Read La via dei re by Brandon Sanderson Gabriele Giorgi Online


Rimpiango i giorni precedenti all'Ultima Desolazione. L'epoca prima che gli Araldi ci abbandonassero e i Cavalieri Radiosi si rivoltassero contro di noi. Un tempo in cui c'era ancora la magia nel mondo e l'onore nel cuore degli uomini. Il mondo divenne nostro e noi lo perdemmo. Pare che nulla costituisca una sfida per le anime degli uomini quanto la vittoria stessa. ForseRimpiango i giorni precedenti all'Ultima Desolazione. L'epoca prima che gli Araldi ci abbandonassero e i Cavalieri Radiosi si rivoltassero contro di noi. Un tempo in cui c'era ancora la magia nel mondo e l'onore nel cuore degli uomini. Il mondo divenne nostro e noi lo perdemmo. Pare che nulla costituisca una sfida per le anime degli uomini quanto la vittoria stessa. Forse quella vittoria è stata un'illusione fin dall'inizio? I nostri nemici si resero conto che quanto più duramente si battevano, tanto più resistevamo? Ci sono quattro persone che noi osserviamo. Il primo è un chirurgo, costretto a mettere da parte la guarigione per diventare un soldato nella guerra più brutale del nostro tempo. Il secondo è un assassino, un omicida che piange mentre uccide. La terza è una bugiarda, una giovane donna che indossa il mantello di una studiosa sopra il cuore di una ladra. L'ultimo è un alto principe, un condottiero i cui occhi si sono aperti sul passato mentre la sua sete di battaglia va scemando. Il mondo può cambiare. L'uso dei Flussi e degli Strati può tornare; la magia dei giorni antichi può essere di nuovonostra. Queste quattro persone ne sono la chiave. Una di loro può redimerci. Un'altra ci distruggerà....

Title : La via dei re
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788834718964
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 1152 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

La via dei re Reviews

  • Kogiopsis
    2019-05-14 16:08

    I'm running out of superlatives.Seriously, after praising The Well of Ascension as a reader's dream book, I was worried. What would I say if The Hero of Ages was better? Even finding the perfect GIF for that book didn't solve the problem - because soon enough, there'll be The Alloy of Law, and I still haven't read Elantris.And then this book came along.Now, I'll admit that I took my sweet time. About six months, off and on, actually. For a lot of that, I wasn't sure what I was getting into. There were flashes of the sort of brilliance and depth I've come to expect from Sanderson, but it was nowhere near as fast-paced and engrossing as Mistborn: The Final Empire, and it took even longer for me to get interested than it did for Warbreaker. Part of that comes from how little time I dedicated to it. On a good day, I might get through a single chapter, and I could easily go a week or more without reading any at all, simply because I had other books at hand. And part of it comes from the fact that this book is, quite simply, ridiculously dense. There's a payoff, yes, but that didn't come for me until past the halfway point, and until it hits you're struggling under the weight of names, places, religions, histories, and even ecology.After that point, whatever it may be for you, things start to... well, not to make sense, necessarily, but to be confusing in a perfectly acceptable fashion. You know enough about the world and the characters to start going with the flow and trusting that eventually, all will be revealed. Even if 'eventually' isn't in this book.You see, at a certain point, you realize that Brandon Sanderson has never really demonstrated his writing ability before. He reminds me of a scene from The Princess Bride - the swordfight between Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black on the cliff. You've seen it, right? You remember the moment when Inigo switches hands in the middle of the fight and - even though he's been fencing beautifully up until that point - he seems to get even better?(I wanted a GIF, but couldn't find one.)That's what Brandon Sanderson has just done. He's been holding out on us all this time and here, finally, in this massive masterpiece, is a glimpse of what he's really capable of. Warbreaker is a great piece of work. The Mistborn trilogy managed to balance serious themes and reconstructing tropes of fantasy. I've no doubt that Elantris is, as well, a fantastic novel. Well, The Way Of Kings is going to redefine epic fantasy, and that is that.I'm guessing this book is going to be compared to one more than all others: The Eye of the World, the first entry in the Wheel of Time series. Now, I've read the first three WOT books, and I'm not a huge fan. They weren't horrible, and maybe the rest of the series changes things, but I found them dreadfully predictable. Anyone who didn't know that Rand Al'Thor was the Dragon Reborn by a few chapters into the first book wasn't paying attention. And the worldbuilding - don't get me started. Suffice it to say that Jordan ripped some things off and didn't even pretend to hide it.You cannot imagine how relieved I was to find neither of those problems here. Oh, sure, it was slow for a while, but it was never predictable - well, except for one bit at the end, where there was only a single solution that kept one character alive and allowed personal growth in another, but it was so damned awesome that I really didn't mind. In fact, it was one of my favorite scenes.And as for worldbuilding... well. This is what will make it or break it for a lot of readers. If you don't like worldbuilding, there's no way around it: don't even try. You've gotta love it to love this book. But if fantasy that is literally built from the ground up appeals to you, buy this book right now. The worldbuilding is the backbone of this novel and oh, what a strong thing it is. Even the ecology is stunning! The basic concept is pretty simple: on a fairly regular basis, the world of Roshar is scoured by incredibly powerful 'highstorms'. Being outside in one is a death sentence. That life even exists in this place is amazing, but it has clearly adapted. Plants retract into the rock or bend over to avoid the full brunt of the gale. Animals have thick, crustacean-like carapaces. It's a savage place in many ways, and yet so clearly filled with beauty and wonder - one has only to look at the gorgeous sketches sprinkled through this book to see that. Now, I'm a biology nerd, so I'm biased, but I loved this concept beyond all expression.The mythology! Holy shit, the mythology! I can't even - gah. The fact that the first of three prologues (yes, there are three; suck it up because they're all awesome) is set 4,500 years before the rest of the book should hint at how incredible the mythos of Roshar is. I hesitate to use the words 'epic' or 'sprawling', because they're kind of cliche, so instead: it's fragmented. One of my developing pet peeves in fantasy is the idea of the bajillion year-old prophecy that has somehow been retained without a word being changed, despite language shifts and translation errors and disasters and this and that and the other thing. That is not the case here. Shit Went Down in the past but no one really knows what happened. Did the Knights Radiant betray humanity? Well... maybe. But they don't even know what the Radiants were in the first place, so that's kind of begging the question. And oh, by the way, the first prologue seems to indicate - possibly, maybe, there's an off chance - that instead of the Radiants being the betrayers, it might have been the Heralds. Who are still revered by the religions of Roshar. Hmmm. I do believe I've spotted a Sanderson theme here - the fragility of religion. We'll see how it develops.But anyhow, I was raving about the mythology. Right. I can't say too much, though, because a lot of it is revealed very very slowly and carefully and frankly, I'm not sure how much I even understand yet. So maybe I should move on...Okay, how about characters. No doubt you've heard that this book has loooooooads. Believe that. It's true. Don't worry about it, though. There are four that you really need to know: the three protagonists (Shallan, Kaladin, and Dalinar) and Szeth-son-son-Vallano, who doesn't get nearly as much page time but is at least as important as any of the other three.Here's the rundown:Shallan is a young woman with more than a few secrets who, for less than honorable reasons, desperately needs to get apprenticed to Jasnah Kholin, a famous heretic and scholar. She's got a deep love of learning and a keen wit, which makes her an enjoyable protagonist just because she's fun to read about. Her internal conflict and her naivete make her more interesting and give her depth, and her relationship with Jasnah is fascinating and complex.Kaladin is a slave in a war-camp, son of a surgeon, who's hit rock bottom. He is also my favorite, and the one I can tell you least about because every bit of his character development plays into the larger plot. What I can say is that I was afraid he was going to be Kelsier the Second, and he was not - the critical difference being that when Kelsier was faced with a setback, he got angry; when Kaladin is faced with one, he breaks down. Not only does this make more sense, given Kaladin's age, it makes him a little more sympathetic since he's less inclined towards "KILL THEM ALL" speeches.Dalinar is the king's uncle, and he's seen better days. Once a famous warrior, he's now suspected by many to be losing his edge, if not outright insane. Strange visions haunt him, as does the guilt of failing to protect his brother, the current king's father, who was assassinated several years ago. He's caught in several wars, both political and violent, and doesn't seem to want to fight any of them. Dalinar did the most to shed light on the history and mythos of Roshar, though even that wasn't much, and sometimes his sections were boring... but not too often.Szeth is the man who killed Dalinar's brother, though not for any reason of his own. He's essentially a human tool, even a weapon in the hands of someone who knows his capabilities, and the brief scenes with him in them seem inconsequential until near the end, when it all builds into something that will no doubt fuel the next several volumes. All I'll say about Szeth is that I feel really, really sorry for him.There are, of course, a bevy of supporting characters. Shallan's brothers; Jasnah; the priest who tries to convert Jasnah through Shallan; Kaladin's fellow slaves and the family he left behind long ago; Dalinar's two sons, Adolin and Renarin; his brother's widowed wife, Navani; the young king, Elkohar; the king's other adviser, Sadeas. And more. Many of the negative reviews mention the one-shot characters who appear in the 'Interlude' sections as useless fluff, but I respectfully disagree. Part of their virtue is for worldbuilding, but no doubt we'll be seeing more of the characters and areas they introduce later in the series, and as far as I'm concerned that makes them worth it.GUESS WHAT?IT'S TIME FOR THE JASNAH KHOLIN APPRECIATION SECTION!I am an atheist. So, it would seem, are a lot of fictional characters, if only because their author hasn't bothered to create believable religions in their world at all. You get your standard Christianity rip-offs, the evil flesh-eating cult or two, and maybe some basic Greek-style polytheism or the occasional animist. Main characters, it seems, very rarely have a defined relationship with religion, which I often read as atheism by default. And that's fine. I'd rather slot a character into my personal default than go through something ham-handed like the discussion of faith in Eldest. If the writer doesn't want to include religion in their worldbuilding, that's okay. It's hard to do right and can ruin everything if done wrong.Brandon Sanderson does it right. We know this already - from Mistborn, if you've read nothing else of his. Think of Sazed, always able to list off another faith and explain their beliefs in a perfectly plausible, tolerant manner. Think of the way a religion cropped up around a brutal tyrant. It's part of the world and it works.But just because he can do religion right doesn't mean he can do atheism right. It's hard for people who hold one belief strongly to create detailed, well-rounded, authentic characters with directly contrasting beliefs. Fantasy gives a level of removal from that problem, but it's still there: how can you write someone if you can't see from their point of view?I don't know. I honestly don't. Sanderson does, though. Jasnah is a very believable atheist, and she can argue her points eloquently and intelligently, as befits someone as renowned for intelligence as she is. I was so, so worried she was going to be a strawman, set up just to be knocked down by TEH TRUTH ABOUT GAWD but she wasn't, she wasn't, she wasn't! and I cheered, a little bit, in my head, because she was so awesome. I love the way she thinks. I love her intelligence, her devotion to research, her snappishness, her ideas about justice. I love the idea of this strong, beautiful, powerful, confident, courageous, wise, good-hearted woman. Oh, she's flawed, but despite that - or maybe because of it - she is a celebration of what it means to be female.Particularly worth noting is this conversation, after Jasnah and Shallan go looking for trouble, find it, and Jasnah obliterates it:"That was horrible," Shallan finally said, hand still held to her breast. "It was one of the most awful things I've ever experienced. You killed four men.""Four men who were planning to beat, rob, kill, and possibly rape us.""You tempted them into coming for us!""Did I force them to commit any crimes?""You showed off your gemstones.""Can a woman not walk with her possessions down the street of a city?""At night?" Shallan asked. "Through a rough area? Displaying wealth? You all but asked for what happened!""Does that make it right?"Victim blaming: addressed, debated, PUT IN ITS PLACE, and then later framed in the context of one of the themes of the book: justice.She is the kind of character that makes me think, I wanna be like her when I grow up.END JASNAH KHOLIN APPRECIATION SECTION.Now... the plot. Well, it's not fully hatched yet. It kind of pupated for the first 400+ pages, which is fine, really, because big plots need big expositions. When it gets going, it's properly high-stakes and awesome.The shifting focus can get frustrating, just because at the end of a chapter about one character, all you want is to know what comes next - but then you read the next chapter, which is about someone else, and you finish it wanting to know what happens to them and almost having forgotten about the other one until you get into their chapter and get absorbed again and, well, it keeps repeating. I'll admit, I flipped ahead sometimes to skim the first few paragraphs dealing with whichever character I was most worried about and find out a bit of what happened. This was particularly prevalent in Part Three, which alternated only between Kaladin and Shallan right as really important, exciting things were happening to them both. And being without Shallan's narration for all of Part Four was difficult, even though what happened to the others was still intensely interesting.I can't say too much about the climax because, of course, that would give away tons and tons of important information. I will say that it was what cemented Kaladin as my favorite - in particular, that he had a serious badass moment when he was all:and everyone, even really high-ranking people, just did it because he is really that awesome.Oh, and about twenty pages from the ending, we get a little more Shallan, which is when Sanderson decides is a good time to drop a tremendous reveal on us. My experience of it went something like this.Never fear, though, because it's not a nasty cliffhanger. Indeed, the various plot threads are wrapped up pretty satisfactorily, with plenty of room and impetus for a sequel. It's a complete book, not the first half/third/tenth of one. Thank goodness.There are going to be nine sequels to this, right? And if I guesstimated correctly, we'll be waiting at least two years for the next one. Hopefully it won't be much longer. But anyhow, nine sequels.And to those of you who didn't like this book and maybe think I'm crazy to be showering it with praise, that's your problem.There's a part of me that thinks if you don't like this book, maybe epic fantasy just isn't the right genre for you, because this is epic fantasy at its best. But, you know, whatever floats your boat, I guess. You can call it bloated and boring all you like. I will be over here eagerly awaiting the next one and crossing my fingers that Sanderson goes on tour soon.

