The Way of Kings: Book One of the Stormlight Archive

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
August 2010
45 hours 30 minutes
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar's niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan's motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight Archive
The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)

The Mistborn trilogy
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning

Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener's Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series
The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners
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John Harris

1280 pages and it only took about 800 of those to draw me in. The reason I persevered though hundreds of pages of male bravado, "honor", back and forth crisis of conscience, and relative absence of female characters is because the reviews were just so damned spectacular. My primary disappointment with this book is that it was written in 2010 and, despite the creative creatures and imaginative landscapes, Sanderson still chose to incorporate a strict stereotypical masculine/feminine dichotomy into his alien world. The book is dominated by conversations between and about men from all walks of life and their inner turmoil. There's only 2 female characters in 1280 pages that talk to each other. The stormlight archives takes place on an alien planet with multiple moons, many different races and species of humanoids, giant crustacean monsters, faeries, mysterious ancient mist swords, "storm-infused" rocks, a gemstone currency system, moving plants, storm magic, cultures and architecture that are shaped by massive recurring storms, deities and angel-like people, and dreaded void bringers but envisioning something other than deeply entrenched gender roles and misogyny appears to fall beyond the scope of Sanderson's vast imagination. Even the most well-educated, wealthy, and elite women in this alien world can't own property, hold positions of authority, go to war, or sit at the same table as men. The extent of their greatest accomplishments are to marry well and serve as glorified secretaries for men. I've learned to not expect ground breaking feminist masterpieces from male authors, but stormfather, this was just painful.

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Harley Blair Sr

This book was captivating and painted a picture with words.

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Kristen Simler

I was able to listen to this book at work and thankfully it made the time pass so much quicker. The book does have a slower start but the ending is definitely worth waiting for. Brandon Sanderson is a genius and the narrators gave voice to that genius mind.

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Aaron C.

Brando Sando never disappoints.

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Chris Kraisser

can't wait for the next!

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Compared to his Mistborn series this is very slow moving, but there is a lot of set up that needs to happen for the next book. Some parts were hard to get through because it was so slow and seemingly repetative, but overall it's a good book.

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Donald G.

5/5 excellent book.

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Jordon L

Brandon Sanderson never disappoints. A must read.

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Brandon E.

Amazing got me hooked into his universe. Was entertaining, but more than that it made me see life in a new light.

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Michelle Brown

This was my third book by this author and I love how in depth the stories are. I have already purchased the second book on this storm light series. I expect to continue listening to everything he has written. The different voices from the narrator for the different characters were enjoyable.

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Was confused on time stamps of time of death, but watched a video on YouTube and it made sense

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Interesting story. The male narrator leaves a lot to be desired. Very monotone voice.

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Chad W.

If you’re looking for something to take over your entire being for the next few months and stay with you for a lifetime, this is it. This is the best book I’ve ever read.

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A. Longa

Captivating book that keeps you wanting more

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Paul B.

It created a new world and kept my attention all the way through it . I knew I was hooked for the series after the third chapter.

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Nate B

I really enjoyed it.

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Rachel M.

This book is so entrancing! I didn’t think I would like it at first because it goes from one persons story to another. I feel like because of it I was more entertained! Because I couldn’t wait to get to the next section but the section I was reading became amazing! Aghhhhh it’s so good! There is nothing better then diving into a beautiful new world.

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Rob B.

Such a great fantasy story!

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Colin Whitworth

Phenomenal story and narrators. I'm obsessed

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A very enchanting book series! I plan to listen to all of Brandon Sanderson's books!

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I loved this book. Captivating and immersive. So excited to reach the next book in the series!

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Jason D.

Loved the 1st book and these are my favorite narrators. Good stuff all around. I binged this book and dove directly I to book 2. Can't wait to see where this goes. Absolutely loved it

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Nathan G.

Absolutely breathtaking, I couldn't put it down.

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Henry S.

