really big parallel to the world we live in today, and I really liked this aspect of the story and the discussions that surround it. Also, some females in this world are supposed to hide their left hands, and it is considered totally obscene for a woman to have that left hand uncovered. And “lower class” woman just wear a glove over their left hand, while working. I’m sure this will come into play in later books, so I thought I’d mention it, but it still made me giggle at some of the responses to seeing a woman’s bare left hand. And the other unique concept/tradition in this world is that it is “beneath” men (other than ardents) to learn how to read and write. Like, men in this world marry a lot of the time just to be able to have their wives read to them and write down things for them. Yet, this value in society has not only put them at a disadvantage in life, but as also put them at a disadvantage in solving the mystery of the late king’s final act before death. In The Way of Kings, we pretty much follow four main characters, even though three are at the forefront of this book:➽Kaladin - Kaladin seems like the main protagonist of this novel, even though he shares POVs with other characters, but Kaladin makes up the bulk of this 1,000-page novel. Kaladin is branded a slave and is sold into a bridge crew. Yet, Kaladin is such a natural born leader, he ends up shaping Bridge Four into one of the best crews in the entire army. But this doesn’t go unnoticed. Kaladin’s character has a lot of representation. Kaladin is very susceptible to depression, and this book doesn’t skirt around the mental illness. Kaladin is also suffering from extreme PTSD from all the events that have lead him to where he is currently at the start of this novel. We slowly learn about his past; where he came from, who he was supposed to be, who he cared about, and what happened to make him the slave he is now. Trigger warnings for severe depression, suicide, war themes, violence, and gore. “How easy it was to ignore a blackened heart if you dressed it in a pressed uniform and a reputation for honesty” ➽Dalinar - Dalinar is a Highprince of Alethkar. His brother was the king, but after his death (you learn this in the prologue) Dalinar has helped raise his nephew, Elhokar, into the king the world needs. Dalinar is also an amazing warrior, and wields the Shardblade Oathbringer (that name sounds familiar, true? *winky face*)! After the night of his brother’s death, Dalinar feels responsibility and is being haunted by it. Dalinar is also seeing visions, and people are questioning his mental stability. He is a widower, but something is blocking him from every remembering his wife’s face or name or any memory of her. And Dalinar has two sons, both in their twenties, that are very different, but he loves them so deeply and so unconditionally. Mostly importantly, Dalinar is a man of honor and he has a grand reputation of always keeping his word and sticking to the rules. ➽Shallan - Shallan had my least favorite chapters, but that was mostly because I wanted to slap her most of the time. She is daughter of the recently deceased Brightlord Lin Davar of Jah Keved. She has come to find Jasnah Kholin, claiming to want to study under her, but actually wanting to steal something from her for the kingdom she left behind. The thing I liked most about Shallan is that she is an artist and it plays a big role into who she is as a person. Plus, a lot of Shallan’s chapter were in libraries with tons of books and it was constantly a beautiful visual. ➽Szeth - Okay, call my weird, but Szeth’s chapters, as few as there were, were my absolute favorite. Szeth is still a very mysterious man, but he wields a Shardblade and knows how to use it to its full abilities. He is known to the world as the Assassin in White and is one of the most feared assassins in the world. From his perspective we get to see the guilt and pain from what he is being forced to do, but who and why he is being forced to repent for his past sins, is a constant mystery. Also, the epilogue chapter of this book, which is in Szeth’s perspective, actually blew my mind. “Fighting is not the only thing of value a man can do.” Yet, this book also has some amazing side characters: ➽Syl - Be still, my heart. Syl is honestly everything I look for in a character to love with my whole being. She is such a little cinnamon roll, and I keep picturing her tripping military dudes in her little invisible form and it just makes me smile for days. Syl is a spren that has bonded with Kaladin. She found him on a night that he needed her most, and has rarely left his side since. And she constantly reminds him that his life is worth living, and what an honorable man he is, and how he isn’t cursed and doomed to lose everyone he loves. Syl is honestly probably my favorite character in The Way of Kings. ➽Jasnah - Jasnah is the daughter of the late King Gavilar and she is the sister of the new king, Elhokar! She is also a very High Scholar and also happens to be a Soulcaster. The Almighty is a deity that is devotedly and widely worshiped on the world of Roshar, yet Jasnah doesn’t. She considers herself a Veristitalian and chooses to put her beliefs in science and the things she can see with her own eyes. The discussion and talk of religion in this book is super well done, and I would have never guessed that Brandon Sanderson, a man that is very open with how much religion means to him, wrote the character of Jasnah. Seriously, it was expertly done. Jasnah is powerful, and smart, and witty, and I think I totally developed a major crush on her. ➽Adolin - But speaking of crushes, apparently, I just love the entire Kholin family! Adolin is Dalinar’s oldest son, cousin to Jasnah and Elhokar, Brightlord of Alethkar, has a very short temper, and is a bit of a flirt. His mother, the one that is passed away and that Dalinar cannot remember, passed down to him full Shardplate, and he won his own Shardblade in a duel. Oh, he loves to duel, too! Adolin is an amazing fighter, who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, but he is your typical young twenty-year-old that is trying to figure life out, while being constantly reminded that he doesn’t know it all, even though he thinks he does. Adolin loves his family deeply, wants to do what is right, and he just completely won me over. I truly love his character. ➽Renarin - Dalinar’s youngest son, Brightlord of Alethkar, Prince of House Kholin. Renarin is very shy and very quiet, and is not a solider like his father and brother, because he freezes in battle and sometimes has seizures. Brandon Sanderson has also stated that Renarin is on the autism spectrum, which is awesome representation we rarely see in high fantasy. ➽Sadeas - He is also Highprince of Alethkar, along with Dalinar. Dalinar, Sadeas, and the late King Gavilar all grew together and were best friends, yet this book constantly makes you question his loyalty. He is known to be very cruel, and is on the forefront of the war against the Parshendi. ➽Hoid - Okay, I don’t want to talk too much about Hoid, because not everyone is up to date with Brandon Sanderson’s works and the Cosmere Universe. But, this reveal made my year. How Brandon Sanderson continually tricks me, I have no idea. Maybe I’m just a huge sucker. But, like, that flute though. Also, first an interest in Kelsier and now Kaladin? Ahhh, I love Brandon Sanderson so much! I gushed a lot in all the paragraphs above this, so you guys can probably tell I really loved this book. I truly think it is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, and I think this is Brandon Sanderson’s strongest series yet. The discussions in this are important and super eye opening if you look at the parallels to our world today. The characters in this are amazing and a few have really nested themselves inside of my heart. All the magic is so unique and so captivating. The story and plotlines were so addicting. And, on a very personal note, after the Vegas shooting happened I was in a pretty bad headspace. To see my community be impacted by an act of terrorism and pure hatred was something that I don’t wish on anyone. I couldn’t stop thinking and feeling so much sadness, so I binge read the last two hundred pages of this book. Escapism truly is a beautiful thing, and I believe with my whole heart that books are magical entities that have their own healing powers. And I will never forget that The Way of Kings helped me deal with some pretty sad and heavy things going on in my real world. “And men didn't become heroes by walking away.” Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | TwitchBuddy Read with Robin and the rest of BB&B! ❤


