The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive Series #1)

( 1281 )

Overview

The trade paperback features a bonus full-page illustration unique to this edition!

Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.

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...

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The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive Series #1)

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Overview

The trade paperback features a bonus full-page illustration unique to this edition!

Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The Way of Kings didn't just raise the curtain on Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Machine epic; it entangled our interest in the personalities of three disparate main characters who would dominate its drama. They could scarcely be more different: One, the vision-plagued brother of an assassinated king; another, a highborn young man brought low; and the third, a brilliant, yet naïve young woman intent on fulfilling a seemingly impossible mission. A series from the author chosen to complete Robert Joran's The Wheel of Time series; now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

From the Publisher

For The Way of Kings

“I loved this book. What else is there to say?”—Patrick Rothfuss, bestselling author of The Name of the Wind

“This is a great choice for fans of Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks.” —Voice of Youth Advocates

“The best part…is the compelling, complex story of Dalinar, Kaladin, and Shallan as they struggle though emotional, physical, and moral challenges. Fans and lovers of epic fantasy…will eagerly await the next volume.” —Library Journal

“Epic in every sense. Sanderson has built a world that leaps to life, a cast of varied characters and a vast history which slowly unfolds with the deepening story of Roshar.”
Guardian (UK)

“[Sanderson] will be spoken in the same breath as Tolkien, Leiber, Moorcock, Jordan…and George R. R. Martin.”
—SFFworld.com

“Featuring ingenious magic . . . feisty characters, and a complex plot likely to unwind over several volumes, this high-spirited, exciting story will appeal to readers of all ages.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review, on The Rithmatist

“Sanderson's outstanding fantasy debut, refreshingly complete unto itself and free of the usual genre clichés, offers something for everyone. . . . The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative; by the end readers won't want to put it down.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Elantris

Voice of Youth Advocates

This is a great choice for fans of Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks.
SFFworld.com

[Sanderson] will be spoken in the same breath as Tolkien, Leiber, Moorcock, Jordan…and George R. R. Martin.
bestselling author of The Name of the Wind Patrick Rothfuss

I loved this book. What else is there to say?
From the Publisher
For The Way of Kings

“I loved this book. What else is there to say?”—Patrick Rothfuss, bestselling author of The Name of the Wind

“This is a great choice for fans of Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks.” —Voice of Youth Advocates

“The best part…is the compelling, complex story of Dalinar, Kaladin, and Shallan as they struggle though emotional, physical, and moral challenges. Fans and lovers of epic fantasy…will eagerly await the next volume.” —Library Journal

“Epic in every sense. Sanderson has built a world that leaps to life, a cast of varied characters and a vast history which slowly unfolds with the deepening story of Roshar.”

Guardian (UK)

“[Sanderson] will be spoken in the same breath as Tolkien, Leiber, Moorcock, Jordan…and George R. R. Martin.”

—SFFworld.com

“Featuring ingenious magic . . . feisty characters, and a complex plot likely to unwind over several volumes, this high-spirited, exciting story will appeal to readers of all ages.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review, on The Rithmatist

“Sanderson's outstanding fantasy debut, refreshingly complete unto itself and free of the usual genre clichés, offers something for everyone. . . . The intrigue and excitement grow steadily in this smoothly written, perfectly balanced narrative; by the end readers won't want to put it down.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Elantris

Publishers Weekly
This massive tome is the first of a 10-part epic fantasy series from relative newcomer Sanderson (Mistborn), best known for his efforts to complete the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. In a storm-swept world where history has dwindled into myth, self-serving aristocrats squabble over mystical weapons that render their bearers immune to mundane attacks. The ambitious scholar Shallan learns unexpected truths about the present, the virtuous aristocrat Dalinar reclaims the lost past, and the bitter and broken slave Kaladin gains unwanted power. Race-related plot themes may raise some eyebrows, and there's no hope for anything resembling a conclusion in this introductory volume, but Sanderson's fondness for misleading the reader and his talent for feeding out revelations and action scenes at just the right pace will keep epic fantasy fans intrigued and hoping for redemptive future installments. (Sept.)
Patrick Rothfuss