The book is enthralling, with much promise for future installments. The ending is gripping and the subtext and meaningful messages from all perspectives followed in this book might make for slow reading on a surface level but reflect the religious text Dalinar and this books namesake seek. A very good read.

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love this book

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Steve M.

very good, just harder to digest than some other intro books to a series. do many things to learn and absorb , buy when things start to make sense and clicking you have more fun with the story and start actually remembering important characters

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Matthew Marchetti

Really captures you with a deep, living world and characters that force you to see their plight. I preferred Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn before, but I may have to change my favorite if this story persists the way the first book set it up to go. Glad I was able to get through it all! Go bridge four!

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Shane L.

This is one a the greatest fantasy books ever written! I have recommended this series to more people than I can count and will continue to do so. The story is amazing, the characters are complex and relatable and the world built by Brandon Sanderson is an amazing assault on the imagination! I really can’t say enough about this book nor could I begin to do it justice but anything I could say other than it was truly a privilege to read and I am very grateful that he took the time and effort it required to bring this book to the masses. A heart felt thanks goes out to the author and as much positive energy as I can spare I send his way. Do yourself a favor and purchase this book, it will certainly become one of your top fives! I’d bet my last dollar to a bucket of shit that it will likely be the best fantasy book you will ever read. Happy listening and Jah Bless!

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Joey D.

narrator sounds like a robot. no emotion. no humanity. wish I hadn't bought this

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Matthew M.

I appreciate that I have not come across anything from Brandon Sanderson that I don't enjoy. I also appreciate the effort and ability of the Narrator: Michael Kramer. He does a marvelous job of bringing Brandon's stories and characters to life!

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Thomas K.

These books are amazing. I don't know why anyone would rate this 3 stars... The beginning is a bit on the confusing side as you have no clue what is happening, but you really get drawn into the story. I already purchased the 2nd one. Narrators are decent... I have definitely had better for sure.

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Shannon Bass

a bit hard to get into for a while. i stuck it out as all other books ive had by this author were awesome. it does get better but i hope book 2 is better or i might not finish series

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Blake Stevens

An amazing start to a new series, one that made me sit up and shout.

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Brent A.

I was introduced to Brandon Sanderson through The Wheel of Time series (which I really enjoyed) and was curious how a story of his own would be. This being said, I think The Way of Kings is genius and has a very different take on how characters interact with their surroundings. I'm on book two of the series and can't stop. As far as the narration, I feel like Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are the standard in audiobooks. This may not be fair, but narration from anyone else just sounds strange to me.

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Nicholas C.

Amazing book, and amazing narrators.

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Steven Fenyes

Amazing series. A must read for fans of fantasy

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Nick F.

great narration. the story is fantastic once you get through the first half hour.

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Mike B.

Was a great story a little slow an the start but sets up for a great next book

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Cameron E.

What a treat! Absolutely loved it! Looking forward to the second book.

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Robby H.

Loved it! No better way to spend time stuck in traffic.

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Alfred A.

This book and the overall series are great. I’ve read the series several times and enjoy it more and more with every read. I picked up audio books about 2 years ago when I began driving to work. The narration for these...not great. My biggest complaint? I felt like the audio was computer generated...monotone and lifeless. The narrators don’t always agree on how to pronounce names or locations either, which can be confusing and their character voices aren’t always consistent in their delivery, especially from one book to the next. Lastly, Kate reads way too slow and takes too much time and effort to over-pronounce words. Michael could put a little energy into his narration as well as his narration often felt like a training video. This book is better read than listened to.

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Michael Shoff

Love the book and the narrators. A compelling story with a massive world and vibrant characters. Some sections skipped lines or phrases and one of the names were incongruous in pronunciation between the narrators. Overall awesome!

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Paula M.

Sanderson’s truly epic saga starts here! Hours of entertainment that will leave you wanting more.

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Hard to put down! I can’t wait to read more of his books!

