The Way of Kings

The Way of Kings

Book - 2010
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings , Book One of the Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such 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 other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings . Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar's niece, 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 Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight Archive
The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)
Oathbringer (forthcoming)

The Mistborn trilogy
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning

Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener's Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series
The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners

Publisher: New York : Tor, c2010.
ISBN: 9780765326355
Characteristics: 1007 p. :,ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ;,25 cm.


From the critics

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Mar 14, 2018


Feb 28, 2018

It was ok , the Kaladin storyline was the main one that kept me somewhat interested in it, I tried to keep an open mind while reading this book, but after years reading all of David Eddings, Raymond E Feist and Terry Brooks and add in that the book is around 1200 pages long, I just could not get into it very much.

Feb 11, 2018

A very enjoyable read!

Feb 05, 2018

War. Revenge. Betrayal. Assassination. Feudalism. Bravery. Magic. Way of Kings has them all in spades. As with Sanderson's other fantasy works, WOK is an amazing read. Don't expect the story to move as fast as it does in the Mistborn books, it's more of a slow burn in my opinion. The magic system on Roshar is also very different than it was on Scadriel, and that was something to get used to. The POV characters all bring something interesting and different to the story, even if most of them never meet each other. I can't say I enjoyed each chapter equally for each character. Dalinar, Szeth and Adolin's chapters kept me interested, but Kaladin's wallowing in self pity came close to annoyance in places, as did Shallan's moral aggrandizing. With that said, it more than pays off by the end of the book. I also enjoyed the two characters from the Mistborn series that show up. One is subtly implied, the other is obvious and a POV character. I would definitely recommend WOK to any high fantasy fans.

Jan 29, 2018

One of my close friends told me about Brandon Sanderson. He said, "Tons of my friends have read this book, and none of them have taken longer than a week to finish it." At first, I thought that he might have been exaggerating. So I went to my bookstore and found a copy. At first, it was very intimidating because of its size. Until now, my biggest book had been around 500 pages. I read the prologue and instantly decided that I was going to buy this book. (Just so you know, the prologue is quite different than the rest of the book. I started the main part of the book, however, and found that it was better than the prologue.) Seriously, I could go on and on about how amazing this book is, but I wouldn't do it justice. JUST READ IT. You won't regret it at all. It takes place in Roshar and is in medieval times. Filled with Soulcasters, Lighteyes, Darkeyes, and assassins, this book is a must-have for anyone interested in fantasy. (By the way, I would recommend this book for advanced middle school readers and up.) Go get it. You won't regret it.

Dec 19, 2017

I really loved this book and this series. At first it is a little slow, but once it picks up it just keeps going until you do not want to put it down. I found this book to make all of the main characters interesting to the reader.

Nov 15, 2017

Wow, I'm so excited that I've started reading this series! It's amazing ... I can't wait to read the next two books ... and then wait forever for all 10 to be finished.

I loved the setting, the characters, the plot ... just everything!

I definitely recommend this book to people who like fantasy with incredible worldbuilding, as well as complex characters, philosophical debates between characters, and an exciting plot that makes you just want to know more.

Aug 30, 2017

Once you enter Sanderson’s world in The Way of Kings, you can understand why he spent 10 years on this book. And indeed, it is a heavy 4 inch thick tome. The story is complex, rich and engaging, with some memorable well developed characters. Of all the main characters, Kaladin is the most amazing. He is the quintessential hero – strong, honorable and a survivor against all odds. The only complaint I have is how much of this book is devoted to lengthy bloody battle scenes. Less of those, and more insight into the fantasy world of magic, stormlight and fabrials (energy infused gemstones) would have made this an even richer work. In spite of this, it’s still a great story, and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

Cheryl_JHL Jun 02, 2017

I was slow getting around to committing myself, knowing that I was going to be buried in yet-another-huge-epic-fantasy-series and probably never come up for air again, but as many of my friends had already told me, it was well worth the time invested.

