Book Review: The Way of Kings

First and foremost, I wish you a happy new month, and a blissful July.

Secondly, I don’t think my mind has ever been more ravaged by a book as this book just did. It’s currently 3:56 AM, July 2nd at the time of writing, and I just finished this book. And oh, my, God.

Oddly enough, I have been reading it for the better part of a month. I was reading it before I posted the review for Artemis. It’s one of the longest books I’ve ever read. If not the longest.

*Inhales deeply*

It is a grandly old book at this point lol, and I can remember being drawn to it because I really liked the plot of Oathbringer, the 3rd book in the series. Speaking of plots, here’s that of this book from Goodreads:

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 soilless 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.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

To be very honest with you, I’m not even sure that does it justice. The book is amazing in ways that make me as a reader want to just stop time and gobble the next book. Maybe I will.

The book wasn’t all beautiful though, the beginning was noticeably slow. And that kinda – this is me passing blame by the way – contributed to me taking a whole lot longer to read this book. But there isn’t much else to say on the side of wrongs. The book is completely marvelous and this review probably isn’t giving it the justice it deserves, but I’m still recovering from all that happened in the book.

The Way of Kings deserves much praise, and I’d really love to know your thoughts if you have read it. If you haven’t and you wouldn’t mind a damnably worthwhile, yet noticeably long book, then I’d highly recommend it. Do keep your wits about you though.

One thing I really loved was how the story came together. Readers get to experience multiple points of view, multiple lives all intertwined in this somewhat meaningless battle and histories long forgotten. It’s not a lot to understand or hold on to in the beginning pages, but when it starts to get interesting, it really does start to get interesting.

There is of course always the tried and true fantasy requirements, there’s the questions that are yet to be answered, there’s actions that are not so far from current day happenings, there’s so much in this book that it’s hard to pick one thing to bless or curse. Except that Brandon’s choice of words were really commendable.

A finished book has never felt – or left me, rather – more incomplete.

It’s also another thing to mention the way the characters were all so diverse. I mean, there’s Jasnah Kholin whose entire ‘smart’ retorts give the book that know-it-all character spice, there’s Renarin who for some reason I’d love to see transformed, and I would also hate to see him changed, there is of course Szeth-son-son-Vallano who is in all forms of the word, a maelstrom. There’s Kaladin who at one point had me stuck in class wondering how a man fought for something for his entire life, got it, and then let it go. And then fought some more.

There is just so much to look forward to regarding the characters and their journeys and their abilities and their histories and really everything. I mean, this might sound stupid or obvious or both, but I really want to know what happens next. To all the characters. There’s still a lot more to be said.

I’d rather not go into too many details, but this was a really amazing book and I loved almost every minute of it. I will definitely be reading Words of Radiance sometime soon, although there are a few other books that are currently scratching at the shelves of the tbr.

Thank you for taking the time to read this review, I reckon it was a strange one. And 900+ words? Damn. This book really is a roller-coaster. Anyways, feel free to leave any questions, suggestions, and/or comments in the comments section, I’ll answer as much as I can. And I think we’re due for a new #Notably episode. Thank you very much for reading and visiting the site. As always, have fun reading!

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