  • Patrick
    2019-04-29 13:31

    I got to read an ARC of the book and I really enjoyed it. Sanderson really knows how tell a story and create an interesting world....

  • Felicia
    2019-04-28 13:35

    WOW. Ok, so I actually cried during this book (it was a stressful day, but I'm usually not a weeper). This book captures the epic grandiosity and scope that I remember as a kid reading Eddings and Feist and Jordan. I didn't know what was going on all the time, but I was keenly aware of the great plot, the secrets, and the depth of world building and character in this book.Yes, it's REALLY long, and yes, it lags a bit from time to time under all the philosophy, but honestly I was just staggered by the scope of what this book is, and what the rest of this series has the potential to me. I've read most of Sanderson's books (save the Wheel of Time which NEED TO BE READ) but he has really outdone himself with this. BIG FAN TO SAY THE LEAST! If you like big epic fantasy you have to read this.

  • Petrik
    2019-04-28 12:06

    Buddy reading this epic book with these lighteyes:Brightness CelesteBrightness AriaIncredible, 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

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    2019-04-23 13:11

    9/24/17: Rereading b/c OATHBRINGER. *is daunted*Reviewed by: Rabid Reads4.5 starsI have a new favorite author. His name is Brandon Sanderson. This book . . . made me curse like a sailer.If I had tried to read it in public, at the very least, I would have been banned from the property. More likely, I'd have either been locked up for 24-hour observation at the local mental health ward or at the local precinct for Disturbing the Peace, but only after having passed numerous drug tests, proving that I wasn't Drunk and Disorderly.If you think I'm exaggerating, check out my status updates on Goodreads.I am not exaggerating.Honestly, in a book this large, it's nearly impossible to touch on every highlight, so I'm left trying to decide which are the best . . . it's a thankless task, but here goes:Worldbuilding:If it's been done before, I haven't read it, and like Wit said, it's novelty we humans appreciate most.The majority of the world in THE WAY OF KINGS is like a tropical ocean habitat on dry land. Plants retract completely into the ground before a wagon wheel or foot can tread upon them. Instead of cows or oxen pulling those wagons there are "chulls" which are over-large hermit crab-sounding things. The monstrous "chasmfiends" the nobility hunt for sport are basically giant badass lobsters. Instead of ants or beetles scuttling on the ground, there are "cremlings" that sound an awful lot like crawdads. It's kind of awesome.More awesome than that are the people groups.While there were separate and distinct cultures, that wasn't the focus of the differences. The focus was on their Extras: the Alethi who fall into a kind of Berserk warrior state they call the Thrill when they are in battle. Purelakers who can communicate with the fish that fill the waters of their home. Parshendi who grow their own carapace-like armor and have legs strong enough to jump chasms in the Shattered Plains that everyone else needs a bridge to cross. Horneaters who have a kind of fairy sight that allows them to see elemental spren whether the spren wish to be seen or not.I absolutely loved it.Characters:There are so many great characters that I can only give you the gist. These people . . . I wept, but not from sadness, not from loss. I wept b/c my heart could not contain my awe and gratitude and respect for these men, these dregs of society, who one man and one spren had bound together into something so valiant, so courageous, so honorable . . . that I could do nothing but weep. Some people shy away from that sort of thing, and being the kind of person that I am, I view that as its own tragedy. Suffice it to say that if you are a character-driven reader, you will leave this world with a much expanded family.Master of Misdirection:I read this as part of a massive group buddy read (SHOUT OUT to my peeps at Sanctum of Fantasy (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)]). Several members achieved "Master of . . . " titles during the read, and I'm granting Sanderson Master of Misdirection status.Not only did he expertly paint characters as non-threatening nonentities so that your mind was blown when their nefarious true natures were revealed, but he stealthily laid the groundwork consistently throughout the story, making it utterly believable.But he didn't limit himself to grand scale misdirection, no, he did not. He also regularly made your heart stop for the three seconds it took to get past the obvious reaction to the reality of the situation that was entirely different from the path he had lead you down.*salutes* *fights urge to gesture rudely once back is turned*Moral Ambiguity:The singular complaint I saw voiced during the BR was that there wasn't an identifiable Great Evil that Good needed to triumph over. By the end of the book that was no longer the case, but even before that I didn't mind, b/c Sanderson constantly makes you question: what is right? What is good? It's a deliberate tactic to both make the reader really think about right and wrong, good and evil, and also to eventually make the difference abundantly clear. So if you're the kind of reader that needs that distinction, don't give up, b/c, man alive, you will get it.The last 10%:Sanderson followed a strict formula for the last 10% of his book. It goes like this: 1. What's the worst thing that can happen? Let's do that. 2. How can we make it even worse? Let's do that, too. 3. Now let's make it look like--despite overwhelming odds--everything will work out fine. 4. Now let's crush that hope. Rinse, wash, REPEAT.Part IV will leave you emotionally wrung-out (in a good way), and Part V will give your FEELS a chance to recover whilst blowing your mind (really, your mind should be in pieces by the time you finish).Having just finished yesterday afternoon, I'm surprised that I'm not still in some kind of stupor, but I've prevailed. I did have to step away several times during that last 10% to give myself a chance to recover. I used that time to: order paperbacks of both installments for my dad and hardbacks for myself, b/c these books . . . they deserve shelf space.What kept THE WAYS OF KINGS from being a 5.0 star read were a handful of issues in the beginning of the book. I've been told that WoK was shoved through the editing process to get it into bookstores quickly, and it shows in the repetition of phrases, especially in the prologue. The third time Someone came at Someone Else with "broad, sweeping strokes" (of his sword), I was over it. And when an Assassin continually referred to a hallway runner as being red . . . like blood . . . well, despite how fantastic the rest of the book was, I couldn't entirely overlook it's less than stellar start. However, overall . . . again I say, I have a new favorite author.Pre-Review:I'd like to say something simple and profound like, "I have no words . . . "Sadly, the truth is that I have too many. Once I've pared them down into something reasonable, we'll be speaking again.In the interim, I shall leave you with these:“Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”Draw your own conclusions.My other reviews for this series:Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2)Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Carol.
    2019-04-25 15:17

    A three and a half star read."What?" Sanderson's fans say, "this is a classic!""What?" people who read my reviews say, "you gave the same rating to that mess of a zombie book!"Let me 'splain.No, there is too much. Let me sum up.Ignore comments about the length. I've read books that were as long (hello, The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition), and everyone has read series that were over a thousand pages. What troubles me about The Way of Kings is that I felt like I was reading the fantasy equivalent of a walk through The Field Natural History Museum. Thorough. Detailed. Interesting. And equally devoid of action. Put another way: a saltwater fish tank at the Shedd Aquarium (give me a break; I like visiting Chicago's Museum Mile). Watching the sea anemone wave pink arms as the clownfish darts in and out, chasing little bites of fish food. Again, interesting. But worth six hours of undivided attention? Surely you'd want to take a break and watch shark feeding time, right? Wander off to visit the dolphins and the otters?Narrative shifts primarily between three people; Shallan, a penniless noble who wants to apprentice herself to a scholarly heretic, intending to steal her Souljewel; Kaladin, a former surgeon and talented soldier who now wears a slave brand; and Dalinar, a prince and uncle to the king. I appreciated their different viewpoints; Shallan is a naive young woman, Kaladin a member of the underclass and Dalinar is the king's uncle; from all three, we get a remarkable range of insight into the society. This is a slow, thoughtful book, close to the exact opposite of The Alloy of Law, my only Sanderson book to date. He builds a complete world with varied landscapes and an unique social and spiritual culture. I should have loved it, but what I found is a complete absence of grippingness, that take you by the throat experience. The problem? A lack of dynamic tension. Internal tension comes out of the conflicts each of the three main characters are facing, and their indecision at how to act. Thus, about 700 pages are of them gradually backing themselves into a corner and undergoing a personal crisis. Action picks up around page 800 or so. The last three hundred are the most significant and dynamic of the novel and finally had me turning pages in earnest. (For those who are counting, I know it doesn't add up. There are a few sets of random character narratives that build more background and richness--in other words, add pretty backdrop in the dioramas or the coral reefs). The fans argue that it took the building in the first part to create the dynamic tension of the last, but I'd have to disagree. If it takes 700 pages to get to your main conflicts, are those pages story or indulgence?Update 9/7/16: Click for my review on The Author's Notes to Way of Kings: posted at

