Skip to main content
PBS logo

Search - The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Bk 1)

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Bk 1)
The Way of Kings - Stormlight Archive, Bk 1
Author: Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Kings introduces the three protagonists who will be our windows on the strange and wondrous world of Roshar and the drama about to unfold there:   • Dalinar, the assassinated king’s brother and uncle of the new one, is an old soldier who is weary of fighting. He is plagued by dreams of ancient times and legendary wars,...  more »
The Market's bargain prices are even better for Paperbackswap club members!
Retail Price: $34.99
Buy New (Hardcover): $22.59 (save 35%) or
Become a PBS member and pay $18.69+1 PBS book credit Help icon(save 46%)
ISBN-13: 9780765326355
ISBN-10: 0765326353
Publication Date: 8/17/2010
Pages: 1,008
  • Currently 4.7/5 Stars.

4.7 stars, based on 34 ratings
Publisher: Tor Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 60
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

joec avatar reviewed The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Sanderson has created a dynamic world with incredible characters. The magic system is complex and very interesting. Since this is the start to a large series you won't learn everything you want to know about the world or the magic or the characters, but it is so worth it to read this book. It is a great story and the 1001 pages flew by. The artwork is also incredible. From the cover art done by Whelan to the gorgeous art inside the cover to the wonderful art inside before many of the chapters, I have never seen a book with artwork as memorable and beautiful as Th Way of Kings.
SteveTheDM avatar reviewed The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Bk 1) on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am flabbergasted at the quality of this book. If you're at all a fan of Epic Fantasy, Sanderson has gifted you with something truly awesome.

Worldbuilding: woven seamlessly into the narrative, it takes longer to learn but you never notice that you're learning it. And wildly complex, as well. As the details come to light, you piece them together and they make sense, without anything every having been pointed out. After reading so many infodumps in so many other novels, this was remarkably refreshing.

Clarity: I've read plenty of novels where huge battles take place and I'm left in confusion about what just happened. Mostly all at the end of novels, where the author is clearly just trying to make the deadline and has to get something written. That's not true here. Many battles happened. And every time one happened I kept being surprised that I could follow what was going on. Sanderson's concentration on his small groups of people and keeping the focus tight on small groups (even with a phenomenally huge backdrop) meant that keeping engaged with the prose was a delight.

Characters: There are a handful of main protagonists; each growing in some way, and each having a story worth hearing. And leaving me eager for more. Following characters was the main structure of the novel, and works well.

The story itself was great; and shows tremendous promise. I'm not sure it shines above other great epics (LotR, Dune), from that perspective, however. But the skill that Sanderson gave to the presentation was simply stunning.

An easy 5 of 5 stars.
runnerfrog13 avatar reviewed The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
It's long, way longer than some of the Wheel of Time books. But despite it's length, it doesn't drag at all. The viewpoint switches alot in this book, and it's hard to see why there are so many characters and events, but it starts to converge near the end, and in subsequent books all the events come together and have hooks and references to each other. I found myself picking this book up again multiple times and flipping through to re-read something that was mentioned in the next book. Writing is engaging, I cared about all the characters, I felt like they had depth and interest.
reviewed The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
From reading his other books, I noticed that Brandon Sanderson is gifted at making his characters more personal and real. It is far easier to get to understand a character that has their own flaws and quirks. You will find yourself empathizing, loving or despising any character he creates, rather than just being uninterested.

With the start of the eleven book Stormlight Archive series, Sanderson starts to delve into a world just as complex as Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. It may be a bit discomforting to pick up the book and notice you have a thousand page monstrosity to leaf through, but if you have read and liked any of Sanderson's other work, then you might be up to the task.

The book cycles through four primary characters. There are a few interludes in between to help get the reader integrated with the different cultures in the world. As with the Mistborn trilogy, the world seems to have a good number of different magic/science systems related to structure of the world (most of which is just hinted). Unlike other fantasy titles, the races are not based on some rehash of western or eastern mythological figures. Rather, it is truly an inventive mix of racial and cultural traits. The concept of flora and fauna is also turned on its head with the use of carapace-wearing animals, and mollusk-like plants.

The writing in itself did not seem to have any slow spots, nor descriptive breaks that seem to last forever, which nearly destroyed most other fantasy series. The writing seems to flow from point to point, though I found myself hoping for the continuation of one characters story and dreading the break between his and another. In the end the breaks seemed to be well timed and planned.