I loved this book. What else is there to say?
VOYA - Stacey Hayman
In Alethi culture, "lighteyes" are the superior, ruling class and "darkeyes" are the common, working class, but both classes believe only women should read and write. An ongoing war with the Parshendi—meant to avenge the murder of King Gavilar but now a way to grow rich in material goods and political favors—has begun to change the essential fabric of their society. Now, lighteyed Shallan, daughter of an insignificant landholder and potential thief; Dalinar, uncle of the King and legendary warrior leaning toward peace; and Kaladin, a darkeyed slave solider who once trained to be a doctor; find themselves within a narrowing circle of connections. Are these changes bringing greater harmony to the Alethians or will they be the beginning of the end for a great civilization? The first book in a potentially decade-long series, The Way of Kings offers fans of epic fantasy lush illustrations enhancing the story, a unique world with a variety of races, a complex historical background adding a good mix of clarity and confusion to the current story line, and a conflict with more shades of gray than black or white. The characters come to life through a mix of their current actions and scenes from past events, which also allows for some bigger plot secrets to be revealed, while hinting at new intrigues to come. A good mix of military action, political machinations, faith-based intrigue, and personal drama keep the pages turning. This is a great choice for fans of Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks. Reviewer: Stacey Hayman
Library Journal
Centuries have passed since the Radiant Knights protected the world of Roshar from the evil of the Desolation. Their heroic deeds have long been overshadowed by stories of their betrayal, which in turn have faded into myth. The nation of Alethkar has been mired in a war to avenge the assassination of its king. The system of power used by the Radiant Knights is largely misunderstood and untapped, and yet an ancient evil stirs. Sanderson, the author of Elantris and the "Mistborn Trilogy," once again creates an interesting world with a novel system of magic, but the best part of this series launch is the compelling, complex story of Dalinar, Kaladin, and Shallan as they struggle through emotional, physical, and moral challenges.Verdict Sanderson is a master of hooking the reader in the first few pages, and once again he doesn't disappoint. Fans and lovers of epoch fantasy will find the ending satisfying, yet will eagerly await the next volume. [Sanderson was the novelist chosen to complete A Memory of Light, the final volume of Robert Jordon's "The Wheel of Time" series.—Ed.]—William Baer, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765376671
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Series: Stormlight Archive Series, #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 1008
  • Sales rank: 23,694
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Brandon Sanderson

BRANDON SANDERSON grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He lives in Utah with his wife and children and teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. In addition to completing Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time®, he is the author of such bestsellers as the Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker, The Alloy of Law, The Way of Kings, Rithmatist, and Steelheart. He won the 2013 Hugo Award for "The Emperor's Soul," a novella set in the world of his acclaimed first novel, Elantris.

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Read an Excerpt

The Way of Kings

Book One of The Stormlight Archive


By Brandon Sanderson

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2010 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-9280-0



CHAPTER 1

"You've killed me. Bastards, you've killed me! While the sun is still hot, I die!"

—Collected on the fifth day of the week Chach of the month Betab of the year 1171, ten seconds before death. Subject was a darkeyed soldier thirty-one years of age. Sample is considered questionable.


FIVE YEARS LATER

"I'm going to die, aren't I?" Cenn asked.

The weathered veteran beside Cenn turned and inspected him. The veteran wore a full beard, cut short. At the sides, the black hairs were starting to give way to grey.

I'm going to die, Cenn thought, clutching his spear—the shaft slick with sweat. I'm going to die. Oh, Stormfather. I'm going to die....

"How old are you, son?" the veteran asked. Cenn didn't remember the man's name. It was hard to recall anything while watching that other army form lines across the rocky battlefield. That lining up seemed so civil. Neat, organized. Shortspears in the front ranks, longspears and javelins next, archers at the sides. The darkeyed spearmen wore equipment like Cenn's: leather jerkin and knee-length skirt with a simple steel cap and a matching breastplate.

