If you follow this blog, you’re probably sick of Brandon Sanderson books. But man, the dude is prolific, and he is good.
In the land of Roshar, magic exists, but it is a thing of the past. The only visible things left from the time of the Knights Radiant are powerful blades and body armor that cut through stone like butter and give their wearers the strength of ten men.
But when an assassin who can walk on walls and suck in power from the light kills the king of Alethkar, a few people start to realize that the old magic is coming back. And the old gods as well.
It’s hard to rate this book for me, because I’m not huge into fantasy. But clearly I enjoy it because I picked up a thousand page book without flinching. Sanderson has an easy way with words and the man knows how to write thrilling action set pieces. He builds character backstories slowly, but efficiently, through many flashbacks and asides. And he’s populated this world with believable, motivated characters. There’s nary a misplaced or ill advised plot point. Of particular enjoyment for me, the character of Dalinar Kholin, the brother of the murdered king, begins to experience visions begging him to unite his people’s greedy highprinces and end the 6 year war with the assassin’s masters, the Parshendi. Haunted by his failure to protect his brother, now he becomes an object of ridicule. But he knows he can’t quit fighting.
Unfortunately, I don’t think a novel like this is going to draw people in to the genre. It’s good, but it’s not genre breaking good. But fantasy fans are getting exactly what they want. Swordfights, honor, magical abilities being slowly learned and perfected, and a heavy dose of Wit to boot. The Way of Kings is another winner for Sanderson.
3 out of 4 stars.