Incredible, impressive or fantastic, all these words are an understatement to the quality this book holds. The Way of Kings is the beginning of a masterpiece series in epic fantasy. It is now my life goal and a new addition to my bucket list to obtain and read the entire series of The Stormlight Archive, which will probably take at least another 20 years from now to complete.
Before you started reading this book, let me do you a favor. Go outside your home, look at the sky, the stars, clouds, the moon or if you’re brave enough, the sun. Done? Good, raise your expectation of this series that high. My expectation for this book was probably higher than that and it still managed to blow me away. I’m pretty sure the title The Way of Kings is a hidden message by Sanderson for his reader, telling us that this is his first step in his way of becoming one of the kings in the genre.
Obviously, I can’t tell you anything about the story but I’ll tell you this, The Way of Kings is the beginning of tales that will remain inside your mind palace. It’s a heavily character driven book filled with tales of life & death, love & hate, bravery & cowardice, hope & despair, trust & betrayal, faith & atheism. Basically, all elements required for a great story are here, told from multiple POV.
Even though there’s multiple marvelous POV to be found here, each book in the series will focus more specifically on one main character’s past; in The Way of Kings, we get to see Kaladin’s.
We get to see all his thoughts, life from the past to present, feelings and motivation behind his actions from this book. I’m not saying this lightly but Kaladin has become one of the most well-written characters out of all books I’ve ever read, and definitely one of my favorite of all time out of all medium. Trust me, I’ve seen plenty of fantastic fictional characters throughout my whole life. 22 years of gaming, hundreds of manga read, hundreds of anime watched and Kaladin Stormblessed is definitely one of the best out there.
The Way of Kings can be considered a book porn for a lover of world building. Sanderson proved himself once again to be the master of creating worlds out of words.The world, Roshar, are written with intricate description of every single thing in the world; ranging from weather, creatures, history, mythology, magic system, races, culture and even the fucking grass; making this world truly believable. Combined with brilliant, simple and fluid writings plus several detailed maps and beautiful illustrations, the images formed in your head while reading every scene will be so vivid as if you’re really there in Roshar, joining on the adventure with each character.
The real actions only happened around three times in the book: prologue, somewhere in the middle and the climax. However, while in total there’s only a total of around 150 pages of actions, the impact of the 60 pages climax sequence of this book was very rewarding. Intense battle sequences, gigantic swords, magic armors & wonderful magic system revival occurred in the climax. It was deeply satisfying as everything in the book built up towards that moment. I’ll admit, I legit almost cried during this section, even though it was predictable, it was done exceptionally.
Some may find this book to be really intimidating to start because of the size it has. However, I find that the only con I have for this book is that it’s not long enough. 1004 pages long, filled with 380k words (bigger than the Hunger Games trilogy combined) and by the end of the book, I found that it’s still wasn’t enough for me.
I’m closing this review with the ancient oath:
“Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.”
I hope my review can do justice to the quality this book holds. It’s really a blessing to have lived and read this book, to have the strength to read and to join in this epic journey of a lifetime together with every reader of the series. If you’re really a fan of the epic fantasy genre, you really can’t go wrong with starting this series. This is the beginning of epic fantasy at its best. Sanderson has created an epic world and journey for us to dive into and all we have to do to experience it is really simple, read the book and let this story lives inside you.
“A story doesn’t live until it is imagined in someone’s mind.” –Hoid
You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)
Review originally written on December 10th, 2016