Many of the lighteyes had full suits of armor. They sat astride horses, their honor guards clustering around them with breastplates that gleamed burgundy and deep forest green. Were there Shardbearers among them? Brightlord Amaram wasn't a Shardbearer. Were any of his men? What if Cenn had to fight one? Ordinary men didn't kill Shardbearers. It had happened so infrequently that each occurrence was now legendary.

It's really happening, he thought with mounting terror. This wasn't a drill in the camp. This wasn't training out in the fields, swinging sticks. This was real. Facing that fact—his heart pounding like a frightened animal in his chest, his legs unsteady—Cenn suddenly realized that he was a coward. He shouldn't have left the herds! He should never have—

"Son?" the veteran said, voice firm. "How old are you?"

"Fifteen, sir."

"And what's your name?"

"Cenn, sir."

The mountainous, bearded man nodded. "I'm Dallet."

"Dallet," Cenn repeated, still staring out at the other army. There were so many of them! Thousands. "I'm going to die, aren't I?"

"No." Dallet had a gruff voice, but somehow that was comforting. "You're going to be just fine. Keep your head on straight.

Stay with the squad."

"But I've barely had three months' training!" He swore he could hear faint clangs from the enemy's armor or shields. "I can barely hold this spear! Stormfather, I'm dead. I can't—"

"Son," Dallet interrupted, soft but firm. He raised a hand and placed it on Cenn's shoulder. The rim of Dallet's large round shield reflected the light from where it hung on his back. "You are going to be fine."

"How can you know?" It came out as a plea.

"Because, lad. You're in Kaladin Stormblessed's squad." The other soldiers nearby nodded in agreement.

Behind them, waves and waves of soldiers were lining up—thousands of them. Cenn was right at the front, with Kaladin's squad of about thirty other men. Why had Cenn been moved to a new squad at the last moment? It had something to do with camp politics.

Why was this squad at the very front, where casualties were bound to be the greatest? Small fearspren—like globs of purplish goo—began to climb up out of the ground and gather around his feet. In a moment of sheer panic, he nearly dropped his spear and scrambled away. Dallet's hand tightened on his shoulder. Looking up into Dallet's confident black eyes, Cenn hesitated.

"Did you piss before we formed ranks?" Dallet asked.

"I didn't have time to—"

"Go now."

"Here?"

"If you don't, you'll end up with it running down your leg in battle, distracting you, maybe killing you. Do it."

Embarrassed, Cenn handed Dallet his spear and relieved himself onto the stones. When he finished, he shot glances at those next to him.

None of Kaladin's soldiers smirked. They stood steady, spears to their sides, shields on their backs.

The enemy army was almost finished. The field between the two forces was bare, flat slickrock, remarkably even and smooth, broken only by occasional rockbuds. It would have made a good pasture. The warm wind blew in Cenn's face, thick with the watery scents of last night's highstorm.

"Dallet!" a voice said.

A man walked up through the ranks, carrying a shortspear that had two leather knife sheaths strapped to the haft. The newcomer was a young man—perhaps four years older than Cenn's fifteen—but he was taller by several fingers than even Dallet. He wore the common leathers of a spearman, but under them was a pair of dark trousers. That wasn't supposed to be allowed.

His black Alethi hair was shoulder-length and wavy, his eyes a dark brown. He also had knots of white cord on the shoulders of his jerkin, marking him as a squadleader.

The thirty men around Cenn snapped to attention, raising their spears in salute. This is Kaladin Stormblessed? Cenn thought incredulously. This youth?

"Dallet, we're soon going to have a new recruit," Kaladin said. He had a strong voice. "I need you to ..." He trailed off as he noticed Cenn.

"He found his way here just a few minutes ago, sir," Dallet said with a smile. "I've been gettin' him ready."

"Well done," Kaladin said. "I paid good money to get that boy away from Gare. That man's so incompetent he might as well be fighting for the other side."

