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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson Book 1 of his new 10-volume series

#21 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 12:01 AM

Nearing the 300 page mark, and I'm really starting to enjoy it more now. Still not sure if I like Shallan, but all the other characters have been enjoyable up to this point. I particularly like Kaladin and Syl.
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#22 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:07 AM

Kaladin and Syl are instantly likable. Shallan and Jasnah take a bit more time, but in the second half of the book their stories get really engrossing. That and Dalinar's visions and his and Adolin's plotlines get thicker and more awesome too later on. By the end of the book you will like everyone I think.
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#23 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:50 AM

I liked Jasnah right off. Shallan was annoying at first (which is part of why I liked Jasnah right off), but she got better as time went on. She's not nearly as bad as Felisin.

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#24 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:54 AM

Glad to hear it. I'm excited to see where this book, and the series as a whole is going - I didn't read anything about it before I picked it up, and I haven't even read the synopsis on the jacket. Good to hear Shallan and Jasnah will get better - at this point it's the weakest part of the book.

Dalinar reminds me of Eddard Stark.
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#25 User is offline   WhiskeyJackDaniels 

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 09:50 PM

View PostDefiance, on 02 October 2010 - 04:54 AM, said:

Dalinar reminds me of Eddard Stark.



I can see what you mean, but its kind of interesting to compare the two. Eddard lives in a world where honor is spoken of constantly and is the professed ideal for much of the nobility. But most just end up doing what is best for them instead of the honorable thing like Eddard would, and he ends up paying for it.


Dalinar lives in a world where honor isn't very high up on the virtues list of the nobility, but I feel like he's going to try and bring it back, and be rewarded for that.


btw, I just realized what the Knights Radiant reminded me of. Iron Man wielding a light saber. If you know anyone that is uncertain on whether or not they want to read the books, tell them that line.
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#26 User is offline   KalamMekhar 

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 10:08 PM

i just got this big ass hardcover book and will commence reading it immediately! sounds good from what everyone has said about it
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#27 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 03:14 AM

Almost 600 pages in and I'm still uncertain about how I feel about the book. Kaladin parts are fun to read but almost embarrassingly predictable, Dalinar ones are pretty good, and so far Shallan ones are a drag. It feels like Sanderson keeps trying to show us how witty she is, but he just tries to hammer it in too much. Things just feel a little too black and white. I can stomach some of it, but I really hope Sanderson goes deeper than this, otherwise I won't stick with the series for more than another book or two.
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#28 User is offline   Cobbles 

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:50 PM

I've started to read it, almost finished with part 2. So far, I've enjoyed the Shallan part the most. Sadly, she's completely left out of part 2. Kaladin is a solid storyline but I'm not too excited. The flashbacks haven't added much so far for me, in particular since we already know that he'll chose soldiering over becoming a surgeon. What's not spelled out (yet) is how he became a slave, but I think I have a fairly good guess. IMHO, his part of the story moves too slowly. I don't care too much about the crew of bridge 4 and how Kaladin is trying to pull them together. The Dalinar/Adolin storyline is decent. It's been a fairly good exposition of the general attitude of the highprinces and the war on the Parshmen so far. The visions and interference of Sadeas point to where this might be going and has me interested.

I actually liked the small 'interludes'. It reminds me a bit of SE's style of jumping from viewpoint to viewpoint which I've come to appreciate. Overall, I think the story has potential. Sanderson is known to accelerate the plot toward the end and hopefully that makes it a great novel. At present I would rate it as a well written but somewhat conventional fantasy novel. The worldbuilding is great so far, something we have expected from Sanderson.

This post has been edited by Cobbles: 05 October 2010 - 03:51 PM

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#29 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 04:08 AM

Just finished it. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Even after 1000 pages the characters still feel pretty flat to me. Unfortunately, there were only two twist thats surprised me:

Spoiler


Everything else, though was disappointingly predictable. The book also felt really slow; things didn't pick up until the last 150 pages or so. I feel like the book could have been cut down by about 300 pages; things got pretty repetitive, especially with the bridgemen. Characters seemed to think the same things over and over and over. Hopefully Sanderson steps up his game and introduces some new, complex characters, or finds a way to make the current main characters more interesting. Personally, I would rather read chapters about Jasnah and Sadeas than Shallan and Adolin.