  • Melanie
    2019-05-21 14:23

    Buddy Read with Robin and the rest of BB&B! ❤“In the end, all men die. How you lived will be far more important to the Almighty than what you accomplished.”This was the best Brandon Sanderson book I’ve read. Since I’ve started reviewing books, everyone constantly talks about Mistborn, which don’t get me wrong, is an amazing series too, but this book blew the entire original trilogy out of the water. I truly believe in my whole heart that The Stormlight Archive series is the series that everyone should be pushing onto high fantasy readers, because it is one of the greatest things I’ve read in my entire life. “Don't dream the small dreams of other men.”The Way of Kings takes place on the world of Roshar, where war is constantly being waged on the Shattered Plains, and the Highprinces of Alethkar fight to avenge a king that died many moons ago. Alethkar is the largest kingdom on Roshar, and the people are called Alethi, and they are at war with the Parshendi, who are almost like bard warriors with their songs and chants. In war everyone pays a price, but some people pay the price way more dearly than others, and The Way of Kings very much showcases that. On Roshar, Highstorms are magical like storms that have shaped this world into something unlike anything else. Highstorms provide Stormlight, which is an energy that the people keep in different gemstones, which has a super vast array of different abilities. And because this story surrounds wars on many different fronts, it makes sense that these Highstorms also helped make some pretty powerful and unique weapon, armor, and even some companions:➽Shardblades - Magical weapons that are very rare and sought after. A person who owns one, a Shardbearer, is soul-bound to their blade. They can cut through pretty much anything, and it instantly kills whatever limb it cuts though, but without leaving a mark. The limb is just rendered useless until it can be reattached to the soul. And Shardblades can block other Shardblades. People constantly want to duel for them, because when a Shardbearer dies, the Blade rematerializes next to him/her, allowing anyone else to pick up the Blade and become its new owner. Yet, it is near impossible to beat anyone with a Shardblade without having one yourself. ➽Shardplate - Magical plate armor that protects the wearer, can heal magically on its own, and enhances the wearers physical abilities. And most importantly, it can block a Shardblade.➽Soulcasting - Soulcasters have the magical ability through fabrials to do many things. Sometimes they use their power to create food, sometimes to heal, sometimes to protect sex workers from gross men at night. I mean, the abilities are actualy endless. But most the time they use their power to change one thing into another, like rocks into food. But the transformations are limited and range from Soulcaster to Soulcaster. Also, needless to say, these people are very sought after. ➽Spren - Also, in this world, they have Spren, which are magical little beings that come in a variety of different types. For example, Rotspren appear when something is beginning to rot, or something is dead, or something is being infected. There are tons of different Spren that take many different forms in this book.But besides the wars and the all of the magic, there is a prejudice war that is constantly going on, too. In this world, having light eyes gives you all the advantages. Blue eyes, green eyes, grey eyes, amber eyes, any kind of light colored eye is superior to any form of dark brown. Some of the higherups in this world believe that the Heralds choose light eyes people at birth and mark them to rule. This is a really big parallel to the world we live in today, and I really liked this aspect of the story and the discussions that surround it. Also, some females in this world are supposed to hide their left hands, and it is considered totally obscene for a woman to have that left hand uncovered. And “lower class” woman just wear a glove over their left hand, while working. I’m sure this will come into play in later books, so I thought I’d mention it, but it still made me giggle at some of the responses to seeing a woman’s bare left hand. And the other unique concept/tradition in this world is that it is “beneath” men (other than ardents) to learn how to read and write. Like, men in this world marry a lot of the time just to be able to have their wives read to them and write down things for them. Yet, this value in society has not only put them at a disadvantage in life, but as also put them at a disadvantage in solving the mystery of the late king’s final act before death. In The Way of Kings, we pretty much follow four main characters, even though three are at the forefront of this book:➽Kaladin - Kaladin seems like the main protagonist of this novel, even though he shares POVs with other characters, but Kaladin makes up the bulk of this 1,000-page novel. Kaladin is branded a slave and is sold into a bridge crew. Yet, Kaladin is such a natural born leader, he ends up shaping Bridge Four into one of the best crews in the entire army. But this doesn’t go unnoticed. Kaladin’s character has a lot of representation. Kaladin is very susceptible to depression, and this book doesn’t skirt around the mental illness. Kaladin is also suffering from extreme PTSD from all the events that have lead him to where he is currently at the start of this novel. We slowly learn about his past; where he came from, who he was supposed to be, who he cared about, and what happened to make him the slave he is now. Trigger warnings for severe depression, suicide, war themes, violence, and gore. “How easy it was to ignore a blackened heart if you dressed it in a pressed uniform and a reputation for honesty”➽Dalinar - Dalinar is a Highprince of Alethkar. His brother was the king, but after his death (you learn this in the prologue) Dalinar has helped raise his nephew, Elhokar, into the king the world needs. Dalinar is also an amazing warrior, and wields the Shardblade Oathbringer (that name sounds familiar, true? *winky face*)! After the night of his brother’s death, Dalinar feels responsibility and is being haunted by it. Dalinar is also seeing visions, and people are questioning his mental stability. He is a widower, but something is blocking him from every remembering his wife’s face or name or any memory of her. And Dalinar has two sons, both in their twenties, that are very different, but he loves them so deeply and so unconditionally. Mostly importantly, Dalinar is a man of honor and he has a grand reputation of always keeping his word and sticking to the rules. ➽Shallan - Shallan had my least favorite chapters, but that was mostly because I wanted to slap her most of the time. She is daughter of the recently deceased Brightlord Lin Davar of Jah Keved. She has come to find Jasnah Kholin, claiming to want to study under her, but actually wanting to steal something from her for the kingdom she left behind. The thing I liked most about Shallan is that she is an artist and it plays a big role into who she is as a person. Plus, a lot of Shallan’s chapter were in libraries with tons of books and it was constantly a beautiful visual. ➽Szeth - Okay, call my weird, but Szeth’s chapters, as few as there were, were my absolute favorite. Szeth is still a very mysterious man, but he wields a Shardblade and knows how to use it to its full abilities. He is known to the world as the Assassin in White and is one of the most feared assassins in the world. From his perspective we get to see the guilt and pain from what he is being forced to do, but who and why he is being forced to repent for his past sins, is a constant mystery. Also, the epilogue chapter of this book, which is in Szeth’s perspective, actually blew my mind. “Fighting is not the only thing of value a man can do.”Yet, this book also has some amazing side characters: ➽Syl - Be still, my heart. Syl is honestly everything I look for in a character to love with my whole being. She is such a little cinnamon roll, and I keep picturing her tripping military dudes in her little invisible form and it just makes me smile for days. Syl is a spren that has bonded with Kaladin. She found him on a night that he needed her most, and has rarely left his side since. And she constantly reminds him that his life is worth living, and what an honorable man he is, and how he isn’t cursed and doomed to lose everyone he loves. Syl is honestly probably my favorite character in The Way of Kings. ➽Jasnah - Jasnah is the daughter of the late King Gavilar and she is the sister of the new king, Elhokar! She is also a very High Scholar and also happens to be a Soulcaster. The Almighty is a deity that is devotedly and widely worshiped on the world of Roshar, yet Jasnah doesn’t. She considers herself a Veristitalian and chooses to put her beliefs in science and the things she can see with her own eyes. The discussion and talk of religion in this book is super well done, and I would have never guessed that Brandon Sanderson, a man that is very open with how much religion means to him, wrote the character of Jasnah. Seriously, it was expertly done. Jasnah is powerful, and smart, and witty, and I think I totally developed a major crush on her. ➽Adolin - But speaking of crushes, apparently, I just love the entire Kholin family! Adolin is Dalinar’s oldest son, cousin to Jasnah and Elhokar, Brightlord of Alethkar, has a very short temper, and is a bit of a flirt. His mother, the one that is passed away and that Dalinar cannot remember, passed down to him full Shardplate, and he won his own Shardblade in a duel. Oh, he loves to duel, too! Adolin is an amazing fighter, who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, but he is your typical young twenty-year-old that is trying to figure life out, while being constantly reminded that he doesn’t know it all, even though he thinks he does. Adolin loves his family deeply, wants to do what is right, and he just completely won me over. I truly love his character. ➽Renarin - Dalinar’s youngest son, Brightlord of Alethkar, Prince of House Kholin. Renarin is very shy and very quiet, and is not a solider like his father and brother, because he freezes in battle and sometimes has seizures. Brandon Sanderson has also stated that Renarin is on the autism spectrum, which is awesome representation we rarely see in high fantasy. ➽Sadeas - He is also Highprince of Alethkar, along with Dalinar. Dalinar, Sadeas, and the late King Gavilar all grew together and were best friends, yet this book constantly makes you question his loyalty. He is known to be very cruel, and is on the forefront of the war against the Parshendi. ➽Hoid - Okay, I don’t want to talk too much about Hoid, because not everyone is up to date with Brandon Sanderson’s works and the Cosmere Universe. But, this reveal made my year. How Brandon Sanderson continually tricks me, I have no idea. Maybe I’m just a huge sucker. But, like, that flute though. Also, first an interest in Kelsier and now Kaladin? Ahhh, I love Brandon Sanderson so much! I gushed a lot in all the paragraphs above this, so you guys can probably tell I really loved this book. I truly think it is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, and I think this is Brandon Sanderson’s strongest series yet. The discussions in this are important and super eye opening if you look at the parallels to our world today. The characters in this are amazing and a few have really nested themselves inside of my heart. All the magic is so unique and so captivating. The story and plotlines were so addicting. And, on a very personal note, after the Vegas shooting happened I was in a pretty bad headspace. To see my community be impacted by an act of terrorism and pure hatred was something that I don’t wish on anyone. I couldn’t stop thinking and feeling so much sadness, so I binge read the last two hundred pages of this book. Escapism truly is a beautiful thing, and I believe with my whole heart that books are magical entities that have their own healing powers. And I will never forget that The Way of Kings helped me deal with some pretty sad and heavy things going on in my real world. “And men didn't become heroes by walking away.”Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch

  • Sean Gibson
    2019-05-01 12:30

    So, a buddy of mine has been trying to get me into Sanderson for some time (figuratively speaking, I should note...he has not, as of yet, physically tried to jam me inside the poor man, for which, I'm sure, Mr. Sanderson is quite grateful). At my friend's suggestion, I started with Mistborn, which--and don't freak out on me here, Sandersonites--I thought was solid, but didn't exactly salt my pickle (is that a thing?). So, he proceeded to give me The Way of Kings as a gift--his polite way of forcing me to read it. It's been some time since I've plunged into the first volume of a truly door-stopping fantasy series, so it felt a bit like a slog at first. I started to think to myself, "Self, maybe Sanderson just isn't for you...I mean, you don't have to like EVERY epic fantasy author, you know." But I kept reading. And then Kaladin started doing awesome things, and I was impatient to get back to his chapters. Only then Dalinar and Adolin started to get compelling. And then I started figuring out what the hell a spren was. And then I started to drool in slack-jawed wonder at the awe-inspiring skill and sheer brainpower involved in conceiving of a world this fully realized. And then there was a little too much focus on jam and bread, but that made sense later. And then, somewhat distractingly, I kept hearing a woad-faced, Scottish-accented Mel Gibson yelling, "Unite us! Unite the clans!" every time Dalinar had a flashback. But, I got over that, though I may have giggled on the Metro once or twice (hardly my first brush with inappropriate public giggling in the midst of judgmental commuters). And then crazy, massive, epic things happened, and Big Things were hinted at, and I was hooked.All told, one hell of a ride. I'll be back for more. I just might need a little breather before the second book (even on a Kindle, I almost got a hernia lugging this thing around). Well played, Sanderson--you've won this round.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2019-05-02 20:08

    Re-read on Audible. It was even better the second time around. Shallan's story wasn't as boring this time around. I'm not sure if it was the audio or what, but I'm glad. I'm still in love with Kaladin and I still love Dalinar! Their parts are my favorites even though the whole book is awesome. **First Read Review**MAGNIFICENT! Where do I begin reviewing this book! I loved it for starters. I can't imagine how someone can have such a brilliant mind to think of an epic book like this, much less going to have 10 in the series. Sanderson is an amazing story teller! I loved how everything in the book came together. Everyone's stories eventually collided into one end game and I loved it! OMG, that ending! I can't believe some of the things that were revealed! I loved Dalinar and his story. I wasn't much into Shallan's story until it got closer to the end. But... Bridge Four... Kaladin... love, love, love. I have a huge crush on Kaladin. Don't judge me!! :)All of the characters were great, but Kaladin is my favorite. He is a great man to do all of the things he does for others and he's bad to the bone on top of that. I fell in love with Rock because he immediately reminded me of Andre the Giant! If they made a movie out of this book and he was still around, perfect fit, perfect!! The majority of the crew on Bridge Four were all awesome and I love how Kaladin brought them all together, the camaraderie was great. This is by far the best high fantasy I have read and I look forward to reading the rest in the series, if I live long enough to read them :) I recommend to all fantasy lovers. Be sure you know this is over 1000 pages so be prepared to tuck into a long epic creation. Fin!

  • Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
    2019-05-10 12:27

    Actual Rating: 4.5 StarsSo finishing this novel was incredibly bittersweet.The Stormlight Archive is the last of Brandon Sanderson's High Fantasy works I have left to read before I am forced to confront The Great Waiting.However, I am glad I waited to read this series, as it seems like it's going to be one of Sanderson's largest & most clarifying contributions to the Cosmere universe. I had such a wonderful time reading this. I've seen a couple reviewers saying the book could've been shorter (1,007 pages in physical copy, 45.5 hours in audio) but it's not a sentiment I agree with. I believe The Way of Kings would sacrifice vital framework, world building, & characterization were it much shorter.Perhaps the level of immersion present here is not for everyone, but for me, that's part of what makes Sanderson's work stand out in the genre. You can always count on him to transport you directly into his worlds.And what a fantastic setting Roshar is! Literally every aspect of the world, from the unique wildlife to the power of soulcasting & the magical of properties of stormlight, held my rapt attention. I was particularly fascinated by the Alethi dispersion of class & power being based on eye color. This is a concept I've discussed before in my circles of friends, how it is incredibly odd that humans tend to choose arbitrary characteristics to create & define social groupings. Sanderson highlights how foolish it is when we allow our perception of others to be guided by these meaningless lines of division. Race, religion, sexuality, gender. Eye color, skin color, height, weight. We are all people. Individuals with an exponential range of capabilities, and no contrived societal category has the power to determine what we can or cannot achieve. In many ways this book is about having the courage to break free from your prescribed role in life.Once again, we're gonna have to talk about the religious aspects of Sanderson's work. I just appreciate the shit out of what this man does, ok? Throughout the related Cosmere works, characters spanning all across the spectrum of faith appear. The Way of Kings is no exception. What I love so much is that all of these characters are written skillfully with a realistic degree of complexity. They struggle with their choices, they seek validation without always finding it, they are intelligent with the ability to defend their beliefs in the face of opposition. It is so lovely & refreshing to see an author write about a wide variety of belief systems without sacrificing the integrity of any of them. The Way of Kings is full of the concisely descriptive writing & excellent imagination we have come to expect from Sanderson. Specifically I adore the battle scenes/fighting imagery."The lad was a genius with the blade, an artist with paint of only one shade."I only had two distinct issues with this novel: 1. The novel is split into a couple different perspectives, but readers spend a disproportionate amount of time with one, a young man named Kaladin. Now, I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I didn't care for how unbalanced the perspectives were. Kaladin's character is fleshed out beautifully, but I wish I could've experienced the same in-depth connection to the other handful of POVs, especially Dalinar & Shallan. There were a couple times I even found myself thinking "Aw man, another Kaladin chapter." *waits to get hit by tomatoes*2. This next issue is a bit spoilery! View at your own risk. (view spoiler)[From the very beginning I could not get behind Shallan's plan to rob Jasnah. It just... seemed like a very juvenile plan & I can't imagine agreeing to it if I were part of the conceptual discussion. It sounded to me like the equivalent of trying to rob the President of the United States. Chances are low that I'm going to get away with that, ya know? (hide spoiler)]Otherwise, this is a gorgeously written first novel in what I expect will be a truly epic series. Buddy read with the amazing Kainat!This review and other reviews of mine can be found on Book Nest!

  • Evan Leach
    2019-04-30 13:12

    When I was a kid, I was never able to get the best of those damned Magic Eye paintings. I would stare and stare until my eyes watered, but to no avail.All I see is an OK fantasy novel.Well, looking at The Way of Kings and its glittering, 4.58 rating is bringing back some painful childhood memories that I’ve tried really hard to repress. Because like those stupid paintings, I just can’t see what all the fuss is about. To be clear, I didn’t hate this book: I thought it was sort of O.K. But this is so out of proportion with what everybody else seems to think that I can’t help but feel out of the loop. It’s Mrs. Betzler’s 4th grade class all over again, so thanks for that Brandon Sanderson. I had three big problems with this book:1. A lot of the action/fighting scenes were pretty tedious. Not once in the book did I feel that any of the main characters were in any serious risk, which sucked away a lot of the dramatic tension. Also, many of characters were so much better equipped/more skilled/blessed with more über magic than their hapless opponents that the battles were just page after page (after page) of the superman characters slaughtering hordes of luckless opponents. At times it felt like I was reading the transcript of somebody playing a video game. A 1,000 page transcript.2. While Sanderson lays some good bricks here in terms of world-building, I never really got hooked by the history of this universe he created, and I didn’t get a great feel for what the world at large was really like (with the exception of a few locations like the Shattered Plains, etc.). That would be one thing if the book was 300 pages, or if it threw us straight into the action, but a book this size where the action is limited had better be doing some grade-A world-building and I didn’t think Sanderson reached that level.3. Finally, your mileage may vary but the writing in this book drove me crazy. I haven’t read anything else by Sanderson, so I don’t know if this is just his style or if there was a failure in the editing process, but I found a lot of the dialogue in this book to be exhausting. For instance:”Brightness…I believe you stray into sarcasm.”“Funny. I thought I’d run straight into it, screaming at the top of my lungs.”Ugh. Or this gem when a young lady requests an unusual book from a merchant:”I can see you are a woman of discriminating taste.”“I am. I do like my meals prepared very carefully, as my palate is quite delicate.”“Pardon. I meant that you have discriminating taste in books.”No. Nonononononono. But I don’t know. If the zingers above made you laugh, or if you like randomly placed exclamation marks in your dialogue, you probably will be just fine. This may just be a matter of personal taste, but the dialogue in this book drove me crazy.Anyway, I don’t want to overstate my dislike for this book. I thought it was long, kind of sloppily written, and could be pretty boring at times. I very nearly quit at about the 450 page mark, which is a rarity for me. But there are some promising elements here: it’s not a Tolkien clone, at least, and some of the characters are pretty solid. Also, the plot got much more interesting as the book developed, and the second half was markedly better than the first (although that’s almost damning with faint praise), to the point that I’ll probably give the second book a chance whenever it comes out. But I sincerely hope it’s better than this one. 2 stars.

  • TS Chan
    2019-05-14 12:14

    Fourth time and it is still as awesome! The Stormlight Archive is Brandon Sanderson's "love letter to the epic fantasy genre". His magnum opus. From my perspective, he had lovingly and painstakingly crafted a masterpiece that was not just his greatest but one of the greatest of all time. And thus, this is my love letter to The Stormlight Archive and I hope it can do some justice to this favourite series of mine. There are many great fantasy books out there; some have a compelling story to tell supplemented with great characters; some have awesome magic and epic battle scenes, and some come with an interesting world that was richly imagined and detailed. The Way of Kings is a huge opening act to The Stormlight Archive which took every single one of these ingredients and elevated them to greatness of an entirely different league. You might think that “Yeah, you say that because you're a Sanderson addict”. Then let me say that I've read The Way of Kings before I became addicted to his books. Or to phrase it the other way, I became an addict because of it. I was daunted, to say the least when approaching this massive tome. After completing Mistborn and loving it, I wanted to read more of Sanderson's books and my own research led me to this book. I leapt into it unaware that my reading life was going to be changed irrevocably. Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. The change happened gradually and slowly; in the same manner that the story of Kaladin Stormblessed and Bridge Four unravelled before my eyes and completely stole my heart. This is a story of the indefatigable human spirit. It is an empathetic tale of courage, compassion, loyalty and honour, and one which completely epitomises the First Ideal. In The Stormlight Archive, each book contains flashback chapters for a particular key character and The Way of Kings could be said to be Kaladin’s. I've never used to appreciate slow character-driven books before and would get impatient for things to happen. As such, I was surprised at how much I was captivated by this almost plodding and deeply introspective tale, both past and present, of a promising young soldier with depression who was brought down to the lowest point of his life and made a slave. Instead of completely giving in to despondency, Kaladin aimed to become an inspiration to those around him, these dregs of society and of the army, to rise above themselves. His POV was not the most pleasant to read sometimes given his state of mind but also it also contains some of the most memorable scenes in the book. Coupled with the strength of development of his arc, this made him one of my favourite characters of all time. “It might give them hope. They might see it as a miracle.” “Do you want to be a miracle?"“No,” Kaladin whispered. “But for them, I will be”I swear that I get goosebumps every single time I read that. “Authority doesn't come from a rank.," Kaladin said, fingering the spheres in his pocket. "Where does it come from?""From the men who give it to you. That's the only way to get it.”In stark contrast, we also have the story of a highprince with an established legendary repute. One who was, however, now ridden with guilt from an earlier perceived failure and beleaguered with doubt that he might be going mad from strange visions that beset him at every highstorm. Both which fuelled his desire to understand the in-world book named The Way of Kings. The story of Dalinar Kholin is one of duty and unity, and once more of honour.“We follow the codes not because they bring gain, but because we loathe the people we would otherwise become.” “Death is the end of all men! What is the measure of him once he is gone? The wealth he accumulated and left for his heirs to squabble over? The glory he obtained, only to be passed on to those who slew him? The lofty positions he held through happenstance? No. We fight here because we understand. The end is the same. It is the path that separates men. When we taste that end, we will do so with our heads held high, eyes to the sun.” It is by no coincidence that both Kaladin’s and Dalinar’s trials and tribulations, as seemingly different as it were, shared a common theme of honour. This, in essence, forms the larger story in the background which has much to do with the history and mythos of Roshar and what might have happened thousands of years ago; knowledge which is now lost or obscured. The hallmark of Sanderson’s brilliance truly lies in his ability to craft great stories that are invariably and thematically appropriate to the world/solar system in which it takes place within the Cosmere. Before I touch upon the third arc told from the perspective of a female character, I’d like to draw some attention to the worldbuilding. Roshar is one of the most unique fantasy worlds I've come across. Alien but not in a bizarre fashion, Sanderson literally built the world from the ground up, right down to its flora and fauna which evolved to adapt to the highstorms that regularly sweep its destructive forces through this single large continent. There is also this unorthodox societal and cultural structure that demarcated status by eye colour, and occupation (and food!) by gender. We have huge magical swords, which as far as I am concerned, have dethroned all others in the fantasy and sci-fi genre. These Shardblades, together with its defensive magical counterpart, the Shardplate, constitute the most desirable objects of power among all the kingdoms in this world. There are gemstones infused by Stormlight from the highstorms, which are used as currency, as lighting and to power fabrials and the Shards. With all these and more, Sanderson has created a world that is at once enthralling and remarkable. The third main POV character is Shallan Davar, a female lighteyes who possesses a photographic memory and the gift of rendering that memory into resplendently close-to-life drawings. With her scholarly disposition towards natural history, Shallan collected sketches complete with annotations of her observations and some of these were beautifully illustrated in the book, transforming The Way of Kings into possibly the most beautiful fantasy volume I've ever laid my hands on and effectively bringing the world to life to the reader. This is worldbuilding elevated to an art form.A young lady in pursuit of gaining a position of the ward to the most renowned scholar in Roshar, Shallan had a hidden agenda, and her arc seemed disconnected from the one taking place on the Shattered Plains where the other two main characters were. Nonetheless, it was still a compelling one and provided the much-needed exposition on the bigger underlying story of an impending world-at-large peril without info-dumping. The magic system was not as thoroughly explained nor described in the same way as Allomancy and Feruchemy in Mistborn. The reason is that as much as the Knights Radiant now represented a mystery, the knowledge of Surgebinding was equally unknown or lost through the ages. An initial glimpse of the magic system at work was shown in the Prologue, courtesy of a fascinating yet tormented assassin, and we only get to progressively learn about it through the experiences of the main characters. For a book this size, The Way of Kings was quite a breeze to read and finish. The narrative flowed well with uncomplicated prose that does not distract the reader from being fully immersed into the story and worldbuilding. While the pacing was slow with such substantive character development, the switching between POVs was so deftly handled that the pages just kept turning - right until you reach the end of over a thousand pages and desperately wish for another thousand more. And speaking of the end, the last ten percent of this book will leave you breathless; from the sheer heroism and valour on display, the cinematic visuals painted in your mind's eye of the battle sequence, and the emotional impact and revelations that you just did not see coming.If you have not read this book either because of its intimidating size or that it is part of an unfinished ten-book long series, allow me to attempt appeasing your doubts by saying that each published book has so far wrapped up its story well enough that readers are not left hanging. With this, one can treat each volume as a trilogy in itself and savour it like as such. Another point to note is that Sanderson intended the ten books to be written over two different arcs of five books each, with each set being separated by a significant time period. If you are still not convinced to start reading this series, I can only say that you will be missing out on very likely the best the genre has to offer. As of the date of this review, I have read this book three times. Till now I have yet to exhaust the discovery or appreciation of all the details, hints and foreshadowing that Sanderson had masterfully woven into this impressive accomplishment of modern epic fantasy. The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.Questions that I and all fans of this series definitely have aplenty. The Stormlight Archive has raised the bar to stratospheric levels and I feel extremely privileged to be part of this journey.This review can also be found at Booknest

