Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the 10 consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Wars were fought for them, and won by them. One such war rages on the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where 10 armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.
Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
©2010 Dragonsteel Entertaiment, LLC (P)2010 Macmillan Audio
I finished listening to the book this morning. The narration by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer is outstanding. Arguably the best narrators you could find. I enjoyed the book very much and I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for 46 hours of good reading (listening).
If I could give more stars I would. I am a fan of Brandon Sanderson's other works, along with the wheel of time series. I also have listened to 'A Song of Fire and Ice' series, 'Harry Potter', 'Twilight', 'The Dark Tower', 'The King Killer Chronicles' and several other fantasy series type books. This one is by far the very best. There is not even a close second. Can't wait for book 2 to come out.
I loved this book. Of course it was a little slow at first, but that's to be expected when background information is being given at the beginning of any long novel. The characters are well developed and you care about what happens with them. I got a little tired of the jumps back and forth in time, but that was only minor. The glaring flaw was in the narration. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do a great job and unlike other reviews I have no problem with their style. Toward the very end of the book though the pronunciation of Sadius was changed by Kate Reading to the point where I was asking myself if a new character had been introduced somewhere that I missed. I soon figured out who she was talking about, but it's one of those little things that grate on the nerves every time you hear it. It doesn't seem too much to expect that pronunciation of names be consistent throughout an entire series let alone a single book. The producers should be embarrassed to put out a final product with such an amateur flaw. Audio books should be edited as properly as written books.
It started slow, but picked up significant momentum by last few chapters. At the start of this book, i was thinking of giving this book 3 stars, but last few chapters pull it to 4. Narrators did a great job.
Book reminded me of Mistborn that may be it is the combination of Michael and Brandon that reminded me of Mistborn. (by telling why i felt that way i would be giving away too much about the story). However, Mistborn is one of my fav books, and i would not mind reading another story that is similar.
I high recommend this book.
Say something about yourself!
I was introduced to Brandon Sanderson when he was hand picked to finish the Wheel of Time series after the passing of Robert Jordan. I was impressed with his work on the WOT series, and have since enjoyed several of his books. The Way of Kings is a tremendous beginning to a series that has the potential to be epic in its own right.
The character development was awesome. The deep rooted sense of honor of Dalinar, the earned cynicism, mistrust, and self doubt of Kaladin, The internalized pain of regret of Szeth, the planned deceitfulness of Shallan; the characters exhibit a wide gambit of traits typical of everyday humans in our trek through life.
The premise of the story at first, seems to be a touch disjointed as the you are introduced to the various characters spread throughout the world, seemingly with no connection what so ever. The quotes at the beginning of the chapters from people just before death? What do they have to do with anything? The characters lives are revealed to be more and more intertwined as the story develops and the quotes are also shown their relevance near the end of the book. The lost histories of the Knights Radiant and the importance of their apparent betrayal of the humans are bound to have a key to humanity's survival of the Last Desolation.
Micheal Kramer and Kate Reading continue their simply amazing narrations. They both have an astonishing number of vocalizations they impart to the various characters, allowing us to connect just that much more with the story.
If you are a fan of fantasy, this should find its way onto your 'must-read' list.
"Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination"
"I will protect those who cannot protect themselves."
I've written less than 5 reviews despite owning literally over a hundred audible audiobooks. But this one warrants a review! DON'T BUY THIS BOOK, UNLESS YOU WANT THIS AS YOUR FUTURE:
(1) You will literally put your life on hold to listen to this book. This was so bad, that I actually downloaded the barnes and noble nook software so I could buy a written copy, so I could READ it faster. I have too much to do to take 5 days listening to this but it was soooo good that I was going to do that.
(2) If you're like me, you may love the book. But that just makes you want the next installment more. On Sanderson's site it says it's not even planned to be released until Fall 2012. D'oh!
But what you'll get is a great book. Great characters who you'll care about and who'll grow. Great world that will make you think. Great narration. 5 stars! And what a bargain for just one credit!
I was pressured to download this book by a sci-fi loving boyfriend and sister. Since it was so long, and only one credit, I went ahead. I expected to let it sit in my library to get them off my back, but instead started listening to it while in traffic one morning. I stayed in my car for an extra 20 minutes in the parking lot because I couldn't get enough! I have seen some reviews that say the entire book is character development. Aren't all stories? The narration was incredible - as was the recording (although Kate and Michael pronounce one of the main characters names differently at the very end of the book which was a little confusing at first). I cannot wait for the next one!
I don't often go for fantasy books. I listened to the sample and wasn't too sure about Michael Kramer's voice. Based on the other reviews and the fact that it was a long story for 1 credit I decided to give it a listen. This is one of the most engrossing stories I have listened to and I didn't want it to end.
The characters are well developed. The author provides you with characters that aren't perfect, they're conflicted, they're fallible, and they're intelligent. There is a bit of everything in this book from battles to philosophy and the characters all have reasons and motivations for their actions. I really enjoy that aspect of the story and the way it is developed throughout. The world isn't described with intense detail but there is enough to allow you to create the images of the places and people in the way that you see it, not the absolute way author sees it.
The narration is outstanding. There is a large cast in this in this story and the narrators do a great job of giving a different voice to each character. There was a time when the narrators ran across the same character's name and they pronounced with a different emphasis on the syllables (making the name sound like a new name to me), so I had a brief moment of confusion. No big deal though.
This is very easily among my favorites and am anxious for the next in the series.
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
Ok, this will be quick, since there are something like five MILLION reviews of this book on here, and the odds are good that NO ONE will read this mine.
Truth is, I felt obligated to write this because I usually can't stand fantasy stories... I LOVE sci-fi, but for some reason I could just never get into an fantasy pieces, and believe me, I've tried.
This book, however, just converted me!
To say this book is "genius" for a fantasy book is an understatement. This book is genius, period. I rank it with the greatest books EVER written... EVER. I'm not kidding. It's up there with War and Peace, Ulysses, Winds of War, Lolita, and the Bible.
Sanderson's mind is capable of creating worlds and characters which I could not even conceive of being possible to create. So much depth in every little thing; from the rocks to the clothing. This guy is incredible.
Here's to hoping you never die, Mr. Sanderson. May the world be blessed with your incredible works of literary art for decades to come!
Yes and no. While the last quarter of the book was quite excellent, the first three quarters are long, plodding, and often boring. Much could have been excised. Sanderson seems to have picked up on some of Robert Jordan's bad writing habits: specifically, the love for padding. It almost appears that the editor rubber-stamped the final text without ever having read it. As I said, the ending of the book is very good, almost worth the long wait, but in the end I found that there's just too much wasted words for me to give the story more than four stars.
Kramer was respectable. His strength is the difference in voices he maintains, the the remarkable consistency in those voices he maintains during the long story. His narration can become lulling, but I suspect this was more due to the fact that the book is much too long.
Reading is another story. She overenunciates every word, to the extent that she often misses the cadence of the sentence and ruins its meaning. Her female characters' voices are good, but her male ones are dreadful. Overall, she sounded like Siri on painkillers. I came to dread any chapters written from a female character's point of view.
Kramer I would have given four stars alone, but Reading gets zero, for my two-star result.
Of course it does. It was intended that way.
Sanderson does enough in the last quarter of this book to get me to buy the next. But I'm buying a hard copy of the book, and skipping the performance.
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