6.5/10

This post has been edited by Defiance: 06 October 2010 - 04:36 AM

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#30 User is offline   Cobbles 

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 03:53 PM

View PostCobbles, on 05 October 2010 - 03:50 PM, said:

I've started to read it, almost finished with part 2. So far, I've enjoyed the Shallan part the most. Sadly, she's completely left out of part 2. Kaladin is a solid storyline but I'm not too excited. The flashbacks haven't added much so far for me, in particular since we already know that he'll chose soldiering over becoming a surgeon. What's not spelled out (yet) is how he became a slave, but I think I have a fairly good guess. IMHO, his part of the story moves too slowly. I don't care too much about the crew of bridge 4 and how Kaladin is trying to pull them together. The Dalinar/Adolin storyline is decent. It's been a fairly good exposition of the general attitude of the highprinces and the war on the Parshmen so far. The visions and interference of Sadeas point to where this might be going and has me interested.

I actually liked the small 'interludes'. It reminds me a bit of SE's style of jumping from viewpoint to viewpoint which I've come to appreciate. Overall, I think the story has potential. Sanderson is known to accelerate the plot toward the end and hopefully that makes it a great novel. At present I would rate it as a well written but somewhat conventional fantasy novel. The worldbuilding is great so far, something we have expected from Sanderson.


Quoting myself here. I progressed to page ~600. Kaladin's story got more interesting but I still like Shallan's part the best so far. It seems that all three (main?) characteres (Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar) have come to a turning point.
Spoiler
I think it will make an interesting last third of the book.
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#31 User is offline   Cobbles 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 04:40 PM

I've finished the book now, and as some others here, I'm a little bit underwhelmed. It's decent, but also a fairly conventional fantasy fare. From the flap, the book follows four main characters around. The surgeon who became a soldier, the thief in disguise of a scholar, a highprince and a sad assassin. Now
Spoiler

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#32 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 03:18 PM

View PostCobbles, on 11 October 2010 - 04:40 PM, said:

I've finished the book now, and as some others here, I'm a little bit underwhelmed. It's decent, but also a fairly conventional fantasy fare. From the flap, the book follows four main characters around. The surgeon who became a soldier, the thief in disguise of a scholar, a highprince and a sad assassin. Now
Spoiler



The scope needs widening? Gods, Sanderson opens up like ten different plot threads that we only tasted in this first volume! Shadesmar is only touched on, as is the history of the Surgebinders, the original knights radiant are only briefly shown and we still haven't a clue what they walked away from, the diversity of the many cultures mentioned in each area of Roshar, the origin of the storms is barely touched upon, the area where Seth is from having normal grass and plantlife that doesn't fold in on itself when the storms come, the history that Jasnah is looking into is only really briefly mentioned, the relationship between the religions and society, the fact that women have to have that safehand thing currently, when in Dalinar's visions of the past they don't and there are female Knights Radiant. There is SO much he barely touches on and hints at. I can't fathom how you came away thinking that there wasn't enough here to be in ten volumes. This is one of the best opening salvo's into a ten book series I have ever even seen, barnone.

And Eye Of The World.....most of Jordan's WOT worldbuilding for the main running storylines don't even get mentioned till the 3rd or 4th book.....so you can't tell me he made Eye Of The World so rich in his worlds history and plotlines....that's a pretty self-contained story in that book. I can even call into question GoTM....being that the whole continent and society of Lether and all it's inhabitants (KEY characters and plotlines in the series) don't even get mentioned till Midnight Tides....so I don't think that one works either.

I think that on the whole there was a LOT going on that we don't know about above and beyond the main plotlines.

This post has been edited by QuickTidal: 16 October 2010 - 04:12 PM

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#33 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 04:56 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 16 October 2010 - 03:18 PM, said:

The scope needs widening? Gods, Sanderson opens up like ten different plot threads that we only tasted in this first volume! Shadesmar is only touched on, as is the history of the Surgebinders, the original knights radiant are only briefly shown and we still haven't a clue what they walked away from, the diversity of the many cultures mentioned in each area of Roshar, the origin of the storms is barely touched upon, the area where Seth is from having normal grass and plantlife that doesn't fold in on itself when the storms come, the history that Jasnah is looking into is only really briefly mentioned, the relationship between the religions and society, the fact that women have to have that safehand thing currently, when in Dalinar's visions of the past they don't and there are female Knights Radiant. There is SO much he barely touches on and hints at. I can't fathom how you came away thinking that there wasn't enough here to be in ten volumes. This is one of the best opening salvo's into a ten book series I have ever even seen, barnone.