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Christopher Huerta

Amazing! So much more, and so much better than I could've ever expected. I could write a book about how great this book is, rather I'll just say, it really is entertaining and it'll grab you and keep you interested in each book that follows. It's so much more than you'll ever believe!

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Joshua B.

one of the best books I've read!

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Benito C.

I absolutely love this series tie in to other series with the black sword. just awesome!!!

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Brett N.

Kate Reading is super boring or maybe its Shallan or both combined.

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Brett N.

Kate Reading is super boring or maybe its Shallan or both combined.

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Zachary D.

This series of books is tough to get into but once you start to learn the characters, it is very hard to stop listening. My favorite series of books by far!!!!!!! All Brandon Sanderson books are a must!

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Reginald J.

I kept hearing that the ending was the bomb and all I have to say is ATOMIC! I teared up numerous times listening to the end. Not to say the rest of the book wasn’t good but without the ending I would have probably given this book 3 stars.

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Michelle J.

Fun read.

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Levi K.

I liked this series, they let my mind wonder.

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Keith Campbell

Among the best of the best.

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Zbigniew P.

As I liked the book, the narrative was too monotonous for me

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Brandon C.

absolutely amazing story so far. starts out a bit slow, then again you're many good if not amazing stories start out that way. my big issue was the quality of the audiobook. it constantly slipped and it wasn't small skips either. we're talking 1-3+ minute skips and I'm pretty pissed about that

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Christopher S

it started slow but I expected that because it's a trilogy and has to set up the world which is a amazing world.

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Katie C

I wasn't initially captivated by The Way of Kings. There is a lengthy set up for this novel. I was intrigued but I didn't feel the need to devour it. I did get a little bored reading some parts. The characters are exceptional and realistic. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. They all have an important arc. The details in the world and cultures are outstanding in this epic fantasy. It's probably one of the most elaborate fantasy novels I've read. The different civilizations and their own folklore, culture, religion, and lifestyle all vastly unique. The last quarter of the book had me raise my initial thinking of a 4 star rating to a 5. The ending was fantastic. I was wondering how everything was going to come together. I can't wait to read more of the Stormlight Archives.

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Matthew K

Very interesting story. Awesome world building. A little slow at times, but it is worth it. The narrator is not that good though, I wish there was a different narrator. Beyond that, a great story.

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Joshua L

So amazing. Such an amazing story and amazing narrator. There's an incredible amount of character development and world building.

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Antonio n

Slow story line, didn't like the narrators much.

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this may very well have become my favorite series. Hell, I've never read a Sanderson book I didn't enjoy! Give Mistborn or Warbreaker a look!

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sky s

Such an thrilling story. Immediately started the second book afterwards.

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ridge j

Damn good, though long winded. I would love to spoil it for you, but I won't. I give it half of an enders game and a Tolkien.

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This is book one of my favorite book series. This book captures my heart time and time again. The audiobook was superb. The app was easy to use, and the narration was amazing.

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dean j

The Way of Kings is superbly written and voiced. A true masterwork of the genre, this book and its sequel highlight Sanderson's understanding of leadership and morality. I have personally purchased four copies of this book and given three away just so others could read it because everyone should.

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Michael K

The book is wonderful, but the audio cuts out in places.

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scott s

So good I listened to it again, fantastic story!

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Ibrahim A

One of the greatest books. I loved it.

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Kate B

This is a fantastic book within a fantastic series. However, this recording has "skips" in the narration that delete fairly large tracts of dialog. I contacted audiobooks who said they knew of this problem and offered me a free credit. I don't care for the female narrator so much, but the male narrator does a great job.