  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    2019-05-02 20:12

    Buddy read/reread and 3rd read of this monster done. The thing I love the most about Way of Kings is that even though it is my 3rd read of the book I catch so many new things, remember things I've forgotten and still get just as caught up in the story. Still a 5 star read all the way.Be prepared for many many updates.On Sale Today here 5/23/16BUDDY READ/REREAD!!! April 2015, BECAUSE WE CANSince a few new people have been infected with the Sandersonitis bug (we are not a cult oOSarahOo :P) and I can’t wait until 2016 for a reread of the series it must be done and a buddy read is in order. There are about 30 of us reading this and I probably won't get all the names up (because that is just a lot) but the most important thing is that you can find the thread and join in the private group chat and fun at Fantasy Buddy Reads, The Way Of KingsFair Warning: THIS IS MY FAVORITE HIGH/EPIC FANTASY SERIES TO DATE. There were a ridiculous amount of updates, gifs and general fangirling. Robin (Bridge Four) has come home at last.Thanks to all my friends who joined in this read I had so much fun rereading it with so many cool people and reliving it all over again. This is one of those books that on a second read the characters became more real, the layering of the world more detailed, the magic system more plausible and my feelings for everything more intense. That doesn't happen with many rereads.Sanderson does have a slower story pacing than some other authors out there but it is always building until those final moments when everything comes together and blows up spectacularly...totally worth it. Original Review March 2014:4.5 StarsI liked this book but I loved the last 20%. The world is immense and in the beginning I was wondering if there would be a character that I even liked enough to root for. They don’t start out perfect, strong and powerful. They begin as pieces and broken pieces at that.Seen mostly from the perspectives of Kaladin, Shallan and Dalinar, all in different positions in life and different realms of the world most of the time it was hard to initially see how they are all connected. But with each big reveal or huge betrayal more of the pieces line up and the intricacies of the plot, the characters, the magic system and the world come into focus. My mind was blown throughout the story. Things that didn’t seem extremely relevant at the time later became a huge revelation about motives and truths. Sanderson floored me again and again and each time I love it all the more.Each character grew through triumphs and failures, becoming more three dimensional with each and I witnessed it all, I didn’t have to be told why they are the way they are I saw the transformations with every deed.Downfalls – There are only a few and by no means are the dealbreakers for the series. This takes a long time to set up. There are hints of things along the way but all the major stuff happens toward the end until the last 10% you are at a flat out run the whole last stretch. IT IS WORTH IT. For the big payouts we needed the huge set up, just be patient it is still all very interesting and there are plenty of smaller payouts along the way. Some of the interludes don’t seem to make sense at the time and not all of the significance of them are revealed in this book, maybe in the next it will make more sense but there were a few that I still have no idea what the significance is unless it was just to show a different part of this world. The last downfall/benefit is the size, 1000pages, rarely do I jump in book by an author I haven’t read before and commit to something that size unless I know I like them. If that is the case for you as well I suggest you check out Warbreaker, Elantirs or Mistborn since they have a similiar magic/world building elements or try Steelheart and Legion by Brandon Sanderson first to see if you like his writing style. Steelheart and Legion are nothing like this book but highlight his imagination and ability to tell a great story.That said I enjoyed the time I spent in The Way of Kings and I look forward to continuing on with the series soon. Side Note: the narration of Kate Reading and Michael Kramer was great so I had a lot of fun alternating between the ebook and audio.

  • Eon ♒Windrunner♒
    2019-04-30 12:09

    SEPTEMBER 2017 UDATE: JUST AS INCREDIBLE AS THE FIRST FEW TIMES I READ IT!The highly anticipated 2017 BB&B BR of the Stormlight Archives has finally arrived. Grab your books and get lost with us in the sheer magnificence.                                                                                   The best stories always stay with youAfter you have finished the last page and closed the book, the stories and their characters live on in the libraries of your mind. Sometimes you are able to shelve them and move on quickly - they are easily forgotten as you open another book and enter another world, another reality. But sometimes they linger. Sometimes they refuse to leave. Sometimes, they make it really, really hard to meet exciting new characters and explore strange new worlds.The Way of Kings is such a story. It transports you to another dimension, one so filled with the fantastical that to take leave of the place would be akin to parting with a piece of your bliss. I always struggle to read anything else after it, because the tale won’t leave me, the characters unwilling to be shelved. At 10 books of 1000 pages each, this series is truly an investment of your time, but judging by the opening salvo that Brandon has fired, absolutely worth every single minute. It is an epic in every sense of the word. It starts off with the tease of a very intriguing prologue, with a devastated landscape, strange beasts dying…                                                                            ...and a betrayal...                                               And then the timeline shifts to 4500 years later.    Something is changing in the world, something is coming,   and it does not seem that anyone on Roshar is ready for it.                                                   Our story introduces us to a large cast of characters and is told from multiple POV’s (17), but the most important ones are Kaladin, Szeth, Shallan, Dalinar & Adolin, with Kaladin getting the lion’s share. Each storyline is unconnected at first, but slowly weaved together page by page with the promise of some very highly anticipated character meetings. Brandon has stated that each book in this ten book series will focus more on one of the characters than the rest, and The Way of Kings is Kaladin’s book with the sequel, Words of Radiance, being Shallan’s, and the next book to be written, Oathbreaker, being Dalinar's. After those are Eshonai's and Szeth's, followed by Taln, Renarin, Jasnah, Lift, and Shallan, but not necessarily in that particular order.To prevent this review from carrying on for pages and pages I will refrain from stating the plot outlines as there are heaps of great reviews that will give you a perfect picture. (There are almost 6800 to choose from at the time of this review!) I will also refrain from mentioning in detail the wonderful worldbuilding, the badass Blackthorn, the sassy & sweet Sylphrena, my love of knowledge that has been lost to the ravages of time and is aching to be rediscovered, the bromance of Bridge Four, kickass Kaladin and the wicked wit of …Wit among other things.The story while masterfully told, moves slowly at first. I believe this is due to the focus on character rather than plot development and of course the vast amount of worldbuilding and some explanation of the magic systems present. Don’t get me wrong – the plot is there and hints at what is to come, but it is focused on the setup of the rest of the series which is pretty much unavoidable with a project of this scope. Luckily the author knows what he is doing and the pace increases exponentially as the story progresses. If you did not already know it, Brandon is one of the best finishers in the business and the final 100 pages or so Like a coming storm, it gathers momentum and builds steadily with the promise of imminent awesomeness until you are treated to a crescendo of EPIC MAGNIFICENCE that will have you turning the pages in a frantic race towards the ending, followed by the perfect little epilogue that hints at disaster...                                                                                                             PS: The second book blows this one out of the water.                     - Way of Kings font is called Ravenwood Two by Stephen          Miggas and is used under a CC 3.0 licence.      - Images of eyes by Botanicaxu on Deviantart      - Image of Chasm Duty by Lyraina on Deviantart

  • Celeste
    2019-05-05 20:09

    I’ve been struck speechless. I’ve loved Sanderson’s books in the past, but this one completely blew me away. I really wish I could give The Way of Kings a sixth star. It has supplanted The Name of the Wind as my favorite fantasy novel of all-time. Rothfuss is still high-prince of my heart, but Sanderson reigns as king. Kvothe is an amazing, beautifully written character, but he doesn’t hold a Stormlighted-sphere to Kaladin. (Also, how can I not esteem the sheer amount of writing we get from Sanderson? Rothfuss is a craftsman, without a doubt. His writing is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. But Sanderson’s work ethic earns him my respect and my gratitude.)I tried to read this as slowly as possible, savoring every character’s perspective, every plot twist, every revelation. But alas, it was still over far too soon. I know that I have the second volume lying in wait on my shelf, but I think I’ll wait a month or two before I consume it, so as to give this delectable novel time to fully digest before diving back into the world of Roshar. I’ve read a plethora of fantasy novels, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across a world more unique or skillfully woven than Roshar. Sanderson should be applauded for that creation alone.But that’s not all he gave us in the first volume of what I truly believe will be the greatest epic fantasy series of our generation, if not of all time. Sanderson gave us a cast of incredibly varied characters with believable inner turmoil and motivations. He gave us (yet another) unique, multifaceted magic system, backed by a similarly unique and multifaceted religion. He gave us a new view on the roles of women in fantasy, making literacy and scholarship and invention feminine arts. He even gave us completely original flora and fauna. And included sketches from the hand of one of the central characters! Is there anything this man can’t do?I don’t want to get too into the character development present in this book, but I will say that, despite the strength of Sanderson’s world building, the characters are what made the story really come alive. He gave us Szeth, the tortured assassin; Shallan, the artist-turned-scholar with ulterior motives; Jasnah, Shallan's incredibly gifted but heretical sponsor; Dalinar, a lighteyed high-prince and follower of the Codes, which sets him at odds with his peers; Adolin, Dalinar’s eldest son who questions his father’s decisions but adheres reluctantly; Navani, the widow of the fallen king; Wit, whose shroud of mystery and intellect make him a misfit; and, finally, Kaladin, a soldier with the hands and demeanor of a surgeon, with shoulders bowed beneath the weight of the world.There were incredible battles in this book. Incredible plot twists. Incredible characters as mentioned above. Simply incredible storytelling. I know this review has pretty much been blathering praise and little else. But I don’t know how to say anything more about The Way of Kings without giving something special away, and I want anyone who chooses to read it to be able to mine all of those treasures for themselves. But I will say, if you’re a fan of the fantasy genre, don’t let the size of this tome intimidate you. Every page was a jewel well worth reading. You would be doing yourself a disservice by not reading this wonderful book. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. Thank you, Mr. Sanderson, for crafting such a beautiful addition to the genre.Another buddy-read with royalty: Brightlord Petrik and Brightness Aria.

  • Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
    2019-04-25 15:16

    Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.comHaving read (and loved) many of Sanderson’s other works, I was interested in reading this one, but hadn’t planned on picking it up any time soon. However, as every Sanderson fan I came across told me with passion that Way of Kings was the “best one yet”, I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and had to see what they were all raving about. And you know what? They were right. Not only is Way of Kings one of Sanderson’s best, but it is also one of the most rich and vibrant fantasies I’ve ever read. There were so many good things about this novel that I hope that by talking about just a few of them I can convince a few people to read it [Sept 2017 Update: this sentence might have been relevant 5 years ago when I wrote this review, but I think we can safely assume at this point most Sanderson fans have read and loved this book lol].One of my favorite elements of this book was the world building and overall atmosphere. It was so evoking that I was able to immerse myself in it 100% every time I picked it up. It had that all-encompassing “epic” feel that I haven’t come across since classics like Wizard’s First Rule (Goodkind) and Magician: Apprentice (Feist). What helped make the story feel grand was the people of this world. There were multiple cultures throughout the novel, each with thorough, interesting histories that added a sort of flair to each of the characters.Speaking of characters, every perspective was compelling, and I thoroughly enjoyed following each of their stories. I’m often hesitant reading books with multiple POVs because there’s always a risk that I won’t enjoy reading about a few of the characters (I have a friend who skips entire passages when this happens just so she can get back to the characters she likes). This was not an issue with Way of Kings. All of the perspectives were interesting, and they all added something special to the overall arc of the story.As great as Sanderson is at characters and world building, he is also a master of creating cool magic systems. I enjoyed learning about the stormlight-based system in Way of Kings, but feel as though we’ve only just scratched the surface of its potential in this first novel. I’m eager to learn more about it as the series continues, as I’m sure we will. What I haven’t appreciated from this author before is a focus on magical creatures. There are a particular kind of magical beings, known as spren, who take countless different forms and added a great deal of wonder to the story.As a side note: talking someone into reading of books they’re not interested in is something I never do – life’s too short to read books that don’t excite you, and it always irritates me when people try to push their own reading tastes on me. My hope with this review is to convince those few who love fantasy and were already eyeballing Way of Kings to pick it up sooner than they might have otherwise [Sept 2017 Update: this sentence is also now irrelevant]. A 3000 page novel is a hard sell and I’ll be the first to admit it’s incredibly slow-paced; however, not once was it ever boring. I find myself wildly impressed that someone can write a novel of this size without wasting a single page on needless description or repetition. It was truly superb, and has solidified Sanderson as one of my writing idols.Overall, I am thrilled the Stormlight Archive series is going to be a multiple book saga and an eagerly counting down the days until Words of Radiance comes out – rest assured I’ve already purchased a copy and will be starting it as soon as I can get my hands on it!Recommended Reading: I will be recommending this novel to anyone who loves high fantasy – it has everything I desire in that genre of novel and then some. At the moment, Name of the Wind is probably still my favorite fantasy [Sept 2017 - NotW has been dethroned by Waking Fire by Ryan], but Way of Kings is not far behind! I would happily recommend it any day over Wheel of Time and Game of Thrones… Just saying.

  • Becky
    2019-04-26 13:12

    This book. Wow. I kinda don't even know what to write about this book. The scope of it, the detail, everything is just so... epic. And then I think about the fact that there are a proposed nine more books, and I just... The EPICNESS. As I was reading this, I admit to being unable to see how this story, already ginormous all on its lonesome, could expand to a whopping 10 book series and do it well. Keep the pacing, the excitement, the world, the magic system, the awesomenes all consistent. Oh me of little faith. O_oThis is BRANDON SANDERSON. I should have known better. His leg hath been metaphorically humpeth'd by thy humble review writer thrice previously, and I anticipateth this trend to continueth. The last 150 pages or so of this book brought things together in such a way that... well, a whole world of possibility has opened up. It seems a bit silly to say that, because a book, any book, EVERY book opens up a universe of possibility just by virtue of what it is... but in regards to my not seeing how this story, which seemed as though it could be a standalone for so much of it, could spawn a potential 9 sequels... the last 150 pages clinched it. And then I went back to the beginning and read the prologue again (having to stop myself from just continuing...) and it becomes clearer just how vast this story could be. The world-building alone here is fantastic. This whole world, so many peoples and creatures and beliefs and societies, the weather patterns and landscapes and the history... all of it has the feeling of both being barely touched upon and described in depth. I can see it all so clearly in my head, it's almost as if I were there. I need my own Worldsinger to come tell me more. I am so curious and so excited about the scope and depth of this series, I can't even describe it. And that's just the "background" stuff. One thing about the beliefs in this book. Religion plays a big part in the daily lives of the characters here, as it did in his Mistborn series as well. If you aren't aware, Sanderson is a Mormon. I don't know anything about Mormonism, but I remember worrying as I was reading the Mistborn series how the religion in that story would be handled. I hate being preached to.I don't worry about that anymore with Sanderson. I think that the way he approaches religion in his books is intriguing and unique and thought-provoking, but never preachy. These are fantasy-world religion/belief systems that one can think about and take with them as they will, but Sanderson doesn't force or push his beliefs on anyone. And I very much respect that. The characters in this book... I just have no words. No, I lie. I have a word: Amazing. But before we get into that, let me tell you about this bad habit I have. I don't read chapter or section titles. There, I said it. It's true. I don't read chapter or section titles. Too often, they give something away, which I really don't like. So I skip them. Which means that, unfortunately, sometimes I miss key things and have to either pick them up elsewhere, or backtrack. I had to backtrack a couple times while reading this one. There are a lot of perspective shifts, and sometimes they threw me off. A switch to a known character is one thing, but there are these sort of 'intermission' sections with characters that come into the story only briefly to give us something and then leave again. So, getting back to my point about characters, I was a little thrown off when I realized that the Jezrien and Kalak I'd met in the very beginning (aka: the prologue I didn't realize was a prologue until much later) weren't the characters I'd be following and that the world was very different. One backtrack later, and it makes sense... 4,500 years separation between prologue and chapter 1. Got it. I have no regrets regarding the characters that I spent the last two weeks with, though. Like I said: amazing. I loved all of these characters. All of them. Even the horrible ones. And the weak ones. All of the characters have such a depth to them. Their lives seemed 100% real to me, as if they could step right off the page (or screen in my case, since I read this whopper on my nook) and into my life. I cared about these characters. A lot. They live in a world in chaos. They are in the midst of a lingering, brutal war. The seasons are in a constant state of flux. Highstorms are only semi-predictable, but seem to be getting stronger and stronger. There's betrayal everywhere and trust is a luxury that almost nobody can afford. Is it any surprise that I read in this sort of state of constant fear about What Might Happen? It was thrilling, but at the same time, I was a nervous wreck. I love that feeling... of actually caring what happens to characters. I like exciting books as much as the next person, but if I don't invest anything in the characters that the excitement is happening to, then it's just kind of hollow. Enjoyable? Sure. But forgettable. I want reading to affect me. I want to feel it. I want my hands to shake, my heart to race, or break, or ache, my eyes to be filled with tears and my stomach queasy with worry. And it was. This book gave me all of that, and more. The more I think about this book, the more I piece together. The more theories I form, the more excited I get for the next installment. I loved it. Loved it loved it loved it. In case you hadn't noticed. This feeling that I have right now, this awe and wonder and excitement... This is why I read.

  • J.L. Sutton
    2019-05-11 17:34

    Brandon Sanderson’s Roshar is a world with a rich history, mythologies, magic systems and an ecology which has been shaped by violent (high)storms; this is massive world-building at its best! When you’re reading Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1), you’re never sure which details will be relevant later on. Here’s a clue: even though it’s a monster of a book (1,007 pages) almost everything becomes relevant eventually. Am I anxious to read the second book? More like anxious for the third book. In the past few months I’ve read both Way of Kings and Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive #2) twice (review for Words of Radiance to come soon). I’m ready for Oathbringer (Stormlight Archive #3)! Oathbringer is reportedly 90% complete with a release date of 2017. I’m ready!

  • Jorge Desormeaux
    2019-05-11 19:12

    I began reading this book with a frown. The Prelude lasts barely more than 3 pages, and it assaulted me with 'Desolations', 'Dustbringers', 'Shardblades', 'Oathpact' and 'Radiants', all of them thrown about without care or explanation. The first chapter is no better: more meaningless words strewn carelessly. Worse, the opening sccene is a first-person narrative of a white-clad assassin who engages in a dizzying (confusing) set of gravity-manipulating acrobatics (which involve more arbitrary names of little use to the reader) to kill anything and everything in his way. Listening to his internal monologue was annoying, and I could find myself wishing for him to fail.Obscure terms thrown around to impress and confuse the reader, check. Lots of adjective-noun words, some of which are redundant ('Oathpact'), check. Grotesquely overpowered character that polarised me within 4 pages, check. If the author makes this many mistakes in such a short number of pages, I thought, there is no chance this is going to be good.I decided to stick with it anyway because both the author and the novel have an excellent reputation. And I am glad I did, because this novel is amazingly rich. Sanderson has a knack for weaving together worlds which are different from our own, and different from "standard" Tolkien-inspired fantasy, and part of that knack has to do with minting new names and visual ideas. Rather than offering the reader easy analogues with earth animals or fantastic creatures that everyone is familiar with, Sanderson makes his own. Also his own rules for what magic is and how it works, and a rich background that informs how the world came to be the way it is. It takes him a lot of time to set that up—and it takes the reader time, too, to become comfortable with it—but it pays off well.In addition to having a great (fresh) setting that you have not seen before, The Way of Kings does an excellent job in studying the character and growth of the main characters it presents. It touches on subjects which are not usually examined in much depth in fantasy literature: Kaladin's story speaks about honour and loyalty in a way that is deeply personal and deeply touching, while Shallan’s story gives a personal account of betrayal. The novel is long and its pace is often slow, but that volume and time allow you, the reader, to get familiar with each of the main characters and it allows the author to let them grow organically, over long stretches, making them feel flawed, human, and very much alive.I have trouble discussing what makes The Way of Kings so good because the novel is so long and deals with so many things. It is among the best accounts of leadership that I've seen in fiction, and the best study of what loyalty and honour are about that I have ever read. It is refreshing to see a consistent framework for magic that even the main characters follow, rather than getting a pass because they're "the chosen ones".But above all that—above the cleverness and effectiveness of the ideas that it deals with—the reader in me wants to recommend this book because it is such a good read. I read 1,007 pages of it in the space of 2-3 days; I was so engrossed in the narrative and what was going on with the characters that I was thinking, breathing consuming nothing else. I thought about technique and themes and author intent here and there, but it was only after I was finished that I had much time for it.Neil Gaiman once remarked on how sad it is that "fantasy", the genre which deals with imagining new worlds and societies which aren't chained by the dictates of ours, has become so formulaic and samey. I often feel that way, and for that reason the amount of fantasy I consume has been declining steadily in recent years. To my fellow sceptics I would say: forget all the mediocre, half-baked, clumsy, unimaginative fantasy you've read that has made you cynical and knowledgeable about the vices of bad writing. This is the real thing.May you enjoy the journey as much as I did.

  • ☽Luna☾
    2019-05-04 20:27

    Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. Speak again the ancient oaths and return to men the Shards they once bore. The Knights Radiant must stand again. Kaladin, Syl, Shallan & Sveth <333PS. Kaladin is my brooding sulking baby who needs 1 million kisses, a box of chocolates and a warm sweater made from love & tears. I would die right now for Kaladin Stormblessed... then I would revive myself and wrap him in a tight blanket & rock him to sleep, while stroking his beautiful scarred forehead & cooingIf this series wasn't created my life would be meaningless.

