The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archives, #1) by Brandon Sanderson | Review

Bonjour! I’m here today to convince you all to read this masterpiece. Yes, it’s a thousand pages, but I promise you that it goes by so fast (at least for me). I’m not joking when I say that this book has easily beat it to my top 5 all time favourite books at least until i read the rest of the series. Sanderson is a genius, but I never imagined just how much of a genius he is??? Anyways PLEASE ADD THIS TO YOUR TBR IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY. I’M BEGGING YOU.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, book one of The Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.

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.
 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Sanderson is a monster.

How does one write a masterpiece such as this?? How does one create such complex and beautiful characters, worldbuilding, and plot??? How does one write a 1000 page novel and make it feel like a short book?? How does one continue to destroy my heart but also fill it with love???


10 years in the making and I can no doubt see how much of his sweat, blood, and tears were poured into this book. I’m in awe. And if this was published in 2010 , I can only imagine how epic the next 3 books already out will be??

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“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”

Thousands of years ago, the Knights Radiant, an order of magic users meant to protect the people of Roshar from dark forces, betrayed mankind by abandoning them, nobody knowing where they’ve disappeared. However, they also left powerful weapons behind called Shardblades with its companion, Shardplates, a suit of armor to complete the set. Kingdoms go to war over these magical items and to own this is to be a Shardbearer, warriors having the strength of several men.

Ever since the assassination of the King Gavilar Kholin six years ago, the kingdom of Alethkar has been at war with the Parshendi who are said to have murdered the king. Dalinar and Adolin Kholin fight in this war of vengeance, while across the land, Shallan fights her way to become the ward of a well known heretic and scholar who has what she needs. And then there’s a man who’s lost all hope, a man who fights for survival even during times of despair…Kaladin Stormblessed.

“Somebody has to start. Somebody has to step forward and do what is right, because it is right.”

Kaladin is such a tortured character in the beginning, I just wanted to go and hug him. Protect him from the world. Kaladin doesn’t deserve all that’s happened to him sobs Branded as a slave and sent off to be a bridgeman — the most dangerous role in war, having to carry (along with other men) large, mobile bridges to set across the chasms in the Shattered Plains for soldiers to cross. Meanwhile, you don’t have any protection from the enemy who lie across the chasms with their arrows💀 It’s basically a death sentence for any man.

The mental health rep is done so, so well. I love it so much, like the way I was about to cry at so many scenes?? it might just be me being emotional Kaladin struggled so much with all that he’s lost and all who he’s failed, that it just felt easier to give up rather than deal with the pain of losing any more people he loved/cared for. Syl is literally perfect. She was there for Kaladin during his darkest moments and the bond between them was so beautiful.🥺 Kaladin fighting against depression and being the light for the other bridgemen… never in a million years did I think I was going to fall in love with the men in Bridge Four. Kaladin was their hope. Their hope for survival. Their hope for a future.

I’m just going to say this right now—IF SANDERSON DECIDES TO PULL SOMETHING LIKE KILLING THE WHOLE CREW EXCEPT FOR KALADIN, MY HEART WILL DIE AND I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, SANDERSON.

I really don’t think I’ll be able to take that pain, but I know that Sanderson is the king of destroying his readers’ poor souls, so I’m just going to be prepared and still die

I made a mistake growing attached to these lovable idiots, more specifically Teft, Rock, Lopen, Skar, and Moash (especially this guy, i didnt think it was possible). I love these guys so much and now I live in constant fear that they’ll be killed-

Also just the bantering between them all ohmygod they were too good. So many favourite scenes bahaha

“I don’t know,” Teft grumbled. “But I’ve never liked them. They seem to be able to talk to each other, without making any sounds. I don’t like the way they look.”

“Teft,” Kaladin said flatly, “if we rejected bridgemen based on their looks, we’d have kicked you out weeks ago for that face of yours.”

Teft just got destroyed.

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“Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”

Dalinar Kholin aka the Blackthorn, brother of the previous King Gavilar and now uncle of the current King Elhokar, is long past his glorious days, at least in the eyes of others. Visions have begun to consume his mind during highstorms and now Dalinar has beun questioning his own sanity. Are these visions real? Who is sending these visions to him? Are they to be trusted? Or has Dalinar just lost his mind?

Dalinar’s bluntness and genuineness makes him one of the only honourable lighteyes. In this land, power is divided by lighteyes and darkeyes—the people with light eye colours are the ruling class with the most power, while the people with dark eye colours are beneath them. So of course, majority of the lighteyes are going to be jerks, but Dalinar is an exception.🥺 To him, honor is everything. And his love for his family is just so heartwarming.

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“At times, it seems to me that to be human is to want that which we cannot have. For some, this is power. For me, it is peace.”

Adolin Kholin, son of Dalinar, is a cinnamon roll. He’s just as amazing as his father and he’s so sweet ohmygod I love his loyalty to his family. Adolin will literally challenge anyone who even I>thinks about insulting his father or brother and is very hot-headed warrior. I love that even being one of those who believes that his father may be going insane, Adolin still stands by his side🥺 There wasn’t enough Adolin in this book, so I’m ready to see more of him in WoR ❤

“I believe that my own morality—which answers only to my heart—is more sure and true than the morality of those who do right only because they fear retribution.”

Shallan Davar, daughter of her late father, has travelled to another land in order to become the ward of the famous Jasnah Kholin. However, Shallan’s true objective is to steal something and bring it back to her homeland in order to save her family from their enemies around them.

I’m so in love with Shallan’s stubbornness and wit. The way she’d just speak her mind and give off so many sarcastic comments was hilarious. And then afterwards she would be feeling embarrassed and it was just so adorable. Shallan’s an artist and I loved how there were pieces of her drawings throughout the book??? It was gorgeous omg. Also, after that ending, I’m so excited to see Shallan and her interactions with ~certain people~

“Better to exist in agony than to vanquish entirely.”

Szeth barely had any chapters, yet I found his povs amazing and heartbreaking. Imagine not having control of your own body and being forced to kill so many people??? The things he’s had to do… stormfather, it’s horrifying. AND THAT LAST CHAPTER OF HIS??? Oh god, I so wasn’t expecting that. extremely concerned

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Just going to add this in because I must, but one of the best (& funniest) aspects of this world was that tradition said that women were required to cover their left hands. If a woman were to expose their left hand, it’d be considered ✨scandalous✨ and honestly every time that was mentioned I was wheezing. It’s hilarious seeing men blush if they saw that hand exposed omg I couldn’t stop laughing. Szeth himself even commented on how odd it is. LOL I LOVE THAT.

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So as you can see, I came into this expecting to love this but little did I know how much this would capture my heart and soul. This is the type of book that you know you’ll love, but even then it still sneaks up on you and makes you fall hard. My only regret is that I started this series now and I know for a fact I won’t be able to stop myself from reading the next 3 books before the 5th comes out and then I’ll be having to wait until 2023 for it sobs but at the same time I don’t regret reading this right now?? I don’t know how that works smh.

For anyone who’s scared of how long this book is, believe me, I was terrified too BUT IT GOES BY SO FAST. The characters, plot, and world is just that good. This masterpiece must be read by more🥺

“None of it mattered. He would just keep living. They’d taken his freedom, his family, his friends, and— most dear of all— his dreams.

They could do nothing more to him.”