I had the same problem as Cobbles. I mean, I can see that there's still a lot more to learn. For me, I think it's just a lack of interest. I don't know if it's the way Sanderson writes or what, but I didn't find myself clinging to every bit of information I got, or really wondering much about other cultures/history as I do with Erikson or Martin.
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#34 User is offline   WhiskeyJackDaniels 

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 09:18 PM

I thought the history was quite interesting. You've got the Desolations, whatever wars the Knights Radiant were fighting before the walked away, and the wars where the ardents tried to take over the world (forget the name). I wouldn't be so cruel as to compare the history of any series to that of MBotF, but I'd say the stuff I just mentioned compares favorably to WoT and ASoIaF in history (with the possible exception of not having names of great leaders and champions thrown about as readily), especially since it has only been one book.

The parts that most interests me going forward are
Spoiler

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 07:29 AM

thought this was just okay but there really arent enough ideas here to sustain 10 books w/o venturing even further into core rulebooks territory. not sure sanderson has a enough of an eye for the telling detail to effectively populate the series w/ enough characters to keep things interesting.

mostly not sure why a dude who's best quality as a writer is keeping things moving wants to write a massive & intricate epic but i guess its a restriction of the genre. tbh think he should take a page outta that insect world dudes book and try something on that scale
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#36 User is offline   Cobbles 

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 08:09 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 16 October 2010 - 03:18 PM, said:

The scope needs widening? Gods, Sanderson opens up like ten different plot threads that we only tasted in this first volume! Shadesmar is only touched on, as is the history of the Surgebinders, the original knights radiant are only briefly shown and we still haven't a clue what they walked away from, the diversity of the many cultures mentioned in each area of Roshar, the origin of the storms is barely touched upon, the area where Seth is from having normal grass and plantlife that doesn't fold in on itself when the storms come, the history that Jasnah is looking into is only really briefly mentioned, the relationship between the religions and society, the fact that women have to have that safehand thing currently, when in Dalinar's visions of the past they don't and there are female Knights Radiant. There is SO much he barely touches on and hints at. I can't fathom how you came away thinking that there wasn't enough here to be in ten volumes. This is one of the best opening salvo's into a ten book series I have ever even seen, barnone.

And Eye Of The World.....most of Jordan's WOT worldbuilding for the main running storylines don't even get mentioned till the 3rd or 4th book.....so you can't tell me he made Eye Of The World so rich in his worlds history and plotlines....that's a pretty self-contained story in that book. I can even call into question GoTM....being that the whole continent and society of Lether and all it's inhabitants (KEY characters and plotlines in the series) don't even get mentioned till Midnight Tides....so I don't think that one works either.

I think that on the whole there was a LOT going on that we don't know about above and beyond the main plotlines.


Maybe I've expressed it poorly, but I did not mean that he should have laid out all his plotlines in this book. Only that (IMHO) the plotlines which are started here won't be able to carry the series for 9 more volumes.

When you read TtEotW, I agree, not many plotlines are started, but reading through it in hindsight, it is amazing how many details are in this book which at some later time develop into major issues (just to give one example: on the river with Domon, they spot the Tower of Ghenjei (sp?) which is thought to play a major role in the upcoming WoT novel which is #13). I can't really see so much of it in WoK. The Surgebinders, Knight radiants, origin of the storms, what Jasnah is studying etc. are probably central to the book, so I wouldn't count those (yet) to widen the scope later on. Otherwise, going through your list, what's left is the safehand thing and the 'normal' plantlife from where Seth is from. The latter is actually somewhat explained in the book. The place is on the other side of the continent, and the storms just aren't strong enough there.

I found the history reasonably interesting, but of course, it has to be connected to the story somehow to make it all that relevant. There's a few glimpses of things which point to a broader scope later on, such as the scene on the lake and when Dalinar travels with the storm and sees several different places. Or all the guys which are killed by Seth must have been somewhat relevant. So, yes, there is potential if Sanderson is going to branch out a bit in these directions.

This post has been edited by Cobbles: 22 October 2010 - 08:11 PM

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#37 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:54 AM

View PostCobbles, on 22 October 2010 - 08:09 PM, said:

When you read TtEotW, I agree, not many plotlines are started, but reading through it in hindsight, it is amazing how many details are in this book which at some later time develop into major issues (just to give one example: on the river with Domon, they spot the Tower of Ghenjei (sp?) which is thought to play a major role in the upcoming WoT novel which is #13).