What? Cenn thought. Why would anyone pay to get me?

"What do you think about the field?" Kaladin asked. Several of the other spearmen nearby raised hands to shade from the sun, scanning the rocks.

"That dip next to the two boulders on the far right?" Dallet asked.

Kaladin shook his head. "Footing's too rough."

"Aye. Perhaps it is. What about the short hill over there? Far enough to avoid the first fall, close enough to not get too far ahead."

Kaladin nodded, though Cenn couldn't see what they were looking at. "Looks good."

"The rest of you louts hear that?" Dallet shouted.

The men raised their spears high.

"Keep an eye on the new boy, Dallet," Kaladin said. "He won't know the signs."

"Of course," Dallet said, smiling. Smiling! How could the man smile? The enemy army was blowing horns. Did that mean they were ready? Even though Cenn had just relieved himself, he felt a trickle of urine run down his leg.

"Stay firm," Kaladin said, then trotted down the front line to talk to the next squadleader over. Behind Cenn and the others, the dozens of ranks were still growing. The archers on the sides prepared to fire.

"Don't worry, son," Dallet said. "We'll be fine. Squadleader Kaladin is lucky."

The soldier on the other side of Cenn nodded. He was a lanky, red-haired Veden, with darker tan skin than the Alethi. Why was he fighting in an Alethi army? "That's right. Kaladin, he's stormblessed, right sure he is. We only lost ...what, one man last battle?"

"But someone did die," Cenn said.

Dallet shrugged. "People always die. Our squad loses the fewest.

You'll see."

Kaladin finished conferring with the other squadleader, then jogged back to his team. Though he carried a shortspear—meant to be wielded one-handed with a shield in the other hand—his was a hand longer than those held by the other men.

"At the ready, men!" Dallet called. Unlike the other squadleaders, Kaladin didn't fall into rank, but stood out in front of his squad.

The men around Cenn shuffled, excited. The sounds were repeated through the vast army, the stillness giving way before eagerness.

Hundreds of feet shuffling, shields slapping, clasps clanking. Kaladin remained motionless, staring down the other army. "Steady, men," he said without turning.

Behind, a lighteyed officer passed on horseback. "Be ready to fight! I want their blood, men. Fight and kill!"

"Steady," Kaladin said again, after the man passed.

"Be ready to run," Dallet said to Cenn.

"Run? But we've been trained to march in formation! To stay in our line!"

"Sure," Dallet said. "But most of the men don't have much more training than you. Those who can fight well end up getting sent to the Shattered Plains to battle the Parshendi. Kaladin's trying to get us into shape to go there, to fight for the king." Dallet nodded down the line.

"Most of these here will break and charge; the lighteyes aren't good enough commanders to keep them in formation. So stay with us and run."

"Should I have my shield out?" Around Kaladin's team, the other ranks were unhooking their shields. But Kaladin's squad left their shields on their backs.

Before Dallet could answer, a horn blew from behind.

"Go!" Dallet said.

Cenn didn't have much choice. The entire army started moving in a clamor of marching boots. As Dallet had predicted, the steady march didn't last long. Some men began yelling, the roar taken up by others. Lighteyes called for them to go, run, fight. The line disintegrated.

As soon as that happened, Kaladin's squad broke into a dash, running out into the front at full speed. Cenn scrambled to keep up, panicked and terrified. The ground wasn't as smooth as it had seemed, and he nearly tripped on a hidden rockbud, vines withdrawn into its shell.

He righted himself and kept going, holding his spear in one hand, his shield clapping against his back. The distant army was in motion as well, their soldiers charging down the field. There was no semblance of a battle formation or a careful line. This wasn't anything like the training had claimed it would be.

Cenn didn't even know who the enemy was. A landlord was encroaching on Brightlord Amaram's territory—the land owned, ultimately, by Highprince Sadeas. It was a border skirmish, and Cenn thought it was with another Alethi princedom. Why were they fighting each other? Perhaps the king would have put a stop to it, but he was on the Shattered Plains, seeking vengeance for the murder of King Gavilar five years before.

