Rating: 4 / 5
I read a few of Brandon Sanderson’s adult fantasies earlier in year and really enjoyed them, so I was instantly intrigued when I saw a readalong of his The Stormlight Archive series announced. My only hesitation was the size of the books… they are so big that the UK editions are split into two (still hefty) books. But, knowing that I would like to eventually read them, I figured a readalong would be a good time to get the support and accountability I might need to get through them.
THE WAY OF KINGS is book one in The Stormlight Archive series (which has three books currently out and one more coming out later this year). Set on Roshar, man must contend with the environment with storms which are so viscous they take out everyone. Theirs is also a world of war where men fight against eachother and other beings. There are relics from historic wars, shardblades which make up armor and weapons which are highly sought out and can make all the difference in battle.
We are following three main points of view. Kaladin is a former trainee surgeon, a former star of the battle and now a slave being sold into difficult and potentially deadly service. Shallan is a scholar, but really a young woman who is trying to do what she can to protect her family even if it doesn’t feel entirely like the right thing to do. Dalinar is a high prince, family to the fallen king, who experiences visions of the past and is compelled to make changes in the future.
I was super intimidated to start this book and I put it off until way too late in the month, but I wound up really enjoying it. It is a slow read compared to my experience with Sanderson’s past books, but given that this is book one it what is meant to be an extended series, I didn’t entirely expect otherwise. There is a lot to set up in learning the word, the magic system and the characters. In particular Dalinar’s chapters had a lot of politics and characters with similar names and it took me a long while to figure his POV out, but I was enjoying his sections by the end as well. The action really does pick up toward the end of the book so I am hopeful that book two will be easier to get into.
The live show for this one is happening this weekend and I look forward to hearing what others thought of what we’ve read so far! I’m planning to dive into the second book WORDS OF RADIANCE soon!