Just off the top of my head:

Several major characters (not counting the Two Rivers folk) are introduced in the early chapters, and throughout the book, who become important later (in rough order of introduction):

Moiraine
Lan
Thom
Padan Fain
Min
Dain Bornhald
Mordeth
Domon
Floran Gelb (minor importance, but he does show up randomly later)
Elyas
Raen
Ila
Aram
Hopper
Jaret Byar
Almen Bunt
Paitr Conel
Mili Skane aka Lady Shiaine
Else Grinwell
Basel Gill
Lamgwin
Elayne
Gawyn
Galad
Tallanvor
Morgase
Gareth Bryne
Elaida
Loial
Ingtar
Agelmar
Someshta
Aginor-Osan'gar-Dashiva
Balthamel-Aran'gar
Ishamael

Those are the characters introduced in book one who appear again, not counting Two Rivers people (like Elam Dowtry). A few of them have minor roles, like Raen and Ila, and Else Grinwell, and Floran Gelb, but all of them appear in later books, and most of them have major roles.

That's not even touching on the major foreshadowing of future events in the book, such as Rand's dreams in ch. 9 and ch. 24, both of which foreshadow important plot points that did not become clear until recently. Perrin thinking to himself in the Hawkwing stedding, 'Maybe some of [Hawkwing's] justice is left here'...and now, it seems as though Justice was indeed found there (at least, we know it was found in water beneath a statue). Lots of good stuff in book one.

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#38 User is offline   Cobbles 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:05 PM

View PostTerez, on 23 October 2010 - 01:54 AM, said:

View PostCobbles, on 22 October 2010 - 08:09 PM, said:

When you read TtEotW, I agree, not many plotlines are started, but reading through it in hindsight, it is amazing how many details are in this book which at some later time develop into major issues (just to give one example: on the river with Domon, they spot the Tower of Ghenjei (sp?) which is thought to play a major role in the upcoming WoT novel which is #13).

Just off the top of my head:

Several major characters (not counting the Two Rivers folk) are introduced in the early chapters, and throughout the book, who become important later (in rough order of introduction):

Moiraine
Lan
Thom
Padan Fain
Min
Dain Bornhald
Mordeth
Domon
Floran Gelb (minor importance, but he does show up randomly later)
Elyas
Raen
Ila
Aram
Hopper
Jaret Byar
Almen Bunt
Paitr Conel
Mili Skane aka Lady Shiaine
Else Grinwell
Basel Gill
Lamgwin
Elayne
Gawyn
Galad
Tallanvor
Morgase
Gareth Bryne
Elaida
Loial
Ingtar
Agelmar
Someshta
Aginor-Osan'gar-Dashiva
Balthamel-Aran'gar
Ishamael

Those are the characters introduced in book one who appear again, not counting Two Rivers people (like Elam Dowtry). A few of them have minor roles, like Raen and Ila, and Else Grinwell, and Floran Gelb, but all of them appear in later books, and most of them have major roles.

That's not even touching on the major foreshadowing of future events in the book, such as Rand's dreams in ch. 9 and ch. 24, both of which foreshadow important plot points that did not become clear until recently. Perrin thinking to himself in the Hawkwing stedding, 'Maybe some of [Hawkwing's] justice is left here'...and now, it seems as though Justice was indeed found there (at least, we know it was found in water beneath a statue). Lots of good stuff in book one.


That's precisely what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure to which degree that will apply to Sanderson's WoK. Of course you'd need hindsight for an accurate account. But just based on the number of named characters in WoK, there's going to be much less. Maybe if the bridge crew is to split up and everyone in there is getting a storyline. Or maybe if the big army splits up or whatever.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that unless the story widens up by quite a bit, I cannot see how you can fill up 9 more novels. There is the potential, but we have to see how it's going to be handled in books 2 and 3.
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#39 User is offline   WhiskeyJackDaniels 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 08:10 PM

I doubt he'll do this, but how many important people do we not meet in GotM? We are going into the final book of the Malazan series and I would not at all be surprised to find new characters when tCG comes out.

I think when it comes to massive epic series that the authors have been thinking about/writing about for decades we should give them the benefit of the doubt that they aren't just adding a few books to the series so that it sounds more impressive in total. Especially established writers like Sanderson, I trust that he knows what he's doing with the plotline and there will be enough to keep me interested.
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#40 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 08:22 PM

View PostWhiskeyJackDaniels, on 26 October 2010 - 08:10 PM, said:

I doubt he'll do this, but how many important people do we not meet in GotM? We are going into the final book of the Malazan series and I would not at all be surprised to find new characters when tCG comes out.

I think when it comes to massive epic series that the authors have been thinking about/writing about for decades we should give them the benefit of the doubt that they aren't just adding a few books to the series so that it sounds more impressive in total. Especially established writers like Sanderson, I trust that he knows what he's doing with the plotline and there will be enough to keep me interested.


Indeed, succinctly put. To oust the man's first book in a ten book series by saying he doesn't have enough worldbuilding/multi-plot and character threads is a tad ludicrous To be honest.
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