Brandon Dudley, Online Editor
“The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson is truly a remarkable creation of literary excellence that all should take the time to explore. Part of the Stormlight series, “The Way of Kings” sets the scene for the three book fantasy series with vivid description and outstanding detail.
Sanderson starts off his story with action, mayhem, and desperation to a level that leaves the reader in pure fascination for what is to come. The fates of those present in the story’s introduction, however, are never revealed, leaving the reader to wonder what exactly happened.
Following this epic beginning is a royally grand feast through the eyes of a servant—secretly an assassin—who, through inhuman and magical means, seeks to kill the king of the great nation he lives within. An epic battle ensues before the assassin succeeds in his attempts.
Humble beginnings are the cornerstone of creating lovable and fantastic protagonists. Swiftly after enwrapping the reader with knightly valor and combat, Sanderson enters another war much later in the timeline of events with the story of a young boy fighting for the first time in his lord’s army. This is where the reader meets the main protagonist, rather indirectly, as told through the boy’s perspective.
Kaladin Stormblessed, sergeant of a company under his lord’s command, is quickly imprisoned after mysterious events in the aftermath of a great battle. A large portion of his story is told through the chains of enslavement in a Highprince’s army fighting against a people known as the Parshendi.
Another character, Dalinar Kholin, is the brother of the late king killed in the beginning of the book. He stands for all that is pure and honorable in life, fighting alongside his men in battle and lending aid in menial tasks. While he does not realistically portray how medieval princes and royalty often acted, he shows the ideal lifestyle one should live.
Dalinar is often seen as crazy on account of his not following the norm of his people. In addition, he is subject to seizure-like spasms during country-sweeping storms, though these spasms are merely visions of an unknown past to him.
The last main character is the young woman Shallan who seeks great wisdom and training in the arts of proper womanhood from a wise and far-off mentor. Her true intentions lie within the tragedy of her late father’s debts that need to be paid and her goal to steal a great gem of power from the teacher she seeks.
“The Way of Kings” is a book that cannot be justified in words, but instead must be experienced. Sanderson penned a great introduction to a series whose third installment has yet to be released to the waiting public.