Book Rating (988)
Narrator Rating (209)

The Way of Kings: Book One of the Stormlight Archive

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Michael Kramer, Kate Reading

45 Hours 30 Minutes

Macmillan Audio

August 2010

Audio Book Summary

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.

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.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight Archive
The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)
Oathbringer

The Mistborn trilogy
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning

Collection
Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels
Elantris
Warbreaker

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener's Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series
The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners
Steelheart
Firefight
Calamity

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Reviews

  • Kristen Simler

    I was able to listen to this book at work and thankfully it made the time pass so much quicker. The book does have a slower start but the ending is definitely worth waiting for. Brandon Sanderson is a genius and the narrators gave voice to that genius mind.

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  • John Harris

    1280 pages and it only took about 800 of those to draw me in. The reason I persevered though hundreds of pages of male bravado, "honor", back and forth crisis of conscience, and relative absence of female characters is because the reviews were just so damned spectacular. My primary disappointment with this book is that it was written in 2010 and, despite the creative creatures and imaginative landscapes, Sanderson still chose to incorporate a strict stereotypical masculine/feminine dichotomy into his alien world. The book is dominated by conversations between and about men from all walks of life and their inner turmoil. There's only 2 female characters in 1280 pages that talk to each other. The stormlight archives takes place on an alien planet with multiple moons, many different races and species of humanoids, giant crustacean monsters, faeries, mysterious ancient mist swords, "storm-infused" rocks, a gemstone currency system, moving plants, storm magic, cultures and architecture that are shaped by massive recurring storms, deities and angel-like people, and dreaded void bringers but envisioning something other than deeply entrenched gender roles and misogyny appears to fall beyond the scope of Sanderson's vast imagination. Even the most well-educated, wealthy, and elite women in this alien world can't own property, hold positions of authority, go to war, or sit at the same table as men. The extent of their greatest accomplishments are to marry well and serve as glorified secretaries for men. I've learned to not expect ground breaking feminist masterpieces from male authors, but stormfather, this was just painful.

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  • Nick F.

    great narration. the story is fantastic once you get through the first half hour.

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  • Mike B.

    Was a great story a little slow an the start but sets up for a great next book

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  • Cameron E.

    What a treat! Absolutely loved it! Looking forward to the second book.

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  • Robby H.

    Loved it! No better way to spend time stuck in traffic.

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  • Alfred A.

    This book and the overall series are great. I’ve read the series several times and enjoy it more and more with every read. I picked up audio books about 2 years ago when I began driving to work. The narration for these...not great. My biggest complaint? I felt like the audio was computer generated...monotone and lifeless. The narrators don’t always agree on how to pronounce names or locations either, which can be confusing and their character voices aren’t always consistent in their delivery, especially from one book to the next. Lastly, Kate reads way too slow and takes too much time and effort to over-pronounce words. Michael could put a little energy into his narration as well as his narration often felt like a training video. This book is better read than listened to.

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  • Michael Shoff

    Love the book and the narrators. A compelling story with a massive world and vibrant characters. Some sections skipped lines or phrases and one of the names were incongruous in pronunciation between the narrators. Overall awesome!

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  • Paula M.

    Sanderson’s truly epic saga starts here! Hours of entertainment that will leave you wanting more.

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  • ROBIN H.

    Hard to put down! I can’t wait to read more of his books!

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