January 30, 2023

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleoIncredible, impressive or fantastic, all these words are an understatement to the quality this book holds. The Way of Kings is the beginning of a masterpiece series in epic fantasy. It is now my life goal and a new addition to my bucket list to obtain and read the entire series of The Stormlight Archive, which will probably take at least another 20 years from now to complete.Before you started reading this book, let me do you a favor. Go outside your home, look at the sky, the stars, clouds, the moon or if you’re brave enough, the sun. Done? Good, raise your expectation of this series that high. My expectation for this book was probably higher than that and it still managed to blow me away. I’m pretty sure the title The Way of Kings is a hidden message by Sanderson for his reader, telling us that this is his first step in his way of becoming one of the kings in the genre.Obviously, I can’t tell you anything about the story but I’ll tell you this, The Way of Kings is the beginning of tales that will remain inside your mind palace. It’s a heavily character driven book filled with tales of life & death, love & hate, bravery & cowardice, hope & despair, trust & betrayal, faith & atheism. Basically, all elements required for a great story are here, told from multiple POV.Picture: The Way of Kings Characters by 77chenEven though there’s multiple marvelous POV to be found here, each book in the series will focus more specifically on one main character's past; in The Way of Kings, we get to see Kaladin's.Picture: Kaladin by botanicaxu We get to see all his thoughts, life from the past to present, feelings and motivation behind his actions from this book. I’m not saying this lightly but Kaladin has become one of the most well-written characters out of all books I’ve ever read, and definitely one of my favorite of all time out of all medium. Trust me, I’ve seen plenty of fantastic fictional characters throughout my whole life. 22 years of gaming, hundreds of manga read, hundreds of anime watched and Kaladin Stormblessed is definitely one of the best out there.The Way of Kings can be considered a book porn for a lover of world building. Sanderson proved himself once again to be the master of creating worlds out of words.The world, Roshar, are written with intricate description of every single thing in the world; ranging from weather, creatures, history, mythology, magic system, races, culture and even the fucking grass; making this world truly believable. Combined with brilliant, simple and fluid writings plus several detailed maps and beautiful illustrations, the images formed in your head while reading every scene will be so vivid as if you’re really there in Roshar, joining on the adventure with each character.The real actions only happened around three times in the book: prologue, somewhere in the middle and the climax. However, while in total there’s only a total of around 150 pages of actions, the impact of the 60 pages climax sequence of this book was very rewarding. Intense battle sequences, gigantic swords, magic armors & wonderful magic system revival occurred in the climax. It was deeply satisfying as everything in the book built up towards that moment. I’ll admit, I legit almost cried during this section, even though it was predictable, it was done exceptionally.Some may find this book to be really intimidating to start because of the size it has. However, I find that the only con I have for this book is that it’s not long enough. 1004 pages long, filled with 380k words (bigger than the Hunger Games trilogy combined) and by the end of the book, I found that it’s still wasn't enough for me.I’m closing this review with the ancient oath: “Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.” I hope my review can do justice to the quality this book holds. It’s really a blessing to have lived and read this book, to have the strength to read and to join in this epic journey of a lifetime together with every reader of the series. If you’re really a fan of the epic fantasy genre, you really can’t go wrong with starting this series. This is the beginning of epic fantasy at its best. Sanderson has created an epic world and journey for us to dive into and all we have to do to experience it is really simple, read the book and let this story lives inside you. “A story doesn't live until it is imagined in someone's mind.” –Hoid You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions


October 08, 2010

WOW. Ok, so I actually cried during this book (it was a stressful day, but I'm usually not a weeper). This book captures the epic grandiosity and scope that I remember as a kid reading Eddings and Feist and Jordan. I didn't know what was going on all the time, but I was keenly aware of the great plot, the secrets, and the depth of world building and character in this book.Yes, it's REALLY long, and yes, it lags a bit from time to time under all the philosophy, but honestly I was just staggered by the scope of what this book is, and what the rest of this series has the potential to me. I've read most of Sanderson's books (save the Wheel of Time which NEED TO BE READ) but he has really outdone himself with this. BIG FAN TO SAY THE LEAST! If you like big epic fantasy you have to read this.


November 03, 2020

Watch this space for an updated 2020 review! You may, however, be watching until after Rhythm of War comes out.For my original review circa 2011, check out the comments here.


February 19, 2021

ugh omg


July 27, 2020

Me? Giving a Brandon Sanderson's book 5 stars? sHoCkIng


January 26, 2018

So, a buddy of mine has been trying to get me into Sanderson for some time (figuratively speaking, I should note...he has not, as of yet, physically tried to jam me inside the poor man, for which, I'm sure, Mr. Sanderson is quite grateful). At my friend's suggestion, I started with Mistborn, which--and don't freak out on me here, Sandersonites--I thought was solid, but didn't exactly salt my pickle (is that a thing?). So, he proceeded to give me The Way of Kings as a gift--his polite way of forcing me to read it. It's been some time since I've plunged into the first volume of a truly door-stopping fantasy series, so it felt a bit like a slog at first. I started to think to myself, "Self, maybe Sanderson just isn't for you...I mean, you don't have to like EVERY epic fantasy author, you know." But I kept reading. And then Kaladin started doing awesome things, and I was impatient to get back to his chapters. Only then Dalinar and Adolin started to get compelling. And then I started figuring out what the hell a spren was. And then I started to drool in slack-jawed wonder at the awe-inspiring skill and sheer brainpower involved in conceiving of a world this fully realized. And then there was a little too much focus on jam and bread, but that made sense later. And then, somewhat distractingly, I kept hearing a woad-faced, Scottish-accented Mel Gibson yelling, "Unite us! Unite the clans!" every time Dalinar had a flashback. But, I got over that, though I may have giggled on the Metro once or twice (hardly my first brush with inappropriate public giggling in the midst of judgmental commuters). And then crazy, massive, epic things happened, and Big Things were hinted at, and I was hooked.All told, one hell of a ride. I'll be back for more. I just might need a little breather before the second book (even on a Kindle, I almost got a hernia lugging this thing around). Well played, Sanderson--you've won this round.

chan ☆

November 17, 2022

i made this book my bitch.

Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews

July 22, 2022

Check out my YouTube channel where I show my instant reactions upon finishing reading fantasy books. Hands down, the best first book of a series I have ever read. This book starts a little slow, but the worldbuilding is so wonderful that it never gets dull. Towards the end of the book I literally couldn't put it down, and I had multiple times of getting goosebumps and being teary eyed at how wonderful everything came together.The story feels fresh and imaginative. The settings are vivid and unique. And the world feels like a mix of familiar and alien, in a good way. The story itself is absolutely magnificent, and while somewhat predictable it is written in such an entertaining way that it doesn't matter.If you are a fan of reading fantasy, and you haven't read this book...you need to drop everything and go read it immediately.