The enemy had a lot of archers. Cenn's panic climbed to a peak as the first wave of arrows flew into the air. He stumbled again, itching to take out his shield. But Dallet grabbed his arm and yanked him forward.

Hundreds of arrows split the sky, dimming the sun. They arced and fell, dropping like skyeels upon their prey. Amaram's soldiers raised shields. But not Kaladin's squad. No shields for them.

Cenn screamed.

And the arrows slammed into the middle ranks of Amaram's army, behind him. Cenn glanced over his shoulder, still running. The arrows fell behind him. Soldiers screamed, arrows broke against shields; only a few straggling arrows landed anywhere near the front ranks.

"Why?" he yelled at Dallet. "How did you know?"

"They want the arrows to hit where the men are most crowded," the large man replied. "Where they'll have the greatest chance of finding a body."

Several other groups in the van left their shields lowered, but most ran awkwardly with their shields angled up to the sky, worried about arrows that wouldn't hit them. That slowed them, and they risked getting trampled by the men behind who were getting hit. Cenn itched to raise his shield anyway; it felt so wrong to run without it.

The second volley hit, and men screamed in pain. Kaladin's squad barreled toward the enemy soldiers, some of whom were dying to arrows from Amaram's archers. Cenn could hear the enemy soldiers bellowing war cries, could make out individual faces. Suddenly, Kaladin's squad pulled to a halt, forming a tight group. They'd reached the small incline that Kaladin and Dallet had chosen earlier.

Dallet grabbed Cenn and shoved him to the very center of the formation. Kaladin's men lowered spears, pulling out shields as the enemy bore down on them. The charging foe used no careful formation; they didn't keep the ranks of longspears in back and shortspears in front. They all just ran forward, yelling in a frenzy.

Cenn scrambled to get his shield unlatched from his back. Clashing spears rang in the air as squads engaged one another. A group of enemy spearmen rushed up to Kaladin's squad, perhaps coveting the higher ground. The three dozen attackers had some cohesion, though they weren't in as tight a formation as Kaladin's squad was.

The enemy seemed determined to make up for it in passion; they bellowed and screamed in fury, rushing Kaladin's line. Kaladin's team held rank, defending Cenn as if he were some lighteyes and they were his honor guard. The two forces met with a crash of metal on wood, shields slamming together. Cenn cringed back.

It was over in a few eyeblinks. The enemy squad pulled back, leaving two dead on the stone. Kaladin's team hadn't lost anyone. They held their bristling V formation, though one man stepped back and pulled out a bandage to wrap a thigh wound. The rest of the men closed in to fill the spot. The wounded man was hulking and thick-armed; he cursed, but the wound didn't look bad. He was on his feet in a moment, but didn't return to the place where he'd been. Instead, he moved down to one end of the V formation, a more protected spot.

The battlefield was chaos. The two armies mingled indistinguishably; sounds of clanging, crunching, and screaming churned in the air. Many of the squads broke apart, members rushing from one encounter to another. They moved like hunters, groups of three or four seeking lone individuals, then brutally falling on them.

Kaladin's team held its ground, engaging only enemy squads that got too close. Was this what a battle really was? Cenn's practice had trained him for long ranks of men, shoulder to shoulder. Not this frenzied intermixing, this brutal pandemonium. Why didn't more hold formation?

The real soldiers are all gone, Cenn thought. Off fighting in a real battle at the Shattered Plains. No wonder Kaladin wants to get his squad there.

Spears flashed on all sides; it was difficult to tell friend from foe, despite the emblems on breastplates and colored paint on shields. The battlefield broke down into hundreds of small groups, like a thousand different wars happening at the same time.

After the first few exchanges, Dallet took Cenn by the shoulder and placed him in the rank at the very bottom of the V pattern. Cenn, however, was worthless. When Kaladin's team engaged enemy squads, all of his training fled him. It took everything he had to just remain there, holding his spear outward and trying to look threatening.

