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
One of the best audio books i have listened too
Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
Kaladin jumping into battle shining with stormlight while his brave bridge crew moved into position to save Dalinar
Made me laugh and swell with emotions as characters evolved and interacted
Currently won't play past chapter 45 for me. Waiting for word from tech support and then i'll rate it again.
The story seems a bit slow. I understand character development and so forth, but it seems like Sanderson went into this with the idea of writing a really, really long series and is having trouble finding enough interesting ideas to fill the pages. It might pick up in the second book, but for the time being I'm exhausted just trying to get through this one so I'm going to sit out for a while.
If you have not read Sanderson before I would recommend the Mistborn series over this one.
I won't lie. I bought this audiobook because it was long and I thought the sequels were already written. (Yeah, yeah, I know. I read too many reviews in a row and got all turned around.) So, now I'm in the same dang position I was to begin with: waiting impatiently for the next book to be written.
First, the voice actors. This is one of those books that switches between two voice actors, depending on whether the chapter's focal character is male or female. I found Michael Kramer's style a little annoying in the beginning - he pauses too much or something - but I got over it. Now, I'm sure I'll feel like all BS books must be read by him. Kate Reading is simply a narrator I don't notice that much. Which is classy. She doesn't intrude on the narrative.
This is my first Brandon Sanderson book (in case you didn't get that from my intro) and I have to admit I enjoyed it for more than just it's vast page numbers. It uses the device of far-flung characters revealed to be intertwined. This tactic can feel either exasperatingly contrived or mesmerizing, and in this book it really works. The story is just so complex that by the time things start coming together you aren't really sure whether you want your favorite characters to meet or not.
Sanderson invests a lot of time in developing an intricate world, but he doesn't get all top heavy with the history, like so many fantasy writers. He also provides plenty of juicy details about social customs, technologies, politics and language. I still think Patrick Rothfuss is king of 'fictional culture' writing, but I was intrigued by many of Sanderson's ideas. He can be most interesting when he merely hints at a fully imagined city you might never get to visit. And some bits are just plain scary. I have to admit, though, that I might have gotten a little stormed out, by all the storming storms, by the end of the tale. But I kind of miss it, too... lol.
The stories were hard to follow because they were too far apart to remember the characters, there was way too much fighting in an audible book, and it was boring. I loved the Mistborn series and was very disappointed with this book. Maybe it was because I am female but I just couldn't stand one more bridge battle. I only stop reading or listening to a book that I have bought about once every two years. I couldn't continue.
Cut about 3/4 of the battles.
Honestly, I'm not sure whether it could have been saved by the narrator.
Bridge battles! This book should have been put into the hands of a good editor.
Love listening to books.
I very much enjoyed the story behind The Way of Kings. The plot complications, and even a few of the twists were very good. However, the book could have been done using a lot less words.
Many of the characters spend way too long on meaningless introspection to reinforce a specific character trait that Sanderson wants the reader to be fully aware of. I don't mind the reinforcement - to a point. This book uses it like a sledge hammer. It almost forced me to stopped reading early on. However, I pushed through and was glad to do so.
The narration was very good, with only a slight issue in the last third (give or take) in the book when Kate (narrator) uses a different pronunciation for Tsadias than Michael (the other narrator). It took me a few minutes to realize who she was referring to. In audio, a slip up like that, pulls you out of the story. Almost like slamming on the breaks on the highway. It is very jarring.
The only other issue is more about the difference between the book and audio version. The book has maps and a few illustrations that are quite useful. I wish Audible made those available for the listeners. More than once during the story I found myself at the book store looking in the print version.
Overall, I did enjoy the story and I am looking forward to the next book. I hope the pacing picks up a bit since the characters are now well known and I don't need to spend chapters hearing introspection. Finally, I want to stress how good the characterization and the story is. For those two reasons alone, I will read the next book.
More fun Sanderson
I'd compare it to Orsen Scott Card stuff, because of the way he sets up a completely different world slowly and naturally.
Michael Kramer is fantastic. Kate Reading has a speech impediment. There's nothing wrong with a lisp, but when your job is speaking... It's very hard to keep listening with the seriousness the writer is going for when the reader says "a thingle mathted vethel" instead of "a single masted vessel." I stopped listening for a while after that line. It's just irritating some times and constantly noticeable.
This story is actually quite pitiful. It is full of story elements regurgitated from other B Sanderson novels, Jordan, and his life. I cannot count the number of times random fake words are made up to describe things that need no new name, are used because Jordan made up new words for that, or simply because he seems to think it necessary for a fantasy novel. I feel sorry for those who read this book. The naming schemes, the character names, the complete theft of concepts wrapped in new mumbo jumbo - It is just pitiful.
In the WoT series, he re-wrote characters to fit his liking. All men became out-going hetero gay men, and all women mean gay women - not strong as one would hope. He does the same here. You have super tough-guys, and a myriad of gay male and female chracters masquerading as ladies-men and tough women.
Worst of all - Sanderson forgets what he has written in the past. He cremated the WoT by writing remembrances of the past that left out major events, while at the same time making the characters (achum) sensitive.
This series is more phoned in the WoT. It is a blatant attempt to follow in the footsteps of Robert Jordan, and it is a huge failure. I would guess that 99% of his new readers are from the WoT. Those who like the voices of Kramer and Reading might enjoy a listen, but my heart goes out to those who read this thing.
The WoT Editors MADE him re-read the books and pushed back the publishing date after he destroyed the last book. He made it a fantasy farce, and with the death of R Jordan right on their heals, they let it pass. Thank goodness Harriet et al stopped the train and made him start over FROM SCRATCH.
This is a writer who had talent. With this release, it is quite obvious that his early success went to his head, and he not only did not progress as a writer, he regressed. I expect the WoT to finish with a limp wristed sword thrust, and B Sanderson to continue attempting to explore religion and morality in an ever self-loving manner
very wordy, very slow. I made it through part two and it peaked my interest a little. Then true to its previous art, it wandered into some wordy, who cares sequence. where is the editor? very disappointing.
I loved Myst Born but The Way of Kings is setting out to be a more mature and well developed read. I'm in love with the world and the characters and highly recommend this book.
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