Althea ☾

May 19, 2022

If you’re intimidated by this book/series, don’t be. Seriously, don’t be. It’s a vast world but I assure you that Brando Sando has got your back and will hold your hand as he leads the way to a world that’s just brimming with imagination. You won't feel the 1000 pages (lol) as it passes you by. "Authority does not come from a rank""Where does it come from?""From the men who give it to you. That's the only way to get it." I knew 3 different people who started this book after I did, but still finished before I did. It's okay though... it's okay.[my three liner pitch: ↣ dark and thought provoking but wholesome epic high fantasy that centers around themes of power, ruling, leadership, and nuanced conversations on the disparities between men and women in a society. Filled to the brim with characters that hook you from the beginning and you constantly want to cheer for. A plot that runs forward without looking back but holds your hand when it comes to world-building so that you don't get lost in the vastness of it. ↢]i am sore from that 100-day journey i feel like i just went through...in conclusion: i loved it "Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service." I LOVE KALADIN AND BRIDGE FOUR SO MUCH. That also goes for all the other characters. I don't how Brandon Sanderson manages to weave characterizations that pulls you in while preparing all the foundations for the plot in the background. I didn't expect this book to have a found family aspect to it either but I welcome it. It explores anxiety and PTSD very openly and forces you to face the result of war on individuals. The character relationships there and the development from what happened with Kaladin in the past was so heart warming and satisfying to read. Especially given the fact that they are in the middle of war… it felt like they had this own little family in the midst of all the death… *sobs and screams incoherently* “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” It's difficult to condense my feelings into a short review but I just love the way Brandon Sanderson builds his worlds as he makes you care for each character first before fully explaining the world that he has plopped you in the middle of. It's multi-POV, action-packed, heartfelt, exciting, thrilling, and I am running out of adjectives. It had it's slow moments in the middle but I think thats just how it is with Sanderson before he pulls an ending that sweeps you off your feet. I'm sure someone has already said it but the ending is surely explosive. Each plot point truly makes you appreciate every detail that Sanderson worked into it to get you so invested in the first place.I really fell in head first. “Ah, the outdoors,' Shallan said. 'I visited that mythical place once.” As a person currently in the pandemic, this was the most relatable quote ever xD— 4.75 —⇢ content warnings// Depression, Gore, Suicide ideation, Violence, War✧ you can find this review and more on my blog ✧⤜ pre-read review ⤛You know when you read the first 5 lines of a book and tell yourself “I’m gonna love this”. Yeah... that was me with this book


February 03, 2021

The Way Of Kings (The Stormlight Archive,#1)Honour, love, and survival. The story is mind-blowing, the ideas and thoughts create a world that is believable and intriguing. A strong tale with a well fleshed out world and multidimensional characters that are easy to care about. Life before Death. Strength before Weakness. Journey before Destination.Epic!!!!!!