For the better part of an hour, Kaladin's squad held their small hill, working as a team, shoulder to shoulder. Kaladin often left his position at the front, rushing this way and that, banging his spear on his shield in a strange rhythm.

Those are signals, Cenn realized as Kaladin's squad moved from the V shape into a ring. With the screams of the dying and the thousands of men calling to others, it was nearly impossible to hear a single person's voice. But the sharp clang of the spear against the metal plate on Kaladin's shield was clear. Each time they changed formations, Dallet grabbed Cenn by the shoulder and steered him.

Kaladin's team didn't chase down stragglers. They remained on the defensive. And, while several of the men in Kaladin's team took wounds, none of them fell. Their squad was too intimidating for the smaller groups, and larger enemy units retreated after a few exchanges, seeking easier foes.

Eventually something changed. Kaladin turned, watching the tides of the battle with discerning brown eyes. He raised his spear and smacked his shield in a quick rhythm he hadn't used before. Dallet grabbed Cenn by the arm and pulled him away from the small hill. Why abandon it now?

Just then, the larger body of Amaram's force broke, the men scattering. Cenn hadn't realized how poorly the battle in this quarter had been going for his side. As Kaladin's team retreated, they passed many wounded and dying, and Cenn grew nauseated. Soldiers were sliced open, their insides spilling out.

He didn't have time for horror; the retreat quickly turned into a rout. Dallet cursed, and Kaladin beat his shield again. The squad changed direction, heading eastward. There, Cenn saw, a larger group of Amaram's soldiers was holding.

But the enemy had seen the ranks break, and that made them bold. They rushed forward in clusters, like wild axehounds hunting stray hogs. Before Kaladin's team was halfway across the field of dead and dying, a large group of enemy soldiers intercepted them. Kaladin reluctantly banged his shield; his squad slowed.

Cenn felt his heart begin to thump faster and faster. Nearby, a squad of Amaram's soldiers was consumed; men stumbled and fell, screaming, trying to get away. The enemies used their spears like skewers, killing men on the ground like cremlings.

Kaladin's men met the enemy in a crash of spears and shields. Bodies shoved on all sides, and Cenn was spun about. In the jumble of friend and foe, dying and killing, Cenn grew overwhelmed. So many men running in so many directions!

He panicked, scrambling for safety. A group of soldiers nearby wore Alethi uniforms. Kaladin's squad. Cenn ran for them, but when some turned toward him, Cenn was terrified to realize he didn't recognize them. This wasn't Kaladin's squad, but a small group of unfamiliar soldiers holding an uneven, broken line. Wounded and terrified, they scattered as soon as an enemy squad got close.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Copyright © 2010 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Prelude to the Stormlight Archive,
Book One: The Way of Kings,
Prologue: To Kill,
Part One: Above Silence,
Part Two: The Illuminating Storms,
Part Three: Dying,
Interludes,
Part Five: The Silence Above,
Epilogue: Of Most Worth,
Endnote,
Ars Arcanum,

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1290 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 28, 2010

    Starts out slow, but doesn't disappoint.

    I don't read a lot of fantasy but I loved the Mistborn series and Warbreaker. You can tell from the start that this book is the beginning of something epic. The story follows several characters, some so minor, you wonder why they're even mentioned. Each chapter you get a snippet of what's happened in the past, what's currently happening, and what is going to happen. Be prepared to get halfway through this 1000 page novel before you really start to see things fall into place and the action to really start happening. By the time I was finished, I didn't want it to end. I had misgivings at the start but by the end, I was sucked in. I HAVE to see what happens next!

    54 out of 57 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2010

    Next amazing and epic fantasy series is here!

    This book (and series) has the makings of one of the all time great fantasy series. I felt the same way reading this as when I sat reading "The Wheel of Time" or "Game of Thrones" for the first time. There are plenty of good fantasy stories out there, enough variety for anyone; but this is high fantasy done at it's best.

