Details: Fiction written by Brandon Sanderson. 1258 pages.
I don’t enjoy reading for fun. Not fiction at least. To me, reading is meant for instruction; textbooks, instruction manuals, news articles, that sort of thing. In the case of this book, a friend strongly recommended I read this book… and also gave me a copy. So, since I had really no excuse not to read this, I decided to give it a try. This is my first foray into the fantasy genre, and seeing that this book is a New York Times bestseller. The last fiction book I read was Harry Potter, which I enjoyed.
This book takes place in a fantasy world with magic, knights, kings, other races, and everything you’d might expect from a fantasy book. Think Game of Thrones and you’ll be on the right track. I do feel like this book is less brutal than Game of Thrones, but, after some research, The Way of Kings is only the first book in what is likely a series of ten books that explore this fictional world.
The story centers around a few characters and is told from the first person perspective, switching perspectives between chapters. The primary characters I’ve found are Kaladin (a slave and former soldier), Dalinar (a highprince and ruler of a kingdom), Shallan (a girl from a lesser noble house who is seeking out a heretic), and Szeth (an assassin with unique powers). I won’t go further into the characters or plot for fear of spoilers. Stuff happens. Some of it is surprising.
What I’ve realized about the fantasy genre is that on of the primary goals of the book is the creation of this fantasy world. Accordingly, I found a lot of the text kind of wordy and extraneous. This is probably because I don’t normally read fiction novels and these very lengthy descriptions of… everything are likely the norm in fictional literary works. Or maybe not. Either way, expect a lot of in-depth descriptions that mostly add color to the world, even if I found them a bit much.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, but my first foray into fantasy novels will likely be my last. It’s just to time consuming. I recognize that part of the appeal is to immerse yourself into this world and it’s characters and lengthy text do a great job to facilitate that. I couldn’t help but feel like I was wasting time every time I sat down with this fiction. While books of this length and subject matter may not be to my liking, if you like reading fiction, especially books like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, then I thoroughly recommend this book.