THE WAY OF KINGS
Sanderson is, if nothing else, absolutely amazing at worldbuilding. The level of detail is just astonishing and, at times,
it is the detail in this book that threatens to overwhelm the story, at least at the beginning. A few chapters into this 1,000-page novel, however, he hits his stride and the world moves into the background as the remarkable characters shift to the fore. Kaladin and Shallan’s stories are compelling and readable; while Dalinar’s had a flatness to it that made it ring a bit less true.
Ravaged by storms, the landscape of Roshar is unlike any other: trees have retractable branches, animals take cover in shells and cities are built only where there is shelter. Hundreds of years ago, the Knights Radiant disbanded and their armor and weapons are the most valuable currency in the world — kingdoms have been bought for Shardblades and Shardplate. Against this background are many intertwined stories, three of which form the backbone of this volume: Dalinar Kholin, uncle to the king, soldier and man of honor; Kaladin, a young man who gave up a life as a surgeon to protect his brother and who ended up a slave; and Shallan, a naïve young woman who has apprenticed herself to the king’s sister in a daring attempt to save her family. (TOR, Sep., 1008 pp., $27.99)