Book Review: The Way of Kings

Part of being fit is having a healthy mind. I believe that’s done well by reading. They say the best way to learn how to write better is to read. This book could be one of the best cases for that. The Way of Kings, written by Brian Sanderson, is a wonderful, inspiring read. It’s a book in the fantasy genre, set in its own made-up world. The plot and setting are complex and gets more and more so as the story continues. Sanderson is impressive in the way he completely constructs this world, as if it truly did exist at one point in time. My favorite thing is when a fantasy book seems real. I hate spoilers so this won’t really give much at all. 

It is slow-going at first. I must mention that I am listening to the audiobook, not reading the print. This helps me on my runs and is thoroughly enjoyable to listen to on my way to work. Once you continue reading, however, the pace certainly picks up. There are times where I simply couldn’t stop listening. Sanderson is obviously very smart. This is not something he’s written on a whim. Everything slowly starts become interwoven and people who seemed unconnected find themselves on the same path. This makes the story so very exciting

The fantasy world is set in the age of sword and shield, in the world of Roshar. Knights, wars, and magic, too.  There are a few unique parts to this world which I especially enjoy that I will mention. One part are the spren. Characters and history in the book have trouble defining what they exactly are (though it continues to be researched). Spren are little beings or spirits that represent emotions and nature. If someone is in pain, pain spren will wiggle up from the ground. Flame spren will dance as little red figures upon a fire. Creation spren will spark up if someone is deep in creating something (like art). And so on and so forth. This concept is so fascinating because each and every spren (and there are tons–think of every emotion and element) is shaped, colored, and behaves differently. Absolutely love it. 

The story doesn’t just follow the path of one main character. You get to see all parts of this very complex world from many different perspectives. One from an inspiring slave, one from an honorable High Prince, and one from a girl trying to save her family’s fortune. Eventually, everything comes together.  And even though the viewpoint is spread out, you actually care about each and every main character who gets the spotlight. Characters are far from perfect and like to meddle in gray areas, but they generate great loyalty from you and also from other characters in the book. 

When you are reading this book, it feels like you are straying into a world in a constant war with very little passion left. The drawn-out feeling from the war gives you the sense everyone is tired of it, and that something big must be coming up to break the boredom. A tide starts to rise and bursts at the end. All the connections are revealed and you find the time you invest in this story is worth it. It is certainly a long book but, once again, it is worth the read. 

If you want to get lost in a different world full of intricacies carefully planned out by the author, give The Way of Kings a try. It’s a fantastic read that promises to suck you in and hold you there. In fact, I’m reading the sequel right now! Can’t get enough of it. I love books that play out in a way that makes you respect the heck out of the author. The things that are planned out that you never expected. How it makes you appreciate the time and dedication to his craft to weave such a captivating story. I give this book a big thumbs up! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

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