  • Choko
    2019-04-25 20:22

    *** 4.65 ***A Buddy Read with my Fantasy Family @ BB&B! Because we love Sanderson!!!"...“Weakness can imitate strength if bound properly, just as cowardice can imitate heroism if given nowhere to flee.” ..."Once again, my tendency to read Epic Fantasy has lead me to a conundrum - how does one go about writing a satisfactory review of a book over 1000 pages long, bursting at the seams with characters and plot arcs??? I think it is almost impossible to do such creation a justice, and I know for sure I don't have the talent to express once again, how lucky I feel as a reader that we live in a time when such marvels as "The Stormlight Archive" are being created! For those who love the genre as much as I do, this is The Golden Era in which we can binge on Epics, temper that with some Grim-Dark, and clean the pallet with UF temporarily, while those who miss the heavy romance can veer into PNR for s and giggles:):):) How lucky can a Fantasy Fan be?!?!"..."What does the story mean, then?""It means what you want it to mean," Hoid said. "The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think , but to give you questions to think upon. Too often, we forget that.”..."I have read many Brandon Sanderson creations, so I was somewhat prepared for what I was getting into and I was not disappointed! Straight away we had weary warriors tired of the cost they are paying for war, an assassin, using powers based on light, killing a very important man, and a battle where a young boy experiences a real battle... It seems random, but every sentence has its place and it will come into play eventually. For all those who tend to feel confused in such situation, the best advise I can give is to be patient. Trust in the author to know where he is taking you and give the story time to develop and blossom while enjoying the anticipation. I know how it is, we want to know and we need to know right now, but some foreplay always makes the following much more fun and gratifying:):):)"...“And so, does the destination matter? Or is it the path we take? I declare that no accomplishment has substance nearly as great as the road used to achieve it. We are not creatures of destinations. It is the journey that shapes us. Our callused feet, our backs strong from carrying the weight of our travels, our eyes open with the fresh delight of experiences lived.”..."In the case of this first book of what we expect to be a grand series, the path is unbelievably beautifully imagined and we are given the basic building blocks for a world full of different races, fantastic plant and animal life, and characters with complex personalities and ambiguous motivations. The social structures, as related to the current Roshar residents, their mythology, religion, Magic system and G-ds, are fascinating and so vast, that we have only dipped our toes in them by the end of the book. Can you imagine, the class ranking in the Alethi culture, the one from which our three main POV characters come from, is based on Eye Color??? This struck me as funny, since one of the psychology classes on racism I went to in the early 90's, gosh, I am old!, referenced a study that if given all other variables are equal, including race, socioeconomic and overall physical and age characteristics, large groups of people still find something, usually visible, to discriminate over. And in this study in particular, the groups chose the rarer eye color as the divider... I wonder if SB didn't take the same class:):):) But I digress.... So, the Light-eyes are on the top of the food chain and most dark-eyed people are either secondary citizens or slaves. The enemies of the Alethi are a race of marble-skinned humanoids, the Parshendi, and the bulk of the book is about that war. "...“All the world does as it is supposed to, except for humans. Maybe that's why you so often want to kill each other.” ..."As I mentioned earlier, the story is told by three main POV's and couple of secondaries, which I believe are not going to be that secondary as the story unfolds. In this volume we get to spend some time with a smart-moth young woman from the light-eyed nobility, Shallan, who has some nefarious reasons to want to apprentice to a royal Scholar and my favorite character so far, the atheist-and-proud-of-it Jasnah, sister to the King and a scholarly genius. I loved the girl's wit, but at time it was self-indulgent and I loved that Jasnah called her on it:)"... “But it’s unseemly for a young woman to speak as I so often do.” “The only ‘unseemly’ thing is to not channel your intelligence usefully. Consider. You have trained yourself to do something very similar to what annoys you in the scholars: cleverness without thought behind it—intelligence, one might say, without a foundation of proper consideration.” Jasnah turned a page. “Errorgant, wouldn’t you say?” Shallan blushed.” ..."Dalinar is a High Prince, the uncle of the King, and a grizzled warrior of renown. He is grieving the loss of his beloved brother and after some life-changing events in the past has chosen to live by the Old Codes of conduct and the examples given in the book, THE WAY OF THE KINGS. Being honorable and working for the greater good of the Kingdom turns out to be a very difficult proposition when most of the people in it are all for themselves... I hope he can whip all of them into shape eventually:)"... “A man’s emotions are what define him, and control is the hallmark of true strength. To lack feeling is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.” ..."And last, but not least, we come to Kaladin, the Medical-Surgery Apprentice turned warrior, turned slave, turned Bridge Runner for the army in the Bridge Four Brigade. He is only 19 years old, but life has been rough and he has gathered a lot of resentment and mistrust on top of the foundation his family had given him of honor, thoughtfulness, and care for those who can't care for themselves. He undergoes some very interesting changes and believes they all started when he met an energy-spirit like creature, a Spren named Syl. The different spren are some of the coolest creatures to me, and the small details we get to explore about them are amusing and fun, as well as completely fascinating!!! I love Syl very much!!! Kaladin has a lot of potential, but for now I am enjoying the female characters better, although that could be purely my kink:):):) "... “What responsibility are you avoiding...He wasn't avoiding responsibility...Though there was one thing he clung to. An excuse, perhaps, like the dead emperor. It was the soul of the wretch. Apathy. The belief that nothing was his fault, the belief that he couldn't change anything. If a man was cursed, or if he believed he didn't have to care, then he didn't need to hurt when he failed. Those failures couldn't have been prevented. Someone or something else had ordained them.” ..."I will be remiss if I do not mention Szeth, the Shin assassin, through whom we get to learn most about the magic system and quite a bit about the politics of the word... I love this character, despite him doing some very bad things and always finding a way to despise himself for it while blaming others for his actions... This is one very memorable and hopefully long lived player, a wild card for sure, and I can't wait to see where his story goes. "... “Kill. Kill as you have never killed before. Lay the innocent screaming at your feet and make the Lighteyes weep. Do so wearing white, so all know who you are. Szeth did not object. It was not his place. he was Truthless."..."Overall, this is a wonderful beginning to a series and I would recommend it to all Epic Fantasy fans and those who still hope for some shards of Honor to live on in our literature and our world!!! Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you Need in the pages of a Good Book!!!

  • Sandra [the fucking book fairy]
    2019-05-18 13:26

    “Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”REACTION AFTER READING THE BOOKIt took me forever to finish this (well, shorter than when I read The Final Empire), not because I didn’t like it, or because I was having a hard time delving into it. It's all me. This is a real case of "it-was-me-not-you" scenario.I FREAKIN' LOVED THIS BOOK!I'm going to echo what my good friend Petrik said about this book in his review, The Way of Kings is a masterpiece. There is no other word to best describe this. Actually. Wait. To be honest, I don't think masterpiece is even the right word to describe this book. The Way of Kings is indescribable. This book definitely leveled up my standards for fantasy books.WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?Now where do I even start?The Way of Kings is one of those books that you'd have to read, in order for you to fully appreciate. I can tell you in full detail the stuff that I enjoyed about it, but then, by just telling you how wonderful it is, won't be enough. I don't think I can give this book justice by doing that. I suggest that you go and pick this book up. Spend time in reading it, because this is a monster of a book. It would take a few days for some, weeks for most, and a couple of months, if you are someone like me who have attention deficiency problems.The Way of Kings is a book about people. You might be wondering why I said that. Well, I said it because it is a book about people. It is a book about people, their beliefs, and their society. This book might be set in a fictional world, the events that transpired in this book might not be real, but for me, they meant more than what the words on the page says it is. I might be reading more to it that what's really there. I tend to do to that. But really, there is something more to this book than just fictional situations that these characters go through. Some of the things that happened in this book mirrors what is actually happening in our world today.Damn. I was supposed to give you a short summary or synopsis about this book, but here I am, babbling about how I think this book is more than just a fictional fantasy book. I guess it's because I have no idea how to write a synopsis about this, so I just told you what I think this book is really about.THE GOODThere is a lot, so better get ready! THIS WORLD IS JUST AMAZING! SANDERSON IS THE MASTER OF WORLD-BUILDING! The way he created each and every place in this universe, still blows my mind. If you've read any of Sanderson's other works, you'll probably already know how they all tie up into this one huge universe called the Cosmere. Imagine, how much work he had to do, to make sure that these worlds have similarities, but at the same time, distinct differences. I'm not really good with words, so I suggest you go and read this to find out for yourself.THE PLOOOOTTTT! OH THE PLOT IS OH SO GOOD! At first, you'll think that the plot is somewhat similar to other books you've read before. Do not be fooled. This book is so much more than the literary archetypes it used. Sanderson knows how to use something familiar and spin it into something you've never read before.THE STORY IS EASY TO FOLLOW. Fantasy books tend to be a bit confusing. Let's all be real here. Sometimes, there's just too many things happening sometimes, at the same time, in different time period, with so many characters to follow, that you just end up not understanding anything, at all. But The Way of Kings, wasn't like that. You were following quite a few characters, yes. However, the way he interwoven the story of each of these characters was made in a way that you'll be able to follow it easily. He understands and knows what he wants from his characters and their story. Let me quote Einstein here, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Sanderson understand and knows what his plan for this book series, which I think is why it was so easy for him to share this story with us.YOU'LL FALL IN LOVE WITH THE CHARACTERS! ALL OF THEM. While an enticing plot is something I relish immensely, I do appreciate the addition of remarkable and memorable characters, too. The Way of Kings, definitely, has the best set of characters I've ever read about. I'm not even exaggerating. Not only do they have their own characteristics and mannerisms, you also get a feel of who they were before the story even began. This is more true to some of them than others, but that's only because each character would be focused more individually per book that would be released in this series. The Way of Kings, the story was more focused on Kaladin (one of the best characters I've ever read! Hands-fucking-down!), while in the sequels, someone else would be the main focus.SURPRISES IN EVERY TURN. Sanderson have used a lot of literary archetypes in this book, but the good thing about it is, even if he used them, he made sure that you still get surprised. We all know the heroes journey. WE all know that, in the end, the hero would save the day. But the journey for him to get there, is long and bumpy, with some interesting and unexpected twists and turns.THE HISTORY OF THIS WORLD FEELS LIKE REAL HISTORY. One of the characters you'll meet, Shallan, would be apprenticing for a scholar named Jasnah. During these times, they would be talking about history and whatnot. And as they're talking about it, I'm left completely mesmerized and in awe that one man made this history. Sanderson made it.OH THE WRITING! Brandon Sanderson, really knows how to write. His words paints pictures in my brain. Damn. His words are like magic.THE KINGS' WIT! I knew he was special. LOL. THE BADI'm, basically, just nitpicking here, just so you guys know. I loved this book, so much. I don't think there is, really, anything major about this, that I did not like. THE PACING COULD BE A BIT SLOW SOMETIMES. This book had tons of action, but it does have it slower moments, too. If you're like me, who could get a bit impatient when nothing big is happening, then you might a problem with this. But I didn't. I felt that all those slower paced moments were necessary to develop the characters and their story.THIS IS A HUMONGOUS BOOK! I consider this book as one of my greatest reading successes. Why? Because this book is over a thousand pages long, and I was able to finish it! Gaaaah! I didn't think I could. But I did. And I'm happy.COULD BE A BIT OVERWHELMING FOR SOMEONE WHO ISN'T USED TO READING FANTASY. I'm saying could, because it really depends on the reader. A fantasy newbie could be perfectly fine with reading this, and not get overwhelmed with the multitude of characters and key events. On the other hand, another might get confused and end up hating it before they get to the best part. THE UGLYNone! Absolutely nothing ugly about this book.FINAL THOUGHTSIt's been a couple of months since I finished this, and I'm still thinking about it. I don't really know how I can move on. I want to read the next one, Words of Radiance, but I'm scared of not being able to do anything, or read anything else, if I start it.The Way of Kings is an engrossing book about a world that's falling apart, where heroes are nowhere to be seen, and  kingdoms are fighting for power and revenge.I loved this! A must read for all fantasy lovers! I can't wait to read the next book and all the books Mr. Sanderson writes.

