The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

March 18, 2021

Vivid multi-hero journey in a rich, severe world.

I loved Sanderson’s Mistborn series and a trusted source “100%” recommended I read this one. Loved it! If this book is any indication, these long books will go quickly.

I’m slowly learning to appreciate fantasy, because it was the same with Dune and Mistborn: distractingly weird until it isn’t. At some point I just accept the odd naming choices and peculiarities of an invented world and get teleported into the story. Clearly this is because someone spent unfathomable amounts of time and energy to make it that way.

I won’t spoil any of the fun in case anybody actually reads these notes, but the book follows several characters through vastly different, complex challenges in a turbulent world that’s trying to understand its past to deal with a looming and mysterious threat. It’s about people, and I’d bet that if you liked the sprawling, unvarnished Game of Thrones you’d like this too. Swap some racy sensationalism for the intriguing backdrop of a universe with creatures and environments that feel grounded and refreshingly fantastical at the same time.

It was all pretty good until ~70% of the way through, when I got smushed into a snowball of action that soared right through to the end.

Sanderson seems to write and describe things sparingly, yet there were many hair-raisingly-cool scenes I could easily imagine in a trailer for the movie.