Series: The Stormlight Archives Book One
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
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 soiless 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.
I've been slowly but surely making my way through all of Sanderson's books (that's the plan anyway) ever since I picked up one of his short stories, Legion. Sanderson packed so much into those 88 pages, more than some full length fantasy books out there, and it never once felt weighed down. So reading The Way of Kings was a no brainer, my only problem was that it's 1008 pages long. I've read books longer than that before but you still need to catch your breath before finally tackling such a big book, but it more than made up for it. Actually, when I finally got to the end I was cursing cause it was too short xD
As always Sanderson's world building was impeccable. There is SO much going on in Roshar, so many little details that have to be kept in mind while reading to really understand the genius that is this book. The way the Earth adapted to survive the High Storms making the grass pull back into the earth to not be uprooted, the animals, the plant life and specially the spren. These little elementals obviously play a huge role in Roshar, but no one actually knows what their true purpose is. We get some insight with Syl, a tantalizing clue with Geranid's testing, and a tiny insight with Axis, but it's no where near enough to even grasp half of the picture let alone the whole picture and I can't wait to find out, the spren are just a fascinating concept in an already intriguing world.
The plot is simple in it's goal, but intricate in it's execution. I don't want to accidently spoil anything for anyone so all I'll say is, they are all simply trying to stop the Desolations, but there are so many things to take into account that it's mind boggling. And as for the characters, well I loved them all. Each and everyone one of them is different and unique and complicated in their own right.
In short, don't let the length of the book, nor the series, intimidate you, because this book will make up for it a hundred fold.
Would I Recommend it?
Other books in the The Stormlight Archive Series:
- The Way of Kings
- Words of Radiance
If you have already read this book don't miss my post on my theories/questions for this brilliant series!