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Brandon Sanderson "The Way of Kings"

Discussion in 'Brandon Sanderson' started by AndrewT, Apr 14, 2013.

  1.  
    Bugg

    Bugg A Lerxst in Wonderland

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    Yes, it does. For me it's the other way around - I like Martin and Erikson but not Goodkind, Jordan or Sanderson. Horses for courses and all that.
     
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    southron sword

    southron sword Master of none

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    I have found this series one to stick with. I started out a bit slow, chipping my way at it... not really connecting with the characters or the story. But after a while it began to pick up some pace and weave a few interesting little stories in there. It has a nice history going on that makes me want to know more. After I read the first two books I tried to read the Mistborn series but I found his writing style and his characters to be bland. He has definitely developed his writing for "The Way of Kings", and anybody keen on reading an exciting and creative fantasy series should give "The Way of Kings" a go....
     
  3.  
    chongjasmine

    chongjasmine Well-Known Member

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    I plan to read this book after I am done with the wheel of time series.
     
  4.  
    col_porridge

    col_porridge TimingIsEverything

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    I really liked the book because it kinda felt like a mix of the convoluted story mixture of erikson and the solid hero beats everyone style of jordan. A nice middle ground with enough variety to be surprising and enough solidity to not get distracted. Plus I think the way he approaches an alternate reality type of physics and science makes you wonder what reality would be like with subtle changes like that
     
  5.  
    col_porridge

    col_porridge TimingIsEverything

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    plus the end really reminded me of the neverending story.....
     
  6.  
    JagLover

    JagLover Well-Known Member

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    I really liked the Way of Kings but it was heavy going at times.


    It is clearly a more "grown up" book than the Mistborn series but could have benefited from some of the conciseness of that trilogy.


    Where it excels is in the characters, and storyline, of Kaladin in particular, but also with Dalinar.


    Some minor criticisms. As said above place names can be a little confusing at times, often seeming to be random collections of letters. Also why on earth start out with the plan for a 10 book series?, that may be why this feels too drawn out. The point about many earlier large fantasy epics is at the start they were planned to be smaller then sprawled.
     
  7.  
    DragonKhan25

    DragonKhan25 Active Member

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    I absolutely love the book and cannot wait for the sequel. He always said how inspired by RJ he was and this series is going to be his "Wheel of Time"
     
  8.  
    Ashaman

    Ashaman Well-Known Member

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    Having read WOT and the Mistborn series I was not really impressed with Sanderson. And then I read The way of Kings and Words of radiance and i was ... "poleaxed" is the least to say :p . In my opinion quite impressive books and good writing and nice storyline and ... everything. Liked them very much indeed. Let's see how it goes on.
    I think maybe I should try Elantris too.
     
  9.  
    AndrewT

    AndrewT Well-Known Member

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    Some people have recommended reading Elantris, Warbreaker, and Mistborn before reading these since he pulls things from those books into this world. Not that it's absolutely necessary to do so, just makes it more interesting, correct?
     
  10.  
    mgilmour

    mgilmour Author of The Mindwars

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    I think that the "Way of Kings" is absolutely brilliant. I loved it!
    I've already read the second book in the Stormlight Archive and I'm looking forward to the following 8.

    I've read the final battle in book one about five times. Sanderson just seems to be able to communicate the seen so well. A real inspirational writer.
     
  11.  
    Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner Writing and reading Staff Member

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    I'm only a few chapters in, but couldn't help but noticed that the character experience in chapters 1 & 2 seems a little light at times. For example, in Chapter 1, Sanderson seems to keep jumping out of Szeth's POV to explain, for the benefit of the reader, how "lashing" works. In Chapter 2, Cenn begins battle absolutely terrified, but as soon as he gets a spear through his leg, he stops worrying about himself, and simply becomes an observer to other events happening to other characters around him. This makes it read as if Sanderson keeps dropping out of character.

