Review: The Way of Kings (Part 2)

This post will include my review of the book The Way of Kings Part Two by Brandon Sanderson. It is the second part of the first in the Stormlight Archive series, released in June 2011.

The text below is taken from the blurb on the back of the book.

On the stormy world of Roshar a 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 armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is drawn to an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radient, he has begun to question his own sanity.

And across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s neice, 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 Radient and the true cause of war.

I have read a lot of people complaining about the size of this book. The number of characters, the extent of the world building, the frequent flashbacks. What I don’t understand is why they find those things to be negatives. Yes there are characters that only appear in a single chapter. Yes there is a prelude as well as a prologue. Yes there are multiple storylines that don’t seem to have any relationship to each other but that is what makes this an epic.

There are calls to cut down the size of the book by as much as half, and to drop the one shot characters entirely. If that would have been done then no doubt this still would have been an excellent book but I loved the fact that I got to spend an extra 400 pages worth of time in the story. At no stage did I get to a chapter and wish I could skip this bit and get back to the part I just left off. Put simply I really enjoyed all of it.

Whenever the second book comes out (the real second book that is) I will most definitely be getting my hands on it and lock myself away from all distractions to find out what happens next, and it I only hope that it is going to be as big as the first one.


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