Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Way of Kings

I'll fess up to this right now: It took me over a year to read this book. But not because I didn't love it with every fiber of my being. No, it's because I listened to the audiobook which may be the longest thing in the world. Why did I listen to the audiobook instead of reading the book, you ask? Simple! Because I knew going in that I was going to love this book. Several people in my life had already done everything short of shoving the book in my face and manacling me to a chair to make me read it. And I wanted that languid experience I get whenever I go back and listen to Harry Potter (at least once a year). So, coupled with the fact that the audiobook has an insane number of holds on it at the library, it took me over a year to finish. Also, you may ask, this blog reviews YA. The Way of Kings isn't YA! Well, I'm going to let this one slide because Brandon Sanderson does write YA as well. And also because it's just an awesome book. Here we go.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Roshar has been at war for years, ever since the Parshendi killed the Alethi king by sending a Shardbearer after him. Dalinar Kholin, the dead king's brother, has doubts about the war. Plagued by realistic visions every time a high storm sweeps across the stone plains that make their battlefield, his status as the new king's adviser becomes ever more precarious. Kaladin is called Stormblessed, but he really has the worst luck ever. Everyone he tries to protect has died. So when he is enslaved after a battle and sent to the Shattered Plains to be part of the bridge crews tasked with laying bridges across chasms to let the army proper across, he knows it's only a matter of time before he and everyone else dies. Across the sea, Shallan studies at the side of a heretic scholar, Jasnah Kholin. She needs the Soulcaster Jasnah uses in order to save her family from destitution. But upon taking up her studies, the betrayal becomes ever more difficult to complete.

I There are no words to encompass this magnificent beast of a book. Clocking in at over a thousand pages (and apparently there are going to be 10 books), the plot is slow without plodding. The characters are so developed that I feel I would be able to pick them out if I saw them on the street. Plans are made slowly, executed slowly, sometimes failing and then having to be reworked. The past is still being unraveled, and the truth behind the history of Roshar and how the Shards came to be in the hands of humans and a dozen other things are key points of this book. There are much more detailed reviews out there of how amazing this book is so I'll try not to go on too long. There are great debates, there is a fantastic backstory for the characters, there are palpable villains and hidden ones. There are cultures that are fully developed and sub-cultures within those. The world building is the best I have ever seen managed in one book. And I do not say that lightly. I did not care how slow the book was because I knew it was building to the final confrontation and I was not disappointed and when I finished reading I just sat back and stared at a wall for like 10 minutes because I could not believe how satisfied I was with what I had just read. This easily takes its place alongside my favorite books of all time. And I hear Words of Radiance is even better. I simply cannot wait to find out how.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

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