Cover of The Way of Kings.

The Way of Kings

authors: Brandon Sanderson (2010)
series: The Stormlight Archive #1
date read: 2018-08-05
pages: 1007
lists: fantasy
rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜†

The Stormlight Archive looks like it’s going to be outstanding Fantasy – Brandon Sanderson starts out with a nearly flawless first volume with The Way of Kings. We get a fascinating, complex world, with slow, steady, and subtle worldbuilding (except for some on-the-nose “I’m explaining the rules here” in the first five pages). This world has a lot of distinct cultures, with histories, and mythologies (partly connected, partly separate), and we get to figure it out mostly for ourselves! The story is unpredictable (at least for more than a hundred pages at a time or so), the characters are distinct, mostly lovable or at least understandable, and not Mary Sue-ish at all. One of the protagonists has to deal with explicit depressive episodes, for example. It’s a long book, but it’s very much worth it, and while at times characters seem like Fantasy archetypes (is that Ned Stark? Is that Hermione?) – that never lasts long, and instead they evolve to be distinct characters that I can’t wait to read more about.

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