    Granted, I've seen other published authors do this, and Sanderson did the same with a long, early chapter in the first Mistborn book. I mention it simply because my personal tastes have become so narrow that these days I absolutely demand a close character experience to really enjoy fiction. In this instance, it's especially marked because I'm also reading Joe Abercrombie's Half the World at the same time, and Abercrombie is very strong when it comes to character experience. I'm just hoping that Way of Kings doesn't end up a slog to read through!
     
  12.  
    ratsy

    ratsy www.scifiexplorations.com

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    I hope not Brian. I read this book twice already (which is very rare for me) and loved it each time. I think once you get to Kaladin's POV you will feel a lot more engaged.
     
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  13.  
    Ashaman

    Ashaman Well-Known Member

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    Brian, Sanderson still has lots of flaws in his writing but he is getting better and better every book he writes I think. Maybe some of his characters are a little bit weak indeed but the overall story is really good. Let's hope he does even better in the next ones ;-)
     
  14.  
    Ashaman

    Ashaman Well-Known Member

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    AndrewT, I have not read Warbreaker , but to tell you the truth, the Mistoborn series books were read a long time ago (or I should say many books have been read since then) so I didnt notice any relevance and it didnt hinder me in any way in enjoying the books ;-)
     
  15.  
    mgilmour

    mgilmour Author of The Mindwars

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    I really enjoyed both of the books in this series. The only points that became a little annoying was when Sanderson went back into the past and did a bit of character development. It got a LOT bogged down in those times. Once you were in Kaladin's story it became really interesting.
     
  16.  
    Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner Writing and reading Staff Member

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    Not a criticism, but an observation - rather than being a mediaeval fantasy, Way of Kings so far comes across as more like a low-tech science fiction story.

    The front cover has a knight with a sword, implying a mediaeval setting. But we're actually on a completely different planet, with many different animals, and people with alien colours of skin - crimson, mottled like marble, for example - plus there are the spren, and various immaterial spirits.

    Plus in Kaladin's first POV chapter, he speaks of treating someone's disease with a specific medicine given every two hours, in order to stop it spreading - suggesting a modern understanding of disease transmission and treatment, as well as a modern sense of time-keeping. Then in Shallan's first chapter, she steps off a boat with a sketch pad of paper to draw works here for her portfolio, and mentions that she has allergies. All of these references, to me, put the story no earlier than the twentieth century.

    I feel like I'm reading something more like a comic - somewhere fantastical and colourful that the X-Men might travel in space to visit - rather than somewhere through time, which epic fantasy usually does. Which, course, brings up the whole tired argument of whether something is science fiction or fantasy depending on whether it has enough science in it. My point is simply that there appears to be nothing mediaeval about this story so far.

    For those who've read Way of Kings, was that your impression, and is all this entirely part of the world-building - or am I over-analysing the type of fantasy that this is?
     
  17.  
    ratsy

    ratsy www.scifiexplorations.com

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    You are correct Brian. He definitely does not write historical fantasy novels. I like that his stories are in a different universe with unique magical systems, and it doesn't bother me at all to mix post-industrial themes with swords and magic. It's all his world and I actually find it refreshing from the classic take on a big, fat fantasy book.

    Does a fantasy book need to be medievil? I don't think so. I mean we have guys running around doing some utterly impossible things gs according to physics, so is realism needed?

    I guess it depends on the reader, and I truly enjoy the world's Sanderson has made. I am still confused how they all tie together, but that's for another discussion.
     
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  18.  
    AndrewT

    AndrewT Well-Known Member

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    Fantasy does not have to be medieavil to be called fantasy but technology really has to be missing. Having references that could only be classified as modern in some way reduces the escape factor depending on how blatant. I have now read Elantris and Warbreaker and often found his characters to be modern in their attitudes, a minor annoyance. Thankfully there was no technology but both were like B movies of fantasy. He does have great potential though and I will move on to some of his other works eventually.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
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