The Way of Kings

I've been reading more than usual lately. I polished off three or four novels when I was up in WA and since I've returned I've been staying up later than I should churning through best-sellers. I read the first two books of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy* (a bit uneven but gripping) and this weekend I gave in to curiosity about what everyone on Facebook was talking about and read the Hunger Games Trilogy trilogy (fun and engrossing but not amazing).

But the book that I've enjoyed the most recently was The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. (Disclaimer: It's hard for me to be totally objective since N and I are friends with Brandon and his charming wife Emily BUT the only reason I'm posting about The Way of Kings is because I really liked it and think that you {or a fantasy-novel-reading nerd you love} might like it too.)

The epic novel is set in a world where ultra-violent storms scour the land which has lead plant, animal, and human life to develop in unique ways. It took me about 40 pages to really get engrossed in the world Brandon's created but once I was there I was there. The setting and the world's history and culture are essential to the story but don't feel obtrusive or awkward like they sometimes do in fantasy novels.

The point-of-view rotates through three main characters: a slave, a scholar, and an aristocrat. Brandon does a nice job of controlling the pacing and each individual plot so there are multiple cliff-hangers that keep you turning the pages. At times (mostly when it's past one in the morning and you're tired and need to go to sleep) it can be a little frustrating to have the book jump to Character X when you just want to know what happened to Character Y but it makes for a good page-turner.

A note on the physical book itself--it is nice. Full-color maps begin and end the book and full-page illustrations are found every few chapters. I don't buy a lot of hard-bound books but this edition is really lovely. (And Amazon has it for $15 which is a great deal.)

The Way of Kings is the first book in a planned 10-book series, The Stormlight Archive. I've read my share of epic fantasy series (nerd!) and this is one that I'm very excited to follow.


(*FYI, these are Amazon Affiliate links which means that if you click on it and order something I get a tiny cut.)

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