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The Way of Kings: Book One of the Stormlight Archive

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Brandon Sanderson

Narrated By: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Date: August 2010

Duration: 45 hours 32 minutes

Summary:

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)
Oathbringer (forthcoming)

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
Collection
Arcanum Unbounded
Other Cosmere novels
Elantris
Warbreaker
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
Steelheart
Firefight
Calamity

Genres:

  • 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Joshua L

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

  • Antonio n

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

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • sky s

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

  • 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.