Book Review: The Ways of Kings

The novel “The Ways of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson is an incredible book worth picking up. It is a perfect book for anyone who loves a good fantasy book featuring well developed, complex characters and unpredictable plot lines. While the one thousand pages that make it up can seem a little daunting, the story makes it completely worth it. “The Way of Kings” is a complex book that just keeps throwing new twists in, just to keep readers interested.

The story takes place in a mythical land with interesting magical twists and turns around every corner. The thrilling tale is told from the perspectives of several different characters, which it uses very successfully to keep the attention of the reader. One of the main characters whose story we follow is that of Kaladin, a man who has been a soldier, a surgeon, and a slave. The reader watches as his life is changed drastically over and over again and how he copes with these changes. Kaladin is a character that is very easy to connect with and his story will keep any reader waiting eagerly to see what will happen next and all the while hoping that he will finally catch a break.

Another of the main characters is Shallan, a girl whose whole life was falling apart so she went to try and fix it and help fix herself in the process. Shallan’s character development is so intense and thorough that readers might start to feel themselves changing with her. She is also a very intricately created character, something unusual for a female character in a fantasy novel, that will forge her own way with no need for the assistance of men. Shallan is a great character that any feminist will look up to while still portraying a girl who is figuring out her life and combating challenges everyday.

The last major character is Dalinar, a leader, uncle to the king, and a soldier. Dalinar is haunted by visions of the what the world is and what it should be. He is the moral compass of the book, trying desperately to do what is right while all of those around him seek to simply further themselves. He tries to deal with politics and be a good man while attempting to save everyone from themselves. Along with all of the fascinating major characters there are also numerous other characters to connect with and follow along with their adventures.

While this book is very, very long, it should not be too much of a discouragement. It probably is not a good idea to attempt reading it during the school year because it is impossible to put down after delving into the depths of the story lines but it is perfect for fall or winter break. It is easy to break it up by just reading a few chapters as it alternates between the perspectives of the different characters, so the reader can stop whenever. There are also intermission chapters within the book that tell the stories of other characters in the same universe, some of whom come back later to play larger parts than people might expect.

Overall, “The Way of Kings” is an amazing book that once completed will have any reader off to find the next installation in the series, “Words of Radiance”, which is equally good if not even better. However, the one drawback is that once all two thousand pages of those two books are completed then a little bit of waiting will have to occur. The next book in the trilogy does not have an estimated release date so people could wait a month or a few years. But that is a risk worth taking simply for the pure enjoyment readers will find within “The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson.

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