  • Markus
    2019-05-19 18:35

    ”Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before Destination. Speak again the ancient oaths and return to men the Shards they once bore. The Knights Radiant must stand again.”It has been ages since the legendary Knights Radiant stood against the Voidbringers. Now all that remains of them are the Shardplates and Shardblades they once wore. The world of Roshar has descended into a place of murder and intrigue, and while assassins kill kings in the shadows of the night, war rages on the Shattered Plains, where the Highprinces of Alethkar fight to avenge their fallen leader.The Stormlight Archive is one of the most ambitious projects in fantasy today. A 10-book series consisting of 1000-page long books is not something to scuffle at. And it also provides the explanation for the weaknesses of this book.All right. I'll save the praise for later, and go straight to the negative things first. I’m going to have to completely and utterly agree with what I have been reading in a tremendous amount of reviews for The Way of Kings: this is a 1000-page prologue. And there is no plot development. That sentence is of course mostly me shamelessly exaggerating, but it doesn’t hide the fact that this is one of the slowest books I have read in a long, long time. It could have been cut to the half without losing anything of importance. After finishing the book, you realise that the characters are more or less at the exact same point as where they started. Except that they’ve grown as characters. And that’s this book in a nutshell. Plot development is virtually non-existent, while character development is the main focus of the book.I should also mention my feelings about Kaladin. Several of my friends have told me that he would probably end up being my favourite character. And I couldn’t disagree more. Kaladin is a complex character all right. He has his ghosts of the past, he has his problems to overcome, and he’s very emotional. But as a young, male human protagonist, he’s not exactly special. On the contrary, I considered Kaladin a boring character. I did not hate him, and I did not think he was a bad character, but he was boring me. His chapters were in my eyes the most boring ones, his characters was in my eyes the most boring among the protagonists. And the fact the he is supposed to be the main protagonist of this first book didn’t exactly help. I know that many of you really enjoy reading about Kaladin, and I have no problem with that, but his character and storyline just didn’t appeal to me at all. So far.So why do I give this such a high rating? Because I’m afraid of Sanderson cultists with ropes and torches coming for me? No, actually not. Well, perhaps, but… I really liked this book. The worldbuilding is interesting, the characterisation and character development is amazing, and so is mostly everything else. There is absolutely nothing that is outright bad in this book. It’s just a mix of awesome things and… not so awesome things.A few specific strengths: firstly, female characters. From what I’ve read so far, female characters make up one of Brandon Sanderson’s great weaknesses. Well, he kind of fixes that impression in this book. Shallan is in my eyes a much better protagonist than Vin and Siri, and she doesn’t even come close to the two fascinating princesses of House Kholin: Jasnah and Navani.“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”Secondly, morality and ambiguity. Sanderson is good at creating religions and faiths, and he’s good at making the reader think. The book addresses several important philosophical and ethical issues, and comes up with arguments for all viewpoints.Thirdly, the Knights Radiant. When reading fantasy, I have a fascination for nostalgia and legends from the forgotten past. Finding out more about them was part of my motivation for going on reading even in the most boring of Kaladin’s chapters."It was as if, for Dalinar Kholin, wearing his Plate was his natural state—it was the times without that were abnormal. Perhaps that was one reason he’d earned the reputation of being one of the greatest warriors and generals who ever lived.”Fourthly, Dalinar Kholin. I did not like Kaladin (didn’t dislike him either, mind you), I was mostly indifferent to Szeth, and while Shallan was a cool enough girl, she’s not the type who becomes my favourite. Dalinar the Blackthorn, however, is probably the greatest character Sanderson has created so far. He’s an aging general advising his royal nephew in the ways of war, and struggles to unite young Alethkar and forge it into a unified kingdom.Everything else I liked mostly has to do with Dalinar. His relationship with Navani, his sister-in-law and former love, is fantastic. His relationship with Highprince Sadeas, the old friend who became a rival, even more so. I have a fascination for reading about enemies or rivals cooperating, and Dalinar and Sadeas was a perfect example of just that. And so Dalinar, his honour and his interactions make this book into a way more enjoyable experience than it could ever hope to be without him.Last, but not least, I should say that the last ten chapters (approximately) were fully worthy of five solid stars. The actions of Dalinar and Kaladin in the heat of battle, several brilliant plot twists and a nice, little epilogue that was probably the best single chapter in the whole book. And there, at the very end, the prologue with the ridiculous length is turned into the beginning of what has the potential to become a legend of the fantasy genre. This was a great fantasy novel. Just not among the very best. The series as a whole, however, has the potential to rise up there.*phew* That was a lot of thoughts, and the longest review I've written in a while. Actually, there may be more to come, but for now, this is it.I'll finish off with a little quote I really enjoyed from an amazing character I haven't even mentioned in the review:”This world, it is a tempest sometimes. But remember, the sun always rises again.”

    2019-04-29 16:28

    Books like Way of Kings deserve their own special ratings. 5 stars don't seem enough. How the hell people who have read the first book aren't reading Words of Radiance at this very moment? I want to wait but Kaladin and Szeth are all i could think of.I like big books and I can not lie . .with my fellow Sanderson worshiper AKA Mary Knights radiant chapters are like porn for my soul. "That soft, feminine face had a nobler, more angular cast to it now, like a warrior from a forgotten time. She stood there holding a sword made of light. Whenever one of the deathspren got too close, she would charge at it, wielding her radiant blade."She is so protective of kaladin I am crying!! TOO FREAKING PURE!SOMEONE SAVE SZETH FROM HIMSELF!! I can no longer bear his self-destructive behavior. Kaladin, love, I know you have no idea who he is but You must find him so the two of you can become BFFs. Also, WTF @ Adolin trying to court people 😂I can't remember who told me this but I was led to believe there were talking plants & animals in this book. That, for some bizarre reason I can't even fathom myself, put me off for a very long time. Thank god I decided to look past it and still gave it a shot because THERE ARE NO TALKING PLANT OR ANIMALS in Stromlight Archive. Haha Kaladin and Syl <3WHAT AM I DOING?!I literally don't feel worthy of reading this book. God help me.

  • Manju
    2019-05-02 17:18

    I simply loved every single book that I have read by Mr. Sanderson and well I have read five books by him. I was not ready to read this one because of its huge size but finally decided to read after being told by a friend that this is one of the BEST book in fantasy genre, a genre I absolutely love. So I must read this and I am very happy that I actually read this.Being a Sanderson fan I know magic system in this book, like his every other, is going to be unique but I didn’t know that it would surpass every other magic system by him. It is so vast, a little complex but Sanderson has explained it so well. It is believed that magic is dead in the land of Roshar but as we read the book, we get to know that it is actually slowly coming back. Magic has been lost to this world for so long that people don’t know anything about it. They’d only heard myths about it and stubborn enough to decline the existence of it. Story starts with the assassination of Alethi King Gavilar by Parshendis. And now from last five years the armies of both kingdoms are fighting in Shattered Plains, a very precarious land with deep chasms. These chasms are so very wide and deep that bridges are used to move soldiers from one plateau to another. The best bridges are carried by slaves known as bridgemen.Story is told in three POVs with Kaladin and Dalinar being the leading ones. Kaladin is a great warrior though not much famous outside his own army. His story is told in present and flashbacks from childhood telling us how he became a soldier when he wanted to be a surgeon, and why he is a slave now. Of both story lines I loved the present day story. Childhood flashbacks were good but felt a little overwhelming to me at many points. Dalinar is the Highprince of Alethkar and the brother of late King Gavilar. Most of the time he tries to do what he thinks is right and so he is not respected by most of the other highprinces. No doubt I loved his action sequences. He is one of the most famous warrior of Alethkar. But his fighting skills are not what captured my attention it was his vision that he sees whenever a highstorm hits the Shattered Plains. His visions are telling him about the evil that is coming back and asks him to unite all the highprinces (atleast that’s what he thinks).Third character is Shallan. Her story is not as intriguing as of the other two. But in the later parts of the book her story took a very surprising and shocking a turn. Development of her character in those last few chapters is admirable and I wanted to know more about her.I really enjoyed reading this huge book. I would recommend this to every fantasy lover.

  • Steven
    2019-05-17 15:29

    Reread Nov 2017 - Yup, still five stars. Even better this time, because I appreciated all the tiny developments and nuances that were sneaky buildups the first time. :)---For the first, oh, 60-70% of the book, this was a 3 star book. I loved the characters, but there wasn't much of a plot and that bugged me. I knew it was setup for the rest of the 10 book series, but I wanted more.Well, the last 25% delivered. The story went from good to great to OHMYGODDIDTHATJUSTHAPPEN awesome. The characters went from great to badass. And the stuff left hanging for book two was just enough to leave me begging for me.Way to go Sanderson, you might have rekindled my long-dead love of high/epic fantasy.

  • Bibi
    2019-05-16 16:24

    Mr Sanderson really needs to take a class on dialogue structuring and placement, also, he can't write a romantic scene to save his life.Nonetheless, this was epic fantasy at its most ambitious and perhaps a bit too ambitious because worldbuilding was on a massive scale. Ecology, theology, mythology etcetera, which meant that info-dumping was inevitable.Undoubtedly, Sanderson is extremely talented but as with most people with genius intellect, he made the mistake of showing us just how much HE knows. Occasionally, and only from Kaladin's POV, the humanity would peep through but these instances were sporadic, much like giving spoonfuls of water instead of a full cup. All that said, no one writes immersive fantasy like Sanderson and this is no exception.

  • Elisabeth
    2019-05-05 16:28

    Omg! I just -- AHHhH!! Favorite book of the year! So so good!! Video Review:

  • A Bald Mage** Steve
    2019-05-22 17:18

    via GIPHY‘Life before Death.Strength before Weakness.Journey before Destination.’I want to start this review by describing the actual hardcover edition, there has been a lot of time and effort put into this book; it is simply fantastic to look at on the inside as well as the outside, the diagrams and sketches throughout the book were beautiful to look over and quite frankly puts any other book I’ve read in the last five or six years to shame. But is the book as good as the art work?Firstly I must state this is my first ever re-read of a novel, as I read this when it was released way back in 2010, and for years I’ve been telling my fellow smooth headed friend Keith to read it. But for some reason I never got around to reading Words of Radiance the follow up to this book. But with this novel being part of the Two Bald Mages series read for 2018, I decided to start from book one to refresh my mind, which can be a dangerous thing to do as I had very epic memories of my first read and I was afraid that I might spoil them.Full Review On The Two Bald Mages Blog: Happy Reading :)

  • Emelia
    2019-04-22 20:07

    How does one review a book like The Way of Kings ? There are authors that write, and then there are authors that create. Brandon Sanderson has created a world where, for a time, the reader is transported into and lives til the turn of the final page. Sure, I can liken this book unto authors such as Tolkien and Gemmell and still fall short of praise, but I will do my best in hopes that you will seek this book out and read it immediately. It is a somewhat fractured review for there is no possible way I could write this without tripling the allotted words allowed, so please forgive my condensed version of the book.The book begins with the murder of Gavilar Kholin the king of Alethkar by the mysterious white clothed Parshendi assassin Szeth. Elhokar, Gavilar's son, becomes King after his fathers death and immediately declares war on the Parshendi pursuing them to the Shattered Plains, a group of tightly-clustered plateaus separated by a labyrinth of deep, narrow chasms. After several years of virtual stalemate we meet Dalinar, Gavilar's younger brother and Elhokr's Uncle. Dalinar is a man who follows the old codes of honor and chivalry and wields a legendary sword of the Knights Radiant. Delinar is plagued by dreams that occur whenever the great storms of Alethkar come, paralyzing him with horrific visions until the storms pass. Then we meet Sadeas, an old friend and now a respected enemy, of Delinar's who has become a close and deadly confidant of the new king. Sadeas and Delinar fight together on the Shattered Plains to drive back the Parshendi with the help of a group of disposable convict slaves called Bridgerunners, whose sole purpose is to manually lay down bridges across the chasms of the Shattered Plains. Enter Kaladin, the accidental hero of our story, who becomes the leader of the Bridgerunners and is a mystery in of himself. Kaladin ends up training the disposable Bridgerunners making them the only unit to stay alive during the assaults. How is it that Kaladin seems to avoid death from the Parshendi archers time and time again? Who was he before he became a slave? There are more characters that are too numerous to mention, such as Shallan, a scholar and thief, Jasnah, (Elhokar's sister and Dalinar's niece) possessor of the Soulcaster and infamous heretic, and a list of rag tag convicts that you will come to love for their courage, honor, and wit. The Way of Kings is a book that should be on everyone's list to read. If you love epic battles, magical swords, betrayal, political intrigue, brave and noble men and women, murder and mayhem, and in the end stories of love, faith, and hope then I strongly suggest you read The Way of Kings. I cheered, cried, ranted, raved and fell in love with one of the most heroic books I have ever read. It was an honor to enter and be a part of the world Sanderson made. And it will be an honor to return and see old friends in Words of Radiance, book 2 in the Stormlight Archive series. Thank you to H.Balikov for first recommending this book to me. And thank you to all my other GR friends who also recommended this book. I am forever grateful.“Life before Death.Strength before Weakness.Journey before Destination.”