Review: The Way of Kings Part 1- Brandon Sanderson

Toffee. That’s how I saw shardplate. Mystical armour that had a dirty translucence to it. I like the concept.

The world of Roshar is masterfully created from its culture to its religions to its people and how the high storms shape the land and literally effect how creatures and life evolves. Sanderson’s world building is top notch. So after this praise why the low score?

The Way of Kings is an epic volume (and volume is the right word) about … well here’s the thing, I thought it was about an assassin, then I thought it was about a lowly soldier in the army before I realised that it was about Kaladin – an officer turned slave and Shallan – a minor noble woman. THEN I thought it was about Dalinar – a concerned General. The point is that Sanderson introduces a few characters and takes his time doing it. Shallan and Kaladin become the two main characters but just when I felt like the story was going somewhere, Sanderson introduces another main character. I found this to be terribly frustrating. Just when I’d started to make an emotional connection to the character it felt like I was re-starting the book (and this was around page 150).

After a mercilessly slow build up and further detraction from the now three main characters in the form of interludes, I finally got to chapter 17 (page 256) a chapter that rewards the reader for the time invested in getting this far. However, beyond this point the pace moves back to a crawl broken up with more interludes and flashback chapters – pages and pages often illustrating very minor points.

I found the character of Shallan to be clever but boring and perhaps the author thought so too. Shallan starts as a major character but her last point of view chapter is at page 128 and then we don’t see her again until page 499. Why? Her objective is fairly straight forward and plot says she can’t achieve that objective until the end of the book.

A lot of pointless chapters, info dumps and stage direction littered this book with far too many words that broke up action sequences and dialogue which I found to be jarring. I was really looking forward to this book. I wanted to like this book, but at too many stages I wanted to put the book down. About a 5th of this book was brilliant and engaging – a real page turner, but sadly not enough for me to invest in continuing to read the series.

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