    It took me a little time to get started on this. I was sick the last week and nyquil and late reading don't seem to mix well. As this cold is fading I've been able to dig in and finish it the last couple days. Partly because of the addicting nature of the story as well.

    As someone who loves characters first and foremost, every character in this book is well done. Kaladin was the character I got into quickest, others took a bit longer for me to form that eagerness for; but eventually they all came to the same level.

    His world feels nearly alien in it's uniqueness. Not something I require of my fantasy, but knowing this is going to be a ten book series it's nice to see. He does such a good job with fleshing out the world that by the end, it really doesn't feel alien anymore. In fact at one point a good way through they come to an area that seems fairly "earthlike" and the characters there find it odd and I was right along with them.

    The plot is exactly what it should be for something that will last ten books and probably over a decade of writing. Epic. The single novel itself reads well enough and wraps up well enough, but you still feel like you read the first chapter and want more. Not so much because of major cliffhangers, but because you are involved in the world and the characters and want to stay there. Sanderson does an outstanding job of weaving the plots together as it moves forward.

    The magic is unique, well done and well explained. Still more left on the table to learn; but I feel like the reader got plenty to understand what was happening and how. Most of all it fits the world's unique feel.

    Outside of the overall review, I have to say a couple things I normally don't like in fantasies: Odd quotes that don't make sense under chapter titles and prophecies and guidance by godlike figures that are more riddles than anything else. Both of these were in the book and handled beautifully. The prophecy thing when it finally crested most I nearly started to get frustrated, when the explanation came and it all made sense (more sense than any other time I've seen it tried). and, Once you are into the story you understand the purpose of the quotes and they just become additional artwork.

    Speaking of artwork, I loved all the extras in this book. Of course it had the map many fantasy stories have, but it also had drawings throughout the story of cities, creatures and other sketches (work that looked like you were peaking into sketchbooks of that world, not just standard art). It also had nice headers to every chapter.

    I can't recommend this story enough if you are a true fantasy fan. Especially if you like series like the Wheel of Time (fitting he is finishing that for Jordan) and a Song of Fire and Ice.

    38 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2010

    Do not stop reading it gets very good

    Any author who writes an epic fantasy that is supposed to expand 10 books faces the challenge of world building and character developement. In my view that is what boggs down the first half of this book. Thankfully, Brandon Sanderson did not let me down; on page 451 the book picked up speed and the story started comming together. Trust me by the end of the book you will not want to put it down!

    29 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    this is a fascinating grand beginning to what looks like an epic worthy of the late Robert Jordan

    The storms of Roshar are legendary for their fierceness as natural selection has led to flora and fauna adapting to the intensity. Failure to do so means extinction. Humans understand the basic premise for survival of the fittest as they have built great cities only in places where shelter from the torrents can be found. Centuries ago the Knights Radiant laid down their arms having disestablished their units. Now four thousand five hundred plus years since they dispersed, they have become myths while their shardblade weapons and shardplate armor have become the most valuable commodity on Roshar.

    Shallan the scholar has uncovered an inconvenient truth as she serves as an apprentice to the sister of the King. Unlike his aristocratic peers, visionary warrior Dalinar Kholin, the current king's uncle looks to the past to forge an honorable just future. Finally acrimonious Kaladin went from aristocratic surgeon to slave to save the life of his brother, but it cost him his honor and caring of others.

    The opening act of the Stormlight Machine an epic fantasy which a monster sized book in which Brandon Sanderson establishes his world in minute detail (some might say overly detailed) and the flaws of his three prime players. The story line contains several subplots with Shallan, Kholin and Kaladin serving as the main three in the intertwining saga. Especially intriguing, besides the encyclopedic fascinating depth of Roshar, is the gripping sagas of Kaladin and Shallan; while the arc of Kholin feels forced as if a fantasy element was needed to spice up the saga. Still this is a fascinating grand beginning to what looks like an epic worthy of the late Robert Jordan.

