I love high fantasy.
I love a good ‘ol knight and magic story.
Always have and always will.
But, I have a tendency that, to when I get into book one of a big series, I HAVE to finish the first book, no matter how good it is.
Even if it’s not good, I always tell myself “Keep reading, there’s twelve more books! It has to get good at some point!”
Many times this is true, but sometimes it’s not.
I love the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Granted, I have book ADD so I’ve not completed the series yet.I tend to read one book of a series, then read another book of another series. If I don’t do this, I burn myself out and will never finish a series. I remember the third book of the Wheel of Time took me like a half a year to finish because I was burnt out on the characters and setting. But anyways.
Thirteen books are in the series so far, and the final book comes out at the end of this year.
The Wheel of Time series has gone on so long, that the original author, Robert Jordan, actually passed away while writing it.
So, Jordan’s son chose a author to complete the series: Brandon Sanderson.
I’ve heard good things about Sanderson from one of my co-workers, so I was pretty excited when I heard this.
He releases part one of this three part conclusion, but then he also releases part one of his ten book epic.
Way of Kings.
What set me back here is that a typical Wheel of Time book is around anywhere form 600-800 pages.
Way of Kings is 1000 pages.
That’s a brick. A door stopper. HUGE.
He’s finishing one epic, and beginning his own epic.
So I bought the hardback edition of Way of Kings excited. I was intimidated by the size, but something told me that this book was going to be a grand experience.
The reviews I read were good. The beginning of each chapter had pretty pictures. There were beautiful drawings depicting things that Sanderson described throughout the book.
So I loved it right?
Yes and no.
This was one of those books where 500-600 pages could have been shaved off, and I would have loved the book ten times more.
Sanderson had to build a universe from scratch. So he had his work cut out for him, and that’s where a lot of the filler comes in from.
He has to build the environment, the culture, and the religion.
He did a fantastic job.
But, there’s just so much I can take of reading about people waking up, feeling bad for themselves, and complaining about it. There’s quite a bit of that, no matter if there are a slave, or a noble.
The world is plagued by Highstorms.
Highstorms, in our world are basically just super cell thunderstorms. They cover the world, and are devastating.
The Highstorms generate Stormlight, which is used in the gems they used for currency to make them more valuable (i.e. when the gems glow).
The Stormlight is also used for dangerous weapons known as Shardblade, and fantastic armor known as Shardplate.
The Shardblades are essentially summon-able light sabers. Shardplate is kind of like putting on a robotic exo-suit that gives the user incredible strength and agility.
Only a handful of people have these two things. And if you do, you are the elite of the civilization, and most likely a leader in the military.
There are also people that have been Stormblessed.They can “lash”, which means they can control gravity around them.
Think of the book as a mix of Star Wars, The Matrix, and any high fantasy environment.
In the end though, if you’re looking for a long book with heavy dialog with a few good action scenes, this is the book for you. It is very dialog heavy… Very.
But, still a good book. I enjoyed it, even though I just wanted to get to the end. So give it a look, but don’t let the size discourage you.
Currently, after hearing many rave comments from friends of mine, I’m reading Game of Thrones. Hopefully I can get through it before the television show starts, but we’ll see.
Epic books, ❤