August 30, 2019

Fourth time and it is still as awesome! The Stormlight Archive is Brandon Sanderson's "love letter to the epic fantasy genre". His magnum opus. From my perspective, he had lovingly and painstakingly crafted a masterpiece that was not just his greatest but one of the greatest of all time. And thus, this is my love letter to The Stormlight Archive and I hope it can do some justice to this favourite series of mine. There are many great fantasy books out there; some have a compelling story to tell supplemented with great characters; some have awesome magic and epic battle scenes, and some come with an interesting world that was richly imagined and detailed. The Way of Kings is a huge opening act to The Stormlight Archive which took every single one of these elements of a good fantasy story and elevated the art of storytelling to a different league. You might think that “Yeah, you say that because you're a Sanderson addict”. Then let me say that I've read The Way of Kings before I became addicted to his books. Or to phrase it the other way, I became an addict because of it. I was daunted, to say the least when approaching this massive tome. After completing Mistborn and loving it, I wanted to read more of Sanderson's books and my own research led me to this book. I leapt into it unaware that my reading life was going to be changed irrevocably. Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. The change happened gradually and slowly; in the same manner that the story of Kaladin Stormblessed and Bridge Four unravelled before my eyes and completely stole my heart. This is a story of the indefatigable human spirit. It is an empathetic tale of courage, compassion, loyalty and honour, and one which thoroughly epitomises the First Ideal. In The Stormlight Archive, each book contains flashback chapters for a particular key character and The Way of Kings could be said to be Kaladin’s. I've never used to appreciate slow character-driven books before and would get impatient for things to happen. As such, I was surprised at how much I was captivated by this almost plodding and deeply introspective tale, both past and present, of a promising young soldier with depression who was brought down to the lowest point of his life and made a slave. Instead of completely giving in to despondency, Kaladin aimed to become an inspiration to those around him, these dregs of society and of the army, to rise above themselves. His POV was not the most pleasant to read sometimes given his state of mind but also it also contains some of the most memorable scenes in the book. Coupled with the strength of development of his arc, this made him one of my favourite characters of all time. “It might give them hope. They might see it as a miracle.” “Do you want to be a miracle?"“No,” Kaladin whispered. “But for them, I will be” I swear that I get goosebumps every single time I read that. “Authority doesn't come from a rank.," Kaladin said, fingering the spheres in his pocket."Where does it come from?""From the men who give it to you. That's the only way to get it.” In stark contrast, we also have the story of a highprince with an established legendary repute. One who was, however, now ridden with guilt from an earlier perceived failure and beleaguered with doubt that he might be going mad from strange visions that beset him at every highstorm. Both which fuelled his desire to understand the in-world book named The Way of Kings. The story of Dalinar Kholin is one of duty and unity and, once more, of honour. “We follow the codes not because they bring gain, but because we loathe the people we would otherwise become.”~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “Death is the end of all men! What is the measure of him once he is gone? The wealth he accumulated and left for his heirs to squabble over? The glory he obtained, only to be passed on to those who slew him? The lofty positions he held through happenstance? No. We fight here because we understand. The end is the same. It is the path that separates men. When we taste that end, we will do so with our heads held high, eyes to the sun.”  It is not by coincidence that both Kaladin’s and Dalinar’s trials and tribulations, as seemingly different as it were, shared a common theme of honour. This, in essence, forms the larger story in the background which has much to do with the history and mythos of Roshar and what might have happened thousands of years ago; knowledge which is now lost or obscured. The hallmark of Sanderson’s brilliance truly lies in his ability to craft great stories that are invariably and thematically appropriate to the world/solar system in which it takes place within the Cosmere. Before I touch upon the third arc told from the perspective of a female character, I’d like to draw some attention to the worldbuilding. Roshar is one of the most unique fantasy worlds I've come across. Alien but not in a bizarre fashion, Sanderson literally built the world from the ground up, right down to its flora and fauna which evolved to adapt to the highstorms that regularly sweep its destructive forces through this vast continent. There is also this unorthodox societal and cultural structure that demarcated status by eye colour, and occupation (and food!) by gender. In this respect, Sanderson was highlighting how discrimination or norms can manifest in a particular culture, which may come across as ridiculous or unacceptable by others.  We have huge magical swords, which as far as I am concerned, have dethroned all others in the fantasy and sci-fi genre. These Shardblades, together with its defensive magical counterpart, the Shardplate, constitute the most desirable objects of power among all the kingdoms in this world. There are gemstones infused by Stormlight from the highstorms, which are used as currency, as lighting and to power fabrials and the Shards. With all these and more, Sanderson has created a world that is at once enthralling and remarkable.The third main POV character is Shallan Davar, a female lighteyes who possesses a photographic memory and the gift of rendering that memory into resplendently close-to-life drawings. With her scholarly disposition towards natural history, Shallan collected sketches complete with annotations of her observations and some of these were beautifully illustrated in the book.  These illustrations made the book possibly one of the most beautiful fantasy volumes I've ever laid my hands on and effectively bringing this strange world to life to the reader. This is worldbuilding elevated to an art form.A young lady in pursuit of gaining a position of the ward to the most renowned scholar in Roshar, Shallan had a hidden agenda, and her arc seemed disconnected from the one taking place on the Shattered Plains where the other two main characters were. Nonetheless, it was still a compelling one and provided the much-needed exposition on the bigger underlying story of an impending world-at-large peril without info-dumping. The magic system was not as thoroughly explained nor described in the same way as Allomancy and Feruchemy in Mistborn. The reason is that as much as the Knights Radiant now represented a mystery, the knowledge of Surgebinding was equally unknown or lost through the ages. An initial glimpse of the magic system at work was shown in the Prologue, courtesy of a fascinating yet tormented assassin, and we only get to progressively learn about it through the experiences of the main characters. For a book this size, The Way of Kings was quite a breeze to read and finish. The narrative flowed well with uncomplicated prose that does not distract the reader from being fully immersed into the story and worldbuilding. While the pacing was slow with such substantive character development, the switching between POVs was so deftly handled that the pages just kept turning - right until you reach the end of over a thousand pages and desperately wish for another thousand more. Speaking of the ending, the last ten percent of this book will leave you breathless; from the sheer heroism and valour on display, the cinematic visuals painted in your mind's eye of the battle sequence, and the emotional impact and revelations that you just did not see coming.If you have not read this book either because of its intimidating size or that it is part of an unfinished ten-book long series, allow me to attempt appeasing your doubts by saying that each published book has so far wrapped up its story well enough that readers are not left hanging. With this, one can treat each volume as a trilogy in itself and savour it like as such. Another point to note is that Sanderson intended the ten books to be written over two different arcs of five books each, with each set being separated by a significant time period. If you are still not convinced to start reading this series, I can only say that you will be missing out on one of the very best the genre has to offer. As of the date of this review, I have read this book three times. Till now I have yet to exhaust the discovery or appreciation of all the details, hints and foreshadowing that Sanderson had masterfully woven into this impressive accomplishment of modern epic fantasy. The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. Questions that I and all fans of this series definitely have aplenty. The Stormlight Archive has raised the bar to stratospheric levels and I feel extremely privileged to be part of this journey.You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions.


