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The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive | [Brandon Sanderson]

The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.
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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    Donald Lake Worth, FL, FL, United States 06-14-12
    Donald Lake Worth, FL, FL, United States 06-14-12 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "A new epic of the caliber of the Wheel of Time"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Excellent characters and an evolving story that became more and more interesting as it went. By the end, I had enough glimpses of the history of this world and the future to come that I am eager to learn more in the next book. I would rather get more of this series than the Wheel of Time conclusion at this point.


    What about Kate Reading and Michael Kramer ’s performance did you like?

    Michael Kramer is excellent. Kate Reading again lapses into moments where she can't remember how to pronounce names. This happened in the Wheel of Time series also. Perhaps the time between recordings is so long that she doesn't remember, but maybe make some notes or listen to parts again?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    freebird.eon 06-12-12
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    "Ready for the next one..."
    Where does The Way of Kings rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to over the past 3 years. His writing style hooked me from the start and kept me hungry for more. He writes about such unusual things, and I never know what to expect next.


    Any additional comments?

    When I first joined Audible, I started with the Wheel of Time series. I'm waiting with baited breath for Sanderson to finish the last book but honestly, I'd be just as happy if he finished the next book in this series first. He's a fantastic writer, and I am able to completely lose myself in his books. C'mon Brandon, it's time for the next one...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan yorba linda, CA, United States 06-11-12
    Ryan yorba linda, CA, United States 06-11-12 Member Since 2011

    I love sports, great adventures, epic tales, compelling twists and all.

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    "Great Epic Fantasy"

    I really enjoyed The Way of Kings overall. This was the first Sanderson book I've read and I was impressed and am eager to listen to Elantris next.

    Sanderson does a masterful job building a world battered by storms. The entire story revolves around storms and stormlight from the terrain to the creatures, plants and cities. I was really drawn in to the story purely because I was intrigued by this world. In one book he has shown several different cultures with traditions and nuances that are unique and fresh.

    The character building is strong with several points of view. Dalinar, one of Alethkar's high princes, is a man of honor who strives to live his life the right way, above all else. He's riddled with visions every time a high storm comes and everyone around him, including his own family, begins to write him off as crazy. He's a likable character that I found myself rooting for more and more. Kraemer does a fantastic job reading the chapters with Dalinar as he uses about 4-5 different voices, really making the conversations come to life.

    Kaladin is another character you root for throughout the story. His is a classic story of a gifted youth betrayed and enslaved, fighting his way back to the top. The odds are seemingly always against him but his natural leadership keeps him alive. There is also a great cast of characters that Kraemer does a masterful job of separating with what seems like a dozen different voices.

    I found myself without the same attachment to the female characters. Shallan is almost annoyingly naive. She's conflicted at all times but is likable because of her wit and cunning. You get the feeling early on that she has something special about her and as her story unravels, it definitely becomes more interesting. While I loved Kraemer's narration, I really didn't care for Kate Reading. The way she pronounces words and enunciates has a pattern to it that is a bit annoying. It's not as bad when she reads conversations but simple narration isn't pleasant to listen to. With that being said, it's not so unbearable that I can't listen to it, the story itself makes up for it.

    If I were to have a complaint about this listen, it would be Kate Reading. There was a particular chapter at the end of the book where she read Navani's POV that just felt out of place. All of the characters in the chapter had been read by Kraemer up to that point so it didn't make any sense to me. Besides the voices being different, she pronounced Sadius name differently. It just seemed sloppy. Kraemer said SAD-EE-USS and Reading sais SUH-DEE-USS...

    Overall I highly recommend this book. Some of the character building is lengthy and drags a bit but in the end, the story is fantastic and you have a real attachment to the characters. The ending really sets up the rest of the series and if you're like me, you'll highly anticipate the next book in the stormlight archive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Adomaiits 06-02-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Another good book from Brandon Sanderson"

    Excellent, and well formed story lines. Believable characters, The world development is very interesting. Very well thought-out and at the same time very unique.

    This book follows the mechanic of a "slow" introduction where we learn about the world throughout the course of the book without a lot of up front explanation. The first half of the book, for example, isn't an endless list of definitions and backstories. The author uses flashbacks and the general narrative to explain most of the important points throughout the book. For example, we most directly learn about how bad a "highstorm" is through the characters' experiences with it, not because the author launches into a 2-3 page discussion of all the relevant/salient points of a highstorm. Up and until the character experiences it, we simply learn what we need to know to understand the plot: that highstorms are bad, and one is unlikely to survive unprotected and in the open.

    I really enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to the next one. I have since found out that the author is going to make this a 10-book series. Makes me wish I hadn't bothered picking up this book until at least 3 or 4 more got released... :-) I'm hoping that Sanderson, who is obviously very talented and at the same time very controlled in his delivery, will be able to accomplish what Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, and George R.R. Martin have been able to so far. Namely (in my own words): to put together 10 books that are interesting, maintain a cohesive plot story from beginning to end, are fun without being overdramatic or cheesy, and will limit repetitive plot elements (how many times can Richard save Kahlan, again?) so that each book is wortwhile to read on its own.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Torin LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 05-30-12
    Torin LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 05-30-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Equal to WoT for sure!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was sooooo amazing I couldn't stop listening to it. Now I'm just devastated the second one is not even near to being published yet! When Sanderson took over for Jordan I had some serious doubts. However he did a brilliant job and now has shown his own brilliance with this new series. I will be a devout follower of this series from now on!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin LONDON MILLS, IL, United States 05-24-12
    Kevin LONDON MILLS, IL, United States 05-24-12 Member Since 2012

    Dutchman

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    "Awsome new series can't wait for the next book"

    This had to be one of the most interesting books I've read. Writing an epic fantasy is a huge undertaking and Sanderson did a fantastic job. All of the characters are well defined, each with their own personalities and quirks. The world he build is simply fantastic and he pulls it all together with great writing.