Overall, the book was a great read with many elements being brought together and formed into a brilliant cohesion. If you are a fan of Sanderson's other works, or interested in other long running series, you will not be disappointed. For those that can not commit to a 1000 page book, or wait for the ten following volumes, I'd suggest books like Elantris, or other good one-shot stories.
Read All 9 Book Reviews of "The Way of Kings Stormlight Archive Bk 1"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

samuraibunny avatar reviewed The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Bk 1) on + 33 more book reviews
Loved it. I didn't expect anything else from Brandon Sanderson. Sanderson paints an interesting and flawed world, yet it is still epic. Such a large story pretty much requires accounts from different people, which is what happened here. I'll admit that I'm not the fondest of this type of storytelling, but it gets the job done. Inevitably, I become more interested in one character's story more than the others and then it feels almost like a chore to read about the other characters. But, it wasn't too bad with this book and I was able to connect better and follow the other characters just as closely once the story picked up more.

I specifically recall that one reviewer said that the first 200 pages were mostly world-building before the story got interesting. I'm not sure I agree with that assessment. I do agree that the beginning is slow, but with a tale as grand as this one, a slow but sure introduction is better than confusion later on. The suspense builds up along the read. At first, I wasn't sure where the book was going, but by the end, I'm itching to get my hands on the next book.

Don't let the sheer size of this volume intimidate you, that is, assuming that you are about to read the full, 1000 paged novel and not the two volume split editions. It is a relatively quick read, considering the size. I was sucked into the story and I'm sure you will be as well.
Pb-Patch avatar reviewed The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Bk 1) on + 42 more book reviews
"The Way of Kings" by Brandon Sanderson. I am in absolute awe of Sanderson's world building and character creating prowess. 1,000 pages and I was hooked from pretty much the beginning. This is a thinking man's "fantasy" novel which does not fit any old mold with which I am familiar and I have been reading Sci Fi and fantasy for 44 years. The magic system created in The Way of Kings is seamless, believable, and completely unique. The culture is real and the characters realistic within it. What more than 5 stars (never gave that before) can I say except - I ordered the box set of his Mistborn trilogy new through the club when halfway through this book. WOW! Read it if you love fantasy with depth as well as action. If Brandon Sanderson had written the entire Wheel of Time series instead of finishing the last couple of the series after Robert Jordan passed I'm sure I would have gone past book 7.
topdragon avatar reviewed The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, Bk 1) on
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I read.

I am going to do my best to explain why this one made it into my favorites list which is not easy to do given the total number of books I've read. First, I will say that I am a relative newcomer to Sanderson's work. I read the Mistborn Trilogy last year and Elantris earlier this year. I knew after just reading that first Mistborn book that Sanderson would be one of my must-read authors and by the end of that trilogy I had vowed to read everything he writes, even if it means traversing the entire Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan just to get to those final volumes by Sanderson.

I had not actually intended on reading Way of Kings next, mostly because of the sheer size of it. Size, in and of itself, doesn't bother me and I've read numerous "doorstoppers" before. But they can sometimes seem too drawn out and slow moving and I was simply worried that the same might happen to my beloved Sanderson.

But no, it was not to be. Sanderson has written the near perfect novel here. His world building, as incredible as always, is beyond my ability to describe adequately. While complicated, the cultural, religious, and political systems upon which the plot is developed makes sense and yet still does not divert the reader from where his/her attention should be focused: upon the plot and the characters. Same goes for the magic system that we get to explore with the characters, discovering its nuances at the same time as the characters.

And speaking of characters, many other lengthy books or series in the fantasy genre that I've read suffer from too many characters, too many points-of-view. And there are a lot of characters here as well, but Sanderson chooses to focus on a select few so that we readers don't get bogged down, flipping back pages to try and remember who so-and-so is. And each of his focus characters is intriguing in their own ways. They have complex backgrounds and motivations and none of them are all good or all bad. They are real. And each time a new chapter opened and returned me to that particular character, I would instantly sink into their part of the story.

And the plot. I won't rehash that here; I could never do it justice. Suffice it to say that all the elements of good story-telling are here: intrigue, peril, action, romance, noble honor, dastardly betrayal...I could go on and on. But to put it all together and make it soooo enjoyable requires the genius of Brandon Sanderson. Usually when I read a long work such as this, I churn through the final hundred pages or so to get that feeling of finally conquering that mountain of pages. But with this one I found myself stalling, not wanting it to end, despite its page length. As I write this I actually am feeling a little in withdrawal about the whole thing. And this is the beginning of what is reportedly a 10-book series? I don't know how I will wait until the next volume is out.

I know this sounds like total fanboy gushing but reading this novel really did effect me more than 99% of the novels I read. And I'm the type of reader who likes most of what he reads. So if you haven't discovered Sanderson yet, I suggest you still start out with [book:Mistborn: The Final Empire|68428] and work your way through from there. For me, I still have several of his other books that I still get to enjoy and by then, hopefully, Book 2 of this series will be ready.

Highest possible recommendation!

Book Wiki

Kaladin (Major Character)
Shallan (Major Character)
Dalinar Kholin (Major Character)
Szeth (Major Character)
Adolin Kholin (Major Character)