The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson | Review

Posted April 22, 2018 by Asheley in review / 0 Comments

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson | ReviewThe Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Series: The Stormlight Archive #1
Published by Tor Books on May 24, 2011
Pages: 1258
Source: Purchased, Audible
Narrator: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
Length: 45 minutes, 37 minutes
Buy from Amazon|Buy from Barnes & Noble|Buy from Book Depository|Buy on Audible

I long for the days before the Last Desolation. Before the Heralds abandoned us and the Knights Radiant turned against us. When there was still magic in Roshar and honor in the hearts of men.

In the end, not war but victory proved the greater test. Did our foes see that the harder they fought, the fiercer our resistance? Fire and hammer forge a sword; time and neglect rust it away. So we won the world, yet lost it.

Now there are four whom we watch: the surgeon, forced to forsake healing and fight in the most brutal war of our time; the assassin, who weeps as he kills; the liar, who wears her scholar's mantle over a thief's heart; and the prince, whose eyes open to the ancient past as his thirst for battle wanes.

One of them may redeem us. One of them will destroy us.


My first experience with Brandon Sanderson was a success! I loved The Way of Kings.

More than the story, I loved the experience of reading it. I read it over four weeks using an ebook, an old beat-up second-hand paperback (the best kind of book), and the audiobook. An epic fantasy reading experience literally cannot get any better than that.

Out of the three POVs (Kaladin, Dalinar, and Shallan): I loved every single second and word of Kaladin’s story and I wanted more. What a hero! My gosh, his POV’s gave me chills. By the time his parts of the story neared the halfway part of the book and closer to the end, I could barely breath when I was reading about him. I knew I was reading something big.

I grew to love Dalinar’s story too, but it took a little while. And by the end, I love him a ton. It’s Dalinar’s part that makes me want to go back to the beginning and start over! Is this how it is with everyone else? I didn’t warm up to Shallan until about her last chapter or two. Her POV honestly felt repetitive and took such a long time to come to shape that I just spent so much of my time with her story wishing for more about Kaladin. And Szeth – more of him too, please! He is a mystery.

The structure of this book is super complex and Roshar (the world) is huge. I can’t even imagine Sanderson’s notes when he plots. When I started this book, I was dying for a story that I could fall into, lose myself in, and feel surrounded by. This is exactly that story. It’s true that Sanderson got a little bit wordy with his descriptions and explanations, and that the story ran a little slow in the middle, but I think most true epic fantasy is the at least approximately the same way. Sanderson also was a little redundant with some phrasing all the way throughout the story, and it was noticeable, but not enough that it will keep me from coming back for more. After 1258 paperback pages and almost 45 audiobook hours, I think it’s safe enough to say I’m a legit fan, especially since I reread about half of the chapters before moving ahead with the story.

And that ending! My word. It was pretty obvious by about 2/3 in that something pretty large was brewing and holy cow, it was major. Let’s just say that when you get there you know it. It happens, and then it happens, and then some more happens. When I got to the end of the book, I was a little worn out from feeling things, but I’m totally up for more. I’m nearly equally up for going back to the beginning to see if I can pick out where I missed some hints at the ending.

Audiobook Notes:

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson audiobook is 45 hours, 37 minutes, Unabridged and published by Macmillan Audio. Audiobook narration is basically fantasy narration royalty with Michael Kramer and Kate Reading. I loved it. I’d love to hear Kate Reading narrate more in the next installments, but I’m not sure if the female characters will play larger roles or not since I’m late to the Brandon Sanderson party.

As I continue with the series, I’ll 100% be following along with both book and audiobook at the same time. There is no other way for me to read this series.

Title: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Series: The Stormlight Archive #1
Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Length: 45 hours, 37 minutes, Unabridged

About Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson Author Photo

Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light, in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series have been released in new editions by Starscape, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor’s Soul, were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.

The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


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