Overview (No Spoilers):
The Stormlight Archives has been on my radar for several years but I hadn’t made the effort to pick up The Way of Kings until now. As someone who has steadfastly claimed she likes to read a wide variety of genres, high fantasy has routinely proven to be one of my favorites as I continually find myself drawn to that section of the bookstore. With that being said, The Way of Kings was an easy book to add to my reading list as it shares so many of the common themes with my most treasured series, from the quality of world building, to the level of detail, and length, as such in short order I was hooked, captivated by the developing story. The first installment in this seemingly ambitious series spent a significant portion of the book establishing the literary realm and the laying the cultural foundation, while adding depth to key characters layer by meticulous layer. By the second half of the book, characters that started out blurry around the edges had come in sharp focus as the plot took shape. Additionally, unique aspects of this literary world become better defined, piquing the reader’s curiosity to learn more, such as the intriguing spren. Throughout The Way of Kings, common themes of honor, trust, and ancient knowledge lost to time are reoccurring, regardless of the point of view. I was so engrossed in this read that I was so tempted to break my number one reading rule of refusing to read consecutive books in a series back to back, which is highly indicative of how much the story had captured my full attention. Overall, I’m excited to see where Sanderson will weave this tale and what adventures and surely hardships he has in store for Kalidin, Shallan, Szeth, Dalinar, and my favorite Rock!
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- I loved the twist that Kaladin won the Shardblade and Shardplate outright but refused to take it because it felt wrong. When will he come in contact again with Amaram? We know the Brightlord is headed to the Shattered Plains, so we can only assume that a confrontation is in store. We also find out that Sylphren does not like the Shardblades. Does that mean that whatever is inside Kaladin also rejects the magical blades?
- We know now that Sylphren is an honor spren, what are other spren we don’t know about? What all can spren do? How long has Sylphren been following Kaladin?
- Time between the POVs did not seem to follow any set rules with regard to the passage of time. Could Szeth be the Parshendi man in the bridge crew? Highly unlikely but I think he is more than meets the eye. We know Szeth was sent to the Shattered Plains.
- The variety in personalities of the members of the bridge crew significantly added to the story as so many of the main characters were somber in nature. Rock was definitely my favorite but Teft contained the most mystery. Will he betray Kaladin as he warned? What is his backstory?
- Is Navani really to be trusted? I hope so for Dalinar’s sake!
- What will happen to Shallan’s family? Was her father really a member of the Ghost Bloods? Did Shallan really kill him?
- Is Jasnah right about the Voidbringers being the Parshendi?
- I did not see it coming at all that King Taravangian was actually the person pulling Szeth’s strings. What are the importance of the last words of the dead that he is recording? I’m having such a hard time figuring out who is bad and who is good in this story line!
- Will Szeth kill Dalinar? I hope not! What does his visions mean and why is he getting them? I loved how Dalinar came into his own in his last interaction with the King.
- Who is Wit? Did Kaladin keep the instrument he gave him? How is Sigzil his old student? Sigzil must have tried to kill Wit, why?