As with Sanderson's Mistborn, I loved the world. It's wildly creative, vivid, and colorful. The characters have depth and they're not the typical "fantasy badass" characters, yet they have some amazing moments that made me want to literally cheer them on out loud. I LOVE when a book gives me that thrill of "Oh hell yeah!!" There are several of those moments in there that were so, so very good. Satisfying. Meaty with a bit of crunch.

My only grumps with Way of Kings: one character's self-pity periodically leans towards some pretty strong narcissism and gets a little overwhelming. It's understandable for his situation and events, granted.

There was also a segment towards the end that felt like a bit of a pacing hiccup (or a huge tease). There's a detour of chapters between a major event in one character's life, and it's continuation. The "what happens next??" element is so strong there, that everything in between was a blur. I didn't want any part of this book to be "a blur." I liked it too much!

Overall, I loved it. Loved the story, the characters, the setting... I especially loved the philosophy and bits of wisdom scattered through there. There was much to think about and ponder over. Looking forward to the next volume.

Apr 24, 2017


This was my second Sanderson book. My first was Warbreaker. I thought Warbreaker was good, if not a bit overly political. One thing I'm noticing about Sanderson is that he introduces unique elements to his stories. Some of the magic and lore from The Way of Kings is very unique. He stands by it too. He throws something bizarre and new out there but he also does a really good job of describing it and convincing the reader how realistic it is. I thought the shard pieces were fascinating. Some of the environment was really well conceived. Not only that but there were neat drawings throughout the text which described some of the different plants and creatures. The character Wit had been questioning, 'what is the most important talent a man can have'. Is it inventiveness, timeliness, novelty? Well, there was certainly a novelty to The Way of Kings. Which is difficult to create in the abundance of fantasy writers today, and also writers who borrow from what's already been written.

Kaladin was absolutely my favorite perspective. It was really touching actually. What this character went through was horrid agony. To see him struggle, contemplating his surroundings was heartbreaking, yet also very moving. Many of the character in this story went through there own trials and tribulations. Sanderson will have you questioning morality and other philosophical understanding before long. It fits nicely into the story as well. I felt myself compelled to see Kaladin's fate unfold.

Unfortunately, I didn't think the other character perspectives were as strong. Some were good. Obviously Shallan's story. Though nothing could compare to Kaladin, Syl, and bridge four's story.

Some of the fight scenes were really vivid and magical.

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Feb 15, 2017

“Can you feel it? Something just changed. I believe that’s the sound the world makes when it pisses itself.”

Feb 15, 2017

“An excuse is what you make after the deed is done, while a justification is what you offer before.”

Feb 14, 2017

“There are two kinds of people in this world, son. Those who save lives, and those who take lives."
"And what of those who protect and defend? Those who save lives by taking lives?"
"That's like trying to stop a storm by blowing harder. Ridiculous. You can't protect by killing.”

Feb 14, 2017

“To lack feeling is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.”

Feb 14, 2017

“And so, does the destination matter? Or is it the path we take? I declare that no accomplishment has substance nearly as great as the road used to achieve it. We are not creatures of destinations. It is the journey that shapes us. Our callused feet, our backs strong from carrying the weight of our travels, our eyes open with the fresh delight of experiences lived.”

Feb 14, 2017

“Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”

Jul 12, 2014

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”

Jul 12, 2014

"But expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack."

Jun 04, 2014

"I will defend those who cannot defend themselves."

Feb 26, 2014

"Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination."
-The First Ideal of the Knights Radiant

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Jan 29, 2018

bookbear3 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 02, 2016

Elioto_1 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

May 17, 2016

pcrouch thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Sep 04, 2014

Mangosteen69 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Aug 25, 2012

JihadiConservative thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add Notices

Jul 11, 2016

Other: Sanderson Syndrome: You will love this book so much that almost all other books will pale in comparison to literally anything Brandon Sanderson writes, this especially.

Apr 11, 2013

Violence: Some brutal violence. Nothing overly gruesome. Mild gore. Nothing a thirteen year old can't handle. However, there are battles, murders ect... So, there is plenty violence but nowhere near as Game of Thrones and such.


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