July 03, 2020

“Life before Death.Strength before Weakness.Journey before Destination.”Fantastic reread of Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings! Such a rich history and so much I'd forgotten from my first reading. Planning on continuing the series with a rereading of The Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive #2). Brandon Sanderson’s Roshar is a world with a rich history, mythologies, magic systems and an ecology which has been shaped by violent (high)storms; this is massive world-building at its best! When you’re reading Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1), you’re never sure which details will be relevant later on. Here’s a clue: even though it’s a monster of a book (1,007 pages) almost everything becomes relevant eventually. Am I anxious to read the second book? More like anxious for the third book. In the past few months I’ve read both Way of Kings and Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive #2) twice (review for Words of Radiance to come soon). I’m ready for Oathbringer (Stormlight Archive #3)!


February 27, 2022

Sale Alert 27Feb22: Kindle Daily Deal for Rhythm of War is coming soon.I'm amazed every time I read this how great it is. This is my favorite fantasy series and each time I read it I find new things that are just fantastic. One of the greatest series of all time. Buddy read/reread and 3rd read of this monster done. The thing I love the most about Way of Kings is that even though it is my 3rd read of the book I catch so many new things, remember things I've forgotten and still get just as caught up in the story. Still a 5 star read all the way.Be prepared for many many updates.BUDDY READ/REREAD!!! April 2015, BECAUSE WE CANSince a few new people have been infected with the Sandersonitis bug (we are not a cult oOSarahOo :P) and I can’t wait until 2016 for a reread of the series it must be done and a buddy read is in order. There are about 30 of us reading this and I probably won't get all the names up (because that is just a lot) but the most important thing is that you can find the thread and join in the private group chat and fun at Fantasy Buddy Reads, The Way Of Kings Fair Warning: THIS IS MY FAVORITE HIGH/EPIC FANTASY SERIES TO DATE. There were a ridiculous amount of updates, gifs and general fangirling. Robin (Bridge Four) has come home at last. Thanks to all my friends who joined in this read I had so much fun rereading it with so many cool people and reliving it all over again. This is one of those books that on a second read the characters became more real, the layering of the world more detailed, the magic system more plausible and my feelings for everything more intense. That doesn't happen with many rereads.Sanderson does have a slower story pacing than some other authors out there but it is always building until those final moments when everything comes together and blows up spectacularly...totally worth it. Original Review March 2014:4.5 StarsI liked this book but I loved the last 20%. The world is immense and in the beginning I was wondering if there would be a character that I even liked enough to root for. They don’t start out perfect, strong and powerful. They begin as pieces and broken pieces at that.Seen mostly from the perspectives of Kaladin, Shallan and Dalinar, all in different positions in life and different realms of the world most of the time it was hard to initially see how they are all connected. But with each big reveal or huge betrayal more of the pieces line up and the intricacies of the plot, the characters, the magic system and the world come into focus. My mind was blown throughout the story. Things that didn’t seem extremely relevant at the time later became a huge revelation about motives and truths. Sanderson floored me again and again and each time I love it all the more.Each character grew through triumphs and failures, becoming more three dimensional with each and I witnessed it all, I didn’t have to be told why they are the way they are I saw the transformations with every deed.Downfalls – There are only a few and by no means are the dealbreakers for the series. This takes a long time to set up. There are hints of things along the way but all the major stuff happens toward the end until the last 10% you are at a flat out run the whole last stretch. IT IS WORTH IT. For the big payouts we needed the huge set up, just be patient it is still all very interesting and there are plenty of smaller payouts along the way. Some of the interludes don’t seem to make sense at the time and not all of the significance of them are revealed in this book, maybe in the next it will make more sense but there were a few that I still have no idea what the significance is unless it was just to show a different part of this world. The last downfall/benefit is the size, 1000pages, rarely do I jump in book by an author I haven’t read before and commit to something that size unless I know I like them. If that is the case for you as well I suggest you check out Warbreaker, Elantirs or Mistborn since they have a similiar magic/world building elements or try Steelheart and Legion by Brandon Sanderson first to see if you like his writing style. Steelheart and Legion are nothing like this book but highlight his imagination and ability to tell a great story.That said I enjoyed the time I spent in The Way of Kings and I look forward to continuing on with the series soon. Side Note: the narration of Kate Reading and Michael Kramer was great so I had a lot of fun alternating between the ebook and audio.


