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 was expecting to love this audio book, anticipating a new world as intricately developed as Dune or Pern. What you get is a rock planet (maybe) with no understanding of how the people manage to live. There are apparently different races, some in combat with each other. Most of the book has to do with warfare with a token nod to the women characters as the only ones who can read but what's with the hidden hand schtick? I stuck it out through part 4 but can't bear to listen to another minute. I'm sure glad it didn't take 2 credits to get this one.
I don't usually write reviews but I hope I can save a credit and many hours for another listener.
I seriously cannot understand how nearly 6,000 people have listened to this book and it has a 4.5 average star rating. Because of this high rating, I forced myself to keep listening. It didn't get interesting until almost 30 hours in. It drags out far too long. There were parts of the plot and setting that were imaginative, but I didn't think it was all that fantastic. I think the book was more about the world Sanderson was trying to develop and less about the characters. So for me it was slow, slow, slow.
Love the story, love the narration, can't love the wait :( If you have no patience you may want to skip until next book is published.
The story good however, I just can’t get past the bad narration!!! The monotone delivery of Michael Kramer drives me insane & the same voice inflection at the end of every sentence. It sounds like he is gritting his teeth when doing the various character voices. The bar has been raised too high by Steven Pacey, Roy Dotrice and even Michael Page to spend time listening to this performance. A good narrator draws you into the world the author has created, with this book I feel like a automated weather station is reading to me.
There could have been a good story there. Somewhere. It went on, and on, and on. It really needed some editing. Parts of the story never came together, then just disappeared. After tens of hours of listening, there was a battle that I thought was very good for about 45 mins, then the book was over. NO ENDING. Guess the author didn't know where to take the story. If I was reading this book, I never would have made it.
I struggled through this very long narrative, the story is good but drags on too long, the last volume is the best, but then as you are led to expect a formidable "finale" the book stops. So there is no ending to the story this makes the whole book pointless and disappointing. Seems like the author ran out of time and just abandoned the whole thing.
I love the Mistborn series and some of Sanderson's other work, but I just could not get through this one. You can listen for hours and realize that nothing has really happened.
It really is a shame. He is capable of so much. This one was just soooooo sloooooow. I hate to do it, but I cannot finish this one to the end. I am 3/4ths through and I have to move on.
Im not generally a fan of Fantasy. When I was a kid I read Tolkien and Lewis but that was about all the fantasy I could handle. A couple years ago I started listening to the Wheel of Time series and really liked it a lot, so when The Way of Kings became available I almost couldnt wait for my next credit so I could listen. I figured that if Brandon Sanderson could finish up Wheel of Time I probably couldnt go wrong downloading The Way of Kings. Unfortunately, like most fantasy, I just can't seem to get my head around it. There is nothing wrong with it, I guess, but not for me. Judging from the reviews Mr. Sanderson gets for his other work, I can only assume the problem lies with me. If your relationship with the genre is touch and go, I'd recommend going.
I have finished the first of eight Audible parts and still have no idea as to what the plot is.
The book is fairly interesting. Sanderson creates an interesting world completely different from our own. I think he may go a little too far with it, because it becomes hard to even relate to it. There are all these "spren" (not sure how it is spelled in the book) that populate the world. They were a neat element at first, but everything has some kind of spren associated with it. This including creation spren (which appear when a character is drawing a picture) and excitement spren. It just becomes ridiculous.
The narration though...I have listened to dozens of audio books and have never had a problem with the narration like I have on this book. The first time I attempted to listen to this book I turned it off after 20 min. Michael does an average job at best. He has a very limited range, and the pace of his narration is off. The chapters that Kate reads are painful. After almost every sentence she adds an unnecessarily long pause. The slight upward inflection that she adds to the ends of sentences makes it difficult for me to listen to her.
I'm not sure how people can give this book 5 stars. I could understand 3 or 4 due to the imagination of the author. However, the writing is just average, and the narration is inexcusably bad.
Brandon may have saved the Wheel Of Time series, which started bogging down around book 7, and now, he needs someone to save his new series after only his first book. I expected way more from this first book. It really bothers me that an author, planning to force his readers to wade through a 12 book series, can't even tell some sort of story that has a beginning middle and end, (actually there was lots of "middle"), where you feel like something was accomplished and resolved at the end of the book. There was a time where series authors were able to do that so you could put a book down and you could say to yourself, "well, the author definately left the door open for a sequel", I felt like Brandon Sanderson was either too lazy, (here certainly is creative enough), to figure out a way to wrap up a "story within a story" to reward his readers for our efforts, and this was an effort. Or maybe he just takes us, his readers, for granted knowing we'll buy his next book, and 90% will gush about how great the book was, without admitting the obvious lack of a story... Well he did get paid for writing a book... Although I really liked some of his characters in this book and I laughed and cried as I drove through traffic listening to it, I don't have the strength or desire to wait 10 or 12 years to find out how the story ends. I just hope he doesn't decide that WOT actually needs 2 more books to wrap it up. Note to Brandon: "Don't take advantage of your readers. Give us a story with each book".
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