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 thinking of what I wanted to say about this audio book and how to include all the important info that someone who is looking at picking up this book would need to know. It was going to be a very long review. After a while, I came to the conclusion that a boiled down review would get my view across just as well. So here goes:
Out of the hundreds of books I've read or listened to, this series is at or very near the top. I've become an apostle, a pusher, and a dealer for this book. I've had family, friends and co-workers read and or listen.
I have yet to have someone stop reading at book one. Granted, they usually aren't happy with me by the end. Not because they didn't enjoy it, but because the next book (at the time of this writing book 3) isn't out yet. I think that speaks louder than anything else I could say in a more detail review.
As always Brandon Sanderson knocks it out of the park. The Stormlight Chronicles has everything you could wish for in a Fantasy series. It has an excellent and well thought out concept. the characters are well deep and well developed, Sanderson does a phenomenal job at making you connect with them. The world and back story have a level of detail that is refreshing as I usually find those lacking, and of course the writing itself is top notch.
Michael Kramer and Kate Reading also do an excellent job narrating as usual - my favorite audible duo by far.
Now j just have to wait for book three to come out...
The narrators did an excellent job of making each character sound distinctive, and gave the proper emotional tone.
I found the story/world refreshingly new, not the same old elves, dwarves, orcs, etc... I likes how the "magic" in the story is unique, new, and well explained.
Most importantly, I found that each character was one I liked/fit their roll in the story. I had no problem understanding their motives or what drove them. In short, I was not wondering why so and so was "evil" or "good."
I usually hate books like The Wheel of Time series, which this author finished for Robert Jordan. I assumed that this book would be more of the same. Plus, I started, but couldn't finish, Elantris, the author's break-out novel. But when my son bought Way of Kings I listened to it and was pleasantly surprised to find an interesting, well-written story.
Unlike Wheel of Time type stories, it focuses on just a couple main characters that are different and well-drawn, instead of a slew of stock stereotypes. It has a tension-filled plot, rather than a meandering set of adventures that have no relevance to the beginning and the ending. He drops in back-story sparsely, as needed, rather than in huge boring chunks of mostly useless information. It's a unique world, rather than a worn-out copy of Tolkien's. So definitely worth the time sink.
The Way of Kings and The Storm Light Archive is a literary masterpiece of unparalleled equal. Astonishing. Incredible. Radiant. Brandon Sanderson shines brightly as the New Standard of Greatness in modern literature. Thank you. Reading your work is always a pleasure.
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