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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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (10068 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James Edmonton, AB, Canada 09-04-12
    James Edmonton, AB, Canada 09-04-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Doesn't live up"
    Any additional comments?

    I read the mistborn trilogy, thought it was decent, and am pleased with Sanderson's work on Wheel of Time (so far at least). But this book I couldn't get through. Forced myself to get through at least half, but had to put it down as the story is just not compelling. It feels like it is too ambitious a project for an author who is simply not ready for it. I think Sanderson has a lot to learn about character development and interesting dialog.

    Read Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles instead.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Dixon, CA, United States 10-01-10
    Bruce Dixon, CA, United States 10-01-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    6
    5
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    0
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    "Junk"

    Fantasy as written by C student in high school english. Read in monotone. Suffered for an hour and gave up.

    6 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Agua Dulce, CA, United States 09-07-10
    Ken Agua Dulce, CA, United States 09-07-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    69
    4
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    0
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    "Not for me"

    I enjoy long listens with a good story line and a serial is even more inviting. I gave this a try for an hour or so and was lost. Not for the Sci-Fi light weight. I don't think the problem is with the author, I completely blame myself for not doing a pre listen.

    14 of 82 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Friendsville, PA, United States 01-05-11
    Carolyn Friendsville, PA, United States 01-05-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    125
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    65
    45
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    10
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    Overall
    "Who Cares?"

    The book draws you into the characters immediately but soon I stopped caring what happens to any of them. In WOT there were periods when good things happened to the characters. In WOK most of them live lives of unrelenting misery. Half way through this first book, I find myself increasingly depressed. Have grown to hate the term "storm." Each chapter ends with the characters being maligned, beaten and mistrusted. I will listen to the end and hope that I can come to the next book in the series with a more positive attitude.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sallie RIVERTON, UT, United States 10-20-10
    Sallie RIVERTON, UT, United States 10-20-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    74
    72
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    "What a wast of time"

    I have loved other books by Brandon Sanderson. This one was a total wast of time and audible credit.
    40+ hours of nothing happening. Very Very slow moving. I actually skipped 21 hours in the middle of the book and I did not miss a thing. I went to the last of the book and listened to the end. I can not recommend this book to anyone. My wife listened to the first 3 sections and quit. I should have.

    1 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Sarasota, FL, United States 09-22-10
    Kathleen Sarasota, FL, United States 09-22-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Not For Me"

    I started listening to this and only made it through 4 hrs, I guess if your looking for a detailed description of a futuristic combat then it may be for you. Truthfully I enjoy futuristic stories but this lacts a story or at least the little part I listened to. I couldn't wrap my thinking around it no matter how much I tried.
    At least it was only one credit.

    2 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louis Cincinnati, OH, United States 11-28-10
    Louis Cincinnati, OH, United States 11-28-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    46
    5
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    0
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    "Is there a storyline?!?"

    I love fastasy/Sci Fi books and have read my fair share. I've listened to about 8 hrs of this book and still have no clue as to what this book is about other then Storm this Storm that - Bright Eyes bah bah bah. I thought after listening to his work on the Wheel Of Time Series, this author would do good with his own work. Stephen King and Tom Clancy are hard to "get into" due to their overly detailed begans, but at least you have an idea about storyline. Then with reading the other reviews and seeing other only paying only 1 credit, I feel cheated, as I had to pay 2 credits for a failure of a book.

    1 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-26-13
    Rick SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-26-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    What disappointed you about The Way of Kings?

    This book is way too long, totally predictable and derivative of nearly every other fantasy series ever written.

    The characters are stereotypes, mythically heroic and unbelievable. The battles scenes are monotonous. The character's angst over their own behavior and the circumstances around them is unrelenting and overworked. Descriptive detail is uninteresting and adds nothing to the atmosphere of the book (which is unnecessarily dark and depressing).

    Though I really wanted to just stop, I suffered all the way to the book's finish which was abrupt and unsatisfying. I will not bother with anymore of Sanderson's books. It is clear to me that the end of Robert Jordan's series was mostly Jordans work/notes because Sanderson couldn't have finished them by himself in any way that would have satisfied fans. I truly don't see what the other reviewers see in this book, perhaps they are generous because of Sanderson's work in finishing the Wheel of Time series or maybe they have never read truly original fantasy. It really makes me leary of trusting any more Audible ratings in selecting future books.


    What could Brandon Sanderson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Edited it down and progressed the story more.


    Have you listened to any of Kate Reading and Michael Kramer ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I loved Kate Reading and Michael Kramer's performances in Wheel of Time and others. However their performances here were poor, for example they changed the pronunciation of several characters half way through the book, making me think that they were introducing new characters. I listened for 20 minutes before I realized that they were speaking of the central characters with a different pronunciation. They also had crappy material to work with.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment and anger at wasting my time on this crappy book


    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mos AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 09-25-13
    mos AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 09-25-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Arbitrary, morbid, flat and borring"

    The world the book is set in is arbitrary and silly

    e.g. huge crabs are used like oxen. But there is no explanation as to how so big a crab could possible have enough energy to move its stupendous body weight.

    e.g. grass can move by itself. It retreats into the ground when people approach. Does the grass have muscles? A brain? Any sensors to sense the humans approaching? No explanation.

    e.g. the first three chapters have 5,000 years between them. 5,000 years pass but the world is largely the same -- e.g. people still use swords. Where as in the real world in 5,000 years we went from bronze swords to nuclear missiles. Again no explanation for the time jump or why his people can't innovate.

    e.g. there are rock-like men whom Sanderson depicts as mindless, mute laborers. Yet they can understand complex spoken commands, which requires incredible intelligence. He also makes these rock-like men black, which I think is in poor taste. I do not think Sanderson meant anything by this, but still, why make them black? Very few rocks are black. So why would rock-like men be black? If anything they should be the color of rocks.

    The book is morbid

    e.g. all chapters start with a quote annotated with a number of seconds pre-death. Some of the quotes are from children. This morbid indulgence is ugly and pointless. Plus do they really have clocks with sub-minute precision in this world where swords are used?

    The book is flat. All the characters seem one dimensional

    e.g. the characters are either evil or good. No character is complex. No character seems to have any realistic motivations -- e.g. one is wholly focused on helping her family; another on going to war.

    e.g. the banter between characters is not funny, yet the characters laugh at each other's jokes. It's as if Sanderson wanted to write something funny, couldn't think of anything funny, then wrote, "they laughed."

    The book is boring

    e.g. several pages describing how a character draws.

    e.g. battle scenes with characters we don't care about or even know. This is a bigger problem than it seems because you never care about the characters since they are flat, boring and one dimensional.

    I hated the book. I wasted $40 on it. Pick something else.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra san francisco, CA, United States 10-15-10
    Sandra san francisco, CA, United States 10-15-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
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    0
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    "Terrible Narration"

    Maybe it is beacuse of the way the book is written that the nattation is dull and boring. I will not recommend this book in audiobook. I am not even sure if I will recomend it in print. Just not what I was lookign for.

    1 of 14 people found this review helpful
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