Narrator: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Series: The Stormlight Archive,
Also in this series: Words of Radiance
Published by Macmillian Audio on 31 August 2010
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Magic, Mythology, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military
Length: 45 hours, 37 Minutes
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Also by this author: Words of Radiance
Place(s) Traveled To: Karbranth, Frostlands // Shatter Plains // Valath, Jah Keved (World Name: Roshar)
First Line(s): Kalak rounded a rocky stone ridge and stumbled to a stop before the body of a dying thunderclast.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in the start of an epic fantasy that is expecting to span over ten books which is a huge commitment and one that I wasn’t sure I wanted to make. Especially when you consider that at the time I listened to Way of Kings only the first two books were available and at this time the third book isn’t expected to be available until 2016. Yet, despite this, I kept finding myself drawn to the book and so I downloaded the audio from Audible and embarked on a 45 hour listening journey that swept me away to a fantasical world that was rich and amazing and filled with possibility. The narrative of Way of Kings fluctuations between several characters and incorporating some others between parts in its interludes. The main POV characters in Way of Kings are Kaladin, Dalinar Kholin, Adolin Kholin, Shallan Davar, Navani Kholin, and Szeth with the main focus being on Kaladin. Kaladin is a slave and his chapters go back and forth and time and slowly reveal his origins and how he became a slave in the kings army. Of all the POVs in this book the ones I liked best were those of Kaladin and Dalinar as they were so rich and complex and my heart just broke for the various things these characters experienced. The character I liked least was Shallan, I just found her to be selfish, naive and annoying and was more intrigued by her teacher, Jasnah and wished that she was one of the viewpoint characters.
The Way of Kings is a hard story to break down into a review of a few paragraphs as there is just so much to it. As the first in a series there is a lot of history and world building to be down and Brandon Sanderson has done an amazing job of weaving in his worlds history and rules without bogging down the story narrative. As a fantasy novel there is much that the reader does not know at the start of the story and so things can be a bit confusing at first. But once the story really gets underway the full beauty of this world really shines through. Its so complex and detailed and the more you read the more realistic it all becomes. The longer I listened to this audio the more I wanted to know and I’d look for excuses to make road trips just so that I could drive and be immersed in this amazing land of Roshar. I loved how the characters interacted and I loved Kaladin’s journey. There were times when I hated for the narrative to change as Kaladin was often left in a precarious place and my heart just broke for him. Though, I felt similar emotions when in the narrative of the other characters as well and almost always disliked when we left one character for another.
The Way of Kings is the first book that I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson but I found him to be a master of his craft. I loved how this story was formed and even though it was 45 hours long (1000 pages) it didn’t feel like that. Every time I was in my car I was sucked away to another place and I hated when reality snuck back in. Kate Reading and Michael Kramer did a fantastic job in bringing all these various characters and this world to life. They seamlessly become all the characters whose voices they read including the world that this story is set in. Because Roshar is very much a character as well as the setting. If you are a fan of epic fantasy this this is a book that you want to pick up. Yes, its long and yes this is only the first book in a very long series but its the start of an amazing story and I am eager to see where Sanderson will take me as I dive into the next book.