The Way of Kings

The Way of Kings

Audiobook CD - 2010
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Introduces the world of Roshar through the experiences of a war-weary royal compelled by visions, a highborn youth condemned to military slavery, and a woman who is desperate to save her impoverished house.
Publisher: [United States] : Macmillan Audio, 2010
ISBN: 9781427209757
Branch Call Number: CD SF SANDERSON
Characteristics: 36 sound discs (46 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Reading, Kate
Kramer, Michael


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Jun 03, 2020

I own a physical copy of this book but I have difficulties reading as of late. Audiobooks seem to be the better way for me to pick up a story. Initially when I was picking this up, I was worried because the book has a few advantages you won't find in the audio. The big one being that it came with illustrations that help you get a better feel for the setting and visually see maps, points of interest, and creatures that may be difficult to explain.

Despite this, I did not feel like this was an issue once I began. The book was read by a couple of narrators for different characters and chapters, each contributing a pleasing tone for their respective settings and hitting emotions just right. The audio quality of the book was top notch. Kaladin’s part in particular was the most striking to me and really sold his tone. So full marks for the audio aspect of the book.

The story itself and the setting drew you in quickly. The magic system is not too difficult to get your grip on and the author goes out of his way to really draw and set a line between the different cultures of people. Starting from the way they are brought up, what different people find valuable, and what religions they followed and the part they played in the normal day to day life. The world as a whole is put together wonderfully though we spend most of our time exploring the Alethi. The quirks of a culture bleeds into the quirks of certain characters. Suddenly the distinction makes it clear just how different they are.

Each character is stacked up with their own cultural upbringing and ideals. We get to see how those fundamentals help influence the characters into making different decisions and coming to different conclusions. Someone who is witty and charming won’t sound or come off the same as another person who is equally so, especially with the different upbringings. Bridge 4 is a melting pot and with it you get a lot of different flavors and a lot of unique interactions. They are wonderfully put together and you find yourself very quickly rooting for their success.

Getting to see the world through their eyes really helps you suddenly establish your own opinions quickly. From the perspective of a slave, the struggles of a Lord, and to that of a scholar. The author catches you in a pleasant trap where you find yourself disagreeing with protagonists and their opinions, occasionally make you question if the right thing is the best thing to do, and take special interest suddenly on political affairs almost as if you're the one who will be affected. It is genius how you're almost brought into a debate with a story which coaxes you in further to see how things play out. When the characters feel so lively and full you of course want to see how things play out and how they change.

I do feel as if Sanderson has a strong grasp of painting a scene. When he describes garments of high fashion you can see the design easily along with the colors you're expected to associate with and why that wear matters in the places you see it. There is proper emphasis on what needs to be of note. There is not a lot of wasted description meant to confuse you as it is all to paint a scene. It’s this way for a purpose to which that point becomes more clear as it plays out.

Sanderson is of course a bit of a sneak. You may find small nuances here and there that will pop up later in various degrees. That is to say that there is a reward for drawing your own conclusions and involving your interest in asking the right questions. Like a well written mystery that has its own clues and foreshadowing instead of hitting you with a rule you didn’t know later. He’s a crafty schemer, this one. I’m looking forward to the second book to see how more of his work plays out.

A strong recommendation if you like fantasy and politics. I’m usually not fond of politics in fantasy but I found this enjoyable just the same. Easy 5 stars. Hits everything I look for in a story with ease.

Aloha_JaredS Oct 18, 2018

I'm glad I stuck with this one! I wasn't completely sold at the start; Sanderson's setting is so unique and original that it felt foreign coming off of recently finishing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series—a much more traditionally Tolkienesque swords and wizards affair. By the end, I was as invested in the characters of The Way of Kings as I was with Rand, Mat, and Perrin of Wheel of Time. The depth and scope of Sanderson's worldbuilding is awe inspiring. Absolute must read (or listen, in this case) for fans of epic fantasy.

Aug 30, 2018

This is actually an audio CD, but that option was not available. We own it.

Aug 16, 2017

Very well written. Sanderson seems to have much of his story already mapped out and knows where he wants to take us. One of the characters can be somewhat annoying with her 'wit'. However, it is acknowledged as a flaw, so i was more accepting of it. I love the idea behind the weaponry and cannot wait to see where this series goes.

Nov 15, 2016

Amazing book, definitely worth reading, and this audio version is perfect.

Nov 28, 2015

I had to disengage my realist brain to get through this. There's just too much 'fantasy' for me.

May 13, 2012

This is a fantastic book. This is epic fantasy done right. It has a complex, original world, interesting characters, a unique magic system, and a plot that zooms off in unexpected directions. Just what you'd expect from Sanderson! I cannot wait to read the next book!


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Jun 27, 2011

bookKITTY thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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