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Jade Claybrook

Incredible. This was my first novel by Sanderson, and it proved to be a journey truly of epic scale! I am very fond of fantasy epics along the lines of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and such; in general, I found the story as a whole to be a gradual 1000 page ascent to the climax, where the last 200 pages flew through my fingers in a rapid succession of twists, turns, action and suspense - all described in fluent detail and amazing imagery that made me forget I was just an onlooker! Though I did feel the story was gradual for the majority, it was well worth it in building the world, characters and plot - and with such talented storytelling- that the reader is well invested into the lives of the main and sub characters. I'm no lover of over-poetic and wordy literature for the sake of the words themselves. But I also can't get into a story where the writing seems 2 dimensional and lacking descriptive ability. This was writing at a level I've rarely seen, where the balance Brandon Sanderson has struck creates a real-world feel, bringing characters, cites, magic, the very terrain itself to life with such prose that you fall in love with it. Definitely worth it! Can't wait to start on the second!

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antonio pitts

I recently finished my second read through of WoT and didn't think anything could top it. Then I decided to check out Brandon Sanderson creations. I'm hooked. This series is amazing. I was laughing out loud by myself at the humor. I also found myself yelling and cheering out loud at the exciting parts or begging out loud for things to happen. I am starting BS other series (mistborn) now. I'm hoping for a similar experience while waiting for book three.

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Matthew Boyer

The Stormlight Archive is my second favorite series of all the ones I've read, following closely to the Wheel of Time.

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Joe Beard

Great book if you are looking for an epic fantasy world to dive into. A lot of very unique world building. Towards the end of the book you get an excellent experience where many questions are answered, but the answers introduce numerous, more interesting questions. Really seems to be setting up an amazing series. I have no complaints at all about it, except one minor quibble in that a major character has his name pronounced differently by the two narrators, which of course isn't that big of a deal, just kinda jarring.

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Even Andersen

Love this book. If you like fantasy check this out.

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Ben Finklea

The book is excellent and captivating. It's an atypical hero's journey. Weaving the narratives of an upper, a middle, and a lower class person together. Caladan's story is almost like the movie Spartacus. Victor to slave to noble warrior. Both narrators were good but I'd say I preferred Michael Kramer to Kate Reading. There was a significant difference in the pace of the two narrators, though. I kept having to speed him up and/or slow her down so I wasn't distracted. At 45 hours, you have to really want to read this book. I'd say it could have been 1/3 shorter and still been just as good, if not better. It's a good read, a good story, and I recommend it.

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Gabriel Freitas

The people here who write negatively about this book are terrible at giving any real reasons as to why they thought it didn't deserve at least 4/5 stars. This book is excellent with characters that you care about that drive the story forward and a fantasy setting that truly evokes a feeling of being in another place and time. The book is slow at first but it's pertinent to timeline and necessary to describe the characters. 9.5/10 also the narrators make the story come alive both are fantastic

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Brett Monteleone

Couldn't stop listening to it; I'm hooked! Audiobook was really good.

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van bernard Dulay

Amazing storiy line.. Had a hard time stopping once I get home from work.. The commute just got a lot easier

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Amanda Sedhom

Great book! I loved listening to it, in the end it was really thrilling and leaves me hungry for more about the story, the world and the characters!

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Andrew Sundeen

An amazing setup to what I'm sure will be an amazing series. Sanderson beautifully and slowly builds the world and characters in this book and paints an amazingly detailed picture of the universe. Great use of flashbacks, twists, and big moments that wouldn't allow me to stop listening. It's a slow burn but it's very much setting up a much more intense slew of books for the future. Great job by both narrators as well.

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Justin Dote

Great book! Well developed and exciting story. The author has created an amazing new world. It's on par with the Dune and Lord of the Rings realms.

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Brittany Hay

I'm so glad I found Brandon Sanderson. I was desperate for something to read when I was on my fourth re-read of A Song of Ice and Fire. I needed something epic to capture my attention again. I craved grey characters who were good people, but were doing "bad" things. I craved depth of worlds where it felt like the cultures, languages, and realms were real. I didn't think I'd find anything so satisfying again. Brandon Sanderson hits it out of the park with this series. I started with Mistborn, which was a lighter read than Stormlight - but just as well written. Pick up this series, you won't regret it.

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Yahya Zini

This is an epic tale and the narrators definitely did it justice.

