The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson – Book Review

High Fantasy




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Book Review

The Way of Kings

Brandon Sanderson


High Fantasy

(The above links for Amazon and Kobo are affiliate links & I earn a small commission if you purchase a book through them)

The Way of Kings

Brandon Sanderson


Buy a copy:

The above link(s) for Amazon and/or Kobo are affiliate links & I earn a small commission if you purchase a book through them at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.


“Life before Death. Strength before Weakness. Journey before Destination.”


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 that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them. One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten 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 over-powering 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. The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making. Speak again the ancient oaths: Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before Destination. and return to men the Shards they once bore. The Knights Radiant must stand again.


So, after a decade of not reading and finally getting back into it, I’ve been reading mostly hyped Bookstagram YA fantasy and ultimately stomping all over them because they fall short in all their potential.

I’ve also been avoiding this book due to the length, and the fact that’s is an unfinished series. Finally, I’ve swallowed my fear and picked up The Way of Kings, and the realization that I’ve been reading all the wrong books is now branded into my very being.

The Way of Kings is everything I wanted those other books to be.

The characters?

At first, I was a bit bored with the war and wasn’t really invested in Dalinar’s POV, but from the beginning, I was swept away by Shallan, Kaladin, and Szeth’s POV. By the halfway mark, I was emotionally invested in Dalinar’s character too.

If you’ve read previous reviews, you know that I have difficulty with multiple POVs coupled with flashbacks and different timelines, which still kind of holds true here, but now I don’t think I’m the problem anymore. While I did get Kaladin and Szeth mixed up in the first few chapters, everyone was fleshed out in my head at about chapter four or five, and the POVs were not a hindrance for this story. The delivery of these POVs in The Way of Kings worked well, whereas the delivery from other authors crushed my ability to enjoy the story.

If I were to talk about everyone I loved or hated, we’d be here for a week—so many characters and so much development for good and bad in just over 1000 pages. I can’t wait to revisit these characters in the next of this series.

I love Syl and all of her kind. That’s all.

The plot?

Slow to start, then Bam! Bam! Bam! with action, betrayal, and so many twists, revelations, and conclusions all intertwining and woven tightly together at the end. I’ve only read three of Sanderson’s books, but this seems to be a common theme. I’m not complaining.

Anything else?

Politics, religions, races, unique magic system, just all-around epic world-building. If you’ve been on the fence about reading The Way of Kings, just do it! Go, right now. Shhh… Don’t contest, just read.




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(The above link(s) are affiliate links & I earn a small commission if you purchase a book through them on Amazon or Kobo's websites.)​

“Life before Death. Strength before Weakness. Journey before Destination.”

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