There are number of novels coming out this fall that have me excited, but I have to say that the one that really has me wriggling in my seat in anticipation of the release date is Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, the first book in his new series, The Stormlight Archive. This might be the most anticipated release in fantasy this year – I know I’m not the only one talking about it, and wanting to read it. With this page count, I’m thinking that I’ll either be reading it for a good long while – especially if I think I’ll be reading other books to review here – or I’ll be (more likely) losing sleep as I bury my nose in it and get lost in this world he’s created.
I’ve had the privilege of hearing Sanderson talk, and read, at two different visits to my city, and he’s just great. He’s been so humble and open about finishing the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and his own writing is every bit as epic as Jordan’s. And as an aside – the man is a writing machine. The Wheel of Time novels he’s writing are something like 400,00+ words (to compare, I think the typical YA or paranormal romance is under 100,000 words). His own novels, like Warbreaker, are just as long. The idea of generating that much story, on a schedule, boggles my brain. His writing doesn’t suffer, either. Color me amazed, truly.
The Way of Kings
August 31, 2010
The plug, from Goodreads:
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.
One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.
Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.
That sound you heard? That was me, clapping my hands like a little kid who just found out that she was going inside FAO Schwartz.