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 really like Brandon Sanderson, and I am familiar with Michael Kramer, but when Kate is reading anything that is not a character speaking, she has a really annoying and very defined speech patern. My head may explode by the end of the book.
I've listened to this book 3 times now and wish he'd hurry up and write another.
I love their reading from the Robert Jordan books. It was a good choice to use these two.
It kept me off balance.
There will be another book.
Thier voices helped to project an imagery that was a welcome companion to the story.
The scene when his brother died was a tough part to get through even though you saw it coming.
As a reader, but not a Sci-Fi reader, I picked this book primarily because of the high ratings and because my husband might like it... and it was something he and I could listen to together on a long car trip. I'd give it a shot. Well,
Even if sci-fi is not your thing, give it a try. I loved it!
Never heard of Brandon Sanderson before the last of the Wheel of Time books. Since then have read the Mistborn books, Just finished Elantris and This book was absolutely great. Never wanted to put it down. I only wish I'd started this series after he'd already written book two and three because now I have to wait!
I wish I would have waited until all three books were out and I could consume them as one story. As it is, this book series has jumped to the top of my anticipation list. As good as any fantasy series could hope to be. Bravo Brandon... send us more.
They are the best.
As an avid reader of multiple genres with a weakness for epic heroic fantasy, I was absolutely blown away by the scale and character building of this first installment. If you are a fan of Martin, Rothfuss or Jordan you are probably hesitant to start another series so far from completion (I resisted the temptation for almost a year before I finally gave in), but you NEED this book. I cannot say enough good things about it. From the presence of heroes and heroines with unknown yet potentially awe inspiring abilities to political intrigue and a system of magic which is plausible enough to quickly become part of the background, I could not put this book down. Imagine Jordan minus all of the simpering and braid tugging, Martin without the tantric approach to magic and Rothfuss with a hero who is capable of doing truly heroic things. All of that from a writer who keeps his deadlines and is young and healthy. Is it painful waiting for the next book? Without a doubt, but having begun both Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire within a few months of their initial installments, I've learned to accept the anticipation as part of the ambiance. Of course, that doesn't stop me from writing the occasional email with a subject line like "Write faster, you lazy &@#%#@!" :)
I found my first encounter with Brandon Sanderson's work (The Final Empire) to be a slow, tedious headache. The concepts were unique, the plot inventive - but Sanderson suffered greatly from an immature sense of pacing. Too much internal monologuing, too little action. I don't mean action in the sense of swashbuckling, I mean it in the sense of moving the story forward. I was not excited about the prospect of listening to this book.
However, my friends insisted that he had really grown since The Final Empire and then I saw Patrick Rothfuss' comment about this novel on GoodReads. So I downloaded this book.
His storytelling is much improved in this tale. I found myself truly attached to Kaladin, Szeth, Dalinar and their fates. But writing alone did not do this. Michael Kramer brings this work to life. A lesser narrator would have let the story take over and run roughshod over the listener, but Michael demonstrates again why he is one of the best. Even in the most frustrating moments of the story, when you just want to skip the repeated internal monologues, Kramer skillfully maneuvers the listener through the muddy parts and sets you down safe on the other side, back in the action where you want to be.
Kate Reading however, could take some lessons from her counterpart. Mispronunciations of names littered her chapters and her inflections bordered on pouty valley girl at times. It's not enough to kill the mood, but it's noticeable.
There are still some pacing issues where Sanderson cuts away from the action and the moment and delves into a chapter of quiet introspection that reinforces a key characteristic of the hero. This characteristic has already been bludgeoned into you repeatedly at the outset, but I suppose he can't let you forget why the hero is so heroic.
All in all, it's a solid first entry into The Stormlight Archive. I will undoubtedly come to appreciate it more as time passes and I will definitely purchase the sequel the minute it debuts on Audible.
I listen in my car on the way to work and this book on tape makes it hard to turn the engine off and walk through the front door as you want to know where you will be going next in the story line.
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