December 22, 2021

Sanderson is a monster.How does one write a masterpiece such as this?? How does one create such complex and beautiful characters, worldbuilding, and plot??? How does one write a 1000 page novel and make it feel like a short book?? How does one continue to destroy my heart but also fill it with love??? 10 years in the making and I can no doubt see how much of his sweat, blood, and tears were poured into this book. I'm in awe. And if this was published in 2010 , I can only imagine how epic the next 3 books already out will be?? ────── {⋆❉⋆} ────── “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” Thousands of years ago, the Knights Radiant, an order of magic users meant to protect the people of Roshar from dark forces, betrayed mankind by abandoning them, nobody knowing where they've disappeared. However, they also left powerful weapons behind called Shardblades with its companion, Shardplates, a suit of armor to complete the set. Kingdoms go to war over these magical items and to own this is to be a Shardbearer, warriors having the strength of several men.Ever since the assassination of the King Gavilar Kholin six years ago, the kingdom of Alethkar has been at war with the Parshendi who are said to have murdered the king. Dalinar and Adolin Kholin fight in this war of vengeance, while across the land, Shallan fights her way to become the ward of a well known heretic and scholar who has what she needs. And then there's a man who's lost all hope, a man who fights for survival even during times of despair...Kaladin Stormblessed. “Somebody has to start. Somebody has to step forward and do what is right, because it is right.” Kaladin is such a tortured character in the beginning, I just wanted to go and hug him. Protect him from the world. Kaladin doesn't deserve all that's happened to him *sobs* Branded as a slave and sent off to be a bridgeman -- the most dangerous role in war, having to carry (along with other men) large, mobile bridges to set across the chasms in the Shattered Plains for soldiers to cross. Meanwhile, you don't have any protection from the enemy who lie across the chasms with their arrows💀 It's basically a death sentence for any man.The mental health rep is done so, so well. I love it so much, like the way I was about to cry at so many scenes?? it might just be me being emotional Kaladin struggled so much with all that he's lost and all who he's failed, that it just felt easier to give up rather than deal with the pain of losing any more people he loved/cared for. Syl is literally perfect. She was there for Kaladin during his darkest moments and the bond between them was so beautiful.🥺 Kaladin fighting against depression and being the light for the other bridgemen... never in a million years did I think I was going to fall in love with the men in Bridge Four. Kaladin was their hope. Their hope for survival. Their hope for a future.I'm just going to say this right now—IF SANDERSON DECIDES TO PULL SOMETHING LIKE KILLING THE WHOLE CREW EXCEPT FOR KALADIN, MY HEART WILL DIE AND I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, SANDERSON.I really don't think I'll be able to take that pain, but I know that Sanderson is the king of destroying his readers' poor souls, so I'm just going to be prepared and still dieI made a mistake growing attached to these lovable idiots, more specifically Teft, Rock, Lopen, Skar, and Moash (especially this guy, i didnt think it was possible). I love these guys so much and now I live in constant fear that they'll be killed-Also just the bantering between them all ohmygod they were too good. So many favourite scenes bahaha “I don’t know,” Teft grumbled. “But I’ve never liked them. They seem to be able to talk to each other, without making any sounds. I don’t like the way they look.”“Teft,” Kaladin said flatly, “if we rejected bridgemen based on their looks, we’d have kicked you out weeks ago for that face of yours.” Teft just got destroyed. ────── {⋆❉⋆} ────── “Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.” Dalinar Kholin aka the Blackthorn, brother of the previous King Gavilar and now uncle of the current King Elhokar, is long past his glorious days, at least in the eyes of others. Visions have begun to consume his mind during highstorms and now Dalinar has beun questioning his own sanity. Are these visions real? Who is sending these visions to him? Are they to be trusted? Or has Dalinar just lost his mind?Dalinar's bluntness and genuineness makes him one of the only honourable lighteyes. In this land, power is divided by lighteyes and darkeyes—the people with light eye colours are the ruling class with the most power, while the people with dark eye colours are beneath them. So of course, majority of the lighteyes are going to be jerks, but Dalinar is an exception.🥺 To him, honor is everything. And his love for his family is just so heartwarming. ────── {⋆❉⋆} ────── "At times, it seems to me that to be human is to want that which we cannot have. For some, this is power. For me, it is peace." Adolin Kholin, son of Dalinar, is a cinnamon roll. He's just as amazing as his father and he's so sweet ohmygod I love his loyalty to his family. Adolin will literally challenge anyone who even I>thinks about insulting his father or brother and is very hot-headed warrior. I love that even being one of those who believes that his father may be going insane, Adolin still stands by his side🥺 There wasn't enough Adolin in this book, so I'm ready to see more of him in WoR


