Review: The Way of Kings

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to start off by thanking Tor.com for being DRM-free. It’s great to see a major publisher doing this.

With that out of the way, this was a massive story. It’s quite a different pace from everything I’ve read so far (Elantris and related stories, Warbreaker, Mistborn Era 1 and its Ars Arcanum stories). Mistborn, the previous longest story I’d read, was structured more like a traditional trilogy. The first book was satisfying on its own. The second one was mostly setup and the third one was the climax. With The Stormlight Archive being a 10 book series made up of two five-story arcs, this book was almost entirely setup. That’s not to say there wasn’t character growth, because otherwise it would have been a poor and boring story. Dalinar and Kaladin have quite a bit of growth. Syl surprised me although she’s still a bit to much mystery. Shallan and Szeth have fascinating storylines with insane reveals near the end. All the interludes are full of great characters. But in terms of the story, not too much happens – this is what kept it from being a 5 star book to me.

Minor spoilers: I really enjoyed Shallan and Jasnah as Sanderson uses them to explore both philosophy and religion in ways that are resonant.

Many have called this section of The Cosmere Sanderson’s Magnum Opus in the making and it’s certainly ambitious with the prologue to chapter one jump being 4500 years! At any rate, I made a list of some Sanderson parallels I’ve noticed so far that are mirrored in this book:

(view spoiler)

I’m extremely curious where this series goes and where The Cosmere as a whole goes. It appears that, with the stuff Hoid says, this is the key to The Cosmere. (Unless Sanderson’s saving that for Dragonsteel?) Sanderson continues to impress with great characterization and character growth and has matured in his writing of both men and women. Just don’t read this first because he’s so polished, lots of people have complained on reddit that reading this first makes his other Cosmere work seem dull in comparison.

One last spoiler: (view spoiler)

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Published by Eric Mesa

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