    One of the best books I've ever Listened to. Kate reading isn't my favorite narrator, even she couldn't put a damper on how amazing this book is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BrandonF0ster Canada 05-21-12
    BrandonF0ster Canada 05-21-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Great story, with flawless narration"
    What made the experience of listening to The Way of Kings the most enjoyable?

    Brandon Sanderson's writing style coupled with Michael Kramer and Kate Reading's voices made it hard to stop listening


    What other book might you compare The Way of Kings to and why?

    A Way of Kings can be stacked up against the like of Robert Jordan's wheel of time. In fact they're pretty similar in many ways. probably why Sanderson is the best choice to finish the wheel of time series


    Which character – as performed by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer – was your favorite?

    Kramer's character Kaladin is by far my favorite. his background, current problems and the manner in which he goes about achieving his goals make him impossible to hate and a true inspiration.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    the ability for this book to make me smile, laugh and become enraged surprised me quite a bit. i usually read a book and there may be some minor emotional reaction but A Way of Kings really did a number on my cheeks and gut (LOL!!)


    Any additional comments?

    great book, well worth the credits. if you have a platinum account it's even easier. if not, save up. you won't regret it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 05-17-12
    Aaron 05-17-12 Member Since 2014

    Knee Dragger

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    "Amazing!"

    One would hope that any book 45 hours long requiring 2 credits to be excellent and beyond compare. This book did not disappoint. Each character was developed logically and though many are followed, it is easy to follow along.

    Sanderson successfully mastered the art of building his characters and the story to a climax by the end of each part, only to switch characters and scenes leaving me demanding MORE! I can not wait for part two!

    I drive for a living and use audio-books to preserve whatever sanity remains. Some books are so dry or uninteresting they either go unfinished or take weeks to complete. I finished this book in less than a week. And with Reading and Kramer narrating, how could you possibly go wrong?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck United States 05-07-12
    Chuck United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2011
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    "One word...AMAZING!!!"

    This book was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! This was my first introduction to Brandon Sanderson, and I was blown away. When I first started this book I was a little skeptical and wasn't sure I was going to like it. He seemed to jump around between many different stories and I was confused at first, but once I got into it and started to get into the characters, I was sucked in.

    Sanderson has created a deep and complex world with intricately woven natural phenomenon and ecosystems, vastly differing groups of peoples with very detailed histories, and political and personal machinations that seem to be localized to a particular city, region, or country but ultimately will effect the world as a whole. The world he's created is huge in scope and unbelievably rich in detail. He also does a great job with character creation and development. I found myself rooting for certain characters and despising others. His characters are as deep and complex as the world they live in. They surprise you, all of them. The characters you like make decisions you wish they hadn't, and characters you despise do things that make you scratch your head and keep you guessing as to what their true intentions are.

    While this book focuses on the trials and tribulations of three main characters (all seemingly unrelated at first), with a ton of supporting characters around them, by the time you get to the end of the book you can see how Sanderson is setting up a much grander scheme and these three main characters are just the beginning of what promises to be an absolutely epic tale. This book has a very large scope, but will pale in comparison to what I feel is forthcoming in the rest of the series. I can't wait for the next book to see where he takes us next.

    Yes, this is an extremely long book, but it is SO worth the time you will invest in it. If you like epic fantasy on an absolutely grand scale, you'll love this book.

    A quick note about the narrators. At first I was not on board with the narrators. Their reading style just didn't sit well with me, but as I learned the characters and the "voices" that each one had I slowly began to appreciate the skill the narrators used, and after a while, I didn't even need the "he said" or "she said" to know who was talking. I knew who was speaking strictly based on how the narrators read the part. They were very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert West Palm Beach, FL, United States 05-03-12
    Robert West Palm Beach, FL, United States 05-03-12 Member Since 2007
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    "My all time favorite series"
    What made the experience of listening to The Way of Kings the most enjoyable?

    In the beginning I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this title. It didn't take long to captivate me though and I was enthralled early on and continued to be drawn into an epic Epic


    What other book might you compare The Way of Kings to and why?

    I honestly don't know if I can come close to a comparison. The story is sort of unique in a genre that has no limitations on direction a story can go.


    What about Kate Reading and Michael Kramer ’s performance did you like?

    The narrators were outstanding, especially Michael Kramers delivery. It has a certain magnitism that draws you into the story. The deliveries are timely, distinct, and consistent.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I would use one word "Fascinating"


    Any additional comments?

    Brandon Sanderson wasn't known to me until the last couple of years and has risen to the top in my opinion. I've enjoyed many of his works and I like the way he intrduces the characters into the stories. The stories move along quite nicely with a limited amount of "deadspace". They have a very nice flow and usually have a mind grabbing quality. I've also gathered an extreme fondness and appreciation of the narrators.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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