December 31, 2018

This book.This storming book.[Insert a picture of a trembling, screaming human being overcome with reverence]There should be a different kind of spren (Sandersonspren? Cosmerespren? I am open to suggestions), spren depicting the tempest of emotions that threaten to smother you when you read The Way of Kings, or books written by Brandon Sanderson in general. Anger, panic, frustration, sorrow, wonder, awe, humility before his brilliant mind, his limitless imagination, his Words that twirl, spin and dance until they ensnare you in their web, until they are ingrained in your molecules and flow in your blood.There is fantasy, and then there is Fantasy; Brandon Sanderson is a byword for the latter. ❝ Speak again the hallowed oaths: Life before death.Strength before weakness.Journey before destination. The Knights Radiant must stand again. ❞ In a land ruled by violent storms, a land blighted by conflict, abandonded by its protectors, ignorant of her past and the enemy that awaits for a signal to devour her, lived a surgeon apprentice that was forced to follow the path of the warrior, and later was branded as a slave.[Source]A young scholar who, in a desperate attempt to save her family, devised a dangerous theft.[Source]A prince who was haunted by terrible visions, and started to realize that only peace would save his kingdom and the world in the upcoming storm.And an assassin in white, a puppet who wielded his sword at his master's commands, unable to resist to the massacres he was forced to commit.When strong gasps of wind rattle Roshar, when prophecies keep coming up and stone slowly awakens, humanity faces extinction. Now is the time for the Knights Radiant to stand again. ❝ Somebody has to start. Somebody has to step forward and do what is right, because it is right. ❞ I'm shaking as I write this review. Even though my expectations were already high when I started The Way of Kings, since The Stormlight Archive is considered Brandon Sanderson 's magnum opus, I was not ready for its blinding grandeur. Brandon Sanderson did not simply craft a continent of various cultures; he dived into every single culture, cultivating physical descriptions, religious, goverment and justice systems, traditions, superstitions, clothing, alimentation and so on; he created muptiple works on philosophy and ethics, debates regarding divinity and morality, and in doing so, he managed to establish the most detailed, thorough and complete world-building I have ever encountered. While at first I thought all those descriptions were not necessary, every single one was well placed, and the result was a dumbfounded Katerina begging the Almighty for absolution, because not reading it sooner was a mortal sin. The turning point, though, that made me realize that The Way of Kings is one of the best books I have ever read, was the Battle of the Tower. ❝ I will protect those who cannot protect themselves. ❞ There was splendour in this battle. There was nobility, honor, and courage mixed with gut-wrenching fear, indignation and an overwhelming need for justice. It was then that I realized how much I cared about the characters. ❝ In the end, all men die. How you lived will be far more important to the Almighty than what you accomplished. ❞ It happened in a quiet, low-key way. I spent so much time witnessing Kaladin's descent onto despair and indifference and his consequent, slow ascension towards light, cheering and aching for him, frantic to see him succeed and save his comrades, Bridge Four, from their terrible fate, that Bridge Four and its bridgeleader became family; I sat with them around the fire, eating Rock's stew, I held the spear and marched to certain death, in a shattered battlefield. Even though his prejudice towards lighteyes rendered him blind, even though he thought himself responsible for every single bad thing that happened to those he cared and that burden occasionally crashed him, he was strong, unyielding, and destined for greatness. So was Dalinar. His integrity and honor was a beacon amongst frivolity, backstabbings and petty personal agendas, he was a warrior through and through, and I deeply admired him for that. And then there was Shallan. Quick-witted, sharp-tongued Shallan who was torn between her promise to her family and the allure and satisfaction of her studies next to the most renowned scholar of her time, Jasnah Kholin. Shallan and Jasnah had a rocky relationship, but my gut tells me that their research holds the key to survival in the looming war. ❝ The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. ❞ Brandon Sanderson is probably the most gifted storyteller of his generation. He's a silent force that strikes you when you least expect it, and with The Way of Kings he introduces a series that will change the history of Fantasy.

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