Author: Brandon Sanderson
Book: The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive Book One)
Published: June 2011
Publisher: Tor Books
Roshar is a world in flux. The king has been assassinated. The kingdom of Alethkar is now at war but does not fight for victory. The high lords divide the kingdom, and paranoia drives the new king. High Prince Dalinar Kholin sees visions of the ancient past, warning him to unite the kingdom. Yet his thirst for war has waned. Kaladin trained a surgeon, became a soldier, and is now a slave running bridges after being betrayed by someone he trusted. Shallan is a scholar, sent to gain someone’s trust to steal a powerful artifact. Szeth, the assassin who started it all, is a killer who feels each murder he commits. Yet something powerful and dangerous looms on the horizon. The great desolation is coming.
First, I want to apologize for the long hiatus. 2020 has been a year I would rather forget. New procedures at the schools where I teach kept me busy. The Way of Kings itself did not help matters.
Brandon Sanderson is a master world builder. The details of his land are rich and creative. I found the characters interesting as he wove interconnecting plots. However, the story itself is quite dense. I use the term dense to say that it is very difficult to move through. I’ve read long books before. This one was like wading through deep snow. Hard to move through and exhausting. Not a page turn that I can’t put down, nor was I anxious to get back to it. The book 1252 pages long. The author could have broken it into two or three books that would have been much easier to get through.
The book’s actions scenes are quite good, however. His vivid descriptions don’t disappoint, and the final crisis is worth the long slog.