The Way of Kings
The avalanche of reviews has already begun and given that bigger and more prolific bloggers (Wertzone, Neth Space, Book Smugglers, Strange Horizons, and Sffworld; to name a few) have already thrown their voices into the torrent I can’t help but feel like a tiny insignificant pebble amidst the landslide. Compacting matters further are my love for epic fantasy and the fact that I was already a Brandon Sanderson fan before getting The Way of Kings. Can I really sit down and write and honest review of The Way of Kings when, book in hand, I already knew the novel was made specifically for me? In truth, I suspect that many reviewers as soon as they laid eyes on the book whether in final format or ARC knew whether or not they were going to enjoy it. I’ll do my best to keep my excitement in check but honestly if you like epic fantasy, if you’ve followed Martin and Jordan, then there’s a 99.99% (that .01% are Goodkind fans and will likely balk at the lack of naked wizards or evil chickens, ‘natch) of your loving The Way of Kings.
That is a good thing since with The Wheel of Time coming to a close within the next two years Tor is betting on The Way of Kings, the first of the planned 10 book Stormlight Archive, as the Next Big Thing in epic fantasy. Epic it certainly is weighing in a just over 1000 pages, with lavish illustrations, a glossary/appendix, and color maps printed on the endpaper Tor has certainly made it worth its money. Of course, all of that would be meaningless if Sanderson, who has released a new book just about every year since 2005 (from 2007-2009 he released an Alcatraz novel in addition to his big fantasy releases), hadn’t honed his craft to a razor sharp keenness over the years, but hone he has and The Way of Kings offers very little to complain about. Revealing an expansive world filled with expressive characters, The Way of Kings is a book full of magic and mystery and excitement that despite its weight (literally) is difficult to put down.