    Harriet Klausner

    15 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2010

    Normally not a huge sanderson fan - but..

    I have to say that I might be one of the very few who was not blown away by the Mistborn series. I read it, and felt that it was a decent story, but not much more. Here, however, I actually found that this book made me salivate a bit thinking of the next volume to be released. The characters are all well drawn (though i would like to see Kaladin be a little more morally unsure), and the worldbuilding is superb. I will say that this volume gives an extraordindary amount of background material - so much so that the pacing goes from slow crawl to frenetic and back again a bit too much for comfort. However, even with the all the exposition, I found myself confused and going back to re-read sections. Though this sounds like a negative, it actually felt like it was a world so big that only another ten 1000 page books would explain it...is it too early to start complaining about the next release?

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson does it again!

    The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson's debut novel of The Stormlight Archive, starts the unique story of a world torn apart by ferocious storms. Like all of his original novels before this, a very unique and very original magic system gives extraordinary powers to those able to use them. The main characters also have great depth, and genuine likability, while I truly wish ill to the antagonists. At a little over 1000 pages, this story will definitely keep the reader occupied. Sanderson always brings his own flavor of fantasy to his works, and I couldn't be happier with this debut of his new series. (Well, I wish that the rest of the series was already published!) I recommend this to any and all fans of the fantasy genre.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The way of Kings--A must read

    I really enjoyed this book a lot. Found myself staying up late many a night . Didn't want it to end.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Amazing book, could not stop reading. The only bad thing is wai

    Amazing book, could not stop reading. The only bad thing is waiting for the next book. This is the best book I've read so far. Its right up there with "The Way of Shadows" by Brent Weeks.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Brandon Sanderson is a great story teller. His book kept me facinated to the end.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    !

    My new favorite book. I was blown away.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Amazing!

    The creation of an entire world, complete with multiple beings, religions, races, politics and much more is only the beginning of the alure of this epic series. With an incredible history unfolding with every turn of the page, the characters and they're lives jump out at you.

    I found myself wanting to read further just to learn how and why the characters arrived at their current situations, only to turn the page yet again to find out where they are going from this point on.

    I anxiously await the next installment of what is bound to be one of the greatest epic worlds of modern fantasy. Thank you for sharing this amazing work of art with us.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Best book ever!!!!!

    This book is great!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    Just a slice of what Sanderson is capable of!

    You can tell by reading The Way of Kings that Sanderson has indeed dedicated a large portion of his life to this series. As deeply enthralling and layered as this story already is, the ball has merely begun to roll. Brandon has a way of capturing your attention like Robert Jordan, and building worlds as deeply complex as Tolkien's, but without impeding the progress of the story. I suggest you block out a day or two to sit down and read it, because otherwise the story will silently nag you to come back and finish it throughout your day! Enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2011

    Way good

    I couldn't put this one down. A superb plot, breadth, depth, character development, it's all good. Geared a bit more towards guys, probably.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very Exciting Book!

    Great Read, and Sanderson does a great job of building his characters. I am looking forward to reading his Wheel of Time Books that he is finishing up!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    Great book

    Everyone in my family has read this book and loved it. I enjoyed it so much i read it three times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Wow

    This is just too insanely cool to define.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Hold in there

    The prologue really hooked me. But my goodness does this book take a bit to get going. The character development is very in depth which is expected in a 3000+ pg book and beginning of 10 ( I think) book series. But it is a bit hard to read for the first thousand. It is not straight up boring, but nothing happens. When this book picks up it is all worth it. I am very anxiously awaiting the next stormlight archive.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    Amazing

    Innovative world with great characters and a new and intriguing "magic". Many twists and turns to keep you on your toes. I can't wait for the next book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Didnt want it to end

    At over 1000 pages you would think by the end you'd be ready for it to end. Not even close to true. Sanderson is so adept at giving his world and characters such depth and truth that i nearly felt bereft at turning the last page. I am in absolute agony waiting for the story to continue!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1290 Customer Reviews

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