Thousands of years past, in the lands of Roshar – a land of stones and storms. Storms so powerful and frequent as to have shaped both land and civilization alike. – the Oathpact of the Heralds has come to an end. Forsaking their vows to lead mankind against the Desolations which have ravaged Roshar since the exile of humanity from the Tranquiline Halls. Leaving humans to rely upon the Knight’s Radiant for centuries until they too fall; leaving only their mystical swords and armor which give ordinary men the power and near-invincible warrior prowess.
Now, after the King of Alethkar was assassinated; war has waged for seven years on the Shattered Plains against the race of the Parshendi. Contesting against each other to navigate across the plains – finding ways across chasms spanning sixty or more feet deep. The Alethi fight to honor the Vengeance path and to prove their abilities against the other high princes by acquiring gem hearts.
The story follows multiple characters. The main three being Dalinar – the king’s uncle, and brother to the assassinated king, he must find a way to unite the princes and redirect the war. Kaladin, an ex-soldier, slave and now a bridgeman working for one of the high princes, he seeks for a way to keep his crew alive and battle the odds. And Shallan a young artist who seeks retribution and money in order to save her family. Their situations all come at a cost – however, the price may be too high to pay.
Sanderson’s The Way of Kings is an epic fantasy spanning over a thousand pages long with political intrigue, discovery, magic and action-packed scenes. The world and the characters are both compelling in their own rights; with hints of demonic creatures, lost histories and old magic returning. He excels at keeping readers interested, with nary a dull moment throughout the entire book. Readers of high fantasy won’t disappointed. Every chapter holds something new and hints of secrets, regrets, and of history.
Brandon does a wonderful job and keeps true to his style of developing an original magic system. The Way of Kings sets up the groundwork wonderfully for the next nine books of the Stormlight Archive, leaving readers hanging for more. Book two is expected to be released late 2012, or early 2013.