Hello dear readers, I have technically reviewed this book before on my blog, but I did the entire series in one review.
Now that the fourth book in the series; Rhythm of War (order through the link), is coming out in the fall, I knew I had to give each book the proper review it deserved.
Because of that, it’s time to review the first book in the series, The Way of Kings. I hope you enjoy because this book series is in my top three of all time.
According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed…
They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won.
Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself – and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne.
On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight.
What happened deep in mankind’s past?
Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?
Sanderson Magic System
It’s no surprise that Brandon Sanderson is my favourite author. I love the way he can craft such beautiful worlds based off of a simple thing like a magic system.
I would say that The Way of King’s is the best of his magic systems. Not only does it affect how some of the heroes fight, which magic systems are almost always used for, but it also affects the important details of the world; money, light sources, societal class, and scientific advancement.
I love a well developed magic system when all it does is allow characters to fight, but when it literally runs the way the world works, it becomes so much more interesting.
What’s the most beautiful about this magic system is that it is simple. Yes it can be built upon and developed the more we learn about the story, but the core principles of it are as simple as 1 + 1.
A Fraction of the World
I love exploring new worlds in books. It’s one of the reasons I love reading so much.
A lot, if not all, stories have a sliver of our world in them. That might be an inspiration of a name, a location, or even an event.
There’s plenty of that in The Way of Kings, and that’s why I love it. There’s class issues, slavery, issues related to the death and punishment, women’s place in the world, and plenty more.
The fact that a story can deal with issues like that while telling an epic tale amazes me.
What’s even more wonderful is that we are only discovering a fraction of the world. We get MAYBE a tenth of the entire story, and so much is left as a mystery to us.
Mental Health is Important
Maybe I read a very narrow scope of books that don’t talk about mental health issues (other than books specifically about it).
It’s not an issue that is common in the books I read, but The Way of Kings touched it in a nice subtle way. It doesn’t outright state that one of the main characters has any mental health issues, but you see it in the way he interacts with the world and how his mind sees everything he does.
I don’t think there’s a perfect way to tell those stories, because it is a different experience for everyone. What is important is getting the idea out there, so that other people know that it is normal, even if it isn’t the same experience that they have.
The only thing I didn’t like about The Way of Kings was that I had a bit of a hard time following along at first. It had moments later on where I literally jumped out of my seat when I was reading, but it took me a while to understand the story.
Because of that, it took me a while to really commit myself to reading it, but when I did I was hooked.
What did you think of The Way of Kings?? If you love epic fantasy it needs to be on your TBR radar. The series just continues to get better. Make sure to follow me on social media for more book reviews!
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