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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson


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#1 kcf

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:47 PM

I was surprised when I searched for and didn't find a thread dedicated to The Way of Kings, but maybe since today is the release there hasn't been one yet. I apologize if my search-fu failed.

Anyway, below is an excerpt of my review- basically, I really liked The Way of Kings, it's Sanderson's best to date.

Let’s not dance around it – The Way of Kings could be a defining example of big fat fantasy. It weighs in at a hefty 1,008 pages in hardcover and is only the first book in a projected 10-book series, and I daresay that each volume will probably be rather long. This is classic epic fantasy – an imagined second-world setting, magic, and good versus evil, though identifying a specific quest is a bit trickier. In some respects The Way of Kings holds much in common with beginning of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire – the real evil that must be faced (and most probably overcome) hasn’t really revealed itself as the typical concerns of humanity get in the way. In fact, while you could probably quickly identify the ‘good guys’, identifying the bad guys is far less certain. Thematically, this is the point, and a point that I think will only grow more important as the series progresses.

The Way of Kings is essentially told from the point of view of 3 characters. Dalinar is the brother of the assassinated king and uncle to the new king. Kaladin is a slave with a unique past sold into service of the army of High Prince Sadeas. Shallan is the daughter of a disgraced and impovershed house looking for a way save her family.

The Way of Kings is character-based in that the success or failure of the story lies with the characters much more than other elements of the story. In this Sanderson succeeds with characterization that is by the far the best I have seen in his writing to date. As one would suspect, the characterization does vary a bit, though it feels intentional and one’s reaction to it will largely be a personal one – in other words, I may like Kaladin best, but someone with differing life experiences from me may relate to Shallan much more.

...

The Way of Kings is Sanderson’s most recent original work and the first book in a planned massive series. It’s his best book to date and the start of something very promising. The world is wonderfully creative with a deep history and uncertain future, the characters draw you in and make you care, and it all combines into something very special. Sanderson’s name may have leaped into the spotlight on the coattails of The Wheel of Time (though he was certainly on his way up already), but The Way of Kings proves that he belongs. This is a book that all fans of epic fantasy need to read and it could serve a great introduction for new fans to the genre, both young and not-so-young, as long as they can get past intimidation of 1000+ page book. My final thought can only be this: Brandon, when do we get book 2, because I want it now!

(full review)

Who else has read it? Thoughts?

Edited by kcf, 31 August 2010 - 05:07 PM.


#2 hadaad

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:49 PM

Who else has read it? Thoughts?



Haven't read it yet. Just picked it up today. I'm going to finish my current read (The Dragon and The George by Gordon Dickson) and then I'm going to tear into this one.

It's beautiful. Nice colours, nice art. A lot of work went into it. And it's 1006 pages.

If nothing else, I'm really looking forward to reading it.

#3 kcf

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:54 PM

bah, some sort of double post resulted from me editing it. Mod, please merge/delete. Sorry about that.

#4 Larry.

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 05:23 PM

Well, I had posted the link to my more-nuanced review in the Brandon Sanderson thread now on page 2, but here's the link, again. It may be his best work, but the more I think about it, the more mixed my review (which I had written over a week ago) appears to be, as I don't think WoK is more than just MOR epic fantasy. It does well within the bounds of that subgenre, but I can't think of anything truly spectacular about it. Solid might be the best word for it.

#5 Renasko

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 06:43 PM

If nothing else, I'm really looking forward to reading it.

Cure for insomnia?

#6 Switchback

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 07:03 AM

i got about a hundred pages in last night, and really enjoying it. not much happening yet, but the writing is clear and the reading is easy and enjoyable. and as said upthread, it really is an incredible looking book....

oh, and the prologue was sufficiently mysterious. i love mysterious prologues...

Edited by Switchback, 01 September 2010 - 08:11 AM.


#7 hadaad

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:23 PM

Cure for insomnia?


I've liked everything else I've read by him. He seems really excited by it. Why wouldn't I enjoy this one?

#8 pat5150

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 02:29 PM

A little over 100 pages to go, and I'm still pretty underwhelmed. . . /worried.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':worried:' />

Patrick

#9 Larry.

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 05:35 PM

A little over 100 pages to go, and I'm still pretty underwhelmed. . . /worried.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':worried:' />

Patrick


Not surprised at all by your reaction, considering how you felt about his other books.

#10 Renasko

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 06:14 PM

Yeah, it's probably going to be that way for a lot of people, not just Pat. I, personally, will not be picking this up. The multiple prologues were enough to sate my curiosity.

#11 Jerec

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 05:27 AM

I bought a copy, but I haven't started it just yet. Your review fills me with optimism, but then I haven't been disappointed by anything Sanderson has done yet. He's quickly becoming one of my favourites.

#12 kuenjato

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 10:34 PM

Although I was utterly unimpressed by the excerpts provided by Tor, I saw this in the bookstore today and flipped through it. I was quite struck by the design, artwork and overall visual articulation, particularly the maps. Tor seems to be really banking on this being the next big thing; I don't think I've seen this sort of treatment for the opening of an opus since The Dark Tower (and the sheer quantity of the artwork correlates to the last volume of that serial.. interesting.)

#13 Curethan

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:11 PM

100 pages in and I am enjoying it so far but for some minor quibbles.

Too much Capital Letters (yeh I know its High Fantasy but still).
Verbose prose and too many compounded words - lacks lyricism.
It's just too damn hefty, but hey its an upper body workout while you're reading...

#14 peterbound

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:46 PM

I'm about a 100 pages in as well. I like the story, but i've got the Nook version, and feel like i'm missing out on the artwork. Pisses me off.

I like Sanderson. Of all the 'new school' authors out lately, he's been steadily churning out some high quality work. My only quibble would be his aversion towards naughty words and sex. Just me, I know it's because he's mormon, but I feel like he could throw a little more than some PG scenes in his books when it comes to that reality of life.

#15 Jerec

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:58 PM

Yeah, no sex or swearing, but the level of violence in his books, especially Mistborn, showed no signs of him holding back.

#16 peterbound

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 01:18 AM

and what the fuck is up with these

Spoiler


#17 Han Shot First

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 03:14 AM

Just bought with an Amazon credit. Even if it isn't the next Wheel of Time, that's one amazing cover.

#18 Ser Barristan The Bold

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 08:16 AM

Patrick Rothfuss is one of two blurbing this book. Take a look at a few of the blurbs he offered:

The well known: “Brandon Sanderson’s books are so good that he’s starting to piss me off.”

The funniest: “When’s book two coming out? What’s taking so long?”

/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

#19 Humble Asskicker

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:39 PM

I picked this book up on day one, but I haven't been able to start yet, as I'm in a rush to finish some books that are due back at the library in a couple of days.

I did browse through it though, and people aren't kidding when they say this is one beautiful book. Just looking at it gets me uncomfortably excited. You know what I mean. Oh yeah.

#20 Spooky Scary Jurble

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 07:40 PM

Sweet Zombie-jesus, wikipedia says it has 1007 pages. God damn, how fast does Sanderson write? He could race Erikson. I haven't read anything of his other than TGS, and Warbreaker, which I read for free on his website, and I thought that was pretty meh, its plot was thoroughly predictable.