Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

In completing Wheel of Time, Brandon Sanderson has shown that he has the right stuff when it comes to epic fantasy.  His worlds are as rich as his writing, his characters are troubled, his setting gritty and on a grand scale, but do be warned I found the first hundred or so pages of this book quite hard going - yes, there was action and yes the world showed signs of greatness, but it took along time for the events he set up to be resolved - still because of his previous works I trusted it would be worth the wait - and yes it was - by the end I just could not put the book down.  I had to know what was going to happen next.  It did not matter that it was four o'clock in the morning, my favourite characters were in peril - would they live or would they die? 

There is alot of warfare in this book,and a carefully constructed "magic" that seems to be based on rules that are only very slowly being revealed, but nothing safe and easy.  The creatures who inhabit the world are quite foreign, including massive chasmfiends that are hunted for sport, and the strange "spren" that seem to be everywhere, and whose place in the universe slowly becomes more apparent.  It's as dangerous and deadly as "Game of Thrones" and I so want to give away the end - because it does pull the whole book into perspective and make you ask the only question there is to ask: WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE COMING OUT!  Thank goodness Sanderson is such a fast writer, now all we need to do is get him a curmudgeony editor just to make sure that the pacing stays even. Or maybe, I should, like my friends say, learn patience.  the only problem is that takes too long.

Overall yes, this is a great book, and lovers of epic fantasy who are still waiting for George RR Martin's colossus to come out could do far worse than read it.  And believe it or not given the choice I would probably read the sequel to this first, just because I found the last George R R Martin book a tiny bit disappointing.  Maybe it didn't have enough Arya in it, or enough Imp (my favourite characters by far) - but I cannot imagine that the surgeon, and fighter Kaladin will ever be far from the action so long as he is alive.

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