This archived article was written by: Brady Maynes
I am reading books that belong to a series. It allows more character and plot development. You can become more attached to characters. You cheer when the protagonist succeeds and groan when they fail. You wish that the antagonist will fail spectacularly. One problem with reading a series is waiting for the next book to come out. It sometimes feels like it will never happen. You just have to be patient and find something else to read. Maybe branch out into a new genre. You never know, you might like fantasy or mystery even though you have never read a book from that category.
The Way of Kings, which is based in an all-new world, starts out 4,500 years in the past. A more-than human being is gazing across a battlefield, sorrow in his eyes. He walks to a ring of swords and greets the only other person alive. They both place their swords into the circle of weapons. There are nine, there should be 10.
It is now the present. An assassin in white kills a king and war is inevitable. The rest of the book follows four important people of different backgrounds. One is the assassin; the second is a woman with ulterior motives. The other two are a surgeon, turned soldier and a general who might be going mad. They all travel different paths, but all play an important role in the world of Roshar.
Each of them is trapped in roles they do not want, but most fulfill nonetheless. The assassin, Szeth, must obey his master without question. He also has strange powers that were thought to be only from legend. Shallan, who yearns to be a scholar, must find a way to save her family’s lands. Kaladin was training to be a surgeon; instead he chooses to pick up a spear and go to war. Dalinar, a general, who is the brother of the slain king, questions the purpose of the war being raged.
Szeth’s life is in the hands of his master. His master says go and kill, and he goes and kills. He must obey. He is trained in martial arts and with the sword. He can draw power from strange gems that hold Stormlight. This Stormlight is what the ancient protectors of Roshar could control. Szeth uses this Stormlight to become inhumanly strong and quick. He is the perfect killing machine. He also has a Shardblade, a coveted weapon that can cut through anything. It kills people by severing their souls from their bodies. Having a Shardblade is like being a whole army by yourself.
Shallan needs to steal a tool of magic from the woman she desires to become apprenticed to. With this tool, she can secure her family’s finances for good. Her master is cunning and hard. It will be a dangerous task, but it must be done.
Kaladin, who is a skilled surgeon turned deadly warrior, was betrayed. He is now a slave for the nation he once fought for. He has given up on life. He must find himself again if he is to save the people around him. Can he do it alone?
Dalinar is a highprince who now serves under his nephew, the new king of the nation of Alethkar. He is known as Blackthorn, a feared and respected warrior. He is now seeing visions of long ago. Rumors have started and most believe him to be mad. He wonders if the visions are real or if he really is mad.
They all must find out who they are and if they believe in the paths they chose and if they can do anything about the direction they are now going. The Way of Kings is full of wit and strategy, but not so complex that the reader will become lost. Brandon Sanderson has created a whole new world waiting to be explored.
The Way of Kings is just aching to be read, analyzed and added upon. It is a world where nearly everyone seeks to hold onto the way things are. A few see the need to change. Will their voices be heard and heeded or scoffed at? If the world does not see that anything is wrong, they will not change easily. Many would rather die than give up what they have. In a world where one nation reveres warriors and another honors farming, something must be done. Chaos or order must reign, but which one?