Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Adult Fantasy: The Way of Kings By Brandon Sanderson

About the Book: Roshar is a world dominated by weather. Powerful, enchanted Highstorms sweep across the land with such fierceness and regularity that the plants have evolved to retract into the ground to avoid them. The energy of the storms provide powerful magic to Roshar's citizens and captured Stormlight can be used for everything from adding value to money to making legendarily powerful weapons and armor.

Kaladin is a brilliant soldier betrayed by his commander and sold into slavery for knowing too much. Shallan is a minor noble and talented artist who can capture a scene with a glance and duplicate it hours later, who's family no longer has enough money to survive, has a daring plan to steal a powerful magical item to try to save her family. Following the assassination of the king, and six years of war with the people who sent the assassin, Kaladin and Shallan must each risk everything just to stay alive.

My Thoughts: This book is massive, over 400k words and over 1000 pages. It is the first book of a ten book series, but it is amazingly written and the story is masterfully crafted. The characters are vibrant and leap off the page even if the background is more sparse than one typically finds in fantasy. The setting reminds me of the seafloor just without the water.

Part Lighting Thief, part Ben-Hur there is a lot of action and adventure. While not quite the page turner that Goodkind's Sword of Truth was for me, this book is definitely one of my favorites and I will be eagerly awaiting each new addition to this series. I have not spotted any major flaws other than perhaps its length, and a desire to see a few of the background characters flushed out a bit more particularly, Wit and Szeth. (of course assuming that the rest of the books will be just as large, Mr. Sanderson will have plenty of time to flush out these characters). I have had the ARC of the book for about a year and just never made the time to get to it, but now that I have I am drooling over the next one. I give it an 9 out of 10. Oh, and the audiobook is awesome too!

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