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Abel Vargas

This is as good as it gets. Narrators are amazing. I don't think it starts slow as other reviews point, it just takes a little getting used to this new world we're being introduced to. I love it.

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Scott Mackay

Great book. Interesting characters. Enthralling, intriguing story.

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Thomas Dennis

Halfway through this book and I must say that I'm impressed. This is my first Sanderson's book and was a little bit weary after reading some of the reviews. It does start off slow but I believe it was necessary to setup the characters. I didn't feel that there were too many unnecessary characters as some reviews have stated. I see them as any good stories about multiple characters. They are setups to define the main characters actions/struggles or to setup a reveal about the world the book is set in. The only complaint I have with the audio book is the two narrators. When they switch it does tend to pull me out of the book for awhile. Though this is sometimes a good thing because I tend to drift after awhile when I'm binge listening. Also it could just be that this is also my first time ever listening to an audio book that has more than one narrator. Definitely would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good fantasy saga.

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Dayna Forsgren

Always takes some time to get used to this narrator...then I can't get enough. Also loved his narration for Eye of the World series.

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Patrick Clayton

I enjoyed Michael Kramer's performance once I got accustomed to his voice (which didn't take long.) Kate Reading on the other hand, was slightly bothersome. She put emphasis on the wrong words, and while I hate to be rude, her voice was rather annoying at times. As for the Stormlight Archive, I have nothing but praise. I read it myself first, and upon discovering audiobooks, I thought I'd enjoy it yet again by listening to it. Many reviews say it's slow, but I've read much slower books. And Sanderson does introduce a lot of characters that seem to have nothing to do with the story, but I imagine they will come into play later in the series. I am overly excited for the third installment to come out. Brandon Sanderson is one hell of a writing genius. May he continue to entertain us all for years to come.

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Toni Horton

Confusing beginning, but as it went on things fell into place. It's a great book and concept and I couldn't help but replaying the book a second time once it was over. It's better the second time because I wasn't as lost as the first time. And with that additional insight I was able to hear what was meant the first time around. Highly recommended.

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Matt Trinh

Slow start but picks up midway through. Looking forward to next book!

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Jessica Woodward

I love the book, but not the narrators. Kramer (the male narrator) does well when reading characters' voices - his accents aren't bad - however, I noticed (and then couldn't UN-notice) a unique tick he has in his voice. He seems to add an upward inflection at the end of some sentences and it drove me crazy. After pushing through the first couple of hours, I got used to it and by the end I stopped paying attention to it, but it was a distracting annoyance at the beginning. As for Reading (the female narrator) - not a fan. She sounded like a voicemail recording at times and her male character voices all sounded the same.

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James Phillips

Narration was annoying at times but the book was great!

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Sharyl Allender

VERY slow starter. It just dragged on and never really took off. This is one book I never finished because the story just did not take off. I was glade that I checked it out from the library and did not buy it, not worth the money!

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Yovany Delapaz

Being a big fan of Brandon Sanderson and the Mistborn series I gladly gave Way of Kings a try. The book starts off slow.. Really slow. It also introduces many characters that did not truly contribute to the quality of story. It isn't until the middle of the story where things take off. Give it time. This story will not disappoint and will having you fist pumping with joy and cheering for your favorite characters.

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Christy Klaus

I loved this book. This book is good. People should buy this book. I liked the narrator and the words. This is a quote from shake spear "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages." It has nothing to do with anything.

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Rebecca Shearer

I normally love the variety of characters in Brandon Sanderson's books, but this one seemed to introduce new characters just to confuse the reader. Some of the "interlude" characters were never mentioned again... when you already have such a large cast this becomes excessive and frustratingly unnecessary to try and keep track of where their story left off in case the author does come back to them. Almost like he was trying to make the book as long as possible with mini stories (that just happen to take place on the same planet as the main story while having no other real connection to the main story or characters)

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joe kamer

Amazing book, and of course kramer and reading sensational as usual.

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